From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
ALL AFRICA NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN January 20, 2003 (B)
Worldwide Faith News <email@example.com>
Sun, 19 Jan 2003 10:00:48 -0800
ALL AFRICA NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN January 20, 2003 (B)
All Africa News Agency
P. O. BOX 66878 NAIROBI, KENYA.
TEL: (254 2) 442215 FAX: (254 2)445847/443241
Editor - Mitch Odero
Acting Editor - Silvie Alemba
Africans Urged To Assert Ownership Of Development
NAIROBI (AANA) January 20 - A report released recently by the Democratic
Union of Africa (DUA) has called upon African countries to take prime
responsibility for seeking solutions to the challenges facing the
continent, in order to assert ownership of development processes.
The report also calls upon African governments to make fundamental
constitutional changes for them to achieve meaningful economic growth.
DUA, which is based in South Africa, recommends that a separation of powers
between the executive, legislature and the judiciary "is vital to ensure an
effective system of checks and balances to hold the executive accountable
for its actions."
The report containing resolutions of a conference held here last November,
under the theme Constitutional, Electoral and Economic Reforms in Africa,
pinpoints highly authoritarian rule in most African countries as a factor
that contributes to instability, which nurtures, poverty, famine, and
It hails the New Partnership of Africa's Development (NEPAD), saying it had
the potential to "underpin a new African economic revival and constructive
It however, castigates the developed world for promoting unfair trade rules
that frustrate developing countries.
"The developed world must make more progress in opening its own markets,
and put in place a fair set of rules that encourage trade," asserts the
report in part.
It calls upon the African Union to set up an "African WTO (World Trade
Organisation) task team, to facilitate African trade growth on an urgent
Reported By Herman Kasili
Now Bushmen Move To Straighten Tainted Image
GABORONE (AANA) January 20 - The Bushmen, who are considered Southern
Africa's "most primitive" ethnic group, are set to produce a video that is
expected to put the records straight on attempts by the Botswana government
to relocate them from the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR).
The multi-million budget documentary about the Bushmen or Basarwa (as they
are also known) features a narrative done by the Basarwa themselves. It is
being filmed by a local company, Billy Kokorwe and Ken Barlow Pictures.
The Botswana government is currently involved in a controversial exercise
to relocate the Bushmen, who are still living in primitive conditions in
the semi-arid CGKR, to settlements with modern amenities.
The move has been met with strong resistance from the Bushmen themselves
and western human rights organisations, such as Survival International (SI).
SI insists that the government wants to remove the Bushmen from their
ancestral land to pave way for a diamond mine.
The film's production director, Billy Kokorwe, said it will be a major
breakaway from a trend where filmmakers, with their own prejudices, film
and speak for the Basarwa for their own propaganda.
"After all the controversy about CKGR and the so-called Bushmen, and on
realising that these people do not have the skills to do their own film in
order to be heard directly, international television networks have taken
advantage of this to perpetuate half-truths about the Basarwa ," he said.
Some film producers have taken advantage of the status of the Bushmen to
propagate lies and make profits. One such film is a comedy produced in the
early 90s titled Gods must be crazy, that received a lot of criticism from
the government for allegedly propagating lies about the Basarwa.
"The CKGR issue has a lot of international appeal. This film will sell well
and promote our country at the same time," said Kokorwe. The documentary
is expected to be out by June this year.
Reported by Kholwani Nyathi
Research Reveals Scary Statistics On Landmines, IDPs
NAIROBI (AANA) January 20 - A global report just released on internally
displaced persons (IDPs) has described the abundance of land mines in
numerous African countries as a major impediment to the ability of
displaced persons to reclaim their lands.
The report has cited Angola as one of the most heavily mined countries in
the world, with an estimated 8 to10 million land mines.
On Ethiopia and Eritrea, the report points out that the war between the two
countries, which ended about two years ago, left a legacy of land mines
that has hampered the return process in both countries.
The report is an outcome of a survey, conducted last year by the Norwegian
It states that land mines used in the conflict in the Casamance region of
Senegal have rendered 80 per cent of farmland in the region unusable,
according to the US Committee for Refugees (USCR).
"Border areas in the neighbouring Guinea-Bissau have been mined, adversely
affecting the successful reintegration of IDPs in that country into their
original communities," it notes.
Insecurity, as well as poor infrastructure, have seriously hampered
humanitarian access to IDPs, who in many cases, have not been able to find
shelter in organised camps or protected areas.
Their only option has been to seek refuge in host communities already
exhausted by the effects of war, or to hide in the bush, according to
findings of the survey.
The report says the protracted wars in Angola, Sudan and the Democratic
Republic of Congo (DRC) have, produced a total of more than 10 million
IDPs. This accounts for about three-quarters of internal displacements in
the entire continent.
But the survey has ended up its research on a good and hopeful note.
Despite the generally bleak statistics, there have been some positive
"After 27 years of civil war in Angola, the death of the National Union for
the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) rebel leader, Jonas Savimbi, in
February last year (2002) paved the way for a ceasefire agreement between
the two sides in April," notes the report.
The survey established that humanitarian access to the country's 4.1
million internally displaced persons began to improve almost immediately.
Reported by Osman Njuguna
Do Not Take Peace For Granted - Kenyans Urged
NAIROBI (AANA) January 20 - Kenyans have been reminded not to take for
granted the peaceful manner in which they conducted the December 27, 2002
elections, but to work hard to guard the tenets of peace.
The call was made by a bishop of the Pentecostal Church here, Bishop
Philemon Wachara, who asked Kenyans not the take all the credit but to
acknowledge God for granting peace to the country.
This, he said, happened because many believers interceded for the country
through prayers and fasting to realise peaceful transition.
He pointed out that were it not for God's hidden hand, the country would
have witnessed what has been seen in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of
"Apart from some isolated cases, Kenyans did this country proud by
demonstrating the mature and democratic manner they conducted themselves,"
One aspect of the December elections, he noted, was that Kenyans had
realised that they had the power to effect change, something he predicted,
would make many more enrol as voters in subsequent elections.
Bishop Wachara observed that there were still many rivers to cross and that
faithfuls should not relent in their prayers of intercession.
He urged Kenyans to work together to rebuild the nation in order to help
the government achieve what it had promised during campaign period. He
hoped the international community would now see Kenya in a different
perspective and join in "rebuilding our collapsed infrastructures".
Reported By Joseph K'Amolo
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