Research

‘Going with the Times’ Conflicting Swahili Norms and Values Today

By Mohamed Saleh

By Mohamed Saleh

Kwenda na wakati (literally ‘to go with the times’) is a frequently used phrase which seems to sum up the notion of modernity in Swahili today. In practice, this concept largely refers to corruption and is thus in total contradiction to such norms and values as heshima (respect), uaminifu (honesty), uadilifu (ethics) and ari (honour), all of which have, up to a very recent period, formed the principal moral foundations of Swahili identity and culture. In the present context of Tanzania (of which Zanzibar is an integral part) where corruption is rife to be ‘modern’ means to be able to deviate from the above-mentioned fundamental principles. Read more

Review of the Progress made by the United Nations System Organizations in Achieving Millennium Development Goal 6, Target 7, to Combat HIV/AIDS

By Muhammad Yussuf

By Muhammad Yussuf

Universal access to care and treatment for all those who are in need by 2010 is an ambitious goal that provides lifelong support. The scaling-up towards universal access should be equitable, accessible, affordable, comprehensive and sustainable. In other words, it faces many challenges. The national health systems in most of the affected Member States are increasingly facing an unprecedented challenge due to a lack of investment in health services and the rapid scale-up of ART. The national health systems that are delivering maternal and child health services are under enormous strain, catering for large numbers of people living with HIV in need of lifelong care for chronic disease. Read more

Makerere, Mazrui and Tajudeen

By Okello Oculli

By Okello Oculli

In this week’s Pambazuka News, Okello Oculi reminisces about the relationship between Makerere University alumni, the late Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem and Professor Ali Mazrui. In particular Oculi contemplates how Tajudeen might have responded to a recently announced joint initiative between Ugandan President Museveni and Makerere University to honour Professor Mazrui by establishing a new centre for Global Studies and scholarship fund in his name. Read the article

Why ZIRPP?

By Dr Harith Ghassany

By Dr Harith Ghassany

At the outset, it is necessary to try to avoid a kind of policy-evidence dualism in a proposal that looks at how a Zanzibari research-to-policy-making institute such as ZIRPP can use evidence to make policy and planning decisions in Zanzibar. The empirical approach assumes that there is evidence which policy-makers can use to make policy decisions but does not ask if there are policies to guide policy-makers to demand research results. A government policy statement to support research and its implementation in public policy-making is therefore an important cornerstone in establishing and sustaining the Institute in Zanzibari settings. Read more

Land grabs: Another scramble for Africa
Ama Biney writes for Pambazuka News on the rush to acquire land in Africa by foreign governments and private investors, fuelled by fears for global food security in the face of climate change and volatile food prices on the international market. Warning that the ‘political and economic risks of these land purchases are colossal and outweigh any gains,’ Biney argues that ‘African governments must make food security and sufficiency for their own people paramount.’How is it possible that in the 21st century the world has the capacity to feed every single human being on the planet, yet the majority of people in Africa and the rest of the Global South, who are poor – whilst obesity soars in the West – go rampantly hungry? In addition, why has there been a recent ‘land grab’ in Africa by rich countries? The short answer to the first question lies in the unequal distribution and control of global wealth and its ownership, which lies in a few hands. The answer to the second question is tied to the first and is the focus of this article. Read more

One-Party Democracy

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Read more

An East African Federation: Big ambitions, big question-marks

WHAT exactly is “East Africa” these days? Certainly, the parts of old British East Africa—Uganda, Tanzania (first a German colony) and Kenya. They have trodden very different paths since colonial days. Uganda has had coups, turmoil under Milton Obote, bloody convulsions under Idi Amin, and long spells of civil strife. Under Julius Nyerere, an incompetent or saintly authoritarian (depending on who you ask), Tanzania strove for a socialist ideal that kept its people plodding and poor but united and peaceful. Kenya was more dynamic and worldly, but more violent and corrupt. It may now be the least stable of the trio. Read more

Review of the Efficiency of Tanzania’s Representation and Participation in the United Nations System

By Muhammad Yussuf

By Muhammad Yussuf

Tanzania’s participation in the United Nations has improved significantly over the past few years especially with regard to the exceptional and increasingly satisfactory role it played during its recent membership to the Security Council. There is, however, a general consensus that in order for Tanzania to enhance its effective participation and representation in the United Nations system as a whole, some concrete and concerted measures have to be undertaken in terms of strengthening its participation and representation so as to go hand in hand with the new imperatives of the present day political realities affecting both the domestic and global agenda. Read more

World Economic and Social Survey 2009: Promoting Development, Saving the Planet

The separation of the climate change and development agendas has distorted the global debate on the two biggest policy challenges facing the international community. According to the *World Economic and Social Survey 2009*, an integrated approach based on the concept of sustainable development is urgently needed. The key to such an approach is a low-carbon, high-growth transformation of the global economy ” a transformation that can keep temperature increases consistent with environmental stability, as identified by the scientific community, while at the same time fostering the strong growth and economic diversification in developing countries that would allow convergence of incomes worldwide. The greening of catch-up growth will have to be further tailored to meet the adaptation challenges facing vulnerable countries and communities whose economic security will be threatened even if climate change is kept within globally manageable limits. Read more

Improving Budget Transparency and Accountability in Aid Dependent Countries: How Can Donors Help?

Only 20 percent of the world’s governments are providing adequate information for their citizens to begin to hold them accountable for managing the public’s money. This finding comes from the Open Budget Survey 2008, an extensive new survey of government budget transparency in 85 countries issued on February 1, 2009, by the International Budget Partnership (IBP). The Survey also found that nearly 50 percent of the 85 countries evaluated provide such minimal information that they are able to hide unpopular, wasteful, and corrupt spending. Read more





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