The horrifying reality of Cameroon’s Anglophone ‘civil war’

Children in Cameroon are bearing the brunt of the Anglophone crisis with schools becoming “battlefields,” says one resident. 
Since 2016, a wave of violence has swept the North West and South West regions of Cameroon – where English-speaking people in Cameroon reside.
The conflicts left children as young as seven in regions like Bamenda and Kumbo witnessing the everyday violence, says South west born James.
“A lot of these children have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. What they have seen and experienced I can not  explain it. It’s too awful and there are not enough services that can help them deal with this.”
“Anyone who speaks the Anglophone will be shot and killed, and when this is happening you cannot film, you can not even bring your phone out or else you will be targeted too,” he told The Peoples News.
Over the last three years 80% of schools closed as a result of the “crisis”, denying more than 600,000 children access to education. 450,000 people within the NW and SW regions – half of them children – have been displaced to neighbouring areas, according to a report published by the UN. 
The violence, which has often been described as a civil war, started after English-speaking lawyers and teachers protested against their perceived marginalisation and called for more autonomy away from the French regions. 
Instead, President Paul Biya used force to break up the Anglophone demonstrations – which James believes radically changed the atmosphere in the country and started an uprising of violence. 

Impact of violence 

 In November  2018, 80 people were kidnapped from the region of Bamenda from the Presbyterian Secondary School Nkwen.
Several months later a total of 176 people, mostly students, were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen at Saint Augustin’s College in Kumbo, in the North West region of Cameroon. They were released the next day – after negotiations to shut down the school were made.
James admitted that over the last three years it was not just the French-speaking who incited violence. 
He said: “They (Anglophones) kidnap or hurt you if you advocate for school resumption, just like my uncle who is a pastor in Bamenda was kidnapped because he is in support of schools continuing.”
“ To them they think when schools are not functioning, it will push the government to negotiate. But this is not the case.”
The two Anglophone regions have requested greater authority from the government since former territories held by the British and French were federated into one central African nation in 1961.
The 25 year-old said people, particularly the young, have become “scared to the point where they avoid going outside to identify their families bodies.”
This is to ensure no one identifies them as also being part of the English-speaking community.
“I had to move from the South West to escape everything that was happening but my family was still living there so I would visit often. But like others they have all moved from there now to neighbouring regions {Limbe}. No one is left in my home town,” James said.
 He added: “It makes me sad knowing that children in some of the cities in these regions can’t go to school, it’s almost like a battlefield for them. And the fact that my father cannot go back to the house he recently built before the crises began.”
“All of these things have had a toll on me mentally and sometimes I wake up at night when its raining thinking about those in the bushes in those regions with no shelter it sends chills down my spine each time I think about it.”

Resolutions

James believes that one day the violence in Cameroon will change the same way Rwanda’s violence did. 
“In my opinion I think the United Nations and African Union needs to set up some sort of a peace keeping mission to keep the military and the separatists at bay so the civilians can return.”
“The UN and other organisations push for dialogues by urging a monitored negotiation  but unfortunately the government is reluctant,” he said. 

Names of individuals mentioned in this article have been changed for their protection.

Image by: Stringer 2019

AROUND THE WORLD: Zimbabwe’s criminalisation of under-age marriage will decriminalise deliberate HIV transmission

Zimbabwe’s new proposed law which stops girls under the age of 18 from legally entering marriage and criminalises marrying off minors will decriminalise the deliberate transmission of HIV.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told the Zimbabwean Parliament last week the recent decision was in line with international developments but failed to name which countries also followed suit.
Ziyambi said the Marriage Amendment Bill, currently at drafting stage, will repeal the crime of deliberately passing on HIV in order to remove the stigmatisation of the virus.
“When this legislation came into effect, the thinking then was that we need to control the spread of HIV by criminalising those who transmit it to partners willingly. But the global thinking now is  that law stigmatises people living with HIV/AIDS and studies have shown that it does not produce the results that were intended,” Ziyambi said in response to a question by Zengeza West MP Job Sikhala (MDC).
Section 79 (1) of the Criminal Codification and Reform Act on deliberate transmission of HIV states whether or not he or she is married to the other person they shall be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding twenty years.
The act requires proof beyond reasonable doubt, however, Zimbabwean health organisations such as NAC Zimbabwe believe there’s a difficulty in proving such a crime.

 NAC Zimbabwe recently commented that “it is very difficult to apply this concept because health systems cannot determine who infected who and it could be a situation where the victim in the criminal case is the perpetrator.”
High profile figures such as Zimbabwean director of TB and Aids in the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Dr Owen Mugurungi, have also supported the recent proposal. Dr Mugurungi has stated that “If we look closely, the law was put up to slow transmission of HIV and Aids, but the situation on the ground is not pointing that way.”
“We are actually having new infections by the day and the worrying issue being that those infecting others and those infected are not coming out in fear of the same law,” he added.
Speaking to The Peoples News, Issac Gundani, 31, from Harare said he believed whether or not Parliament kept the law the main issue lied in the lack of awareness and education on HIV.
“We have HIV centres in Harare but they’re not as visible as they should be, but even if they were -would people go for check-ups?”
“What needs to happen is we need to instil more responsibility on schools and parents to actively educate their children and themselves on this issue and the effects of not getting a check-up and this should be done from a young age,” he told The People’s News.
He added that the current law is difficult and ineffective because people struggle to prove someone has intentionally transmitted the virus. He also questioned how someone could prove their innocence and whether or not people feel comfortable revealing their status in case their loved ones are imprisoned.
Gundani suggested an increase in proactive lessons for students to be taught on sexual viruses in order for them to realise they too can catch the virus. He believes teaching them on where to seek help will also encourage a larger and more open conversation on viruses, while also making the HIV centres more visible because it’s not something that should be hidden.
According to a report published by AVERT last year on Zimbabwe’s HIV epidemic, in 2017, the issue of gender inequality was still present within relationships and marriages, and drove HIV infections.
For example, only 69% of men believed a woman has the right to refuse sexual intercourse if she knows he has sex with other women. Although in the minority, 23% of females also believed women do not have the right to ask their partner to use a condom if he has a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
The study also found that more than a third of women who have been married have experienced physical or sexual violence from their partner. This prevents women from being able to negotiate using a condom, and puts them at higher biological risk of HIV.
Some have argued these are the main factors and why the HIV law needs to remain, in order to protect women and men who’re in vulnerable situations, such as abusive relationships where the husband will deliberately transmit the disease as punishment.
A 19 year old Zimbabwean student, who preferred to remain anonymous, said: “To me decriminalising this is almost as if to say we don’t care, and gives these people the power to do whatever they want without consequence. If this is causing stigma then lets put in more education and make the conversation on HIV the norm. But we should not remove this law.”

Migration: The perpetual cycle

Failure to find safe haven

Europe’s perpetual cycle of migrants and refugees is intensifying the on-going immigration debate, primarily on how it can be handled and managed.  A copious number of migrants are coming in from the Middle East and Africa due to war, poverty, and many other contributing factors. But they face disappointment as many of them face abuse, both physically and emotionally, during their journey across the Mediterranean, and even when they land on the continent are still being rejected from entering certain countries.

Whilst some hard-line central and eastern European governments, such as Hungary and Poland, are pushing for tougher and stricter borders, others are still hopeful for a fairer distribution of new arrivals.

Recurring issues

In a statement made by Red Cross secretary General Elhaj As Sy, he addressed the recent rejection which migrants received from Italy and Malta. Italy’s denial of a safe and accepting welcoming for the refugees led to an outcry over the laws of migration, whilst people in Valencia, where a rescue ship with over 600 individuals was diplomatically stranded, joined together and saw the vessel accepted.

“People are coming to Europe seeking values. European values, values of solidarity and support and welcoming and helping those in need. So, doing anything less than that is really a betrayal to Europe itself.” The statement made by As Sy was regarded as a true reflection of what is currently going on. As Spaniards joined together to cheer and help the refugees, refugee activist Anira Lappara told Aljazeera News that “Europe is trying to turn a blind eye but we want to respect the rights and offer them a home, our land is their land.”

This is a frequently occurring issue, with tens of thousands of migrants travelling weeks and enduring extreme hardships, only to be left with nothing but a return ship back home and promises of safer environments or holding camps. French President Emmanuel Macron is an embodiment of false promises and hopes. Last year he backtracked after suggesting Libya was, in fact, a safe country for returns and he was in the process of planning camps there as well as in Chad and Niger. However, the people of Libya are still suffering from the recent trauma of the slave trade, poverty and the turmoil from the Arab Springs in 2011.

Steve, a Congolese born and bred who currently lives in the United Kingdom stated that “These people do not understand what goes on in Africa. The desperation you must be in order to flee your homeland with nothing but shoes and clothing. Setting up these camps where we may endure abuse, endangerment and more, what good does it really do? They know what we will endure but as long as we stay in our “African soil” and not on there’s that’s all that matters.”

Will there be any change?

The rise in anti-immigration sentiments across the continent means many of these migrants will be rejected despite being in desperation and looking to the continent that gave the world the enlightenment for help.

They come from far and wide. Those from Syria are fleeing a country still gripped by civil war in which has no hope in ending. Many Syrians flee to neighbouring countries, but even in doing this they are left with barely anything to survive. Vast quantities live in these countries as refugees and are not permitted to work, a restriction which leads them into a deeper hole of poverty.

It is said that many of those who flee are at great personal risk if they stay in the country. A report published by Think Progress concluded that “Refugees are also at risk of religious persecution.” According to Amnesty International, people from Nigeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Egypt have been “abducted, tortured, unlawfully killed and harassed because of their religion” in Libya, particularly by ISIS.

In Kasserine, Tunisia, where many of the migrants can be found, there is a long political frustration which has led to mass unrest. Furthermore, life in Tunisa is becoming harder as incomes and employment opportunities are no longer available. According to the 2014 census, unemployment in Tunisia runs at roughly 15% leaving many without a job and onto the route of sever poverty.

The road to Zimbabwe’s 2018 election

Image result for zimbabwe elections 2018

President Emerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is a notorious figure in the politics of Zimbabwe. Commonly referred to as the ‘Crocodile’, he is known for his infamous political cunning.

Yet, the landscape appears to be changing. Having recently vowed to hold free and fair elections, he promises the citizens of Zimbabwe a better economy and foreign policy drive, if elected on 30th July. Even so, whilst Mnangagwa is confident that the elections will be fair, many have disputed this will be the case, citing Zanu-PF’s previous association with violence during elections. His main rival is Nelson Chamisa, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), who has started gaining support in Zanu-PF’s rural strongholds.

Chamisa believes that Mnangagwa does not have the ability to match the zeal and enthusiasm of the young people of Zimbabwe. In an exclusive interview with DW.com, the opposition leader stated that “Time is up for a particular generation”. In numerous interviews, Chamisa continues to make clear his belief that age will give him the advantage during these elections. Yet, even with his eighteen years in politics, many people still question whether this “youth ticket” will be enough to be up against the experienced and distinguished Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa too questions whether Chamisa is much of an opposition. Indeed, according to New Zimbabwe.com, he describes the opposition party as “barking puppies”, and has been quoted saying that “Zanu-PF is in power”.

He added: “Let it be known that nothing will change in this country even if we go for elections because people will vote for our party.” Elections on July 30 belong to Zanu-PF. We dictate what happens in this country. We already have an upper hand and the elections have been won already by us. Let those who want to argue do so, but just vote for Zanu-PF,”

What do the people of Zimbabwe have to say?

The months of July and August will be crucial for Zimbabwean millennials. It is said by the content creator and YouTuber, Pardon Gambakwe, that it is the “middle age citizens who suffer the most” when it comes to economic and social issues in Zimbabwe, and they want serious change.

Journalist Linda Mujuru argues that the opposition is “too weak to challenge Mnangagwa”. Chamisa’s past battle with Vice-President Thokozani Khupe over the leadership of the MDC-T has led people to speculate about a lack of organisation and unity within his party.

Yet, Joel Mutsindikwa believes that “Chamisa is the only way forward when we are about to rebound our economy”. He added: “I would rather vote for a dreamer than a Mugabe’s former right-hand man. We are in a deep economic shambles because of Zanu-PF. ” On the other hand, Noble Ngara has suggested that “it is better to vote for a guy who is doing a great job of fixing his mistakes than a guy who is not even mature enough to realise that he is heading for bigger blunders than Bob.”

Although many remain uncertain as to which candidate will take presidential office, Britain is said to support of Mnangagwa. The basis of its backing has been clear for the past few months- if the election is free, fair and credible. Indeed, during the Commonwealth Heads of government meeting, the UK government reiterated that the restoration of “democracy and human rights” must occur in Zimbabwe before any engagement is made with the country. Rather interestingly, many believe that Britain’s endorsement has stemmed from a desire to achieve foreign policy success, especially in light of the current Brexit storm. 

With just over a month to go now until polling day, the prospect of a progressive and democratic Zimbabwe may just be on the horizon.

 

 

 

 

Winnie Mandela: The revisionist history of racism in South Africa

As tens of thousands of South Africans packed into Soweto’s Orlando stadium to sing the praises of their fallen ‘Comrade Winnie’, the crowd was treated to a service rich in political sloganeering. With the leadership of her former husband’s party, the African National Congress, headlining the triumphalist proceedings, a casual observer would be forgiven for thinking that the ANC were genuine in their mourning of the loss of the party’s symbolic first-lady. However, the high note on which the relationship between the ANC and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela ended on Saturday masks four-decades of conflict between the ‘Mother of South Africa’ and the nation’s founding party.

Much like Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s marriage, seemingly irreconcilable differences split Mrs. Mandela from the ANC and drove the two sides apart despite their shared connection in bringing about the post-apartheid South African state. However, with the death of Mrs Mandela, the ANC has seized the opportunity to revise the historical narrative as to her standing within the party and capitalise on the public outpouring of sympathy following her death.

As is common following the death of prominent figures, friends and foes alike have sought to associate themselves with the legacy of Mrs. Mandela. In death, divisions are often bridged unilaterally by surviving parties, as memorialisation and politically opportunistic revisionism go hand in hand with remembrance. The commemoration of Mrs. Mandela has been no different as the ANC used the occasion of her funeral to amend the relationship between the party and ‘Mama Africa’ within the nation’s popular consciousness.

The fractious divide between Mrs. Mandela and the ANC began during the 1980s and continued up until her death. With Nelson Mandela imprisoned, and most of his ANC party in exile, Mrs. Mandela positioned herself as the defacto leader of the anti-apartheid movement. Presiding over a violent militia known as the ‘Mandela United Football Club’, Mrs. Mandela reportedly endorsed the necklacing – the burning of people alive with petrol-soaked tyres – as an appropriate response to apartheid state collaborators and police informants. Ostensibly operating as her security detail, the Mandela United Football Club reportedly engaged in a campaign of kidnap, torture, murder, and assassination, which led the ANC government in exile to publically rebuke Mrs. Mandela after she refused to heed Nelson Mandela’s instructions to stand down.

According to testimony by her own bodyguards during the 1997 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) proceedings, she directly ordered at least fifteen deaths, and stood by her declaration that ‘with our boxes of matches and our necklaces we shall liberate this country.’ The most infamous of Mrs. Mandela’s alleged atrocities was the murder of 15-year-old Stompie Seipei, who was stabbed to death after being accused of being a police informant. She was later acquitted of the murder after one key witness was abducted and transferred to Zambia, and another, a doctor who was due to testify that he examined Seipei at Mrs. Mandela’s home shortly before his execution, turned up dead. As a result of her connection to the Football Club death-squad outlined in the TRC’s 1998 final report, and the many charges of political and financial corruption subsequently brought against her over the following two decades, the ANC increasingly sought to distance itself from Mrs. Mandela.

While revelations of an organised plan by the apartheid era security forces to discredit Mrs. Mandala by exaggerating stories of her violence, which included the coordination of an officer named Paul Erasmus with both the British government and Vanity Fairmagazine, had somewhat softened opinion towards her within the ANC ranks, she was still regarded with derision by the party during its preparations for Nelson Mandela’s funeral in 2013. However, with her passing, both the ANC and Stompie Seipei’s mother appear to be comfortable to pardon her actions. Citing a desire for reconciliation, Joyce Seipei revealed that Mrs. Mandela had asked for her forgiveness and that she had agreed to the request in the name of God. According to Mrs. Seipei, Mrs. Mandela had worked to make amends by giving the family money to pay for the remaining Seipei children’s schooling and had even re-furnished the family home. While Mrs. Seipei said her much-publicised attendance at Mrs Mandela’s funeral was motivated by reconciliation, the ANC’s prominent role in the memorial seems to be driven primarily by political opportunism.

Calling Mrs. Mandela’s life one of compassion, and casting her as the nation’s conscience, ANC leader and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa sought to entice her young, largely female left-wing following into the ANC fold. Similar to the revisionism witnessed globally following the death of her husband, the ANC has used her death to retrospectively rewrite history and place themselves within the warm glow of her remembrance.

The ANC’s gesture of posthumous reconciliation toward an individual it had publicly denounced in the past is not unlike the campaign undertaken by elements of British society following the death of her husband in 2013. However, in stark contrast to the cross-party outpouring of tributes after the death of Nelson Mandela, there has been a noticeable quit emanating from sections of British political society in regard to the passing of his wife. The reluctance of the British right to join the ANC in revising its attitude toward Mrs. Mandela beg questions as to the role of political gain and the issue of race in the collective remembrance of historical figures.

The tributes to Nelson Mandela led by then Prime Minister David Cameron in 2013 and echoed by Ed Miliband, Tony Benn, and Nick Clegg gave the impression that Mandela had always been a figure that transcended politics and race within the United Kingdom. However, for the Conservative Party, and its then leader David Cameron, this was far from the case. In the 1980s, as a cascade of international sanctions were levied against South Africa’s apartheid government, Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher refused to follow suit, declaring her support for the apartheid regime and denouncing Mandela and his ANC party as terrorists. Owing in part to her husband Denis’ business interests in South Africa, as well as her perennial distaste for left-wing politics, Thatcher’s vociferous admonition of Mandela inspired a radical resistance to the anti-apartheid movement by the British right. The Federation of Conservative Students, led by now Speaker of the Commons John Bercow, distributed material that included a call to ‘Hang Nelson Mandela’. Bullingdon Club member and future Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron was amongst Bercow’s FCS ranks that actively campaigned to hang ‘all ANC terrorists’, and baited the party by referring to them as butchers.

With Cameron’s about-face concerning Nelson Mandela, which culminated in his calling Mandela a hero in 2013 while ordering Number Ten’s flag to fly at half-mast a sign of respect, a two-decade-long campaign of historical revisionism undertaken by the British right concerning Mandela’s memory was book-ended. Those who had demanded Mandela’s execution now praised the Nobel Peace Prize winner as having been a ‘great light’ in the world, and the triumphant narrative of Mandela as the globally celebrated father of the post-apartheid Rainbow Nation was entrenched within the historical record.

However, unlike in 2013, tributes to the life of Mrs. Mandela from prominent Britons seem to be coming almost exclusively from members of its Afro-Caribbean community. British-educated Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu featured prominently at Mrs. Mandela’s funeral, and Labour MPs David Lammy and Diane Abbott called Mrs. Mandela a ‘voice for the voiceless’ and a ‘heroine’ respectively. Apart from a glowing tribute by African-born Labour Peer Lord Hain, and a now-deleted tweet by Labour MP Naz Shaw, which included Mrs. Mandela’s infamous quote about ‘necklacing’ being the avenue to national liberation, the bulk of high-profile British condolences have been delivered by celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and Idris Elba.

With the pressing issues facing Britain at present it makes sense that the passing of Mrs. Mandela is not a top political consideration. However, the apparent lack of interest in using Mrs. Mandela’s death as an opportunity to leverage political advantage by the current Conservative government reveals an undercurrent of racial and ideological division that had supposedly been closed with the death of her husband.

It is clear that unlike in 2013, the British right does not view joining in the wave of revisionism and spirit of reconciliation sweeping across South Africa to be politically advantageous. The disparity in their response to the death of Mrs. Mandela as compared to her husband calls into question the authenticity of the praise they heaped on the latter following his death. Furthermore, it suggests that political division along racial lines is not an issue consigned to history, buried in the past along with South African apartheid and the man who defeated it, but rather one that endures in contemporary Britain.

The politics of remembrance and the use of memorialisation in revising historical narratives for political gain reveal subtle insights into societies and their power structures. That the ANC views reconciling itself with the legacy of Mrs. Mandela as advantageous demonstrates that the party believes catering to her base of young female supporters to be worth putting aside its previous misgivings about her actions. Alternatively, that British Conservatives do not see the opportunity to memorialise Mrs. Mandela as being able to generate a commensurate return in the form political capital suggests that their ideological backpedalling in regard to revising their stance on Nelson Mandela’s legacy was inspired by nothing more than political pragmatism.

Eritrea: The Forgotten Crisis

With civil war, abject poverty, and millions displaced under the umbrella President Afwerki’s political tyranny, Eritrea is symbolic as the crisis for which the world stood idly by. Ranked 164th in the 2016 Corruption Perception Index, Eritrean civilians must live life trapped in the sphere of the one party state, with suppression of all political opposition since Afwerki seized power in 1993. Detention without trial and forced labour camps lie in wait for political dissenters, creating a culture of fear that encourages loyalty to the ruling party, the PFDJ. Yet despite the injustice of this economic and humanitarian turmoil, Eritrea remains invisible in conventional Western media; a forgotten crisis of the 4.5 million people on the Eastern Horn of Africa, with little sign that the end is near.

The Eritrean economy has ground to a halt under the protectionist nationalism of the ruling party, evident by the 50% poverty rate that is forecast to increase as the crisis deepens. The nation has long been a bastion of the self-reliant autarchic doctrine, originating from it’s 30 year war of independence from Ethiopia, when all resources were produced in underground factories. This ideology has permeated into the Eritrean economy, contradicting Ricardian economic theory of mutual benefits from trade. The economy has been stifled by the lack of resources, contributing to the 53% rate of malnutrition in the country.

The haunt of such self-reliance persistence has a further hold on the military situation. Unlike the situation in other African warring states such as The Democratic Republic of the Congo, where UN peacekeeping troops are a common sight, cruising the forests in their armoured vehicles, such external aid is a rare occurrence in Eritrea. Their steadfast dedication to believing in their own abilities through rejection of foreign help is slowly crippling the country, prolonging the civil war that has already left 12% of its population as refugees. 5,000 Eritreans embark on the perilous journey through the desert each month to escape the oppressive regime. The risk of falling into the hands of human traffickers in conjunction with the dangerous sea crossing is evidence of the desire to escape the country; a betrayal of the independence cause that they fought so hard to achieve.

Yet the government’s lock on personal freedoms is perhaps the greatest sorrow from Eritrea’s crisis. The lack of Western media coverage is partly a result of Eritrea’s closure to foreign media outlets, creating a secretive police state where prisons are “overflowing”, in a report by American Ambassador Ronald McMullen. Months of negotiation with the central government were needed for the BBC to gain access to Eritrea for a documentary. Thus, the traditional argument of the political gravity effect may not hold; it is not Western media’s reluctance to focus on Africa and preference for the affairs of similar developed nations that is the cause of the low coverage, but the restrictions imposed by the African nation itself.

Eritrea is plummeting towards its doom as the Western world remains in oblivion. Whilst we enjoy the peace, civil liberties and economic freedom of the developed world, Eritrea languishes in poverty with barely a reference in our daily media. This is a dangerous situation for the future of Mr Afwerki’s state; reluctance to accept financial and humanitarian aid could precipitate further outflows of refugees fleeing the fighting and political constraints. Eritrea’s future hangs in the balance; yet the Western world barely knows it.

Gender inequality rife throughout Africa

The largest gender gaps are observed in West and Central Africa, where 79 girls are enrolled in secondary school for every 100 boys.

Although, African leaders declared that this year was “the African youth decade” and launched a number of youth employment strategies to help the increasing unemployment figures, its still on the rise. There is no doubt that more needs to be done to give the youth the educational resources they need to thrive, but as the region continues to increase its military spending, they are cutting education which is having a devastating effect on rural areas.

The rural poverty across the continent is something that is constantly spoken about, so it is not surprising when it is stated that the rural children are at a disadvantage learning only key skills needed for manual labour work. Many parents who send their children to school see this as a way to climb out of poverty, this would be the case if the money is continuously invested, and many of the African countries weren’t exploited by their leaders.

Teachers must be paid a fair salary, and students need up to date resources.

Many of the children who are sent to school still severely lack in the skills necessary for employment. A large focus has been placed on urban areas by ensuring new infrastructure and leisure facilities are built, which is all well for tourism but, does not ensure youth are given the skills they need to contribute to the economy of the region.

To address this education crisis, African governments must direct more resources towards rural areas by implementing policies that give the youth of the region the opportunity to succeed.
Surely, the most urgent priorities for the government besides taking care of the welfare of its citizens should be the provision of schooling for its children. Many were perplexed on the announcement back in 2012 that Western Cape government was considering closing 27 schools in the province but, since then there have been many additional schools built providing the Western Cape with some of the largest campuses in the southern hemisphere.

In South Africa public spending on education is 6.4% of GDP; the average share in EU countries is 4.8%. However the issue that continues to affect school children is not the amount spent on schools, but the quality of the teaching. This has massively affected the results of science and mathematics tests, ranking South Africa 74th out of 75th in the league tables.

A Professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol said: “The key message is that a first step to improving education quality and equity in rural areas is through improving monitoring and evaluation systems. The evidence indicates that providing value added data to policymakers and practitioners will improve evaluation processes at all levels of the education system – national, regional, county, school, class and learner”

Another way in which the education system can be ‘enhanced’ is employee education, many children from poor and underdeveloped regions cannot afford education fees and many of them end up giving up school in order to take care of their families or undergo child labour, providing them with skill based subjects and teaching them the fundamentals of surviving in the tough industries whether its crafts, dairy, carpentry etc. This will allow them to have a better and safe employment option rather than core labour.

A modern revolution: How Zimbabwe got rid of Mugabe

November was a time of celebration for the citizens of Zimbabwe as the brutal Mugabe era finally ended.

Mugabe’s failing regime caused continuous devastation; a lack of healthcare, minimum funding for the education system and underpaid doctors. This forced the people of Zimbabwe to strike and march for his resignation.

The former president was highly respected at the beginning of his 37 years in power, because of his victory against the segregationist rule in the 70’s, and winning the country’s first independent election in the 80’s. Several people have blamed his wife Grace Mugabe, also known as Gucci Grace for his downfall. The former first lady, who had hopes of succeeding her husband, had only one qualification for the role, being Mugabe’s wife. The news that Robert Mugabe had fired his powerful vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, which cleared the way for his wife, sparked immediate attention and her ambitions were impeded when the army seized power. The army insisted it was not a coup, though, it was quite clear, it was.

A week later former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, a 75-year-old liberation war veteran and stalwart of the ruling Zanu-PF party, nicknamed the crocodile has been appointed.

In his first speech on Friday at a graduation ceremony west of the capital, Harare, he announced his ambition to modernise Zimbabwe and fix the country’s failing economy. He said: “the world has grown fiercely competitive and Zimbabwe must learn to deliver finished products to markets and extract the most profit from the country’s natural resources.”
Despite his gravitas many people do not believe that he is the right man for the job. He has a fierce reputation, as Mugabe’s enforcer, he was also directly involved in the Matabeleland massacres of the 1980s, in which 20,000 killings occurred. Whilst many hold his past mistakes against him, others believe he will undoubtedly be a less awful president but, he is hardly considered a democrat.

Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has named his cabinet, appointing senior military figures to high-profile positions.

As read on Times Live – Africa a major outcry surfaced from the youth and adult citizens of Zimbabwe stating that Mr Emmerson had made poor decisions on the cabinet positions, the education minister who was rewarded a cabinet due to his participation in the removal of Robert Mugabe has been dropped earlier today [2nd December 2017] due to the continuous outcries made by the people, in addition to this removal Mnangagwa has also taken action to remove primary and higher education minister Lazaraus Dokora after a number of people complained about his poor performance and undermining Zimbabwe’s education system.

Despite these changes there is no doubt that copious numbers of Zimbabweans are disappointed with the line up as they hoped that things would change and drift away from the Mugabe era.