Letters: Ukraine invasion a clarion call for Africa


Ukraine invasion a clarion call for Africa
ECONOMIC shocks of the Ukraine invasion have adverse implications for African economies and non-energy producing nations.

The Ukraine invasion by Russia and the resulting conflict has created an economic vortex for the whole world.

Reports state that from the time the Ukraine invasion began at least 10 million people have been displaced from their homes creating a humanitarian crisis.

The invasion is a cause for concern for African countries many of which have ties with Russia which lent them military support in their respective struggles for independence.

Several of them like Zimbabwe abstained from voting against the Ukraine invasion out of fear of straining relations with Moscow.

The adverse effects of the Ukraine invasion stem from economic contagion resulting from globalisation.

Countries that were dependent on Ukraine and Russia for their exports will record lower exports and subsequently lower income. Prior to its invasion Ukraine had been a hub for education at a higher level for African countries.

Post the Ukraine invasion prices of commodities and energy have risen sharply which will curtail the ability to developing countries to compete in the world markets.

Diversification of African economies is no longer optional. It should be treated as mandatory. This is if the Ukraine invasion has taught the world anything.

The Ukraine invasion has shown the world what can go wrong when nations get too comfortable in their dependence on other countries for their economic wellbeing.

This invasion which began a that on the face of it looks like a war for territory which historically belonged to the Soviet Union has taken on a moral narrative.

A globalised world functions best when all countries co-operate. When one or more of those countries go rogue and say invades its neighbour then the other countries can strangle the aggressor’s economy until they decide to behave in a more acceptable manner.

But what happens when that aggressor plays an integral role in the world economy like supplying well over 60% of Europe’s gas and energy needs? This is not a rhetorical question.

The answer to the question has played out for the world to see. Economic powerhouses like Germany have condemned Russian aggression against Ukraine, but have shown hesitancy in turning off the Russian gas taps.

The United States banned Russian oil, but they were never really a big buyer of the black gold from Russia to begin with. Britain has sought oil from Saudi Arabia much to the irritation and outcry of opposition politicians in that country over the human rights record of the Arab country.

Countries in Africa and indeed all that do not export oil but import it for their daily needs need to renew their focus on accumulating and building up reserves of foreign exchange. Reserves enable a country to absorb shocks to their economies from local sources and external sources. The conflict in Ukraine itself is a shock and its consequences have also become a shock which countries need to do more mitigate but are sadly not able to. Take the case of Zimbabwe, it is not involved in this conflict in any way and yet will be adversely affected by the blow out.-Further Africa

Pan-Africanism the way to go

PAN-AFRICANISM is a worldwide intellectual movement that aims to encourage and strengthen bonds of solidarity between all people of African descent. At its core, Pan-Africanism is “a belief that African peoples, both on the continent and in the diaspora, share not merely a common history, but a common destiny”.

The Pan-African movement is an “emotional, cultural, psychological and ideological movement that began among the African dispora in the Western hemisphere, for the purpose (of making) African people feel secure and attain political, economic as well as psychological power visa vis other races or world regions”.

Pan-Africanism is the movement which began in the 1920s that emphasised the unity and strength of Africans and people of African descent around the world. It was developed to help unite Africans and fight against segregation.

Pan-Africanism is not a single, integral whole either in the political or the ideological sense. … Some understand Pan-Africanism as unity of the African peoples in the struggle against imperialism, for abolition of the vestiges of colonialism and for economic and social progress.

In February 1919, the first Pan-African Congress was organised by W E B Du Bois and Ida Gibbs Hunt, wife of US consul William Henry Hunt, who was at that time working at the American consulate in Saint-Étienne, France.

In the nearly half century between 1900 and 1945 various political leaders and intellectuals from Europe, North America, and Africa met six times to discuss colonial control of Africa and develop strategies for eventual African political liberation.

From the Working Class Movement Library, Manchester: On October 15-20 1945, the Pan-African Congress took place in Manchester.

This was the fifth Pan-African congress to take place since 1900. The 1945 congress was the most significant politically, coming as it did just months after the end of the Second World War.

In ancient Greek religion and mythology, Pan (/pæn/; Ancient Greek: Πάν, Pan) is the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, nature of mountain wilds, rustic music and impromptus, and companion of the nymphs. The ancient Greeks also considered pan to be the god of theatrical criticism.

What was Kwame Nkrumah’s concept of Pan Africanism?

According to this continental body which is successor to the Organisation of African Unity, Pan-Africanism is: An ideology and movement that encourages the solidarity of Africans worldwide. It is based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social and political progress and aims to “unify and uplift” people of African descent.-Villager

Lies have short legs

THE Institute for Young Women’s Development (IYWD) notes with concern a prejudicial article written by a local weekly.

The article went on a defamation spree, unilaterally accusing civil society organisations and non-governmental organisations of being conduits and championing what the writer termed “elite American interests and a regime change agenda in Zimbabwe” by the National Endowment for Democracy ahead of last Saturday’s by-elections and 2023 elections.

In particular, the article attempts to manipulate publicly available information to advance an incorrect agenda which deliberately misrepresents the partnership between IYWD and the government in advancing the participation of women in democratic and developmental processes within the historical context of exclusion.

A crucial aspect, deliberately missed by the writer, is the basic journalism tenet which requires that media practitioners give those being publicly criticised and/or accused the right to reply.

For the benefit of our stakeholders, IYWD has seen it fit to set the record straight and allay any misconstrued perceptions which may have been caused by the article, regarding its work in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Founded in 2009, IYWD is a legally registered feminist and membership-based organisation with proven experience in promoting the participation of young women to inform and influence socio-economic and political processes to realise sustainable livelihoods.

This is achieved through transformative feminist leadership programmes and providing services that strengthen women and women’s agency to participate in decision making, earn sustainable livelihoods and build climate resilient communities and promote climate justice in marginalised areas.

IYWD is committed to mobilising and strengthening the agency, voice and power of young women and women in marginalised communities to challenge structures, systems and norms that oppress them and cause their discrimination and poverty.

Grounded in women’s realities, we collectively create pathways to imagine a better future and promote and defend the rights and wellbeing of women and girls.

Our work derives from the rights of young women and women as enshrined in the 2013 Constitution and various supportive policy and legislative framework that Zimbabwe is part of at home, regionally and globally.-IYWD