Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Real Big Game?

As sports fans in the United States gear-up for Super Bowl Sunday Feb 7, South African Airways reminds us that the rest of the world is waiting for the Real Big Game. For an up-to-the-second countdown to the first World Cup kick-off click here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Time for a Change

Malawi earns up to 70 percent of its foreign exchange from tobacco. Most of it is grown in the rural areas where farmers have to transport it for long miles to the capital city, Lilongwe. Read the full VOA story. It seems that the export focus must be brought up to date with the world trends. Fewer people are smoking and cigarettes are becoming a lot more expensive.

The ASAP Africa Malawi Program helps farmers to diversify their crops while improving the growing methods. ASAP field officers teach that one way of making lasting improvements to agriculture is to switch to permaculture and organic farming techiques. It has been shown that organic fertilizers are much better for the soil as well as the crops while commercial fertilizers deplete the soil and poison the water table.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Powerless and Overwhelmed?

Being inundated daily with images of those suffering in Haiti, women and children struggling to survive in Africa, in addition to the countless local causes can leave one feeling powerless and overwhelmed. Perhaps you may even feel your contribution would be insignificant. In response:

The Starfish Story
Original Story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…”
I made a difference for that one.”

Please remember that you may never know whose life you touch with your support, but it does make a difference!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Malawi's John Chilembe Day Preceeds MLK Day

Today the world commemorates the works of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. But the world must never forget the many great African hero's that made his work possible. Last Friday in Malawi that nation recognized one such hero; in the late 1800's Reverend John Chilembwe, the great martyr of Malawi, was the first African with a sense of Malawian nationalism. After founding one of the earliest independent Christian denominations in Africa, he led a dramatic and violent uprising against colonialism.
To read more about John Chilembwe click here

Today, as in year past, the world continues to work together to fight injustice and to create the world MLK so eloquently described...

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character...
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

To read the entire speech made on August 28 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, or to view the video click here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Malawi Partnership with India

President of Malawi Bingu wa Mutharika is quoted as stating “Sometimes I consider India as my second home.” Mutharika, pursued his Graduate and Masters degrees from Delhi University (in the Indian capital).

The Vice President Ansari of India, is pictured above with Mutharika, announcing $55 million in assistance to Malawi. It is said a new partnership in uranium exploration and mining was also discussed. To read the more click here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sam Worthington nor Sigourney Weaver Can Help

The current blockbuster AVATAR movie reminds us that indigenous populations are too often exploited and displaced in pursuit of precious minerals by outsiders. Many people are not aware that, just south of ASAP's office in Mutare, thousands have been relocated and endured numerous atrocities by the government because of the recent discovery of diamonds.
To read more about the Chiadzwa diamond fields click here

Unfortunately, International pressure groups have been unsuccessful in banning the sale of these diamonds.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Zimbabwe Reviews Laws Limiting Foreign Investment

Zimbabwe's Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act, which came into force in March 2008, limits foreign stake holdings in companies in the country to 49% while a 51% stake must be held by local investors. Economic Planning Minister Elton Mangoma was reported as saying allowable shareholding may be increased to as much as 100% in some sectors. To read the entire article click here.

Luring foreign investment back to Zimbabwe will be an uphill battle. In September 2008 the World Bank's International Finance Corporation announced in their Doing Business Report 2008 that Zimbabwe is one of the worst countries in the world to do business in. To access this report click here.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Your Donation Helps Save Lives

More than a year after the signing of a power-sharing deal aimed at rescuing Zimbabwe's shattered economy, young people are still leaving the country in droves, seeking a better life in South Africa.

Although many Zimbabwean asylum requests are rejected, until its economy starts to recover, people will continue to risk their lives crossing the crocodile-infested Limpopo river to earn the hard currency their families need to buy food back home.

Click here to read the entire article recently written by Pumza Fihlani of the BBC News, Musina.

Your donation to ASAP Africa helps families generate enough income in Zimbabwe, by providing micro-finance skills training. These activities, along with enhanced agriculture production helps families to thrive during challenging economic times without risking their lives for survival.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Zimbabwe Military Deploys to Remove Country's Remaining White Farmers

Since 2000, over 4,000 farms have been redistributed in Zimbabwe. Today, the effort continues although there are few productive farms left. According to VOA, the military has now been deployed "... was ordered by the Joint Operations Command, which brings together top-level officials of the Defense Forces, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Central Intelligence Organization and the prisons." To read the entire article click here.
For further discussion click here