The Currency Crisis in Africa

There is enough research to show massive capital drain from Africa and that Africa is a net creditor to Europe and North America. Without an African central bank functioning under democratic control and a credible African currency, the drain of resources will continue to rob Africa the means to achieve development.

When the Constitutive Act of the African Union was written to implement the Sirte Declaration, there were three financial institutions that were established to facilitate interAfrican trade. These were: the African Investment Bank (AIB), the African Monetary Fund (AMF) and the African Central Bank (ACB). It was agreed that it would be necessary to establish a single common currency in Africa in order to speed economic integration. The planning for the African Monetary Fund and for the African Central Bank was supposed to be a phased process alongside the process of the full unification of Africa, leading towards the Union Government of Africa.

When the Constitutive Act was written, there was no sense among the leaders of Africa that the capitalist crisis would bring down governments in Europe, spawn a Eurozone crisis along with the current currency war that is being waged against the poorer nations. Since the start of 2014 the world has witnessed a new battle ground as currency speculators put the reserves of poorer countries under pressure. The attacks on the currencies of societies such as Argentina, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey, India, and others have reached the front pages of international news beyond the financial pages. What is clear is the predators on Wall Street are now attacking the currencies of the exploited world and nations with the smallest reserves have to dig into their reserves to fend off currency speculators as we are continuing to see the exchange rates of Africa under pressure. What is less clear in many countries in Africa and other parts of the Third World, though, is the ways in which this currency war is inextricably linked to the volatility of Wall Street. Neo-liberal interpretations of the world allow policy makers to promote prescriptions that exacerbate capital flight from Africa. The belief in markets is one myth that has suborned technicians in Africa to continue to support the political and military power of the USA. The assertion that the United States has a comparative advantage as an originator of high value quality financial assets can now be dismissed as the justification for supporting the military power of the USA.

It is within this context that it is urgent that Africa begins to work toward a single currency. One of the prior steps would be to establish the African Currency unit with strict benchmarks for the integration of Africa towards the adoption of a single currency.

STEMMING CAPITAL FLIGHT FROM AFRICA

Progressives in all parts of the world must have clarity on the phases of the Union government and the building of transparent and democratic leaders to stop the plunder of Africa alongside the massive capital flight from the continent. There is enough research to clarify the reality that there is a massive capital drain from Africa and that Africa is a net creditor to the states of Europe and North America. In short without the establishment of the African Central Bank that functions under democratic control, and a credible African currency the drain of resources will continue. The amount of documented evidence is well known. Research from the African Development Bank (AfDB) revealed in May 2013 that in the three decades from 1980 to 2009, African countries lost up to $1.4trn in illicit financial flows, known as capital flight. These figures from the African Development Bank are repeating the scholarly findings of James K. Boyce and Léonce Ndikumana that has been around for about twenty years. [1]

Since this kind of scholarship has been done, international financial institutions continue to preach about Millennium Development Goals without the necessary attention to the return of the illicit funds plundered from Africa. While African universities continue to focus attention on the so-called MDGs there is a conscious effort to divert attention from the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR). The ending of exploitation, the enhancement of the rights of African workers and farmers and popular democratic relations are all linked up with African control over her resources. In this context one of the most urgent political matters for the progressive forces is to end the capital flight from Africa and the seizure of African resources for external forces in alliance with African militarists. Capital flight from Africa ensures that there are no resources for infrastructure, for social development and programs and to provide for the needs of the majority of the African peoples.

Progressives and those working for the full unification of Africa should be promoting the process of establishing a common currency in Africa so that Africans no longer keep their foreign currency reserves in the US dollar, Euro or the pound sterling. Recently the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Carlos Lopes stated that Africans had over $200 billion reserves overseas. This is obviously a small amount and we do not have the figures for the amount of money that African oligarchs have stored in banks in Switzerland, Hong Kong, London, New York, Malaysia, Singapore and the offshore banks in the Caribbean.

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM ASIA?

Carlos Lopes and the UNECA need to go to the next step for mandating think tanks, universities and policy makers and forces within the global African family to set up the political and technical stages for the convergence of currencies so that Africa establishes its own common currency moving in tandem in working towards a Union government. The process must begin right away with the establishment African Currency Unit. There would also be a clear path and date for the integration where there would be a single currency for Africa.

Africans can learn a lot from what is being done in the ASEAN societies where the first step of monetary integration has been placed on the table in the form of the Chiang Mai Initiative. This Initiative has laid the basis for a number of ventures such as bilateral swaps to protect the societies of East Asia from the Wall Street foreign exchange traders and to enhance regional trade. The planning for the Asian Currency Unit is following the lines of creating a firewall in Asia to protect the societies from the currency wars being waged by currency traders. Within Asean states bilateral pacts to swap and repurchase central-bank reserves have prevented the kind of raiding that went on at the time of the Asian financial crisis 1997-1998. These societies in Asia do not agree politically and have many differences but they are all agreed to establish various initiatives to ensure that their societies are not bullied by the IMF or the World Bank. Moreover, they have learnt the harsh lessons from 1997 when George Soros and other derivative traders undermined their currencies. The establishment of the Asian Monetary Fund and the Asian Bond Fund have been supported to escape the surveillance and strictures of the International Monetary Fund. Thus, the Asian Bond Market, the Asian Monetary Fund and the Chiang Mai Initiative are all steps on the road towards the single currency in Asia. In order to seal this pathway, they have now launched the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which is to be concluded by 2015. In short, the citizens of Asia are now waiting for the collapse of the dollar to disengage from the International Monetary Fund and the raiding of currencies by Wall Street Traders.

AFRICAN CURRENCY UNIT NOW LONG OVERDUE

Despite the clear planning for Free Trade Areas in Asia, the levels of integration in Africa at the level of the people are in many ways more advanced than Asia. Traders in differing parts of Africa, especially women traders from West Africa, have demonstrated a certain ease in traversing the continent and doing business. The customs and immigration laws across Africa continue to hinder the free flow of goods, services and people. International capital and international capitalist can move freely across the lines drawn in Africa as borders, but the so called leaders continue to try to enforce laws that prevent the freedom of movement while they and their family illicitly export needed reserves from Africa.

The majority of African governments keep their reserves in dollars. Their membership of the IMF dictates the terms of their financial engagement with the international capitalist system. The US devalues the dollar by printing US $65 billion every month. Africans are losing in a number of ways but two are most blatant.

First, many African states keep their reserves in dollars and these are devalued under the Quantitative Easing of the USA dollar which permits the Federal Reserve of the USA to simply offload dollars on the world. In the past three years the US government has been printing over a trillion dollars every year. Second, foreign exchange reserves have to be used as a shock absorber during times of volatility when Central Banks have to use their reserves to buffer their currencies against sharp decline by buying even more US dollars to support their currency.

Another hidden side of the super exploitation of Africa emerges in the form of those central banks that are hedging against the dollar. Many of the oil producing states of the Middle East are hoarding gold because of the currency wars and the devaluation of the dollar. These societies support front persons in Africa that abet the flow of gold and diamonds out of Africa.

POLITICAL WILL AND THE INTEGRATION OF AFRICA

When one reads the statements of the economic planners one does not get a sense of urgency for the full integration of Africa and the building of a common currency. Hence, we have vision statements from countries stating that they will reach targets by 2030 or 2040 without reference to the current Eurozone crisis or the rigged stock market in the USA. Only recently Michael Lewis brought out another book about how the financial markets in the United States are rigged in favour of high-speed electronic trading firms, which use their advantages to extract billions from investors. It is also well known that the real value of US stocks are overvalued because the Wall Street barons have been buying back their own stocks to make the US financial markets seem far more healthier than they are. It has been estimated that in the past 9 years, the barons of Wall Street have bought back over $4.21 trillion of their own stocks. Over the last four years Matt Taibbi has been writing on the fraudulent operations of the Wall Street bankers and wonders out loud why these gangster bankers are not arrested. In penetrating, the mantra of Too Big to fail as Too Big to Jail, Taibbi has exposed the nature of the LIBOR scandal, the money laundering and other corrupt practices, Taibbi exposed how Wall Street killed financial reforms in the United States.

In the present global crisis of capitalism, the Wall Street bankers are enjoying the support of the US military to prop up this currency so that the gangster bankers can carry out fraud while the currency traders raid those countries that have not established a firewall against the predators. When African leaders open discussions about the creation of the African monetary system and the African central bank, the think tanks and the US strategic planners descend on Africa to divert attention from real planning for the integration of Africa. However, what is uncontroversial is that the printing of dollars under the so called Quantitative Easing has placed the international monetary system in an even more precarious condition. The US capitalists are trapped by this QE policy. By printing dollars, the stock prices surge and Wall Street makes trillions in dollars. At the same time countries that have to keep their reserves in dollars are looking for alternatives.

The African peoples and societies have the economic resources for the establishment of a common currency. What is missing is the political will. We have to place this unification of Africa at the top of the agenda for Africa. It will not be necessary for all 54 countries to be part of this currency unit at the start. Because France dominates those countries that are in the CFA Franc zone, France remains opposed to the establishment of the African Central Bank and the Common Currency for Africa.

In this present capitalist crisis there are three alternatives for Africa:
1 Continue the fragmentation and disunity and Go down with the dollar and be the battleground for US finance capital.
2. Be the backstop for a dying EURO or
3. Unite the currencies of Africa to create one common currency and one government.

Serious African planners are working for the third alternative. Those with the political will have to take the lead to hasten the studies by the governors of the Central bank for the convergence process for the African Currency Unit.
There are so many institutions in Eastern, West and Southern Africa that can undertake these tasks.

A PHASED PROCESS

What we may have to do is to create the African Currency Unit for the regions of Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and those in ECOWAS who will join. Ultimately, the puppet states that are in the CFA franc Zone will be pressured to join. After the revolutionary process exhaust itself in Egypt, it will also join. At this moment the political will to create the common currency cannot wait on consensus. The foreign reserves of Africa are being devalued by Quantitative Easing and Africans have to work hard to break the Exorbitant Privilege of the dollar.

It is in the interest of all to work for the new multipolar currency regime.
In Latin America, the peoples have on the agenda a common currency. The Europeans have created a common currency –the Euro- to break from the dollar. The Chinese are working for the convertibility of the RMB. The ASEAN countries are working for the creation of the ASEAN currency. Oil producers in the Middle East are looking for an exit from the dollar. What are Africans waiting for?

The Abuja Treaty was signed more than thirty years ago on June 3, 1991 in Abuja, Nigeria, to create the African Economic Community, and called for an African Central Bank to follow by 2028. The current plan is to establish an African Economic Community with a single currency by 2023. The global capitalist crisis has demonstrated that long before 2023 Africa will have to create a common currency to withstand the current vicissitudes of the US financial markets.

Malcolm X and Tanzania

Tanzania was the headquarters for revolutionaries from Africa and around the world in the early 1960s. Revolutionaries like Sam Nujoma, Oliver Tambo, Samora Machel, Robert Mugabe, and unknown young men and women frequented Tanzania between 1960 and 1965.  Dar es Salaam was the place to be if you were a revolutionary.   It is not surprising revolutionaries like Malcolm X and Che Guevera from the Americas were also attracted to Tanzania.

The African American leader Malcolm X and Che Guevera came to Tanganyika and Zanzibar within five months of each other in the end of 1964 and beginning of 1965. Malcolm came to Tanzania first in October of 1964.  The country was then known as Tanganyika and Zanzibar.  The new name Tanzania was adopted in November, about a month after Malcolm left the country.

To understand Malcolm’s attraction to Tanzania and learn about what he did once in Tanzania, it is important to go back to the Second OAU Summit in Cairo, Egypt held from July 17 to 21, 1964.  The conference came after Malcolm had made a pilgrimage to Mecca; this was the first of the two transformative experiences for the 39 year old African American leader.  He had just broken off with the Nation of Islam and embraced Orthodox Islam.  Malcolm made his second tour of Africa after the pilgrimage.  The tour of West Africa from April to May 1964 helped cement his Pan African convictions. Malcolm felt at home wherever he went in Ghana and Nigeria; he returned to the US in May of 1964 determined to start a new organization and forge strong links with Africans.  He founded the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) in June; it was modeled after the Organization of African Unity.  More importantly Malcolm had made up his mind to attend the OAU Summit in Cairo to lobby for the support of African heads of state for his campaign for the human rights of African Americans.

The Second OAU Summit met in Cairo, Egypt from July 17 to 21, 1964.  This was the Summit of African heads of state.  Malcolm left the US in July 9th determined to participate in the conference and lobby for support for his cause in America.   Malcolm was granted observer status and was allowed to present a memorandum to the delegates. The memorandum argued eloquently that African Americans were Africa’s long lost brothers and sisters; he argued that African Americans had endured hardships for more than three hundred years because of racial discrimination.  He wrote in the memorandum: “Our problem is your problem.. We beseech independent African states to help us bring our problem before the United Nations…”  The struggle to get African heads of state to support his initiative faced an uphill battle.  Some African leaders were indifferent to the plight of African Americans.  Malcolm had to lobby hard to get the support of Africans.  He faced an uphill battle trying to convince African leaders to support his resolution.  It all changed when Malcolm linked up with the delegation from Tanganyika and Zanzibar at the conference.

The Tanganyika and Zanzibar delegation to the Cairo Summit included Julius Nyerere, Abdulrahman Babu, and Salim A. Salim.  This conference became legendary in the annals of African history because Nyerere and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana clashed over the state of the liberation struggle in southern Africa and the strategy for achieving Pan African unity.  Another significant event that has often been overlooked was the passage of a resolution addressing the plight of African Americans drafted by Malcolm and supported by Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

There are scant details of exactly how Malcolm linked up with the Tanganyika and Zanzibar delegation in Cairo. It appears that Malcolm linked up with Abdurahman Babu in Cairo and the two hit it off.  Babu was a Pan Africanist and a revolutionary from Zanzibar.  He was then a Minister in the mainland.  Babu wrote later that Malcolm went to his hotel room late at night during the Summit discouraged and ready to leave.  His resolution was not going anywhere and riots had just erupted back home in Harlem. Babu was among the people who convinced Malcolm to remain in Cairo to help shed light on the struggles of African Americans and get a resolution passed.   The resolution was not passed until the last night of the Summit at 2:30 am; Babu was the one who passed the good news to Malcolm.  The OAU resolution AHG/Res. 15 (1) was entitled Racial Discrimination in the United States of America.  It expressed concerns for racial discrimination in the US and called on the government to do all it could to end discrimination based on race, color and ethnic origin. It was this support that convinced Malcolm to visit Tanganyika and Zanzibar after the Summit.  The passage of the resolution was a victory for Malcolm; it was a victory for African Americans and Africa.

Malcolm decided to take a tour of East Africa after spending about two months in Egypt.  He first stopped in Ethiopia on September 30, 1964 were he spoke to students, leaders, and diplomats.  Malcolm meet and spoke to numerous people, including Tanzanian leaders, diplomats, and students.  He spent time talking to the Tanganyika consul in Ethiopia.  He held meetings with Otini Kambona, the brother of Oscar Kambona.  Babu and Malcolm met again on October 3 and 4 in Ethiopia. The two had started forging a close friendship from the time they met at the Cairo conference.  Malcolm made up his mind to visit Tanganyika and Zanzibar. He visited the passport services on October 6th and found out that Americans did not need a passport for Tanganyika, but they did need to get ‘special permission’ for Zanzibar.

Malcolm boarded a flight on October 9th in Nairobi for Zanzibar and then Tanganyika.  The flight flew from Nairobi to Malindi, from there to Zanzibar, and finally Dar es Salaam.  Malcolm was not allowed entry into Zanzibar because he did not have the required special permit.   He continued with the flight from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam.

Malcolm spent the first night in Dar es Salaam at the Club Hotel.  The hotel did not have private bathrooms.  He wanted to find another hotel.  He walked over to Twiga and Agip Motel on October 10, 1964 to see if he could get a room.  The hotel rooms were fully booked and he could not get a room.  Eventually, Malcolm decided to call a number to the office of Oscar Kambona in the Ministry of External Affairs.  Otini Kambona gave Malcolm the number.  Oscar Kambona was then a Minister of External Affairs. Oscar Kambona’s secretary picked up the phone and spoke to Malcolm.  She was an African American woman married to a Ghanaian.  Her named was Joyce.  Joyce and her husband drove to pick up Malcolm and took him to the Delux hotel.

The African American community in Tanganyika in 1964 was very small.  There was a large community of African American expatriates living in Ghana when Malcolm visited the country in the beginning of 1964.  Malcolm had to find his way around Dar es Salaam and learn about the city and its people.  Dar es Salaam was burgeoning city with a small, but rising number of expatriates.  Tanganyika and Zanzibar had just united less than six months before.  The nation had undergone a tumultuous period following the January 12th revolution in Zanzibar and an army mutiny of January 20, 1964.  There were also security concerns at the borders with Congo and Mozambique; there was looming violence in the Congo that threatened to destabilize the region and there were concerns in the border between Tanganyika and Mozambique because FRELIMO had just launched their first military campaign against the Portuguese.  Malcolm came to Tanganyika at a time when the nation was going through a difficult period.  Yet the presence of revolutionaries from most of southern Africa was a welcoming site for Malcolm.  More importantly, the people of Tanganyika and Zanzibar provided great hospitality to Malcolm.

Malcolm decided to walk over to the New Africa House on the first day in Dar es Salaam.  This was one of the newest hotels in the city; it was the meeting place for the Tanganyika members of the upper class and a place where leaders of liberation movements frequented.  At New Africa hotel he met Nathanial Nakasa. Nakasa or Nat as Malcolm called him, was a South African reporter who had just left apartheid South Africa and was on his way to take up a scholarship in the US.  Malcolm and Nakasa spent several evenings in the course of the next week talking about various topics.  Nakasa later wrote that he found Malcolm to be a very warm and a “great fun to be with” in Dar es Salaam.  Like many people who had learned about Malcolm from the Western media sources, he had built an image of Malcolm as unreasonable and destructive.  Nakasa was greatly impressed by Malcolm. He decided to take Malcolm with him to a birthday party given by a diplomat from the Algerian Embassy on the evening of October 10th.  It was at this birthday party that Malcolm linked up with the African American Pan Africanist and pacifist Bill Sutherland who drove him around the city for the next week.

The birthday party was attended by a variety of guests, including diplomats, government officials, expatriates, and exiles from South Africa.  Sutherland wrote later that Malcolm spent most of the time standing in the kitchen; many people went to the kitchen to get food and drinks and ended up talking to Malcolm.  He did not dance or drink, but charmed many of the guests at the party who made a stop in the kitchen.  Sutherland decided to drive Malcolm around after he learned from Malcolm that he did not have transportation.

Malcolm spent part of Sunday October 11, 1964 on the suburbs of Dar es Salaam meeting with Harvard University and Radcliffe Institute students who were teaching in Tanganyika as part of Project Tanganyika.  Malcolm had an opportunity to speak with the mostly white American students who came to teach as part of the project.  Mr. and Mrs. Ed Anderson invited Malcolm to their home.  Several African Americans came to the dinner and got a chance to speak to Malcolm.  Later that evening Malcolm met up with Nakasa for dinner at Africa House.

Malcolm woke up early on the first full business day in Dar es Salaam, Monday October 12, 1964.  He was interviewed by an Indian reporter and later by a reporter from the Tanganyika Standard and by the Tanzania Broadcast Company.  Some South African leaders stopped by to meet and speak to him. He called Babu and set up a meeting.  The two met later that day.  Malcolm wrote in his diary that Babu was “very informal and friendly.” He described Babu in his diary as “an extremely alert man, and dedicated to what he believes.”  Malcolm was impressed by Babu and came to respect him.

The Tanganyika and Zanzibar public awoke to an article on Malcolm X published by the Tanganyika Standard on October 13, 1964.  The paper reported that African Americans were beginning to see their relationship with Africans as something that could not be denied; they recognized that they were linked to Africa.  This was a message that Malcolm brought to Tanzania. The day turned out to be one of the highlights of Malcolm’s visit to Tanganyika.  Malcolm walked to Babu’s office around 1:15pm in the city center. Malcolm had asked for an audience with the President when he first arrived. This was a very busy time for government officials and Nyerere.  The government was preparing a meeting of heads of states from Kenya, Uganda, and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) that was scheduled for October 16th.  Malcolm was told it would be impossible to meet with Nyerere. The bad news did not last very long. Babu picked up Malcolm and took him to his house.  Four government officials were there at Babu’s house to meet Malcolm.  Malcolm wrote on his diary on October 13th, 1964, that he knew he was being “weighed” for a meeting with President Nyerere.  Babu eventually informed Malcolm that he would meet President Nyerere.

Babu treated Malcolm like a member of his family.  Malcolm went to Babu’s home several times while he was in Dar es Salaam.  He met Babu’s wife and two children.  Later in December of 1964, Malcolm recalled that he had observed Babu interacting with his family in Dar es Salaam and realized that a revolutionary could also be a family man.  It was an important lesson for Malcolm who was a committed family man, but found his work and travels increasingly keeping him away from his family.

Malcolm and Babu left Babu’s house for the State House around 5:45 on October 13th.  Malcolm first met Oscar Kambona at the State House.  Nyerere did not come out until 6:15.  Malcolm and Nyerere spent the next three hours discussing various subjects.  The two talked about the major events happening around the world at the time. China had just exploded a nuclear bomb.  Nyerere told Malcolm how ironic it was for a former colony to develop a weapon equal to that of a colonial power.  Malcolm told Nyerere that he had been thinking about it.  Malcolm presented Nyerere with a gift of a booklet of one of his speeches entitled “Message to the Grassroots.”  Malcolm described Nyerere as “very shrewd, intelligent, and disarming.”  The discussions Malcolm held with Nyerere and Babu helped shift Malcolm’s views on the international component of the challenges of the struggle against racism and imperialism.

The last two days in Dar es Salaam were spent meeting with various people.  Malcolm posed for pictures with Babu on October 14,1964; at least two of those images were published and circulated widely.  The pictures appears to have been taken by a photographer named Amini who was doing a story with another reporter named Rahina for the UPI.  The Washington Post published a short story from UPI on October 14. The article quoted Malcolm X from Dar es Salaam saying he would not return to the US until after the Presidential elections.

           Another important stop for Malcolm was at the Cuban Embassy in Upanga, Dar es Salaam.  He met an Afro-Cuban diplomat named Rodriguez.  Later that day, Otini Kambona organized a big dinner for Malcolm X.  There were many government officials in attendance, including the Director of Tanganyika Broadcast Corporation.  Malcolm was encouraged to postpone his departure from Tanzania.   Malcolm must have found his time in Dar es Salaam very productive.  He had just met President Nyerere and had spent considerable time with Babu talking about the state of the struggle and future strategies. He made a call the next day and postponed his departure until October 17th.

Dar es Salaam was a busy city in October 15th, 1964.  Three heads of states from Kenya, Uganda, and Northern Rhodesia visited the city to hold a meeting with Nyerere.  Malcolm was in his hotel when President Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya passed by the hotel.  He pulled out his camera and took photos of Kenyatta’s motorcade.  He spent most of the day speaking with  Nakasa, some white American students and Pamela, a white South African Jewish woman at Africa House.  Nakasa was amused by how Malcolm interacted with whites.  It was clear that Malcolm’s views about race had begun to change.  His experience in Mecca sparked a shift in the way he viewed different races.  He described praying with whites in Mecca and realizing that the problem lied with the system that whites in America adopted.

On the last day in Dar es Salaam, Friday October 16th, Malcolm met Margaret Snyder at the New Africa Hotel.  She was a white American who decided to work in East Africa after taking a sabbatical leave as the dean for women at Le Moyne College in Syracuse.  Malcolm had been “unyielding” when it came to whites’ participation in the struggle when he met Snyder in New York a year before.  The Malcolm Snyder met in Dar es Salaam was different.  Snyder later wrote that Malcolm told her that Nyerere and Kenyatta were free of racial animosity.  Malcolm also told her that his conversations with Nyerere “had enriched him.”

There was at least one more important meeting that Malcolm held with Tanganyika leaders.  Bill Sutherland drove Malcolm to a meeting with TANU leaders at the home of Bibi Titi Mohamed.  Details of the meeting are not available.  However, it is clear that Malcolm had an opportunity to present his case and share ideas with TANU leaders.

Malcolm took a flight out of Dar es Salaam on October 17th, 1964.  He was on the same flight with Kenyatta and Milton Obote from Uganda.  The Zanzibar officials who had denied Malcolm entry on his way to Tanganyika, gave him VIP treatment on his way back.  He was put in the VIP room with other important dignitaries, but he did not leave the airport.  One of the Kenyan Ministers later told Kenyatta who Malcolm was during the flight. Kenyatta sent someone to ask Malcolm to move in front of the plane and sit between Kenyatta and Obote.  Such was the charm and respect that Malcolm commanded wherever he went in East Africa.  He was comfortable talking to heads of state or street peddlers in Dar es Salaam.  Malcolm was able to travel around the city, meet with high government with ease.

The trip to Dar es Salaam was not the last time Malcolm was linked to the country.  Malcolm and Babu met again for the last time in December 1964 when Babu travelled to New York to attend meeting of the United Nations General Assembly,   Babu spoke on a couple of rallies organized by Malcolm and his organization.  Babu later reported that he discovered there was tremendous interest for Tanzania after attending the rallies organized by Malcolm.  He was quoted by The Nationalist saying he had not realized before how much sympathy, understanding and support existed in the US for the struggles of Tanzania.  It was this understanding that Malcolm had sought to build with Africans before he was assassinated.  He had attempt to do so at the OAU and when he visited East Africa.  Malcolm learned from his trip to Africa that Africans were interested in the struggles of African Americans and that they were ready to offer their support.   Unfortunately, the young life of this African American giant was cut short by assassin’s bullets on February 21, 1965 as he spoke to an audience in New York.

A Still Unexplained Murder

COLD sweat was written on the faces of lecturers and administrators at the University of Dar es Salaam and further afield, in the wake of the shooting in cold blood of political science don Prof. Athumani Livigha, on the doorstep of his residence at Bun

. Early write ups on his life reminded newspaper readers of the killing a few years back of Prof. Jwani Mwaikusa of the Faculty of Law at the Hill, also as he entered his house at Salasala, on the same northern outskirts. A pattern now, for years.

Back during the second phase government it was then Deputy Minister for Industries, Prof. Nicas Mahinda who met the same kind of death, shot dead in his house by people whom police later said were workmen, perhaps foremen and labourers, who in a way grouped or massed at his house, implying there was money they were demanding. The matter must have become grave and not much discussion took place as someone drew out a gun and finished of Engineer Prof. Mahinda, and his public career. Convictions weren’t heard of.

Unquestionably the most far reaching and memorable of these attacks and assassinations of university dons before their residences was late 2013 when veteran law faculty administrator and member of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) Dr Sengondo Mvungi was invaded by machete wielding thugs at his house near Kibaha, and perished. It was the only instance in which political foul play was mooted in some quarters but was not followed up by any organised entity, as no such hallmarks could be identified. They seem to have been a criminal gang acting on its own, and if there was a specific assailant hatching that incident, organisational ties weren’t evident.

Only in the case of Prof. Mwaikusa did an explicit explanation come up, and those cited in that explanation did not say a word, despite that there was plenty of what could be described as libel in what appeared in the newspapers. It was said that the law don had been entrusted with powers of attorney over a commercial project carried out by a Catholic secluded entity in Ruvuma region, apparently working outside church or other regulations.  Padres at that entity were displeased with controls exercised by the shift of decision making on administrative and financial issues requiring the owner.

With Dr Mvungi, while there was a rush to look for political causes, specifically of militancy concerning the radical propositions of the first draft of the CRC, little seemed sufficiently urgent in that direction. Instead focus was directed at his law practice, where at least one issue surfaced, of removal of residents at Gerezani area close to the busy Kariakoo commercial zone, now expected to become a bus confluence. The specifics were not clear but it was a collective issue where certain quarters could have imagined revenge.

In this instance nothing has so far surfaced but glimpses at the late Prof. Livigha’s life might offer some indications, firstly the idea that he was staying alone is a measure of exposure to appetites on the part of various quarters, for instance in relation to appropriating such property. Similarly many plots are contested in the city, and when one lives alone it becomes easier to think of being harmed as there will be no prolonged pains of evacuating a family from that house. In a Scripture sense, having all the comforts of life and opting to live alone in a non-commercial entity is to ‘enter into temptations,’ as one simplifies issues for hunting spirits in others, devil spirit, to unleash its claws.

In an extended manner there is also the possibility often encountered, that one lives with wife and kids while still poor, and when success makes itself felt skips that environment and opts for a freer place. In case that was just a matter of convenience where for instance the family prefers to stay in town, closer to schools or office, there is exposure of the first sort, but in case there is injury in the self respect of the family, chances of being harmed by that first sort of exposure are enhanced. Harm in life is often judgment, or sin that fate entails, an aspect of life seen in Scriptures – but hardly preached directly.

At the same time, the late Prof. Livigha was a key member of the Open Society Foundation in its Africa Governance Monitoring and Advocacy Project, whose report for 2013 pulled no punches as to worsening conditions of society in the country. It extensively documented rising intolerance and violence among various quarters of society, which was alarming enough despite that the report was compiled before the Panya Route phenomenon came up. The latter was a successor to marauding gangs of a previous epoch taking the chilling name, Kosovo, in reflection of killings in ex-Yugoslavia towards the end of the 1990s. It is a periodic fever of group robberies, terror.

Unlike in the case of Dr Mvungi where his advocacy or courtroom work would have contributed to the case being resolved in one or another against this or other stakeholder or plaintiff, defendant or other, this time it is less a matter of the don’s contribution to the report, but living to what it said. It is as if the death of Prof. Livigha by gunshot should serve to underline the urgency of the matter especially for Open Society Foundation (who for organisational purposes prefer a plurality of foundations). This assassination is a wake up call for the don’s colleagues in Open Society to take the issue of open society with greater urgency than society seems to realise right now to stem violence.

Female Mountain Climbers Become Younger

A YOUNG Indian girl aged 12 years was in the country recently whereby she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with a due purpose.

The girl named Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru arrived in the country on 24th September and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for seven days through Machame Route from 27th September to 3rd October this year .

While climbing this mountain she was accompanied by her father Dr. Krishna Rao and their Mountain Guide was Mr. Dismas John Mlay from Topi Adventure Tour and Safaris Limited.

Talking to the author of this article at Park View Hotel here in Moshi prior to her climb Jaahnavi said she had plans to climb all the Seven Summits of the world before the end of 2015 adding that to start with she started with climbing the top roof of Africa which is Mount Kilimanjaro.

When asked as to where does she come from she said she is from Hyderabad the capital of Andhra Pradesh state in India adding that currently she is studying at St. Michael’s School , Alwal.

On the main purpose of climbing all the seven summits in the world namely Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mt Elbrus (Europe), Mt Mc Kinley (North America), Mt Carztenz (Australia) and Mt Aconcagua in South America what I am left with is climbing Mt Vinson (Antarctica) and Mount Everest in Asia she said through these climbs she is going to raise funds which will be directed towards educating five (5) girls of her age to be picked from poor families worldwide.

“I am climbing all these summits to raise funds which will be directed towards educating at least 1-5 girls of my age. These girls should not necessarily be picked from poor families in India but rather anywhere across the world” she said.

On his side the father of this girl Dr. Rao said in each year during the birthday of his daughter he normally give her a present.

Giving details of such a present he said the same is giving out a One Year Education Scholarship to any needy unprivileged girl of his daughter age in India.

“In turn in each year my daughter has to raise funds through climbing the same to educate 1-5 girls of her age worldwide” said Dr. Rao.

On how these funds have been raised and would be raised in the future he said  the same comes from gifts or pocket money all originating from contributions after spreading such news about her climb in social media networks like twitter and face book.

“Whenever my daughter climb mountains news about these climbs are spread in social media networks like face book.com/jaahnavis and twitter.com/sjaahnavi and to this people in India and in another countries contribute some funds” said Jaahnavi father.

On what him and his daughter have done in Tanzania before climbing the mountain he said they have visited some places in Moshi town known as Njoro and Msaranga where’s they have donated 2 kilograms of rice to a needy family.

“There is what is known as Rice Bucket Challenge in India with a purpose of raising awareness to serve food and not to waste food the same to be given to the needy. As such while here we have donated 2 kilograms of rice to a needy family at Msaranga” he said.

When asked to give a historical background of his daughter as far as climbing mountains is concerned he said at the age of 10 years her daughter had completed nearly 2 high altitude treks, 5 national treks and around 25  local treks in India.

“In the year 2010, she completed successfully the Roopkund Trek (16,000 ft) and in 2011, she participated in the National Himalayan Trek organized by the Youth Hostel Association of India.

On 14th August 2014, my daughter created a New World Record by climbing Stok Kangri (6125 meters) in Leh, Ladakh thus becoming the youngest person ever to summit this mountain” proudly said Dr. Rao.

When interviewed again here in Moshi after descending from Mount Kilimanjaro both Jaahnavi and his father said they were happy to have climbed to the top roof of Africa thereby reaching Uhuru Peak.

Jaahnavi and his father climb of Mount Kilimanjaro was organized by a reputable Tour Operator based in Moshi with offices along Rengua Road known as Mr. Emanuel Thomas Kimaro who owns a company known as Topi Adventure Tours & Safaris Limited.

When interviewed Mr. Kimaro said he was very much delighted to organize such a climb which aims at raising funds to be directed towards educating the girl child.

“When one educates a girl child he/she educate the whole family and as such I and my company staff are happy to be part of this mission of educating unprivileged girls worldwide” said the Managing Director of Topi Adventure Tours & safaris Limited.

Making Development Goals Unilateral

Development goals should be ‘decolonised’ ? that is: they should apply to all countries, with equality being both the aim and the driver of sustainable developmentIdeally, developing countries should have the means to meet goals themselves

 

This year’s 69th session of the UN General Assembly considered proposals from a special working group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the post-2015 development agenda.

In this interview, the executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America & the Caribbean (ECLAC), ALICIA BÁRCENA, explains why the future development agenda and its SDGs must be universal – and apply not just to developing countries.

She also speaks of how knowledge economies and access to technology are vital parts of sustainable development ? noting how having access to technologies through financing arrangements and patent agreements will be key to the post-2015 development agenda. Excerpts…

QUESTIONYou’ve called for the post-2015 development agenda to be ‘decolonised’. What would that look like?

ALICIA BÁRCENA: The post-2015 development agenda and related SDGs should move away from national targets focused on developing countries and into universal objectives that include obligations, responsibilities and opportunities for all nations.

As things are right now, only one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ? Goal-8: to develop a global partnership for development ? includes developed countries. It’s the goal that, by the way, has seen the least progress so far!

The aims and commitment must be universal. But, implementation should respect countries’ sovereignty while taking into account the different levels of development among countries, as well as their particular vulnerabilities, challenges and geography.

Allowances must be made for different approaches and instruments for implementation, and possibly for targets and indicators.

Q: What should be the underlying objectives of the post-2015 development agenda?

 ANSWER: From our perspective, a new global development agenda and its SDGs should help to close gaps between developed and developing countries. This will require addressing trade and financial asymmetries, avoiding conditionality on development financing, and devising innovative sources and forms of financing.

Another key aim must be to foster more resilient, self-sufficient, secure and balanced economies.

Sustainability should be the conceptual basis, with equality at the centre of a new development paradigm: growth for equality and equality as a driver of growth.

If the main objective is equality, it can be achieved with inclusion activities such as closing gaps in productivity, capabilities and employment.

The concept of equality must be broadened to encompass autonomy, recognition and dignity. This means that all individuals must be recognised as equal in civil and political rights!

This concept goes beyond distributive fairness in terms of income, assets and resources. It considers other dimensions: capabilities, social protection and broad access to public goods, respect and dignity. It connects identity and discrimination, gender, ethnicity and generations.

Reducing inequality requires a new equilibrium between state, society and market, which should be specific to each country. The central objective is for the state to recover the capacity to enforce redistributive policies and ensure public access to financing, technology and innovation.

Q: What is your list of Sustainable Development Goals? Are they reflected in the zero draft on SDGs released on June 2 this year?

 A: We are extremely happy that the report from the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals has reintroduced equality as its own SDG!

Equality, which ECLAC has adopted as its core value, is the cornerstone of political action because it enshrines a universal aspiration that incorporates and reconciles the rapid cultural changes taking place worldwide.

The Working Group has suggested that the core aspects of the Millennium Development Goals ? particularly poverty eradication ? remain at the centre of the post-2015 agenda and its goals.

These goals must address the three dimensions ? environmental, social and economic ? of sustainable development in an integrated manner.

Q: What is the best way of achieving these goals?

A: In the context of the post-2015 development agenda, global challenges would be best tackled by a global partnership with effective means of implementation and strong accountability mechanisms.

But, collective action can only be attained through international democracy that gives a voice to the most diverse range of actors possible, including civil society and academia.

Regional and sub-regional institutions are best-placed to ensure the inclusion and protection of weaker players such as the least developed countries and small island developing states.

The SDGs should each have their own means of implementation, with priority given to financing for development beyond overseas development assistance, including credit, investment and innovation.

To meet these goals, we must design feasible indicators with a robust assessment of data gaps and statistical capacity to ensure monitoring.

Q: What is the role of science and technology in the SDGs?

A: Within the scope of development strategies, it is necessary to link up information and communications technology strategies, innovation systems, and industrial and social policies.

Only then will it be possible to make significant strides toward a new, more knowledge-intensive economy that can generate the better productivity rates and high-quality jobs needed for making steady progress towards greater equality and more sustainable economic and social development.

Sustainable development requires a greater share of higher knowledge-content activities. Many countries that export natural resources are making considerable efforts to absorb more technologies (as shown by the number of patents sought and expenditure on research and development) or are moving towards a more knowledge-intensive type of development.

However, most environmental technology patents ? which the Latin American and Caribbean region needs to progress towards sustainable development ? are still awarded to the developed world!

Latin America and the Caribbean must focus their negotiations with developed countries around access to new technologies and innovations, particularly those relating to social inclusion and the environment.

Also, there should be a more committed effort from developed countries to contribute seriously to the process of appropriation of environmentally sound technology.

Technology transfer to a region should be supplemented with endogenous efforts to close gaps. At a minimum, conditions relating to patents and intellectual property rights should be eased.

Q: What goals relating to science should form part of the final SDG goals list?

A: The focus areas in the post-2015 development agenda can be organised and classified in terms of economic, social and environmental inclusion.

Social inclusion should be oriented towards the progressive compliance and fulfillment of rights to attain critical aspirations of society: safety, health and a prosperous society.

Economic inclusion should focus on closing structural gaps such as productivity and technology to achieve income distribution, full employment opportunities and universal social protection.

Environmental inclusion should enhance redistribution of rents and productive gains from extraction of natural resources, quality of life for all and access to global public goods.

Many of the priorities in the region are in the working group’s outcome document.

What we need now is to identify the effective means of implementation ? innovative financing mechanisms, technology and industrialisation, better statistical information for public policy and accountability frameworks.

Airline Competition Leads to Turmoil

President Tim ClarkThe world’s largest international airline, Emirates, is relentlessly expanding its network: Oslo, Brussels, and Budapest have all been added over a six-week span this fall. Anywhere you can land a jumbo jet and find a few travelers, it seems, Emirates is eager to fly.

The U.S. in particular has piqued Emirates’s interest. The airline currently flies to nine U.S. destinations, including A380 service to Dallas-Fort Worth that began Wednesday. America represents just 7 percent of current revenue for Emirates, which is more evenly balanced across Europe, India, and Australia. As a result, the Dubai-based carrier is “looking for more points” on the map and hopes to boost its presence in America, Emirates President Tim Clark said last month at an aviation conference in Chicago.

These grand ambitions have drawn harsh criticism from rival U.S. and European airline executives who accuse Emirates of competing unfairly, propelled by subsidies from the Dubai government, which owns its parent company. The airline has denied this accusation for years. Emirates prefers to describe its home government as committed to making aviation a pillar of the economy, which has allowed the airline to flourish. The same strategy is playing out in neighboring Qatar and Abu Dhabi, home to rapidly growing Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways.

Relentless expansion by Gulf rivals has disrupted the major European carriers and could, in just a few years, represent a major financial threat to the three globe-spanning U.S. airlines. Ask Doug Parker, chief executive of American Airlines (AAL), to name his top business concern, and he won’t cite the Ebola virus or terrorism. The world’s largest carrier worries most about its new breed of foreign competitors. “As the Gulf carriers are proving you don’t even need to have a real market for travel to create a global airline, you just need to use your airport to connect people across other countries,” Parker said this month at a U.S. airlines conference in Washington, D.C.

Emirates is targeting 70 million passengers annually by 2020, up from 40 million now. And that growth is partly a function of torrid aircraft shopping: Nearly 300 airplanes are now order at Boeing (BA) and Airbus (EAD:FP). An order for 150 of Boeing’s newest 777X jumbo jet, worth $56 billion at list prices, is the single largest purchase in commercial aviation history—and it comes with options for another 50 777Xs. Less than a year ago, Emirates also bought 50 more of the largest passenger aircraft, Airbus’s A380, helping to keep the slow-selling, twin-deck superjumbo in production. Clark said recently he would be “in the market for another 60 or 70? A380s if Airbus would overhaul the jet with new engines that are more fuel efficient.

The buying spree presents a potentially thorny issue: Where will all those planes fly? The carrier will certainly boost daily frequencies on some of its routes to help build schedules that are more flexible and attractive to business travelers. In a few years, however, it will need to find new cities that can support jumbo jets—and it will need to explore more flights that do not connect in Dubai.

That’s the scenario that most concerns the likes of Delta Air Lines (DAL) and American. A year ago, Emirates began a daily flight from Milan to New York by extending one of its three daily flights to Milan across the Atlantic. In response, Alitalia (AZA:IM) and Delta, partners in the SkyTeam alliance, went to court and won a ruling in April that the flight violates the bilateral air agreement between Italy and the United Arab Emirates. Emirates’ appeal of that ruling is pending.

Regardless of how the Italian litigation concludes, Emirates will continue to hear appeals from European airports keen to have a new carrier offering new flights. Over time, Americans may find that Emirates is a viable option for flights to Europe and perhaps even across the Pacific. The one certainty amid Emirates’ growth is that a fight is coming: U.S. airlines won’t simply cede traffic to a foreign rival.

Turmoil in Uganda

It’s 2124, the year of our Lord. I am a young man, desirous of digging to the bottom of the history of my ancestors, the people that lived in the mid ‘90s and about the Year 2014. Questions linger on my mind; what kind of food did they eat? Which architectural designs did they use for their homes? How many children did most families produce? How was the political environment at the time? What kind of smile did they wear when in good moods? What cultural activities did they engage in? How was the education system then? How did they spend their leisure?

At the entrance to the museum, is an artistic visitors’ book made of bark cloth material. Visitors have been signing in this book since the early ‘90s. This book is 134 years old! I neatly inscribe my name in it to become a part of the history that future generations might want to associate with.

Inside the museum there’s an aura of serenity: Tourists strolling from left to right, upstairs and down stairs; many looking quite bemused at the various items on display in airtight glass boxes. It’s absolutely a scene of reflection. Everyone is looking for a piece of history to identify with.

I walk straight to the first section reading “politics”, and I am like “Oh!” I proceed to the section for Agriculture and am like “Ah!” I move on to the section of Technology and am like, “Eh!” I then take the stairs to 3rd floor and I see the section on education- I am like, “Hmmm!” To the right I see a section on urban planning with a tiny portrait of urban planning minister, whose baptismal name is coincidentally ‘Urban’. I nod my head in wonder, a little downcast. In one corner there’s a section on infrastructure and I see the very beginning of flyovers in Uganda, and an electric train. I say to myself: “Yes, this is where the beauty we are enjoying must have emanated”. This is the year 2124.

The foundation that we stand on today is the remnant of the people that lived on this very ground 110 years and longer back in time. The good things we’ve adopted, the half-done we’ve completed, but the bad things we must shun especially those that were responsible for our ancestors’ downfall. Fast-forward, 110 years from now, the time of my reflection; that generation will be looking back and will want something to hold onto for their inspiration. Quite unlikely that any of us living today will still be alive, but if any should be, obviously senile, what image will they read in your eyes of this generation?

A couple of days ago, I walked into a museum in the Tanzania city of Arusha, one of the smallest museums I’ve seen I must say. Without surprise, I was welcomed by images of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, displayed all over the place with an inscription, “Father of the Nation”. Vague as it may sound, Nyerere is not dead. Nyerere is alive-at least in the heart of every Tanzanian. Not so far away, I saw the name of my country “Uganda” with lots of pictures below it and a writing, “Vita vya Tanzania na Uganda 1979”, translated to mean the Tanzania vs Uganda war of 1979. The year also quite resounded as I have a very personal attachment with it. Yes, sometimes lovers epitomize their love that way.

The only Ugandan highlighted in the pictures was a man called Maj. Gen David [i]Oyite-Ojok, Ugandan Military Commander at the time. I quickly picked interest in reading his contribution to history, only to even discover that one of his grand-daughters Pyerina Ojok shares a name with my own Nicole! Wow, what a generation that was! But more importantly, what will they talk about us 110 years from today? This is a question every citizen must answer silently or loudly.

When Venezuela former President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías breathed his last, the entire nation mourned. They insisted the Hugo would never die and his remains were permanently interred at Fort Montana where he launched his 1992 reveloution. When Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela died, the whole world came to South Africa. Every international museum and encyclopedia must have their name. And when I visited Egypt 7 years ago, I saw embalmed bodied of kings that died hundreds of years ago; I saw a rich culture espoused in the pyramids and lots of preserved cultural and life instruments. What will be seen of today’s generation 110 years from now?

Speak, while you can still be heard; Dance while the music lasts; plant while the rains still drop; work tirelessly while the energy still abounds; stand upright for the right cause and be counted; speak out the best of your mind; write as much while the brain can still decode; live your best while life endures; for while it’s a fact that all dead people are dead, some are deader than others, but some people, some things, simply will never die. Thanks to online resources, there’s no more reason why one’s contribution to history should be dead and buried, no reason why what makes our life today should be forgotten.

Let your light outshine you into the future for the future will look up to you. What will they see?

For God and My Country!

New Heights in Gene Research

Scientists said Sunday they had pinpointed nearly 700 genetic variations that determine human height, more than tripling the haul in research that could aid the fight against stature-related diseases.

An international team compared the DNA of more than 250,000 people, looking for genetic variations that could explain differences in height.

They found 697 single changes in the genetic code, located in 424 regions, the experts reported in the journal Nature Genetics.

This represents about 20 percent of all genetic variants which are believed to play a part in determining height, they said. The previous tally was 12.5 percent. The remaining variants still have to be discovered.

“This goes a long way towards fulfilling a scientific curiosity that could have real impact in the treatment of diseases that can be influenced by height,” said Tim Frayling, a professor at the University of Exeter in southwestern England.

These included osteoporosis, cancer or heart disease.

“It is also a step forward towards a test that may reassure parents worried that their child is not growing as well as they’d hoped — most of these children have simply inherited a big batch of ‘short genes’.”

Previous research had shown that inheritance accounts for more than 80 percent of the factors that determine height, the rest being nutrition and other “environmental” influences, the team pointed out.

Scientific links have in the past been drawn between tallness and a greater risk of breast or prostate cancer and a smaller risk of cardiovascular disease.

Conversely, shorter people tend to have longer lives, according to data. The reasons for this are unclear.

Is explaining variation in height a tall order?

Hundreds of common genetic variants across the human genome influence adult height, according to a study of over 180 000 individuals published today in the journal ‘Nature’. The study itself identifies over a hundred new variants and shows that they are not randomly distributed, but are clustered around genes which have been previously linked to growth.

Scientists have now identified a total of 180 genetic variants which influence height. Today’s study, which includes funding from the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council, still only accounts for around 10 per cent of our inherited variation in height, highlighting the challenging nature of unravelling genetics.

Height is a classic ‘complex trait’ – in other words, a trait that is influenced by a number of different genes and the environment. Over 80 per cent of the variation within a given population is estimated to be attributable to genetic factors; the remainder is influenced by a person’s environment, such as their diet.

For this new study, almost three hundred researchers from over a hundred institutions across the globe – part of the appropriately named the Genome-wide Investigation of ANthropometric Traits Consortium or GIANT Consortium – analysed data from the DNA samples of over 180 000 individuals, looking for genetic variants known as single nucleotide polymorphisms – SNPs (pronounced ‘snips’).

The human genome is made up of more than three billion sub units of DNA, called nucleotides. A substantial part of the variation in DNA sequence between individuals is due to differences in individual nucleotides. These differences are the SNPs. Genome-wide association studies scan the genome looking for SNPs that are common in particular populations – for example, in patients with a particular disease.

Researchers from the GIANT Consortium, including teams from the UK, the USA, Iceland and the Netherlands, identified SNPs associated with influencing height in adults in 180 regions of the genome (known as ‘loci’); over a hundred of these regions were identified for the first time.

“Height clearly has a lot to do with genetics – shorter parents tend to have shorter children, and taller parents tend to have taller children,” says Dr Joel Hirschhorn of Children’s Hospital Boston, the Broad Institute and Harvard Medical School. “This paper is the biggest step forward to date in understanding which of the genetic variants that differ between people account for our differences in height.”

The researchers found that the loci were not distributed randomly across the genome, but that they clustered within genomic loci and in biological pathways. Twenty-one were found near certain genes known to influence abnormal skeletal growth in rare cases. This suggests that the SNPs were linked to these genes, possibly being involved in their regulation.

Of particular interest was that some of the loci contained sets of genes known to be involved in growth-related processes, and a number of the loci overlapped with those previously linked to other traits and diseases, including bone mineral density, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, psoriasis and obesity.

“We are now starting to find actual evidence supporting the involvement of height genes in the occurrence of human disease, which provides some insight to those epidemiological studies, linking some of these diseases and height,” says Dr Fernando Rivadeneira, from Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands. “In-depth analysis of the way in which common variants in genes have modest effects on people’s height will provide important insight into understanding the causes of human diseases.”

“We have found clues to how genes related to growth are being regulated by nearby genetic variants as well as identifying new candidates that may play a role in growth,” adds Dr Mike Weedon from the Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter. “Given the number of loci we have found that contain genes known to be involved in growth, we can assume that those loci not found near known height-related genes could provide potential clues to important and novel biological processes.”

Despite the number of DNA samples analysed in this study, the researchers believe that they have only found around a quarter of those genetic variants which could feasibly be identified using genome-wide association studies. To find the remainder will require larger studies and, very likely, a more detailed analysis of different types of variation in the genome, including variants that are rare or complex, such as repetitive or missing sections.

“Genome-wide association studies are very powerful tools, but even so, we are still some way short of understanding the full details of how differences in our genomes influence common human traits such as height,” says Professor Tim Frayling, also from the Peninsula Medical School. “Complex traits such as height are proving even more complex than we had first thought. We will need even more powerful tools and different approaches if we are to understand fully the differences between individuals.”

Turmoil in China

Hong Kong’s Central district to fight for their democratic rights. Many more may soon join them. Though some businessmen and bankers are annoyed by the disruption, the demonstrators are right to protest.

China’s government has promised Hong Kong’s citizens that they can freely elect their Chief Executive in 2017. But, given that candidates are to be carefully vetted by an unelected committee of pro- NEW YORK – Tens of thousands of people have been “occupying” the tear-gas-filled streets of Chinese appointees, citizens would have no meaningful choice at all. Only people who “love China” – that is, love the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – need apply .

One can almost understand why China’s leaders should be baffled by this show of defiance in Hong Kong. After all, the British simply appointed governors when Hong Kong was still a crown colony, and nobody protested then.

Indeed, the deal that Hong Kong’s colonial subjects appeared to accept – leaving politics alone in exchange for the opportunity to pursue material prosperity in a safe and orderly environment – is not so different from the deal accepted by China’s educated classes today. The common opinion among British colonial civil servants, businessmen, and diplomats was that the Chinese were not really interested in politics anyway; all they cared about was money.

Anyone with the slightest knowledge of Chinese history knows that this view was patently false. But, for a long time, it seemed to be true in Hong Kong. There was, however, a significant difference between Hong Kong under the British and under China today. Hong Kong was never a democracy, but it did have a relatively free press, a relatively honest government, and an independent judiciary – all backed by a democratic government in London.

For most Hong Kong citizens, the prospect of being handed over in 1997 from one colonial power to another was never an entirely happy one. But what really invigorated politics in Hong Kong was the brutal crackdown in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square and in other Chinese cities in 1989. Huge demonstrations took place in Hong Kong to protest the massacre, and massive commemorations of the event are held every June, keeping alive a memory that is repressed and fading in the rest of China.

It was not simply humanitarian rage that galvanized so many people in Hong Kong to act in 1989. They recognized then that under future Chinese rule, only genuine democracy might safeguard the institutions that protected Hong Kong’s freedoms. Without any significant say in how they were to be governed, Hong Kong’s citizens would be at the mercy of China’s leaders.

From the point of view of China’s Communist rulers, this seems perverse. They regard Hong Kongers’ democratic demands as a misguided effort to mimic Western politics, or even as a form of nostalgia for British imperialism. Either way, the demonstrators’ agenda is considered “anti-Chinese.”

The way China’s rulers see it, only firm control from the top and the CCP’s unquestioned supremacy can create the conditions needed for a rich and powerful China to emerge. Democracy, in their view, leads to disorder; freedom of thought causes popular “confusion”; and public criticism of the Party tends toward the breakdown of authority.

In this sense, the CCP is rather traditional. But, though Chinese government always was authoritarian, it was not always as corrupt as it is now. Nor were China’s politics always as lawless.

China traditionally had institutions – clan associations, religious communities, business groups, and so on – that were relatively autonomous. Imperial rule may have been authoritarian, but there were large pockets of independence from central control. In that sense, Hong Kong is perhaps more traditional than the rest of China, excluding, of course, Taiwan.

Today, the CCP’s political supremacy places it above the law, which encourages corruption among Party officials, whether at the local or national level. Strict Party control of religious, academic, artistic, and journalistic expression stifles the dissemination of necessary information and creative thought. The lack of an independent judiciary undermines the rule of law. None of this benefits future development.

When Hong Kong was formally handed back to China 17 years ago, some optimists thought that the former colony’s greater freedoms would help to reform the rest of China. The example of a clean bureaucracy and independent judges would strengthen the rule of law throughout the country. Others, for the same reason, regarded Hong Kong as a dangerous Trojan horse that could seriously undermine the Communist order.

So far, there is no evidence that the protesters in Hong Kong’s Central district have any ambition to undermine, let alone topple, the government in Beijing. They have their hands full just standing up for their own rights in Hong Kong, and the chance that they will succeed appears to be slim. Chinese President Xi Jinping is anxious to show how tough he can be. Compromise would smack of weakness. His aim seems to be to make Hong Kong more like the rest of China, rather than the other way round.

And yet, there is every reason to believe that China would benefit greatly from the opposite course. Less official corruption, more trust in the law, and greater freedom of thought would make China a more stable, more creative, and even more prosperous society.

In the short term, this probably will not happen. But the people who truly “love China” are more likely to be found in the streets of Hong Kong than in the closed government compounds of Beijing.

The Electrical Grid of Tanzania

Television and radio, X-rays, the airplane, and movie pictures — electricity has made possible all these and many other wonders. Some of its principles were known over a century ago, but two comparatively recent developments have enabled electricity to revolutionize the life and habits of practically everyone in this civilized world.

 These are the electric generator and the electric motor. Without them, electricity would have remained a scientific phenomenon of interest to the very few. Most of our people have not yet known what electricity is in modern life.

The list of machines driven by electricity is almost endless. It would include such household appliances as the electric cooker, vacuum cleaner, washer, iron, refrigerator, lamps and heaters or air conditioners.

Thus, without electricity none of them can be operated by any other means. In fact, it is always embarrassing whenever the frequency or intermittent ‘electricity breakdown’ occurs and persists. Every activity to do with electricity comes to a complete standstill and languish a great deal of economic loss that cannot be compensated by anyone.

The interiors of many thousands of offices and factories the world over have been changed by the substitution of electric for steam or other power, that have now completely disappeared to give place to unobtrusive electric wiring.

The advantages to the workers lie in cleanliness, both on the job and in the premises or in households, and in far greater quietness and convenience of working or living comfortably enjoying your sleep at night.

Industry as a whole benefits by economy of running and by the lighter construction possible for factories, which no longer have to resist the deafening and boisterous vibration of massive shafts and all their attendant apparatus.

For example, machine shops, steelworks, printing works, computers or many types of pumps and of ventilating machinery, passenger lifts or elevators — here are a few more examples, written down at random, which affect many millions folk. Particularly, on the farms, such tasks as milking and separating are done more cleanly and more economically by electricity than by hand.

Finally, without some forms of electric generators and motors, transport by land, sea and air would still be very much as it was in the 19th Century. Electricity has made possible the tram and trolley-bus. Great things have been claimed for the electric drive applied to many modern ships in great seas. Hence, the electric and diesel-electric railway locomotive has, by and large, done much to bring railway travel into line with modern ideas and requirements.

At the present day, electrical power is generated in power stations in the AC form. D.C. being generated only for local purposes of a specialized nature – Frequencies has now been standardized; 50 cycles per second being the standard in Great Britain.

The electricity, which we can summon at will merely by touching a small switch, is usually generated in a power station such as the one at the traditional Kidatu, Kihansi, Pangani Falls (Hale), and many more turbines of that sort to be launched or being established; particularly in the most suitable areas around Rufiji basin at Silous Square in Tanzania.

And from those huge plants radiate lines supplying electricity for thousands of uses over a large area. Where possible, it is built on river bank, as large quantities of circulating water are required for the condenser.

Other sources could be coal as many tons of coal is needed for the furnaces and water- borne transport is usually more economical than rail. The generator hall houses the gigantic turbo-alternators each consisting of a turbine connected to a generator by a shaft. From such a machine, or several of them, the electricity starts its journey.

In the control room are switches and meters for regulating the supply. The transformers “step-up” raise the pressure to the high voltage required for economically transmitting the power through extended copper cable systems.

However, the increase in the maximum output for which turbo-generators can be built has led to a radical change in power station design. Instead of many sets, each dealing with a comparatively low output, the modern tendency is to operate with few machines of giant output, although, in the opinion of many engineers, this can be carried to excess.

In our country possessing plentiful supplies of underutilized water power; electrical energy can be generated without using coal or oil to raise steam. Total energy can be utilized in a similar way, but developments in the field are not so well advanced.

The general principle of hydro-electric generation is that water at a high level is made to pass through some form of water wheel or water turbine, thus causing it to rotate. Directly connected to this water turbine is an electric generator which, by its rotation, generates electrical energy which is fed over an electrical transmission system to the various load points of consumers. Modern water turbines may be divided into two classes, impulse and reaction.

How about major power projects still in their early stages including Mtwara gas, solar and wind plants, as well as national distribution networks all over this vast country and privatization opportunities that would create more jobs in the economy? Privatization means prosperity for all!

However, we still remember the complexity the First phase government under the Father of the Nation, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere encountered while on the lookout for assistance to build Tazara railway line from Dar es Salaam habour to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia.

It was successful through the courtesy of the Chinese President Mao Tse Tung, without his support the project would have not materialized, and may God’s blessings reach all  those who made this particular project possible and sustainable — Amen.

Finding the best investors for those electricity projects is crucial to knowing that they will be implemented in a way that creates shared value and promotes long-term sustainability.

And one of the best ways we can create more jobs in our developing country is by expanding access to electricity. That should be impetus behind the Ministry of Energy through TANESCO which is now working with other foreign firms to double access to electricity and bring about at least 100,000 more households on to the main grid across the developing country.

It is a good idea to develop more new sources of energy instead of being conservative clinching and depend upon one traditional source of energy (hydro-electricity) as elaborated above. It is due to environmental changes that are taking place now and then causing the once meandering rivers and presently having inadequate quantity of water to generate electricity after every other year.

Such further developments in increasing more sources now taking place, and consolidating  or improving what we already have, will enable rural communities to plug into the national economy. Assuredly, the current government is striving hard to build on that progress, so that the Gas pipeline under construction currently should become a lasting legacy for President Kikwete on this developing nation.

This also reminds some of us on Kilimo Kwanza or Agricultural initiative, we should now focus on and whose development stems from President Kikwete and which was formally emphasized by Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the founder of this nation, but in a different style; and his slogan was “Kilimo cha Kufa na Kupona” it was the commitment to make food security a national priority. Therefore, Tanzania’s future will be determined by its own people.

It is not enough to react to crisis of 1970s when the country was adversely affected by drought and famine, in which period ‘the yellow coloured maize’ from abroad was the only main diet for the majority of the people, as well as ‘electricity rationing’ was as you might expect, introduced.

 It was unavoidable to break the cycle of hunger and poverty through Mwalimu Nyerere’s theme or slogan on agriculture sector. That is why it worked directly with smallholder farmers and made sure people could feed themselves by increasing productivity, crop yields per acre and raised their income.

However, in the same vein “Kilimo Kwanza” coupled with electrification and infrastructure all over Tanzania should help more million farmers, particularly the youths, to plow the land by modern agricultural implements made available to them by being trained, allocation of land for that purpose and empowered with bank loans, to grow more organic processed food for the nation and marketing.

It is indeed based on fact that our country could do better when we protect human rights and harness the talents of all our people whoever and wherever they are within the country.