January 2009

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Equalising the Unequal Starts with Education

Picture: Wikimedia Commons Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen - The South African dream is that opportunities should not be defined by initial conditions, be they race, gender or class. The Constitution provides the right to education as an important foundational element of reaching this dream. Government has developed an important set of initiatives aimed at improving the school readiness of children, thus potentially providing a fair start for all South Africans. Questions, however, remain as to whether these initiatives will be able to rectify past...

The Role of Corporations and International Financial Institutions in the Congo Conflict

Maurice Carney of Friends of the Congo contends that corporate interests drive all decision-making in Congo. Quoting from research conducted by the International Rescue Committee and NGO Global Witness, Carney names American and Canadian companies involved in the plunder of Congo. The IMF and World Bank are also implicated in reports that reveal how their conditional loans further exacerbate the conflict and the suffering of the Congolese people. Nita Evele of Congo Global Action sheds light...

Eskom's Five Billion Dollar World Bank Loan: Questions Abound, Answers Elude

Picture: publicinsomniac Michelle Pressend - ESKOM’s plan to take a US$5 billion World Bank loan is a cause for major concern. It raises a number of pertinent questions about South Africa’s energy policy arena and the energy choices being made on behalf of ordinary South Africans. In the first place, why is South Africa taking a World Bank loan? Doesn’t our state have a role in addressing the current energy crisis or 'bail out' of ESKOM? Considering the World Bank’s record of reigning in state power, what...

The New Land Grab

Picture: Curte Carnemark/World Bank Glenn Ashton - The new international land and agricultural resources grab – neo-colonialism writ large... Just when colonialism was considered dead and buried, along comes neo-colonialism in its latest guise. Allied with its close relatives globalisation, free marketeering and lack of transparency, it is currently launching a new offensive on the disempowered population of this continent. Kwame Nkrumah, along with others in the post-colonial Pan Africanist movement, coined the term 'neo-colonialism'...

Obama and Gaza

Author of the book, "American Raj," Eric Margolis argues that Hamas is regarded by US-backed governments in the Middle East as a threat.  These states tend to be monarchies, dictatorships and oligarchies that do very little for their people, while Hamas delivers a revolutionary message against corruption, he says. Margolis contends that there was a collusion between the United States, israel, Egypt and Britain to lock up Gaza, put it under siege and try and crush the life out...

A Message From Progressive Americans to President Obama: Ten Things to Avoid

Picture: www.art.com Alternet Staff - As Inauguration Day arrives, the citizens of our country are on the edge of their collective seats waiting to see who the real Barack Obama is, and how he will step up to address the worst economic crisis since the Depression. Adding to his burden, Obama is following George W. Bush, who may go down as the most failed and destructive president in history. As a result, in addition to the financial disaster, Obama inherits two wars and a huge array of counterproductive policies perpetuated by...