Discourse

Savings and Investment Culture in Africa

Dambisa Moyo in her book Dead Aid advocates for the importance of domestic savings (among other mechanics) to stimulate African economic growth. A call that has been echoed through the Davos sessions during World Economic Forums. One voice coming from world leaders and most African leaders that Africa needs to promote a saving and investment culture through banking the unbanked and financial inclusion. We are yet to see governments implementing the necessary actions and regulations required to make this idea a reality. In this 21st century, vast majority of the continent remains unbanked. Obviously, Africa is not a country and...
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The Root of Gender-Based Violence (GBV); are we to blame for the monsters that we have created?

Masculinity, also referred to as manhood or manliness, is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles associated with boys and men. It is a phenomenon that is socially constructed[1]. Social masculinity is not only perpetuated by fathers unconsciously teaching their sons to be tough in order to be seen as true man in society but it is also fuelled by mothers who think highly of their sons and less of their daughters. How so you may ask? This is evident in the cultural practices where a girl child is considered a disgrace and of less value should she lose her...
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Navigating a Web of Exclusions: Women in Eastern DRC’s Coltan Mines

(This article is available in both English and French. Scroll down for the French translation) Clémentine is a 23-year-old coltan miner and mother of three, who dropped out of high school to get married.[1] A few years ago a friend invited her to try out mine work, teaching her how to mine. Her husband, who is also a miner, gave her a small loan of $300 USD to get started in washing, separating and trading of coltan. He started mining when he was 15, saving enough money and working his way up from digging work to trading work – which...
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Understanding the Human Rights Crisis in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s current situation is difficult to understand if you don’t know where it comes from. The human rights crisis in Zimbabwe is far from anything new. Zimbabwe is a country that has never respected the rights of its people. From the Gukurahundi genocide between 1983 to 1987 where 30,000 Ndebele people were murdered by state security forces, to the countless abductions, torturing’s, killings and rigging we’ve seen at every election under both former President Robert Mugabe and current President Emmerson Mnangagwa. One would think that after the November 2017 Coup d’état Zimbabwe would be on a positive return to democracy...
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Celebrating Pride; Why Our Black Gay Lives Matter

Not too long ago, a friend of mine celebrated 3 years of marriage to his husband. There were cute pictures and well wishes sent to the happy couple over social media. The Ellen Show is currently on its 17th season and I just got a new match on my Tinder profile. The significance of these seemingly insignificant moments is actually, huge. These are moments that have been made possible for us by a hall of fame of artists, activists and ordinary people who have become heroes. The summer of 1969 saw the Stonewall Riots happen in Manhattan, New York City....
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Using the COVID-19 pandemic to demand better

As one of the most developed economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa exists as somewhat of a paradox because it also simultaneously exists as the most economically unequal country in the world. Characterised by high income polarisation, South Africa has a small number of high-income earners, a relatively small middle class and extremely high levels of chronic poverty. It is for this reason that the World Bank credits its Gini Index as the highest in the world. Now, given the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases, one does not have to think too hard about the devasting consequences this will...
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Muscling with legitimacy and the politics of Lockdown amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

–  by Shannon Arnold, Kapil Narain, Pholla Samkezi Mbalane. With almost 2,5 million cases and 200 000 deaths globally, the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic escalates.[1] In this unprecedented war, health care systems and frontline workers are overburdened and under-resourced, prompting governments to undertake rapid and decisive public health interventions in an endeavour to contain the pandemic. In South Africa, within 3 weeks of the index case (5 March) a national lockdown was declared by the President (23 March), and swiftly implemented (27 March).[2] It was strange, finding myself on my parents’ couch listening to President Ramaphosa declare a National...
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The Fragility of Developing States and What it Could Mean for the Future

During a time of complete global panic such as this, the stand still that COVID-19 has put the world through could very well serve as an opportune time for us to begin planning ahead for the kind of new world order that humanitarian crisis’ such as the corona virus will have in store for us. The pandemic of corona virus has had governments, heads of state and all social institutions having to face unprecedented and complex challenges which alongside an urgent need to curb the spread of the virus have needed to claim fearsome reactions from the public. More than...
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Himpathy and learning to hear women even when they are being constantly spoken over

This International Women’s Day, let’s learn to recognise himpathy in the media we consume, in our politics and in the workplace, and stop letting it distort and justify sexist and misogynist behaviour. I recently come across the concept of himpathy while listening to a Hidden Brain podcast. It set off a string of lights along the patriarchy logic highway and gave me the language to describe so much of the frustration I have experienced personally and politically. It can help us think through the ways in which culturally we fail to show up for women and femmes. The term was...
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