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E-Newsletter of the Africa Youth Human Rights Network

Issue 5/April 2011

Africa Youth Human Rights Network e-Newsletter Issue 5/April 2011 Send us your stories, photos, drawings etc... Feedback, comments... talk back!


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The opinions expressed in this e-newsletter are the responsibility of the authors and not those of the Africa Youth Human Rights Network, Action Youth, Global Changemakers or any of its associates, funder or sponsor.


This month

Cover photo: Smiling Ethiopia Mexikids/


Africa Youth Human Rights Network ____________________________ Editor Munyaradzi Gova Managing Editor Jermain Ndhlovu Project Managers Mercy Changwesha (Zimbabwe/US) Esnath Gondwe (Malawi) Mahmud Johnson (Liberia/US) ____________________________ Contributors Nashon Christopher Mwangeni Laura Sager Nchamaze Arnold Akepu Wanelisa Albert ____________________________ © e-Newsletter: Action Youth and Africa Youth Human Rights Network. © Articles - Individual contributors Reproduction of any part of this publication is available on request. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter;

_______________________________________ Africa Youth Human Rights Network April, 2011 3


Munyaradzi Alfonce Gova Editor


o my three week old daughter Tanyaradzwa Gova......these are our rights!!!

The Poll on

n this issue we shall try and rewrite the books of history as Nchamze Arnold takes a closer look at the history of the motherland. Arnold being a History teacher reminds us of the native or maybe traditional names of places in Africa namely the Victoria Falls as it is widely known. Nashon Christopher Mwangeni is worried about the African Mindset that he believes was instilled by the colonial masters and tries to address it from a young mans point of view.

Africa Youth Human Rights Network


n our country profile we shall look at Nigeria, Africa most populous nation and home of the world famous Nollywood film industry and literary greats like Wole Sonyika and Chinua Achebe. We shall also continue to explore West Africa as we read about the tales of Cameroon. Also of interest in Cameroon is how tradition continues to play a pivotal role evidenced by the presence of fortune teller's.


How important are your traditional cultures and values in the modern world? 1: Very


2: Partly


2: Not at all


The March Poll on

am that girl....are the words of a very noble Xhosa daughter Wanelisa Albert as she describes the beauty of the motherland AFRICA, she showcases her pride for the truly African body although westernized ideologies prescribe it wrong and badly shaped. Finally as always we have lots of opportunities for young explorer and the youth who want to meet the MDGs by 2015.

The beginning of the year has been filled with ground breaking events. Is Africa on the right track?

Hail Human Rights for all

1: Yes


2: No

Africa Youth Human Rights Network

2: Unsure

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‘The main glue that binds south Sudan's multiple nationalities together is the history of their struggle for freedom, a history of collective opposition to the north.’ Southern academic Jok Madut Jok on recent tribal and rebel infighting amongst southerners over who should be premier of the new South Sudan on July 9.

‘On one level South Africa must understand and engage with regional dynamics. A power vacuum has opened at the regional level due to civil war in Libya and the revolution that engulfed Egypt. Both countries wielded influence in Sudan but as their regional postures are weakened due to internal turmoil, an assertive diplomatic strategy from South Africa may translate into deeper strategic influence in Sudan and the central and north African regions.’ Petrus de Kock, a senior researcher at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) seeing an opportunity for South African foreign policy.

‘Looters have stolen all the computers, they've turned everything upside down. I don't know if we'll be able to get back to work for two or three months.’ Ivorian civil servant on the state of business in Ivory Coast.

‘Election day showed a generally peaceful and orderly process.’

Chief European Union election observer Alojz Peterle on the Nigerian presidentai; election.

‘The developed world is there to help, but the real change is up to us. ’ Nashon Christopher Mwangeni on the potential of Africa on page 8

‘The crab wizard tells you the future after interpreting the position of the crab in the pot’ German aid worker Laura Sager encounters wizadry in Cameroun. Page 10

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Africa Youth Human Rights Network April, 2011 5

_______________________________________ Country Profile

country. This name was coined by Flora Shaw, the future wife of Baron Lugard, a British colonial administrator, in the late 19th century.

Official Name: Federal Republic of Nigeria Capital: Abuja Largest city: Lagos Official Language: English Independence: 1 October 1963, from the UK. Population: 152,217,34 Religion: 50.4% Muslim, 48.2% Christian and 1.4% list as other. The Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising thirty-six states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. The three largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. In terms of religion Nigeria is roughly split half and half between Muslims and Christians with a very small minority who practice traditional religion. The name Nigeria was taken from the Niger River running through the

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, the seventh most populous country in the world, and the most populous country in the world in which the majority of the population is black. It is listed among the "Next Eleven" economies, and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The economy of Nigeria is one of the fastest growing in the world, with the International Monetary Fund projecting a growth of 9% in 2008 and 8.3% in 2009.

election that was witnessed and condemned by the international community as being severely flawed. Ethnic violence over the oil producing Niger Delta region and inadequate infrastructures are some of the current issues in the country.

Yar'Adua died on 5 May 2010. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was sworn in as Yar'Adua's replacement on 6 May 2010, becoming Nigeria's 14th Head of State. He will serve as president until the next election. Upon taking office, Jonathan cited anticorruption, power and electoral reform as likely focuses of his administration. He stated that he came to office under "very sad and unusual circumstances."On 18 May Recent history 2010, the National Assembly Nigeria re-achieved democracy in approved President Goodluck 1999 when it elected Olusegun Jonathan's nomination of former Obasanjo, the former military head of Kaduna state governor, Namadi state, as the new President of Nigeria Sambo, an architect, for the position ending almost 33 years of military of Vice President of the Federal rule (from 1966 until 1999) excluding Republic of Nigeria. the short-lived second republic (between 1979 and 1983) by military dictators who seized power in coups Foreign relations d'Êtat and counter-coups during the Upon gaining independence in 1960, Nigerian military juntas of 1966-1979 Nigeria made the liberation and and 1983-1998. Although the restoration of the dignity of Africa the elections which brought Obasanjo to centrepiece of its foreign policy and power in 1999 and again in 2003 played a leading role in the fight were condemned as unfree and against the apartheid regime in South unfair, Nigeria has shown marked Africa. One notable exception to the improvements in attempts to tackle African focus of Nigeria's foreign government corruption and to hasten policy was the close relationship the development. country enjoyed with Israel Umaru Yar'Adua of the People's Democratic Party came into power in the general election of 2007 – an

throughout the 1960s, with the latter country sponsoring and overseeing the construction of Nigeria's

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_______________________________________ Nigeria country profile parliament buildings. Nigeria's foreign policy was soon tested in the 1970s after the country emerged united from its own civil war and quickly committed itself to the liberation struggles going on in the Southern Africa sub-region though Nigeria never sent an expeditionary force in that struggle. Nigeria was also a founding member of the Organisation for African Unity (now the African Union), and has tremendous influence in West Africa and Africa on the whole. Nigeria has additionally founded regional cooperative efforts in West Africa, functioning as standardbearer for ECOWAS and ECOMOG, economic and military organizations respectively. Nigeria retains membership in the Non-Aligned Movement, and in late November 2006 organized an AfricaSouth America Summit in Abuja to promote what some attendees termed "South-South" linkages on a variety of fronts.[50] Nigeria is also a member of the International Criminal Court, and the Commonwealth of Nations, from which it was temporarily expelled in 1995 under the Abacha regime. Nigeria has remained a key player in the international oil industry since the 1970s, and maintains membership in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC which it joined in July, 1971. Its status as a major petroleum producer figures prominently in its sometimes vicissitudinous international relations with both developed countries, notably the United States and more recently China and developing countries, notably Ghana, Jamaica and Kenya. Millions of Nigerians have emigrated at times of economic hardship to Europe, North America and Australia among others. It is estimated that over a million Nigerians have emigrated to the United States and constitute the Nigerian American populace.

West African jewel: Lagos is Nigeria’s biggest city and economic power house of the region. Photo: Salaam/Wikipedia

stock exchange (the Nigerian Stock Exchange), which is the second largest in Africa. Nigeria is ranked 37th in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) as of 2007. Nigeria is the United States' largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa and supplies a fifth of its oil (11% of oil imports). It has the seventh-largest trade surplus with the U.S. of any country worldwide. Nigeria is currently the 50th-largest export market for U.S. goods and the 14th-largest exporter of goods to the U.S. The United States is the country's largest foreign investor.

colonial literature in the English language. Nigeria's best-known writers are Wole Soyinka, the first African Nobel Laureate in Literature, and Chinua Achebe, best known for the novel, Things Fall Apart and his controversial critique of Joseph Conrad. Other Nigerian writers and poets who are well known internationally include John Pepper Clark, Ben Okri, Cyprian Ekwensi, Buchi Emecheta, Helon Habila, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ken Saro Wiwa, who was executed in 1995 by the military regime, and Saintmoses Eromosele a poet, playwright and social critic who wrote his first book, a novela, at the age of 16 and while still a secondary school student. Nigeria has the second largest newspaper market in Africa (after Egypt) with an estimated circulation of several million copies daily in 2003.

Previously, economic development had been hindered by years of military rule, corruption, and mismanagement, the restoration of democracy and subsequent economic reforms have successfully put Nigeria back on track towards achieving its full economic potential. It is now the second largest economy in Africa (following South Africa), and Film the largest economy in the West The Nigerian video-film industry is Africa Region. known as Nollywood, which is now the second-largest producer of movies in the world. Many of the film Literature studios are based in Lagos and Nigerian citizens have authored Enugu, and the industry is now a many influential works of postvery lucrative income for these cities.


Economy Nigeria is classified as a mixed economy emerging market, and has already reached middle income status according to the World Bank, with its abundant supply of natural resources, well-developed financial, legal, communications, transport sectors and

One in every four Africans is Nigerian _______________________________________

T.B. Joshua's Emmanuel TV, originating from Nigeria, is also one of the most viewed television stations across Africa.

Source: Wikipedia _______________________________________ Africa Youth Human Rights Network April, 2011 7


Views & Opinion

_______________________________________ Leading thought

Nashon Christopher Mwangeni attempts to rouse a sleeping giant.

Too many naps?: Spectacular sunsets lure foreigners and investment but the author thinks change is up to Africans. Photo: Mexikids/

African mind-set,” reads a Zambian newspaper article. 'The African mindset' is indeed a significant factor to the inequality of wealth distribution throughout the continent. Most wealthy Africans own large houses, drive luxury vehicles, make overseas trips to do shopping and send Amongst Africa's biggest current children to foreign universities. In my problems lies inequality. We have a opinion, judging from my own past ridiculously unequal population in experiences and observations, the terms of wealth. The distribution of income is completely unequal and the average African believes that being gap between the classes continues to able to enjoy luxuries while his neighbour cannot gives him a sense increase. And why is this? Well it's of pride and comfort. However, it is a how people think. mystery whether these people are aware that the reason they have to “There is nothing wrong with the do their shopping and receive their African Mind, our problem is the What's the problem with Africa? Well we can blame things like colonialism, apartheid, and others, but those excuses are long overdue and it's time to put them aside and pave the road forward.

tertiary education overseas has to do with that same mind-set that they entertain. But is it really just our successful people who carry that mind-set? No - it's all of us. An article by Nkwazi Mhango, titled 'We Badly Need to Free the Mindset of Our Leaders,' suggests that this way of thinking was brought on by colonialism.“When white colonialists invaded and occupied Africa, they cheated us [into believing] that they were Excellencies whilst they were but mere thugs. Sadly though, we blindly took and swallow this bunkum!" Mhango further talks about how Africans continued to

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_______________________________________ adopt this mind-set long after they were given freedom. Our best examples for this are our biggest role models, our leaders and Africa is home to some of the world's most corrupt and prominent leaders. Africa is currently suffering from over population, disease and violence amongst other issues. Since the continent has not helped itself, the developed world has stepped in. A first attempt to solve Africa's problems was when higher power countries introduced the concept of foreign aid to help African states cope with debt from oil crises in the 1970's. We have been collecting it ever since. Even though African countries have been receiving foreign aid for the past few decades, little development has taken place which tells us something. The aid money is not being used entirely on what it's supposed to! So maybe it's time for Africa to try and help itself. So how can Africa change itself? Well now it's up to our younger generations. First of all we must eliminate the African mind-set described above. It is important that we become a more equal society. Also, several Africans have lost hope

Aid, good or bad?: Ghana is one of the few countries worldwide doing well on the universal education access Millenium Development Goal, as this proud headmistress beams in their USAID funded, quality primary education programme. Photo: Henry Akorso/USAID

in the continent as a whole and many 'lucky' people from younger generations intend to leave as quickly as possible.

behalf of the government, abolish school fees like Ghana, Uganda, and other countries. The developed world is there to help, but the real change is up to us.

We need to motivate our fellow youth to make a difference. We should _____________________ introduce government vehicle policies such as the one in Kenya which Nashon Christopher Mwangeni is a regulates the kinds of cars ministers Kenyan youth living in South Africa.. and other officials can acquire on

_______________________________________ Best of Africa Youth Human Rights Network Uganda: Rising prices protests breakout as presidential candidate is shot in arm by police. 122 Impressions · 3.28% Feedback January 14 at 11:08am · LikeUnlike · · View Feedback (2) Hide Feedback (2) · Promote 2 people like this.

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_______________________________________ Africa Youth Human Rights Network April, 2011 9

_______________________________________ Picture book

Laura Sager swaps a life in Germany for a stint in Cameroon.

Overload: ‘You don't get more comfort than that!’

The crab wizard tells you the future after interpreting the position of the crab in the pot. Great tourist attraction and a good income since every question costs about £1,50.

_______________________________________ _______________________________________ 10 Africa Youth Human Rights Network March, 2011

_______________________________________ Picture book Women in Tourou: The tradition is that they wear calabashes to show that they are already married.

Chief's Palace in Bafut although he lives in a modern house next door. It wasn't easy to set up internet and TV in that building.

Street theatre: ‘Ngoun’ in Foumban

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Africa Youth Human Rights Network March, 2011 11

_______________________________________ Picture book One of the tourists afterwards: "Og, it reminds you of all the Tarzan stories, doesn't it?" Just wanted to choke her...

Dry season in Maroua. The dry river is a social melting pot.

The stock market of Foumban

12 African Youth Human Rights Network March, 2011

Laura Sager is with the German Association for International Development in Cameroun.

_______________________________________ _______________________________________ 12 Africa Youth Human Rights Network March, 2011

_______________________________________ Views & Opinion

Nchamze Arnold Akepu finds a flaw of history and sets the record straight. Heritage Focus Comment on these and other stories in this newsletter;


hen I go through History books and I come across untruths like; the Scottish missionary and explorer, David Livingstone discovered the Victoria Falls, I begin to wonder. This tells me that no one inhabited the area and so no one was aware such a magnificent natural wonder existed in this part of the world. But this is not true, history tells us that archaeological sites around the falls acknowledge the occupation of Homo habilis from 3 million years ago, who were displaced by the Iron-using Khoisan hunter-gatherers, who were in turn displaced by Bantu tribes such as the southern Tonga people known as the Batoka/Tokalea, these people called the falls Shungunamutitima. The Matabele, who arrived there later, named the falls aManz' aThunqayo and the Batswana and MaKololo people called the falls Mosi-o-Tunya - all these appellations literally meaning the 'smoke that thunders'. Imagine you were granted an interview on say CNN, BBC or even France 24 and talked of the Mosi-o-Tunya, certainly you will be making noise and not communicating. Why? Very few will identify with this. Even though the World Heritage Listing today recognizes both names, I think it is a violation of the rights especially of the origin, language and culture of the people of Zambia and Zimbabwe, who share these falls. Could these imply some civilizations, cultures or better still languages are more important than other? And which are these….Is this a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations? Nchamaze Arnold Akepu is a school teacher based in N’Gaoundéré, Cameroun.

_______________________________________ African Youth Human April, 2011 1313 Africa Youth HumanRights RightsNetwork Network April 2011


Poetry corner

_______________________________________ Words and stuff like that

Wanelisa Albert is proud of her history and the achievement of women in her society.

Struggle icon Albertina Sisulu is one of the women who led the women’s march on the apartheid government of South Africa in 1956.

I am that girl, Who was there at the Union Buildings in 1956 Face glued between my mother’s mauve towel and her back bent As she screamed “Amandla!” with her bruised fist raised up I am that girl, Who every year on June 16 Rests her head on her mother’s lap As her mother tearfully relives memories of the death of her friends I am that girl, Who grew up in a distant and foreign land Dreaming every night for my reunion with Home To return and discover She does not recognise my face anymore I am that girl, Not afraid to: lose herself (In and between the struggle for equal humanity) In a world obsessed with relevance I am that girl Who is the wrong shape and shade of ‘Beauty’ Much too powerful, fierce and definitely too heavy To be held by any man as a Trophy I am that girl, Who can be the backbone of your political movements The girl who will jump country borders with children in her arms to be with you The girl who you will raise your daughters, who will change the winds of History

Wanelisa Albert is a sociology student at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

_______________________________________ 14 Africa Youth Human Rights Network April, 2011



_______________________________________ News youth can use UN-HABITAT Urban Youth Fund for NGOs in Developing Countries Deadline: 15 April 2011 The United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT) has launched the third round of funding for the UN-HABITAT Urban Youth Fund aimed at advancing the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Habitat Agenda by supporting youth-led projects implemented in cities and towns of developing countries. The Fund has been established with the support of the Government of Norway. The Fund seeks to provide assistance to youth-led NGOs to develop and implement projects that will contribute to sustainable urbanization in the developing world. Young persons in the age group of 15 and 32 years can apply to receive this support through legally registered organizations in developing countries. Persons above the age of 32 years can still take part in the projects demonstrating adult-youth partnerships. Involvement of girls and young women in decision-making at all levels of the organization is another important criterion. An interesting feature of the Fund is that it can also support organizations that are legally not registered but fulfill other criteria set down in the application guidelines. Such an NGO needs to apply in partnership with a facilitating organization that will receive and manage the funding on its behalf. Proposed projects should be implemented at the grassroots within a city or town with more than 10,000 inhabitants. The projects should promote youth participation in urban governance, pilot innovative approaches to adequate shelter and secure tenure for youth; promote entrepreneurship and employment for youth; and support the development of youth networks on sustainable urban development. The Fund can support projects of up to US $25,000 for a period of twelve months. Find out more 2012 Rotary Peace Fellowship Deadline: 1 July 2011 Greetings from the Rotary Peace Centers Department! As members of the peace field you know, these are uncertain times in our world. There is increasing dissent in North Africa, continued unrest in the Middle East and the everpresent threat of nuclear violence around the world. Now, more than ever, there is growing demand for well trained international leaders to promote peace. The Rotary Peace Fellowship program was developed to meet this very need. How to Apply 1. Download the application at: and carefully read over the fellowship's requirements 2. If your experience and future career goals align with the values of the Rotary Peace Fellowship, contact your local Rotary Club or District to start the process. You can find your local club here 3. If you have trouble contacting a local club, please email Niki Fritz at 4. Applicants need to complete the application, participate in interviews at the club and district level, and sign all forms. 5. Applications endorsed by your local club and district, are due to Rotary by 1 July 2011

_______________________________________ _______________________________________ Africa Youth Human Rights Network April, 2011 15


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HUMAN RIGHTS E-Newsletter of the Africa Youth Human Rights Network Issue 5/April 2011