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Africa: Post-Mandela

After Mandela, a look at the challenges and opportunities of sub-Saharan Africa.

Spectators shelter under umbrellas as the rain lashes down during the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013. (AP)

Spectators shelter under umbrellas as the rain lashes down during the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, near Johannesburg, South Africa, Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013. (AP)

The body of Nelson Mandela lies in state today in Pretoria. Three more days of public honor before the great man’s funeral on Sunday.  But all around in his native South Africa and across the continent of Africa, Mandela’s passing frames the past and future.  Africa – sub-Saharan Africa – is once again seen as a great frontier.  Not the old-time colonial frontier of brute exploitation.  But, with some luck and lots of effort, a frontier of African rise.  Africa’s economy is now growing faster than any other continent’s.  This hour On Point:  Africa after Mandela.

– Tom Ashbrook


Sean Jacobs, editor of the blog Africa is a Country. Assistant professor of international affairs at the The New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. Editor, “Thabo Mbeki’s World: The Politics and Ideology of the South African President.” (@AfricasACountry)

Vera Songwe, World Bank country director for Senegal, Cape Verde, Gambia, Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau and lead economist. Non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative.

Jonathan Bermansenior fellow at Columbia University. Blogger at the Harvard Business Review. Author of “Success in Africa: CEO Insights From a Continent On the Rise.” (@Jonathan_Berman)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Mandela’s Death Takes Heat Off Zuma – “It is a sharp turnabout for a president who has been under fire during much of his nearly five years in office. The most recent public flap relates to a probe by the government’s anticorruption watchdog into a $20 million security upgrade at his rural home in the village of Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal province. South African lawmakers accuse the president of lying about the upgrades and have threatened a motion of impeachment if the watchdog, the Public Protector, finds that Mr. Zuma used public money for nonsecurity improvements at his home.”

Foreign Affairs: A Cure for Africa’s Common Cold — “The main challenge is coalescing political will to do the job. Despite its tremendous burden on affected societies, malaria, in the most heavily infected places, is considered a ‘relatively minor malady,’ in the words of a 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) report. That might seem counterintuitive, but it is a matter of simple risk perception. In places such as Malawi, where the average rural villager receives hundreds of bites from malaria-infected mosquitoes a year, a child might suffer 12 episodes of malaria before the age of two.”

The Atlantic: Is China Transforming Africa? – “There are both very positive and negative aspects to the Chinese presence in Africa. I think arguments that China’s involvement in Africa is a form of neo-colonialism are both simplistic and prejudiced, but there also plenty of people looking at Chinese economic and political ties to Africa through rose-tinted glasses. It is certainly refreshing for African countries to deal with an enthusiastic new global player with deep pockets and little interest in pushing an ideology. It is up to African political and business leaders to make sure that their own countries do not get a raw deal.”

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  • Fiscally_Responsible

    As I posted last week, Mandela was admirable for enduring years of injustice and eventually renouncing violence as a means of bringing about political and social change. He should have been honored for the unique leader that he was. At the same time, the Obama Administration was too busy or preoccupied (e.g. trying to get Obamacare to work?) to even send a low level delegate to the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, leader of our most important and closest ally. No doubt it was because of her conservative politics. And yet this administration will “rise above politics” and “bring us all together”. What a shameful, hypocritical display of honor for one and total disregard for the other.

    • northeaster17

      Sorry for your pain

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        It is the truth. But then again, liberals don’t really care about “rising above politics” and “bringing us all together”. Those are just sound bites that take the place of meaningful, constructive policies.

        • northeaster17

          Is that why the handshake is such a big deal for you. Maybe Obama should have looked away and ignored the man. Then the right would be all about how rude Obama was. The right truly shows it’s true colors when you all go nuts over this sort of thing. An agenda so shallow that this is all you got.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            It’s about hypocrisy and political correctness.

          • Mike

            That is exactly correct.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            If you are referring to Raul Castro, I am fine with Obama shaking his hand. I personally believe that making believe that Cuba doesn’t exist when we have relationships with numerous other Communist countries is pretty foolish. It is a policy that both parties have carried out since the late 50′s.

        • John_in_Amherst

          first, the topic today is Africa after Mandela. Second, There is no comparison between Mandela and Thatcher in terms of inspiration, character, etc. Thatcher was as heartless and divisive as Mandela was caring and unifying.
          It must truly be hard to be so monomaniacally obsessed with bashing Obama. Why not just listen to Limbaugh 24/7? Oh, but wait, how would you buff your cred as a troll?

          • Mike

            ??? Character???? The NM allied himself with Quadaffi, Castro and the like. (He did preach reconciliation after he left prison though. However, that seems conflicting with his choice of allies…) I could just stop there. But with his past… At one time he supported a group that practiced “the necklace” (look it up…)

            MT may have been the 20th century’s most significant leader. She gave Reagan his direction and resilience to end the Cold war and “tear down the wall…” Without her we may not have had the Reagan we did, without him … who knows…

            Some folks will never see. Their paradigm is blinding.

          • John_in_Amherst

            Mandela allied himself with enemies of apartheid. He did so at a time when the US still practiced its own version of apartheid – segregation. Reagan vetoed sanctions against the racist S. African regime, only to have the veto over-ridden. The US was late in coming to the realization that the racist regime in S. Africa had to go, and many here now are still fighting hard to preserve or reinstate vestiges of our racist past through voter suppression. Had Mandela been a typical man, i.e.: had he come out of 27 years of unjust incarceration with a taste for vengeance or retribution, South Africa would be a tragically different place today.

            Thatcher’s death was a cause for mourning among some in Britain, but also inspired street celebrations.

          • Mike

            John – read up a bit on your history please. RR hated apartheid and repeatedly said so. He just didn’t support divestment. He preferred to be actively engaged. Disengage and you lose influence was his stance. Many S. Africans, even many black leaders, supported his stance.

            It is unfortunate many celebrate MT’s death. Some danced on the streets after the Towers fell as well… Taking a country and a culture out of the false womb of dependency to the reality of interdependence makes may uncomfortable and probably always will.

          • John_in_Amherst

            Reagan paid lip service to a lot of things.
            And, speaking of brushing up on history, NOBODY danced in the streets of the US when the towers fell. Many working class Brits, and those in Ireland who suffered through the bloodiest years of the struggle there had NO reason to mourn Thatcher’s passing.

          • Mike

            I din’t say in the US… Some did did in Britain though. I lived there then, I witnessed it. Many working class Brits supported her and her policies – again, I know – I lived there for many, many years… The worst of the troubles were not in her years. Again — read please.

          • Mike

            Voter suppression? Give me a break. Everyone who is allowed to vote in America can. (See the period?) Reasonable safe guards need to be in place to protect the legitimacy of the vote.

            Remember what happened to the Kool Aid drinkers? I would switch drinks.

          • John_in_Amherst

            ya, voter suppression. It has been repeatedly shown that voter fraud is virtually non-existant, and if you have proof to the contrary, bring it on. It is also clear that many states under GOP control are trying to inhibit minority voting, and in some, officials have been candid enough to admit or even brag of the efforts to “deliver the state for the GOP”.

          • Mike

            You are simply wrong.

            I don’t have to show any identification at all to vote. I just say who I am and vote. In my state I can vote multiple times in any election with no one to stop me. (Well, the rare chance the poll worker knows me or knows the person who I claim to be . That could stop me I guess.) I just walk up to the worker, state my name and address and vote.

            State issued IDs are free. IDs can be required to enter the Democratic party conference but not to vote?????

            Again – watch what you are drinking…

          • John_in_Amherst

            The Topic today is Africa after Mandela.
            Try getting into a GOP rally without being vetted. No state has shown any more than a mere handful of fraudulent votes, while hundreds of thousands of minority votes are suppressed or disallowed throughout the Red states. For many poor or elderly voters in the South (also PA, Ohio) who lack a picture ID and who don’t drive, voter ID’s are not easy to get, and ARE necessary to vote. And this is the last timeI will spend answering your off-topic rants, so rail away….

          • Mike

            Uh… Who brought up voter suppression? Responsibility and rights – both Rs are needed. Some just want the rights… Who said voting should be easy? Everyone should have to prove they are eligible to vote, regardless of state, county, race, gender, favorite baseball team, shoe size… … … and again, please watch your beverage choice…

          • hennorama

            Mike — surely you were jesting when you wrote “MT may have been the 20th century’s most significant leader.”

            Are you unaware of the following persons?

            Winston Churchill
            Dwight D. Eisenhower
            Mahatma Gandhi
            Adolf Hitler
            John Kennedy
            Vladimir Lenin
            Franklin D. Roosevelt
            Teddy Roosevelt
            Joseph Stalin
            Mao Tse-tung

          • Mike

            I am completely aware. I would think the ending of the Cold War may have been one of the most significant events and she was the catalyst behind that.

          • Ray in VT

            Catalyst? Hardly. The issues underlying the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union were long in the making. It seems to me that such a claim would be like saying that Odoacer was the catalyst for the fall of Rome.

          • hennorama

            Mike — thank you for your reply.

            Respectfully, but had Hitler and the Axis powers not been defeated, and had World War II not been won by the Allies through the leadership of FDR, Churchill, Stalin and even Eisenhower, Mrs. Thatcher would likely have lived her adult life under totalitarian rule, with no opportunity to ever be an elected leader.

            That does not mean that she was not significant, but she certainly was not even close to having been “the 20th century’s most significant leader.”

          • Mike

            Good point…worthy of thought…

          • hennorama

            Mike — thank you for the acknowledgment.

          • brettearle

            Agendas make mincemeat of History.

            [Pope John Paul II, you might want to consider....that makes up for Help Me `Boma.]

          • hennorama

            JP II would make a nice round eleven.

          • Zenplatypus

            Your point’s well taken, but John Kennedy? He didn’t complete a full term, and contributed virtually nothing of lasting significance. Unless the prevailing metric is nostalgia, his name is out of place here. Better to include Wilson, Deng Xiaoping, Reagan, or yes Thatcher.

          • brettearle

            You could argue that JFK [and his advisors] may have saved Mankind.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — JFK and his advisors may have been the first to save Mankind in this manner, but they were not the only ones.

            We also need to remember Stanislav Petrov, the Soviet officer whose smart inaction on September 26, 1983 may also have saved the world. Petrov decided to not report apparent enemy missile launches to his superiors, and instead dismissed them as a false alarm.



          • brettearle

            Yes, yes…

            I remember.

            Those kinds of moments are, uncannily, God’s infusion into Human Minds, perhaps…

            Did you know that each month, Rumsfeld visits LeMay’s grave–so as to sublimate his impulses, lest he wind up at SDA meetings?

            What is SDA, you say?

            Secretary of Defense Anonymous

            ….where former cabinet officials, who held the office, go over their next round of strategies as they try to beat each other at the game of RISK.

            Irkutsk, here come’s Curtis on a Slim Pickens’ missile!

            Yippe Ky-Yi-yeeeeeeeee.

            Look Out, Beloooooowwww!

            “Missile approaching 10 miles,
            continue Evasive Action!”

          • hennorama

            brettearle — TY for the Dr. Merkwürdigliebe reference, as it brought to mind George C. Scott’s hilarious performance as Gen. ‘Buck’ Turgidson, as well as other character names, such as President Merkin Muffley. How Kubrick got that stuff “under the radar” is beyond me.

            According to James Earl Jones (bombardier Lt. Lothar Zogg), George C. Scott’s over the top performance was partly as a result of trickery by Kubrick, who convinced Scott that he wouldn’t use these “warmup” takes in the film.

            “Mr. President, I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.”

            Brilliant, that.

          • brettearle



          • hennorama

            Mr. President, we must not allow a mineshaft gap!

          • brettearle

            “General TURGIDSON, when you instituted the Human Reliability Tests you reassured me there was no possibility of such a thing ever occurring!”

            “Well, sir, I don’t think it’s quite fair to condemn a whole program because of a single slip-up, sir.”

          • hennorama

            DeSadeski: The fools… the mad fools.
            Muffley: The doomsday machine? What is that?
            DeSadeski: A device which will destroy all human and animal life on earth.
            Muffley: All human and animal life? … I’m afraid I don’t understand something, Alexiy. Is the Premier threatening to explode this if our planes carry out their attack?
            DeSadeski: No sir. It is not a thing a sane man would do. The doomsday machine is designed to to trigger itself automatically.
            Muffley: But surely you can disarm it somehow.
            DeSadeski: No. It is designed to explode if any attempt is ever made to untrigger it.
            Muffley: Automatically? … But, how is it possible for this thing to be triggered automatically, and at the same time impossible to untrigger?
            Strangelove: Mr. President, it is not only possible, it is essential. That is the whole idea of this machine, you know. Deterrence is the art of producing in the mind of the enemy… the fear to attack. And so, because of the automated and irrevocable decision making process which rules out human meddling, the doomsday machine is terrifying. It’s simple to understand. And completely credible, and convincing.

            Turgidson: Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines, Stainsy.

          • Zenplatypus

            I would argue that mankind averted nuclear war despite Kennedy and his advisors. There likely would have been no Cuban missile crisis without the Bay of Pigs fiasco, though this is debatable (U.S. missile batteries in Turkey may have contributed). Here’s what isn’t debatable: Unbeknownst to the U.S. at the time — and for decades afterward — the Soviets had tactical nuclear weapons in Cuba. Khrushchev thus had the military advantage. His restraint, particularly in the face Castro’s hawkish agitation, is the real marvel of the entire episode, at least for my money. Kennedy deserves credit for refusing to escalate tensions immediately following the downing of Rudolph Anderson’s U-2, but again he more or less created the conditions for the crisis to begin with.

          • brettearle

            I think your Bay of Pigs point is a fair one.

            I brought that same point up, on this Forum, during the 50th Anniversary JFK discussion.

            However, there is something to be said about the JFK Administration’s Tactics employed–in front of the world, during the crisis–that, to some degree, separates that Time from the past and the future.

          • Zenplatypus

            Perhaps, though I would add that his legacy in this context also owes in some measure to the nostalgia that attends all assessments of Kennedy by virtue of his assassination. I may feel differently had I personally lived through the crisis. As it is, I wasn’t born yet …

          • brettearle

            Actually, the JFK Assassination has always overshadowed JFK’s legacy, vis a vis the Cuban Missile Crisis–simply because of:

            the sheer nature of the emotional shock and tragedy

            the event having been enshrouded in mystery–invented or not


            the symbolism of Hope and Optimism that was Excessively ascribed to two very good-looking people–who were of symbolic Royalty and who lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

          • hennorama

            Zenplatypus — thank you for your response.

            Of course any such list would be debated, but JFK has to be considered simply for defusing the Cuban Missile Crisis, which could have ended civilization as we know it.

        • jefe68

          What do you call what you’re doing here buddy boy? Your wallowing in the muck of partisan mud slinging and whole load is sticking on all over your BS.

    • JGC

      You know, Obama should have sent someone current in the administration to attend. I bet Secretary of State Clinton would have gone, if given the nod. I guess we’ll have to wait for the Obama “White House years” autobiography to get his answer, although I suppose it was Thatcher’s policies regarding unions and apartheid that played a part in his decision.

      I have relatives in the north of England, and she was no revered figure to them, quite the opposite. She was relentless in her dedication to her principles, and she did not have Reagan’s sunniness to soften those sharp edges.

      Judging by the chuminess between Prime Minister Cameron and President Obama at the Mandela funeral yesterday, bygones are bygones.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Why was Cameron so jovial?
        He was able to slip a bust of Churchill into Obama’s pocket without him noticing.

    • Renee Engine-Bangger

      The morning Obama Whine™ Feel better now?

      • jefe68

        Wait, he’s just warming up.

    • Mike

      This is exactly right. We snubbed an important ally for part politics and / or for political correctness. We are of course more “enlightened” and “progressive” now and Thatcher’s policies and beliefs of unleashing the power of the individual and the family don’t seem to mesh with the politics today of the “state knows best”.

    • J__o__h__n

      Margaret Thatcher was not deserving of honor.

      • Mike

        She brought the UK into the modern world – kicking an screaming for sure – but she did it. The country was a basket case before her. (3 day work weeks, winter and summer of discontent, rampant strikes, the coal miners trying to run country… … … ) I know from experience – I lived there for a long, long time. I lived through the transition…

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Spoken like a true “open minded” leftist who values everyone’s opinion as long as it agrees with their own.

        • jefe68

          Spoken like true regressive right winger.

    • jefe68

      Back by unpopular demand, the right wing Margaret Thatcher meme.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Peace will come to Africa when Chinese and Indian workers decide they want higher wages. The global economy will shine its divine light on the millions upon millions of dirt-poor people and have them make sneakers, shirts, and I-products for pennies a day. Africa will go from chaos to near slavery. Africa is insurance against the current crop of low wage workers getting feisty.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Large companies and countries are extracting vast quantities of minerals and other natural – and finite resources. Gold, and diamonds and so-called rare earths and many other things, as well.

      The race to the bottom in wages and willingness to rape the earth is probably at the root of most problems around the world.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    President Obama at the Mandela Memorial: A Short Story in Pictures
    (or How Danish Pastries Can Be Hazardous To Your Health)



    • HonestDebate1

      Hilarious. If looks could kill…

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        It’s a long flight home — on the other hand it is a big plane.

  • alsordi

    Apparently the passing of Nelson Mandela, put Israel in an uncomfortable spotlight, since Benjamin Netanyahu refused to pay homage to this great man, with the arrogantly lame excuse of “finances”. Even though the US taxpayers give more money to Israel (3 billion plus) than any other country and Bibi still couldn’t manage to pay his respects.

    Any other country not showing up at Mandela’s funeral would be seen as an outrage. Even though, Israel is quite familiar with South Africa. They were both cooperating apartheid states at one time. In fact, Israel provided the apartheid South African police and army, Israeli made Uzi’s and Galil carbines and other weapons. In fact the weapon trade between the two apartheid regimes was mutual. Even nuclear weapon technology was known to be exchanged.

    There are many reasons why Bibi or Israelis, would feel uncomfortable, if not downright unsafe in South Africa, In addition to the apartheid, several very large and important supporters of the state of Israel had been exploiting South Africa of its wealth in gold and diamonds for decades.

    Israel of course is still apartheid, but the world refuses to acknowledge this 800 pound gorilla in the room.

    • brettearle

      Well, now, just think of all the ramifications and factors and variables and nuances and subtleties and offshoots and branches and tributaries related to the passing of Nelson Mandela.

      Think of all that this great leader meant symbolically, practically, and morally to Mankind….
      There are so many countries, so many regions of the world; so much in the history of civilization; and in the throes of the human spirit that we can point to, in examining the life of this Great Man.

      But what does alsordi do?

      Alsordi resorts to his own political prejudices and alsordi EXPLOITS the death of Nelson Mandela to discuss his contempt for Israel.

      Way to go, alsordi. Yeah, way to go!

      The respect that this forum has for you has lifted a 1000-fold!

      Keep up the friggin’ good work!

      And while you’re at it, make sure that you include ill-advised phrases–such as 800 POUND GORILLA–when making a comment that has anything to do with a country that has a large majority of non-Caucasian residents.

      Or are you going to COWER with COWARDICE, by excising THAT PHRASE–after I have now pointed out the gross thoughtlessness of that phrase’s placement in your comment?

      Yes, sir, Al Sordi, Good Show!

      • alsordi

        Israel is on the African continent and is one of the most influential and provocative entities in the world and its compliant media of the west has failed to explain this insulting act towards South Africa.. I took the opportunity to explain it above.

        You Brettearle can continue with the coverup and diversion of the 800 pound gorilla…as usual… Way to go Bretteearle !!!

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          “Israel is on the African continent”

          Back to geography alsordi. Try Asia.


          • alsordi

            British delineation or Asia if you will. Physically… it is right on the African continent.

            Why don’t you try to discredit my original point instead of my geography ??

        • brettearle

          I ask you….with great generosity of Spirit….

          Do not put yourself down, anymore than you have already done.

          Thus far, you have lowered your own Dignity, far beneath the lowest scraping of a barrel of Krud.

    • Mike

      Perhaps Israel has not been so fast to forget NM’s communist past, the terrorism and the support he gave to the likes of Quadaffi an Castro. (Hey – I acknowledge that his move towards forgiveness ad desire to reconcile while in prison was admirable…)

    • B.J.D

      Mandella didnt garner too much good will from Israel when he laid a wreath at Khomeini’s tomb as an act of solidarity.

  • Coastghost

    A pity that yesterday’s second-hour guest Peter Singer is not on this hour’s guest list. Singer could then discuss the merits of economist Dambisa Moyo’s arguments that much aid to Africa is deleterious and pernicious in the outcomes the aid promotes.
    Also have to wonder how sage an approach Dr Jacobs is modeling with a blog called “Africa Is a Country”: this would seem to suppress recognition that linguistic and cultural and tribal differences remain quite acute in sub-Saharan Africa. Pan-Africanism doesn’t seem any more likely now than it seemed with the demise of colonialism and the rise of independence.

    • J__o__h__n

      But you dollar goes further in deleterious and pernicious outcomes than it could if donated locally. Singer is an annoying scold.

  • Mike

    Hopefully they talk about the power of the market, the free market that is. Combine free markets with routing out corruption and we may be on to something. If we don’t deal with the corruption then the market won’t help. If we don’t open the markets then the people’s abilities and desires will be stymied.

  • alsordi

    Yeeeeks ! Only 15 comments at the start of the show. Looks like the psuedo-liberals are again a bit shy with this topic as well.
    Bibi no-show…exploitation, apartheid hypocrisy… one can understand their timidness. But no worry, they’ll show up in the hundreds on the next feminist topic, or discussion of gay marriage.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      The grapes, they are sour! Some of us listen before we speak.

    • John_in_Amherst

      You get a few troll credits for this one

  • ToyYoda

    So how does an investor take advantage of Africa’s fantastic growth rate? Do they have a stock market?

    • hennorama

      ToyYoda – Ten seconds worth of search engine use will allow you to answer your own question.

      • ToyYoda

        Thanks, but 10 seconds won’t do it. It will only answer the second one which I knew the answer to, and it’s not even a very interesting question.

        Lot of the growth that I read about in Africa is due to mathematics: 1 to 2 is a 100% growth. 2 to 3 is 50%, even though it’s the same amount of growth. In other words, much of Africa is starting from a very low point.

        Outside of the economics, which I like to read about, from an investors point of view, I’d like to know what strategies to pursue and what angles to play outside of any insights that I read from the Economist. I don’t even have to trade in any of the local markets, I can invest in American companies that do business abroad.

        The guest talks about growth in Africa so I thought he may have some further insight. I have to dumb down my posts because if I give a seasoned question on investing, I’ll get blasted by “the left” and if I were to show compassion to the flight of African poor, I’ll get blasted by “the right”.

        And if I dumb down my question, I’ll get blasted the “smarty pants” like yourself.

        I can’t win. :)

        • hennorama

          ToyYoda — If your goal is to get answers to questions, you should pose the actual questions to which you seek answers rather than those which you find uninteresting or “dumb.”

          You underestimate the intelligence of the forum at your own peril.

  • ClimateDesperate

    How about the influence on Africa of the military presence and activity of the US which I mostly regard as toxic and hypocritical whether it be Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Somalia, etc?

  • JBK007

    Please ask your guests whether the growing income and technology gap in Africa will ultimately lead to social strife and upend everything you’re doing to attract investment and develop?

    • JBK007

      Peace be to Africa! (Jeff Kerzner)

      • JBK007

        And, while we’re at it, let’s explore the uncomfortable taboo issue of African-American and African relations…….

        • JBK007

          And, the colonial legacy of dividing and conquering the continent, that has lead to so many of the problems we see now….

          • JBK007

            And to the fact that the Chinese are buying large tracks of land in Africa to grow food for their own people, and snapping up all natural resources from there a well….

          • JBK007

            And lastly, the war of civilizations playing it self out in Africa between Muslims, Christians etc etc.

          • JBK007

            And, for the Fula speakers out there: “gila takari, faa takatari, faa jaari chumal ngeloba, no neddo foti fuu, mo hamarata lamuru bamu” From the beginning of time to the end, sealed by the mark on the camel, no matter your worth, you’ll never assist in your father’s baptism!

          • JBK007

            And to my Zulu, and all South African, brothers and sisters: LALELA!

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            As are countries in the Middle East, and probably others, too.

          • JBK007

            but that the tribes themselves are divided, so it was easy to exploit this…

  • harverdphd

    Early reports indicate funding is needed for an initiative to recruit people who can “sign” for the hearing impaired during major media events featuring Obama.

  • TheDailyBuzzherd

    Mandela was most effective as an imperfect bridge builder, able to contain the extremists and forge a detente, though not necessarily an understanding, with The National Party, the white minority rule.

    The honest truth is the Mandela should not have directly negotiated with de Klerk and his goons as his ANC sold them the store. The ANC, for all its passion, did not have the practical negotiating skills to deal with the well-established National Party. South African blacks, who wanted nationalized industry to protect their rightful sovereign resources, instead sold out to the whites and got, once again, privatized extraction industry in which the country got the same desserts under a new assembly. So, S Africa may have gotten a “peoples’ democracy”, but it had no economic authority over the white occupiers, thus a gov’t totally subservient to its white masters. Because, every time Mandela or the ANC had disparaging words or caught using the words “nationalize” or “socialize”, the white-owned S African stock market tanked. Their currency dropped 20% in value. Without economic authority, the black S Africans had no real power. The real power remains with the keepers of apartheid-era status quo who kept their jobs, much the same history as ’60s and ’70s Latin America, where the experiments on super-capitalism had a devastating effect on the native working public, which remains to this day.

    Fast forward, enter China, just another colonial power salivating to carve up Africa for itself. History repeats itself.

    The short end of the stick is that Nelson Mandela was just another good guy tricked by the pen.

    • The poster formerly known as t

      A group of people that are at the mercy of a more powerful group is only to have so much leverage. A recurrent pattern I see in among black Africans in Africa and abroad is a lack of leverage. They seem to be easily overwhelmed by even slightly more sophisticated aggressors.

      • TheDailyBuzzherd

        Mercy, most certainly not. Leverage, to a degree. What do the blacks have? Numbers. They also have a team of seasoned lawyers and economists who can right the way in time. The immediate post-Mandela period will be interesting to watch as resistance can work, look at the so-called “water war” in Bolivia, where the company tried to claim rain water was private as well. The Bolivians pushed back and the company left. I don’t know the coda to that story, but all these attempts to control foreign assets through privatization are causing most of third world poverty. Yet we wonder why we’re hated throughout the world. This is why.

        You do have a point, though: Should the blacks rebel and take the mines, the whites could send in a foreign military and simply take the mines away again, if they wanted them badly enough.

        The history of colonialism is consistent: A foreign power wants something it doesn’t have. It negotiates with the host country a deal in which the extracting industry remains autonomous, possibly partly owned by host politicos, and the locals “benefit” with employment. But they never, ever get to truly enjoy the net worth of those extracted products at their fair value. All those promises of “trickle-down” economics by de Klerk and Friends never happened. Most if not all the water hookups in poor neighborhoods that happened prior to and in the post-’94 election period were disconnected anyway, leaving the blacks with no water. The whites got to keep their modern houses. Look at New Orleans, no different, really.

        • The poster formerly known as t

          Numbers don’t mean anything without resolve or with a high amount of ignorance about epidemics like AIDS.

          Bolivia is in South America. People in that continent have been able to show more resolve than the typical African. Africans are a very diverse group of people who lived in small-scale tribal societies for the most part, until modern times. Many of the countries in Africa are artificial–they didn’t exist until European colonialists created them. Tribes that were autonomous were forced to come into close proximity and this, I believe, helps makes many African countries prone to sectarian disputes. An other circumstance that contributes to strife among Africans include the fact Africa is experiencing some degree of desertification or environmental degradation. Commercial extraction of their resources tends to unevenly benefit a small group of people , sometimes that group is a particular tribe. The tribe with the upper hand tends to abuse it, causing repression and instability. While there is a lot of hand-wringing about genocide in Africa, and the economic costs involved, no one bothers to mention that the weapons that fuel the conflicts come from U.S. or U.S.S.R weapons manufacturers or the fact that there may be a benefit to colonizers/ capitalists to have the numerous African tribes at each other throats than nationalizing their assets.

Sep 18, 2014
Flickr/Steve Rhodes

After a summer of deadly clashes between Gaza and Israel, we talk to Jews on the left and right about the future of liberal Zionism. Some say it’s over.

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Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

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