Top Stories

Grid List

 

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe (92) is famous for quirky responses when asked why he has stayed in power since 1980. Asked by journalists whether it isn’t time he said farewell to the people of Zimbabwe, he replied: ‘Why, where are they going?’

On a serious note, he also angrily told journalists who asked about his decades-long presidency: ‘Have you ever asked the Queen that question, or is it just for African leaders?’ According to Mugabe: ‘Only God who appointed me can remove me’.

As the oldest serving president in the world, Mugabe has become something of a caricature of a leader who clings to power at all costs, ignoring the principles of democratic change of power. Are African leaders being judged too harshly?

15 September is the United Nations’ (UN’s) International Day of Democracy. According to the UN, the essential elements of democracy are ‘the values of freedom, respect for human rights and the principle of holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage’.


Development is more likely to take hold if people are given a real say in their own governance
Tweet this

In his message for this year’s democracy day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that the UN’s new agenda for sustainable development, adopted last year, makes it clear that what people want all over the world is food and shelter, education and health care and more economic opportunities. They want to live without fear and want to be able to trust their governments. ‘Human development is more likely to take hold if people are given a real say in their own governance, and a chance to share in the fruits of progress,’ says Ban.

Having a real say in who governs them is the driving force behind protesters who take to the streets against long-serving presidents; from Angola and Burundi to the Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe. In all of these places, people are fed up with their governments, but don’t see a democratic way out.

In Zimbabwe, things are quickly unravelling for Mugabe. The increasing thirst for change has pushed thousands of protesters into the streets of Zimbabwe’s big cities, risking a crack-down by the security forces.

The latest wave of protests was prompted by the economic meltdown and the inability of the government to pay salaries – the final straw for those who have suffered through years of hardship due to Mugabe’s policies. Elections have been marred by serious violence, especially those in 2008. No succession plan is in place either. This is already creating instability and fears from the international community of a violent transition should Mugabe pass away while in office.

The call for long-serving presidents such as Mugabe, Paul Biya of Cameroon, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and others to step down is not driven by pressure from the international community, as some allege, but from African citizens who see how these leaders frustrate development and govern in the interests of a small elite.


In the last few months, democracy in Africa has suffered a number of blows
Tweet this

In the last few months, democracy in Africa has suffered a number of blows with presidential elections in Chad, the Republic of Congo and Gabon being contested. The opposition in Zambia is also still rejecting the results of the 11 August elections in that country, despite a court ruling that dismissed its petition, without holding a hearing. The court ruled that the delay for addressing the opposition’s claims had expired.

Meanwhile, the extension of their term limits by several African leaders has eroded democratic gains. Term limits are a necessary bulwark against abuse of power, especially when electoral systems are weak.

A number of African countries have no term limits for presidents. These include Gabon, Togo, Uganda, Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia and Sudan. In others, presidents have only very recently agreed to such limits, often window-dressing while they plot to prolong their stay at the helm. In Zimbabwe, Mugabe agreed in 2013 that presidents should have two five-year terms, which would technically allow him to stay in power until 2023.

In Rwanda, two term limits of five years now start only from 2015, enabling President Paul Kagame to stay on until 2025. In the Republic of Congo, according to changes made at the end of last year, President Denis Sassou-Nguesso will in future serve up to three five-year terms. Sassou-Nguesso pushed through these changes thanks to a hastily organised referendum on 25 October 2015.

In Burundi, President Pierre Nkurunziza’s insistence in 2015 to run for a third term, despite constitutional term limits, caused serious and ongoing conflict. Like in Zimbabwe, ordinary citizens are risking life and limb to oppose Nkurunziza’s long stay in power.


Term limits are a bulwark against abuse of power, especially when electoral systems are weak
Tweet this

Burundi's instability is seen as an example of what can happen when leaders fail to stick to term limits. It is also considered a litmus test for continental institutions in dealing with the fallout from term extensions. So far, all efforts by the African Union (AU) have failed.

At the beginning of last year, African heads of state halted an initiative by the AU’s Peace and Security Council to send a 5 000-strong intervention force to deal with the instability that followed Nkurunziza’s election.

In addition, observers also fear serious violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) if presidential elections aren’t held in November, as the constitution requires. President Joseph Kabila should then step down after two terms in office.

Presidents make these constitutional changes because they believe, like Mugabe, that they should rule indefinitely. In countries with no term limits, elections are very often contested but through the abuse of incumbency, leaders manipulate the process and, like in Gabon, manage to stay on.

In many other parts of the world, presidents sometimes serve for life. However, often, the head of state is purely symbolic. In many European countries, like Britain, an executive prime minister runs things and is appointed through regular general elections. In this case, to reply to Mugabe, the Queen is little more than a figurehead.

Despite the serious threat to democracy posed by the extension of presidential term limits, as well as the manipulation of election results, several countries on the continent have recently managed to hold credible presidential elections that saw a democratic change of leadership.

These include Nigeria (March 2015) and Benin (March 2016). In Senegal (in 2012) and Burkina Faso (in 2014), attempts by leaders to extend their mandates were successfully thwarted.


Burundi was a litmus test for continental institutions in dealing with term extensions
Tweet this

Africa has also adopted important instruments and agreements to promote democracy. This includes the African Peer Review Mechanism, which has faced serious challenges, but attempts are now being made to revive it.

After much campaigning by civil society, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance came into existence in 2012. This was after the minimum of 15 AU member states ratified the charter.

The document has far-reaching provisions for promoting the rule of law, the respect for human rights and for holding democratic elections ‘to institutionalise legitimate authority of representative government as well as democratic changes of government’. It also binds signatories to best practices in the management of elections; and acknowledges that unconstitutional changes of government are ‘a threat to stability, peace, security and development’.

The Charter, for example describes the ‘amendment or revision of the constitution or legal instruments, which is an infringement on the principles of democratic change of government’ as one of the ‘illegal means of accessing or maintaining power’.

Some have described the adoption of the Charter as ‘a new dawn for democracy and the rule of law in Africa’, though four years down the line, its implementation has been disappointing. If this is a true benchmark for African governance, adopted by AU member states, why have the AU and African leaders not spoken up about the leaders who change their constitutions to stay in power?

As the world marks International Day of Democracy, storm clouds are gathering and in several African countries, citizens will have little to celebrate.

Today is perhaps one of the less celebrated international days, namely the United Nations (UN) Day for South-South Cooperation – a notion of solidarity, where countries forego some aspects of national interest in the pursuit of a higher or common good.

South-South cooperation has a long history, generally traced back to the solidarity politics of the Bandung Conference of 1955 and the subsequent UN Conference on Trade and Development in 1964.

A fuzzy concept, the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) describes South-South cooperation as ‘co-operation amongst countries and/or groupings in the global South aimed at addressing and developing a common stance on political, economic, social and human rights issues … in order to overcome the historical legacy of marginalization...’

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress readily points to the military support that Cuba provided first in 1975/6, and again in 1987/8, to halt apartheid South Africa’s incursions into Angola as a prime example of South-South solidarity in action.

Cuban support had raised the costs of South Africa’s military intervention into Angola, and played an important role in the subsequent independence for Namibia – which in turn contributed to change in South Africa. It was no surprise, therefore, that Raúl Castro was one of only six foreign leaders – of the 91 in attendance – to speak at the memorial ceremony of Nelson Mandela in 2013.


SA’s partnership with the DRC is often quoted as an example of South-South cooperation
Tweet this

Under successive presidents – Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma – since 1994, South Africa has gone to exceptional lengths to repay that debt, pouring vast amounts of funding towards scholarships and support in Cuba. At a recent meeting of the International Relations Committee in Parliament, DIRCO reported yet another disbursement of R27 million (out of R110 million) for the ‘Cuban Economic Package Project’ – although providing little additional information.

In its description, the UN Office for South-South cooperation highlights non-interference, equality, non-conditionality and national sovereignty as principles of South-South cooperation.

Beyond the largesse provided to Cuba, South Africa’s development partnership with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is often quoted as an example of South-South cooperation. Over the last 20 years, the DRC has been the biggest recipient of South African foreign assistance.

According to a recent report from the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), South Africa contributed over US$1 billion in official development assistance cooperation activities in the DRC between 2001 and 2015, peaking at US$181 million in 2008. These are large amounts for a small, middle-income economy and made South Africa the third-largest provider of aid to the DRC.

South Africa argues that it better understands and appreciates the local political, economic and cultural context, and is thus able to more effectively conduct peace-making and governance reform in complex environments such as the DRC. The francophone modus operandi of the Congolese public system, however, does pose practical challenges to South Africa’s intervention – as does the unstable political situation and lack of capacity of the DRC civil service.


Is South-South cooperation more effective than North-South cooperation in fragile environments?
Tweet this

While the supposedly horizontal relationship has brought numerous benefits to the DRC, it is unclear what South Africa gains from its large investments. However, in a similar way in which Cuba supported Angola in its proxy war with the United States, the country has strategic interests given the extent to which the DRC lies at the heart of instability in Central Africa and the Great Lakes Region. Large projects such as the Grand Inga hydroelectric scheme also hold immense potential benefit for South Africa; in this case for the provision of electricity. In this sense, South-South solidarity is no different to acting in one’s enlightened self-interest.

Is South-South cooperation more effective than North-South cooperation in fragile environments? The answer is inconclusive given the limited data available and lack of systemic outcome evaluations of South Africa’s efforts.

At the global level, the most practical manifestation of South-South solidarity and cooperation is likely seen in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) – an ideological alliance that sees itself as a counterweight to the G7 group of industrialised countries.

The BRICS grouping intends to reshape global power relationships away from a Western, neoliberal and free-market dominated framework. Informed by the requirement for individual rights, free trade, democracy and the like, the focus is shifted to national sovereignty; the importance of a strong, developmental state; non-intervention in the domestic affairs of states, democratisation at a state’s own pace, etc.

For Africa, the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) is potentially very important. Africa’s infrastructure financing deficit is estimated to be at US$100 billion a year, and there is a perceived lack of ambition by developed countries to invest in Africa.

On the one hand, the lack of investment in energy, transport and water infrastructure presents a significant barrier to economic growth and development. On the other hand, there is a huge global savings glut estimated at US$17 trillion in 2012 that could be accessed to invest in Africa.

The NDB could therefore complement the existing multilateral development banks such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank. The NDB differs in five important aspects.


South-South cooperation is an important framework, but more must be done to quantify impact
Tweet this

The first is speed. Instead of the slow pace of the other banks, the NDB has already extended loans to four of its members (Russia being the exception) during the first six months of its operation, providing nearly US$1 billion worth of loans to fund infrastructure projects. This compares to the standard time of more than 18 months from application to the loan being awarded.

Second: capital and voting rights are currently shared equally among the five founding members. The NDB is likely to decide to open its membership to all members of the UN, but the BRICS countries will retain 55% shareholding.

Third: the NDB intends to provide greater leverage of domestic private capital within developing countries. This is particularly important in South Africa, where substantial financial resources in the private sector are not being meaningfully channelled towards infrastructure development.

Fourth: the NDB has started extending loans in domestic currencies (in the case of the loan extended to China), which will assist countries to mitigate exchange rate risks when borrowing, which typically occurs in US dollars.

Finally: the bank will rely on existing country systems rather than impose new systems that create overly bureaucratic processes. This will be done in order to speed up operations and secure greater involvement from domestic players, but – given the lack of capacity in some countries – may also be a huge risk.

Time will tell what the future of the BRICS grouping will be, but certainly the NDB will survive and has the potential to contribute significantly to Africa’s development.

In the meanwhile, some practical aspects of South-South cooperation – such as that between South Africa and the DRC – are substantial and will likely continue. A stable DRC is crucial for the Southern African Development Community and for the region, but other aspects – such as the current level of support provided to Cuba – are more questionable.

South-South cooperation has emerged as an important framework for economic, political and other cooperation, but since taxpayer monies are used in the process, much more work needs to be done to cohere data and quantify impact. Until then it remains vague and unclear what the benefits and drawbacks of solidarity funding actually amounts to.

Jakkie Cilliers, Head, African Futures and Innovation, Institute for Security Studies

we found this article at -https://www.issafrica.org/iss-today/celebrating-south-south-cooperation the image was also found on the same page

 

 

 

This Sunday 14th August, The Rosie May Foundation will be holding a family fun day to be hosted at the Eco-Centre Community Care Farm. ‘Down at the Farm Charity Family Fun Day’ is an annual event and information day for the charity - and is a celebration of the work done by the foundation. Mojatu Magazine will be encouraging people to take part in the event and is also offering free transport to and from the farm!

 

The Rosie May Foundation, founded in 2004, has developed from a family-run charity to an international charity in its 12 years of activity. Originally established by Graham & Mary Storrie in response to overwhelming donations from the public following the murder of their 10 year-old daughter, Rosie-May Storrie, the charity has since established partnerships with NGO’s in the UK, Sri Lanka and Nepal to work together on development projects to help children in crisis, especially girls.

 

A partnership between the Eco-centre and the Rosie May foundation, established through the farm fundraising event, will help support the foundations latest project in Nepal, which includes working with rural communities and a women’s progressive group to help grow crops and improve livelihoods of families – with all money raised on Sunday going towards this cause.

 

The free, farm-themed event starts at 10am, and will begin with 5k Farm run, whose unique course promises to take runners on a path through nature. The date for pre-registration has unfortunately already passed – however, there is a £12 fee for on the day for run participation with a free BBQ token available for all runners! For those who are interested in taking part through Mojatu, we promise to cover the £12 for the fun run registration.

 

From 11am onwards, families can take part in the Family Adventure Farm Trail. Participating families will see lots of clues which will lead them through arable, grass grazing land and woodland – and features beautiful wildlife and habitats to explore, all of which is managed and sustained by the Eco-centre. Family tickets for the Adventure Farm Trail cost £10, and single tickets are priced at £5.

 

Tickets for the Family Adventure Farm Trail also include automatic entrance into the ‘British Scone Bake Off’ on the farm, which encourages participants to make a free scone with a prize being awarded to the best bake. Other prizes to be won include a prize for the fastest 5k runner in the 10am morning farm run with the opportunity to become a farmer for the day.

 

Other events taking place at the ‘Down at the Farm Charity Family Fun Day’ include meeting the animals, goat racing, trailer rides, a BBQ lunch and welly wanging – which involves competitors hurling a Wellington boot as far as possible.

 

Event organiser Clarissa Norwak says the day is set to be fun, active and educational, and perfect for families. The Down at the Farm Charity Family Fun Day promises to be a wonderful way to enjoy the summer, as well as raise money for a great cause.

 

Mojatu Magazine will be taking part in the 5k fun run and is encouraging people to join out racing team – get in touch today for free entry into the fun run and to help contribute to a worthy cause. On top of this, Mojatu are offering any attendees free travel to and from the event, leaving Nottingham City Centre on Sunday morning and returning after the event.

 

 

For more details on taking part in the event, as well as information regarding transport to and from the farm, please call Frank on 07516 962992, or email us at frank(at)mojatu.com.

Hyson Green Celebrates Multiculturalism with a free day of music and activities in the third Hyson Green Cultural Festival

 

Hyson Green Cultural Festival

Saturday 13 August, 12 – 6pm

Forest Recreation Ground

FREE EVENT, ALL WELCOME

 

After the success of the past two years, the award winning Hyson Green Cultural festival is back for its third year, to celebrate and promote multiculturalism and harmony in the Hyson Green community. This free day of festivities promises to be a highlight of the summer holidays, with performances and activities to entertain everyone.

 

Taking place at the Forest Recreation Ground on Saturday 13 August, there will be returning acts and new performers providing a full line-up of entertainment from 12 – 6pm featuring world music, dance, martial arts, DJing, world cuisine, information stalls and more. A perfect activity for all the family this summer holidays, attendees will get to try their hand at world drumming with Judy Beatfeet, Brazilian Capoeira with Nottingham Capoeira, and plenty of other activities including face painting, bouncy castle, a raffle and craft stalls hosted by City Arts. An array of food will be on offer, catering to all tastes and requirements, including world food, vegan stalls and a halal sweet stand.

For the young (and young at heart) there will be a range of upcoming local acts who are popular with the Notts music scene; Grime acts Young T & Bugsey and 0115 Mob will be performing; they both played at Nottingham Contemporary’s Circuit: Affinity Festival last year, as part of CRS Showcase. Expect to hear plenty more home-grown Nottingham talent in a variety of other musical styles too.

 

With this year’s theme being Health and Wellbeing, there are opportunities for revellers to join in with the performers, with fitness demonstrations and taster sessions to enjoy, including Tai Chi, Yoga and Zumba. There will be a Health Corner hosted by Nottingham’s own charismatic Patty Dumplin, and funded generously by Self Help UK and Action for Blind People. Festival goers can get information and support from Macmillan, British Heart Foundation, Mojatu FGM, Slimming World, Love Hearts and many more. Action for Blind People will be offering free eye tests, and free blood pressure, BMI and diabetes checks are available from City Care Community Nurses. A reflexologist will be offering sessions, as well as donating a free session in the prize raffle draw.

 

A feature new to this year’s festival is the Hyson Green Sport’s Day Races; in order to promote an active lifestyle, the festival will play host to its very own sport’s day events - not just for kids! There will be volunteers on hand to guide the races and keep the scores, and potential prizes to be won.

 

There is plenty more to be announced in the run-up to the festival. To keep up to date with the latest teasers and line-up announcements, you can follow Hyson Green Cultural Festival on Facebook and Twitter @HGCFnotts.

 

The promoters of Hyson Green Cultural Festival are keen to involve more local businesses and charities. If you would like to make an enquiry about running your own stall at the festival, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and a booking form.

 

We are also looking for a dedicated team to help run events on the day. For volunteering opportunities, email hysongreenculturalfestival(at)gmail.com.  

On Wednesday 6 July, thousands of Zimbabweans participated in a peaceful ‘stay-at-home’ protest against the ruling Zimbabwean African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). Without staff, many businesses were forced to close, including foreign banks and department stores.

Twitter was alive with protest hashtags #ZimShutDown2016, #ThisFlag, and Shona slogans #hatichada #hatichatya (‘we’ve had enough, we are not afraid’) and #Tajamuka (‘we strongly disagree’). Pictures of Harare’s empty streets circulated on social media and international news outlets. It was one of Zimbabwe’s most impressive anti-government mobilisations in recent times.

A week later, on Tuesday 12 July, protest organiser Pastor Evan Mawarire was arrested and charged with ‘inciting public violence’ – but the charge was amended to ‘subverting constitutional government’ in court the next day. In a show of solidarity, more than 100 lawyers gathered in the packed courtroom to represent him while outside, crowds draped themselves in the nation’s flag as a symbol of his message. Mawarire was released to cheering crowds that evening and was soon back to promoting the non-violent campaign against a government seen to have failed millions of Zimbabweans.

Statistics suggest that 2016 could be Zimbabwe’s most active year of protests yet
TWEET THIS

These events unsettled the ruling party, and are an inspiring story of grassroots mobilisation in the context of a stifled and suppressed active civil society. But it remains unclear whether the movement has traction beyond the urban area, and how it intends to bring about real political change. Mawarire insists he does not aim to bring about regime change, while the ruling ZANU-PF is hard-lined in their response to protest. The party also retains paramount control in Zimbabwe’s rural areas, where almost two-thirds of the population live.

Furthermore, apart from two parliamentarians from the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC-T), who wore the national flag around their necks in session, there has been little indication to date that the opposition intends to endorse or associate with Mawarire and the movement as a political platform ahead of the 2018 elections.

Whether it’s due to fear of state reprisal or playing into exactly what President Robert Mugabe wants (any grounds to criminalise and implicate MDC) – or because there is hope that Mawarire will himself form a new party – the lack of support by the opposition could limit the medium- and long-term impact of the protests.

Trends in riots and protests in Zimbabwe, according to the Armed Conflict Location Event Data Project (ACLED) show that spontaneous riots and protests have been increasing; particularly since 2010.

Protests and riots in Zimbabwe, 1 January 1998 - 9 July 20161998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016050100150200YearNumber of riots and protests
  Riots and protests
1998 77
1999 55
2000 11
2001 14
2002 12
2003 15
2004 12
2005 54
2006 21
2007 41
2008 26
2009 65
2010 24
2011 30
2012 63
2013 47
2014 114
2015 151
2016 67
 

Source: ACLED Version 6 (1997-2015) and ACLED Real Time Data 9 July 2016

Historically, landmark protests in Zimbabwe have come in response to disputed elections, inflation and state-led violence. In 1998, mass protests against inflation led by the National Constitutional Assembly (the foundation of the MDC), attracted tens of thousands of participants. High activity was also seen in 2005 and 2009.

The activity in 2005 reflects the public response to Operation Murambatsvina, which saw over 700 000 people forcibly removed from informal settlements in the capital and protests related to the contested parliamentary elections. The spike in 2009 is largely attributable to the hyperinflation and near economic collapse at the time. This was also in the context of political bargaining within the ZANU-MDC power-sharing agreement framework.

Recent protest action highlights the dearth of leadership options for Zimbabweans
TWEET THIS

Since 2013 and the national elections that effectively returned Zimbabwe to one-party dominance, civil society’s ability to mobilise has been significantly curtailed. Nevertheless, 2014 and 2015 recorded the most protest events in Zimbabwe’s recent history. In 2016, heightened protest activity has been driven by cash shortages, long queues at ATMs, corruption allegations and an import ban.

In May, the MDC-T held major protests against ZANU-PF in Harare and Bulawayo, which gathered upwards of 10 000 participants. In response, ZANU-PF mobilised an estimated 200 000 people for its Million Man March. The above graph shows that at only halfway into 2016, the 67 protests and riots already surpass each of the annual totals since 1998 – suggesting that 2016 could be the most active year of protests yet.

Momentum for the #ThisFlag movement has grown significantly since Mawarire launched his widely viewed YouTube video in April. In June, he led a protest against the Reserve Bank’s introduction of new bond notes, which are to serve as a non-convertible but United States dollar-pegged local currency in an attempt to counter the currency crisis.

By 1 July, Beitbridge – the border point with South Africa that sees an estimated 15 000 people pass each day – was host to a number of road blockages and the burning of a warehouse. Shortly thereafter, a taxi driver protest in Harare turned violent and coincided with a number of smaller and more peaceful mobilisations by nurses, doctors and teachers, all demanding overdue salaries.

ZANU-PF’s response to public dissent and opposition is swift and repressive. The 1998 mass mobilisation was met with military deployment. Similarly, in July 2005, the protest in Harare’s informal settlements by labour strikers was forcibly squashed as part of Operation Murambatsvina. In 2007, Amnesty International condemned the violent arrests of the key organisers of the stay-away protest against inflation. In the last month, over 300 protestors were believed to be arrested, and many beaten.

The Zimbabwean economic crisis is exacerbated by the severe drought
TWEET THIS

In a country where mobile phone penetration is at 95% and Internet penetration at 50%, it is no surprise then that online protest is effective. As an alternative to state media, blogging websites such as Kubatana have been a platform for public discussion since the early 2000s. In the run-up to and during the 2008 elections, over 31 of its bloggers called for the end of Mugabe’s rule and shared their experiences in trying to withdraw much-needed cash from ATMs, along with victims’ accounts of police brutality.

On 6 July, in the middle of the stay-at-home protest, instant messaging service WhatsApp was mysteriously shut down – effectively preventing protestors from communicating and mobilising. With the president unable to pay the police and military on time, the state’s ability to physically control protest is limited, which may have led the government to act more creatively.

It is well known that behind the public dissatisfaction is a sad story of 36-year dominance by Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF; the suppression of opposition; and a near-permanent economic crisis. After years of negative growth, the economy experienced nascent recovery in 2010 to 2012. However, year-on-year GDP growth has fallen to around 1.8% in 2015 and there is a similarly dismal expectation for 2016, due to unsustainable expenditure shored up by budget deficit funding.

There is little certainty about the faces we’ll see in Zimbabwe’s 2018 presidential race
TWEET THIS

The economic crisis is exacerbated by the severe drought that has ravaged the region. According to the Zimbabwean government, one third of the population is in need of food aid.

Furthermore, the country is in serious debt. Over the past year, discussions between the Zimbabwean government, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank have culminated in an agreement to pay back nearly US$2 billion in order to secure new short- to medium-term loans.

But, according to the IMF, any new loan will likely come with conditions to reduce the public sector payroll and reform the controversial land policy. This would have policy implications that are likely to exacerbate the public’s existing grievances, and catalyse new tensions between factions within the ruling party in the run-up to the presidential elections in 2018.

Mawarire’s movement highlights growing impatience with the never-ending economic insecurity. It also highlights the dearth of leadership options for Zimbabweans going forward. With the 92-year-old president’s questionable health; a fractured and weakened MDC; and growing tensions within ZANU-PF – particularly between the executive and the security sector – there is little certainty about the candidates and key messages we are likely to see in the 2018 race.

Yet there’s no doubt that Mugabe and ZANU-PF face unprecedented challenges ahead of 2018. The non-violent protest movement, including the social media activity to support it, is just one example of the new levels of civic engagement that appear to have outsmarted the current regime’s ability to counter dissent. Both in terms of the economic situation and protest movement, the next weeks and months will be crucial in determining the country’s trajectory.

Ciara Aucoin, Researcher, African Futures and Innovation, ISS Pretoria

Whatever your view about the result of the EU referendum, it’s clear that charities now have an important role to play in fostering community cohesion, especially in the wake of a rise in the number of reported incidents of racial abuse and hate crime: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brexit-eu-referendum-racial-racism-abuse-hate-crime-reported-latest-leave-immigration-a7104191.html.

Today at 2.30pm the Home Office Minister Karen Bradley will make a statement on hate crime. It’s worth watching out for this. We will cover it on the @ConstructiveVox twitter feed.

Given the work you do, we would like to suggest that following the statement you might want to get in touch with your local or national media and get your voice heard.

 

You need to be clear about:

1.   1.  Why you are concerned

2.   2.  What you may already have noticed happening

3.   3.  What needs to be done - make sure you set out a few concrete, practical suggestions.

This can be done via:

1.   1. Writing a letter to a newspaper. Here a few of the big national ones, but also consider your local paper.

  Guardian guardian.letters(at)theguardian.com

  Observer observer.letters(at)observer.co.uk

  Times  letters(at)thetimes.co.uk

  Daily Telegraph dtletters(at)telegraph.co.uk

  Financial Times letters.editor(at)ft.com

Remember, you need to react to a particular article and include your name, address, postcode and phone number for verification.

2. Calling a radio phone-in.

  Listen out for opportunities you could contribute to. There are endless discussions now about the impact of Brexit.

  This could be your local radio station or a national stations LBC (0345 6060 973) and BBC Radio 5live (0500 909 693) who have daily phone-ins. It’s often easier to get on air that you might think.

3. Sending a press release or personal blog to your local or national media contacts.

Check online and on twitter which journalists are covering the news about hate crime and racist attacks. Use #hatecrime #postrefracism #racism

Do ask Constructive Voices (constructivevoices(at)ncvo.org.uk) if you need help with this.

4. Using twitter

Put a pinned tweet (at the top of your timeline) outlining your response, ideally linked to a blog or press release on your website.

Encourage people to join you in your work. As Zoe Williams in the Guardian appeals – “be a joiner, not a dabbler: get involved with refugee charities, with migrants’ rights groups, with the apparatus of inclusion and love that decent people have been building for decades.” http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/28/brexit-fallout-six-practical-ways-to-fix-this-mess

It’s now more vital than ever that your voice is heard loud and clear as you have valuable advice to offer. Do let us know what you are doing and if you manage to get coverage.

By Enock Muchinjo — The Olympic Games are a global spectacle, the world’s most exciting multi-sport event. Africa, though, has underachieved at the Olympics, although this time around in Rio de Janeiro, there is new hope that the continent can finally start to make its mark in other disciplines other than distance running – where Kenya and Ethiopia have hauled a respectable number of medals. Enock Muchinjo previews the Games with African lenses.

Let the Games begin!

Today, the familiar murmurs of skepticism towards non-global economic powers hosting major international sporting events will give way to reverberating sound of both joy and relief as Brazil’s coastal city of Rio de Janeiro officially unveils the festivities of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Joy because the Olympics is the world’s biggest sporting party, a stage where the entertainers, athletes drawn from all over the planet across multiple sporting codes, not only thrill with highly-charged battles for supremacy, but in line with the Olympic spirit, also strive to be “faster, higher and stronger.”

Millions of Brazilians will of course breathe a collective sigh of relief that after all, despite some notable stars pulling out of the games in fear of the Zika virus, most of the world’s leading sportsmen and women will strut their stuff in the land of the samba – defying calls for the games to be moved elsewhere.

The Russian doping scandal, which came to light before the games and could so easily have resulted in a blanket ban on all athletes from that country, also threatened to mar the Rio Olympics. But, thankfully, that did not directly have anything to do with the host.

Brazil’s biggest apprehension about the games was external lingering doubt over its readiness and capacity to host a successful Olympic Games.

South Africa was subject to such scrutiny before the 2010 football World Cup, and Brazil itself had to undergo deep inspection when it was its turn to host the world football’s greatest showpiece two years later.

Both South Africa and Brazil put up quite an impressive show, a source of enormous pride for both Africa and Latin America, the global south.

More of that later, though – after Brazil has hosted what should be an astonishingly successful Rio Olympics that will quell fears and surprise skeptics.

Africa’s best hope

Let’s for now focus on Africa’s prospects in Rio.

Is this the year athletes from the continent will start to make their well-known physical prowess count in terms of competing equally on the medal table?

There are a few guarantees for the continent.

Kenya, South Africa and Ethiopia – in that order Africa’s highest ranked nations on the all-time Olympic medal table – will once again lead the continent’s charge.

Kenya and Ethiopia’s world-class long-distance runners are the bedrock on which their success is based.

There is a lot more Africa can achieve at the Rio Olympics due to the increased funding and training afforded to athletes from different codes by the International Olympic Committee,”says Titus Zvomuya, a member of Zimbabwe’s Olympics committee and the country’s chef de mission in Rio.

As for South Africa, they are just a sports-mad country. Mzansi’s rich sporting heritage, versatility across a variety of disciplines and unparalleled investment in sport in Africa makes them tough competitors in a lot of Olympic sports.

But who will be the Rainbow Nation’s main medal hopefuls in Rio?

Swimmer Chad Le Clos will carry the hopes of a big nation after he won gold in the 200-metre butterfly and silver in the 100-metre butterfly in the 2012 Olympics in London.

Middle-distance runner Caster Semenya and 400m specialist Wayde Van Niekerk are also in there with a chance for South Africa.

All eyes on Kenya

In Kenya, all eyes will be on the East African country’s track and field team, as is always the case, but sadly this time around it’s also for the wrong reasons.

In the past few months, an expose commissioned by The Times of London and German TV channel ARD, claimed it found evidence of “widespread doping” among Kenyan and European athletes at high altitude training camps in the North Rift region.

In the past few years, 42 Kenyan athletes have been banned for doping, the most prominent being former Boston Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo.

The increase in positive cases prompted the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to place Kenya on a doping watch list, later declaring the country “non-compliant.”

But expect Kenya to shrug off  that and, once again, claim a glut of medals at yet another edition of the Olympics.

The Kenyans are poised to dominate in their most favoured event, the men’s 3000m steeplechase, where Ezekiel Kemboi, Brimin Kipruto and Conseslus Kipruto make up the team for Rio.

Ethiopia, Kenya’s fellow East Africans, are in fact chasing what would be a remarkable Olympic record in Rio. They stand a chance of becoming the next nation to achieve a medal sweep in an athletics event at the Olympics, a feat they recorded by winning the gold, silver and bronze in the women’s 5000m at last year’s IAAF World Championships.

To date, 10 nations have achieved the feat: USA, Great Britain, Sweden, Russia, Soviet Union, Finland, Kenya, Unified Team, East Germany and Jamaica.

Kirsty, Africa’s best Olympian

Still on the subject of Olympic records, down the continent in the south, Zimbabwean sporting icon Kirsty Coventry is aiming to become the most decorated individual female swimmer in the history of the Olympics. The 32-year-old former Olympic champion and world record holder – currently tied on seven medals with Hungarian swimmer Krisztina Egerszegi – is just one podium finish away from writing her own piece of history.

Pity, Coventry hasn’t had the privilege of competing in relays because of Zimbabwe’s lack of depth, otherwise she could have won a few more medals at the Olympics.

Coventry, with seven individual medals, is already Africa’s most successful athlete in the history of the Olympics in terms of medals.  No one from the continent has won more medals than her without the support of teammates.

Coventry’s achievements (she is her country’s only ever individual Olympics medalist), perhaps best tells the story of Africa at the Olympics – success in numbers is infrequent, a once-in-a-life-time sort of thing.

We saw that when Mozambican maestro Maria Mutola exited the scene.It is the same with the sprinter Frankie Fredericks of Namibia. And what happened after Tunisia’s Ousamma Melloudi became the first African male to win an Olympic swimming medal at Athens 2008, and long-distance runner Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea won his country’s first ever Olympic medal?

Africa will only achieve consistency and greater success at the Olympics with more action going towards longer term athlete and coach development, more action in providing athletes with the facilities and equipment they need and greater governance to increase trust and attract local corporate sponsorships.

But let us not digress. We are still in Rio. There are more Africans athletes and teams hoping to compete well.

Who else is there to look up to?

Angola’s basketball team is constantly the best in Africa, and often stretches some of the top international sides to the limit.

In later years, Nigeria has joined Angola at the pinnacle of African basketball, thanks chiefly to American-born professionals retracing their Nigeria roots and representing their homeland with distinction.

Nigerian basketball is currently flying high, having recently won their first Afrobasket title, and going to the Olympics for a second consecutive time.

Perhaps not exactly medal hopefuls yet, but the Angolans and Nigerians will add an African flavour to the basketball competition in Brazil.

Up north, Egypt and Tunisia are regularly competitive across such disciplines as weightlifting, shooting, wrestling, sailing, swimming, gymnastics, badminton and boxing.

But in the case of Egypt, they have been dealt a heavy blow ahead of Rio in terms of medal prospects after Ihab Abdelrahman, a silver medallist in the men’s javelin at last year’s World Championships, was suspended for failing a doping test.

The 27-year-old secured Egypt’s first medal at a major athletic championship in Beijing last year and was the country’s biggest hope for a medal in Brazil.

What of the athletes and teams that have best characterised the spirit of the Olympics by defying a host of challenges to make it to Rio?

Look no further than Zimbabwe’s women football team, which has had to endure low pay, deplorable camping conditions, poor diet and training facilities on top of unequal treatment – yet they went on to become the first team from their country to qualify for a major football tournament.

Fellow countrywoman Kirsty Coventry has lauded the courageous footballers, saying they have already achieved great things by qualifying.

“For the first time in history, the Zimbabwe woman’s soccer team qualified for the Olympics – this is success. The future for Zimbabwe at the Olympics is in the hands of all stakeholders and for it to be a successful future then all stakeholders need to put their sweat and tears into it, not just the athletes.”

High praise indeed, coming from an Olympic champion. But wait: the Zimbabwean female footballers are adamant they are not in Rio to just make up the numbers.

Africa will need this kind of fire to leave a lasting mark.

Notts County midfielder Curtis Thompson has signed an extended contract 

Red Devils Advocate: Could signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic actually be a bad idea

Real United FC has had a very successful season that saw them perform very well despite huge competition and limited resources.

Blame reflection candidates reserved motel slight cap scheduled italian. Sacrifice yankees possession intimate walking colored expanded. Relatives lonely suggestion safety lock

Jew mutual sarah samuel wholly replace challenge. Peered finding band tells seventh electronics. Painter vienna directions tongue load northern over-all throw. Donald urge fibers

Philip Nucca was a teenager when he came to the UK from Kenya. From his homey kitchen back in Nairobi to the kitchen in an English pub in Sheffield, Nucca has always cooked with determination and an ever-running innovative mind.

 

It was late night when Nucca finally stepped out of the kitchen, having wrapped up an intense dinner rush. There was, however, not a trace of exhaustion on his face, “I don’t really get tired from cooking.” Although not chatty, Nucca projected a relaxing temperament. He had a sniff of the beer I ordered for him and named it immediately. “A sharp sense of smell is important; I need it all the time when cooking,” Nucca tried to elaborate on his remark, “like determining the freshness of meat and deciding on the right spices to go into dishes.” 

 

 

The culinary experience in Kenya is very different from here, especially in terms of heat. “Food in Kenya is a lot spicier, I need to bring down the heat for diners here,” says Nucca with elaboration, “also some of the ingredients we use in Kenya are not easy to find, so I have to find substitutes sometimes.” The experience and memories from Nucca's childhood back home are the main source of his innovation in cuisines. “I never cook with any recipe that’s not my own,” Nucca asserts. His cooking style is much based on the learning from his mother and grandmother, although he never tries to duplicate the recipes. And this style of cooking is usually very spontaneous. “I depend a lot on my instinct, usually I just go with whatever ingredients that I feel could work, and then I’ll just find out if it does,” the proud chef says while casually leaning back against the chair. This is also influenced by his family, “we rarely write down any recipe; we often just go with whatever that feels right.” And now it's the supreme principle in his kitchen. So far, his attempts have seemed to be successful. “Last week I introduced my latest dish, and it was sold out in one day,” says Nucca with a proud smile.  

 

His latest experiment was lamb stew- a Kenyan dish adapted to British taste and with a touch of his own innovation. “I use oregano, we don’t use that back home, but I think it goes really well with lamb.” The stew is cooked with a variety of spices and two types of chillies- green and red- and thus is expected to strike the taste bud with a blow of spiciness. Apart from the stew itself, Nucca also makes a new attempt to the side, replacing the standard potato chips with baked sweet potato mixed with potato mash. “You’d be amazed how sweet potato could enhance the texture and flavour,” says Nucca confidently. And the dish does seem to be a success given the quick sold-out. 

 

Nucca learns from everything that he encounters, be it a recipe, a cooking show or an incredible dish; then out of instinct, his mind starts to run all the probable adaptations to the cuisine. “You’ve got to have passion, to cherish what you do so that you can carry on for a good long time.” To still talk about cooking with such a high spirit after standing in a small kitchen for more than 10 hours, doing nothing but making food, it takes sole passion. 

 

 

Although enjoying the status quo, he has a big picture in mind. His habitual brainstorming for new and unique dishes is a means through which he achieves the ultimate goal- inspiring more tastebuds with mature skills and fresh ideas for cuisines. “This is only my first stop,” the chef's face shines with a hopeful glare. And indeed Nucca has gone back to university to build his capacity in business management since 2015. "This will enable me to run my own catering business and cook for people with adventurous tastebuds."

“Zanzibar,” formerly known as “UK Mama,” is celebrating its 23rd  anniversary this year. And a long history is not the only thing that makes this African-Caribbean restaurant unique; being the first of such kind in Yorkshire also contributes to its prestige.

 

For Godson Ogwudire, “Zanzibar” is a dream come true, literally. The idea of running a restaurant first hit Ogwudire in the form of a dream while he was in the final year of post graduate study. “I studied clinical pathology…nothing to do with food,” Ogwudire said with a hearty laughter. “I didn’t think at all there was any way that I’d run a restaurant,” Ogwudire had never thought of any other prospects until he dreamed of running a restaurant, then he decided to follow the dream and see what would come of it. 

 

Initiating an African-Caribbean restaurant in an English community in early 90s was not an easy task; Ogwudire had to deal with pressure from both his family and the society. “There is no history of culinary industry in my family,” Ogwudire said with a thoughtful expression; to them, running a restaurant while holding a medical degree was unimaginable. Even so, Ogwudire persisted in scratching out his dream with a brilliant business plan. But such a restaurant was an unprecedented attempt and needed more than a piece of paper to take form. The initiation of Zanzibar was a slow stew, which Ogwudire flavoured with “a lot of marketing resolution and faith.” 

 

When finally launched in 1993, the restaurant took the name “UK Mama.” What Ogwudire had in mind was the image of his mother cooking in the kitchen back home in Nigeria, “I remember my mother always singing and happy cooking in the kitchen.” Ogwudire’s mother is the muse for his cooking style and business philosophy, “There’s always love for the food and the people we’re cooking for.” With such value, UK Mama had built a good reputation over years until Ogwudire felt the need to re-identify his business. “People often took us for an Italian restaurant due to the term ‘mama,’” Ogwudire recalled. After a search and brainstorming, UK Mama was re-launched as “Zanzibar,” which bears a denotation that promotes drinks, “we’re letting people know that it’s more than a restaurant, that they can also have a drink here if they want to.” Alongside the literal implication, Ogwudire picked the name with the view to replicating the quality of “Zanzibar-” one of the least polluted places in Africa- in his restaurant. “It’s a beautiful place- homely, full of good food and hospitable people,” says Ogwudire in a vigorous tone. Starting a new page with his business, Ogwudire reinforced his determination, “I want it to be a unique place of Africa in the UK, established for all people- across races.”

 

At ‘Zanzibar,’ members of staff know each other’s tricks. To maintain the authenticity and quality of both African and Caribbean cuisines, all the chefs- including Ogwudire himself- need to cook in both styles properly. “I have to learn the way my chefs know, and they have to learn both styles,” Ogwudire explains his strategy of quality control, which is partly attributed to the fact that he works part time at the hospital a few days during the week, “so that when I’m not around, they can still prepare every dish with consistent quality.” Apart from inclusive proficiency, respect is another key that binds the team. Ogwudire regards his chefs as competent professionals and even leaves his menu open to input, “if they come in with a good recipe that I didn’t know, I would add it to the menu.” Such respect derives from an accommodating perspective, “it’s about realising the heritage that all black people come from the same continent- Africa.” And heritage is inevitably related to the history of slave trade, which caused migration from the continent of Africa to the Caribbean region. Ogwudire explains the cultural aspect in food using the deviation of ‘Jololff rice’ as an example: it was cooked with black eye peas in Africa but turned into ‘rice and peas’ (with kidney beans) over time after reaching the Caribbean. This is how history is reflected in food; deviation is inevitable while traces of common origin can often be found. 

 

 

‘Zanzibar’ takes pride in its authentic cuisines, “the inspiration for our menu comes from my mother, so it’s definitely traditional and authentic.” But in line with the insistence in originality lies flexibility. “Chilies are essential especially to Caribbean cuisines,” but this principle never impedes adaptation; Ogwudire is always ready to adjust the spiciness of his dishes- oftentimes reducing the heat for customers. Still chilies never work alone, not in African-Caribbean cooking anyway, “how you balance different spices with chillies that go into a dish is very important; it affects the aroma and flavour of the food.” “Cooking is like creating art,” Ogwudire believes that ingredients in a dish- as colours in a painting- need to complement one another so as to achieve polyphony to please the taste bud. 

Five common mistakes self-employed people make when claiming expenses... ENDS HERE! By Emily Coltman

There is a question many people ask, why are some people more successful? Is it smartness? Working harder? Risk takers? Having powerful and infl uential friends?

Keeping your books on the right track By Emily Coltman

Independent Booksellers' Week

Market Movers

Yahoo! Inc.

NMS : YHOO - 28 Sep, 12:35pm
43.45
+0.08 (+0.18%) After Hours:
Open 43.40 Mktcap 41.35B
High 43.71 52wk Hight 44.92
Low 43.25 52wk Low 26.15
Vol 3.24M Avg Vol 12.00M
Eps 0.49 P/e
Currency: USD

Alphabet Inc.

NMS : GOOG - 28 Sep, 12:35pm
777.3924
-5.6176 (-0.7174%) After Hours:
Open 777.8500 Mktcap 534.28B
High 779.7400 52wk Hight 789.8700
Low 774.9700 52wk Low 599.8500
Vol 652645 Avg Vol 1.34M
Eps 34.3000 P/e 30.1210
Currency: USD

Apple Inc.

NMS : AAPL - 28 Sep, 12:35pm
113.4842
+0.3942 (+0.3486%) After Hours:
Open 113.6600 Mktcap 611.50B
High 114.6400 52wk Hight 123.8200
Low 113.4300 52wk Low 89.4700
Vol 17.66M Avg Vol 35.86M
Eps 8.2600 P/e 13.2328
Currency: USD
Advertisement

Top Stories

Grid List

Vegan diets are known to help people lose weight.

However, they also offer an array of additional health benefits.

For starters, a vegan diet may help you maintain a healthy heart.

What’s more, this diet may offer some protection against type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

Here are 6 science-based benefits of vegan diets.

 

1. A Vegan Diet Is Richer in Certain Nutrients

If you switch to a vegan diet from a typical Western diet, you’ll eliminate meat and animal products.

This will inevitably lead you to rely more heavily on other foods. In the case of a whole-foods vegan diet, replacements take the form of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.

Since these foods make up a larger proportion of a vegan diet than a typical Western diet, they can contribute to a higher daily intake of certain beneficial nutrients.

For instance, several studies have reported that vegan diets tend to provide more fiber, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds. They also appear to be richer in potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and E However, not all vegan diets are created equal 

For instance, poorly planned vegan diets may provide insufficient amounts of essential fatty acids, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, iodine or zinc.That’s why it’s important to stay away from nutrient-poor, fast-food vegan options. Instead, base your diet around nutrient-rich whole plants and fortified foods. You may also want to consider supplements like vitamin B12.

2. It Can Help You Lose Excess Weight

Apples, Grapes, a Fork and a Knife on Scales

An increasing number of people are turning to plant-based diets in the hope of shedding excess weight.

This is perhaps for good reason.

Many observational studies show that vegans tend to be thinner and have lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than non-vegans.

In addition, several randomized controlled studies — the gold standard in scientific research — report that vegan diets are more effective for weight loss than the diets they are compared to

In one study, a vegan diet helped participants lose 9.3 lbs (4.2 kg) more than a control diet over an 18-week study period.

Interestingly, participants on the vegan diet lost more weight than those who followed calorie-restricted diets, even when the vegan groups were allowed to eat until they felt full.

What’s more, a recent small study comparing the weight loss effects of five different diets concluded that vegetarian and vegan diets were just as well-accepted as semi-vegetarian and standard Western diets.

Bottom Line: Vegan diets have a natural tendency to reduce your calorie intake. This makes them effective at promoting weight loss without the need to actively focus on cutting calories.

3. It Appears to Lower Blood Sugar Levels and Improve Kidney Function

Plate of Raw Fruits and Vegetables

Going vegan may also have benefits for type 2 diabetes and declining kidney function.

Indeed, vegans tend to have lower blood sugar levels, higher insulin sensitivity and up to a 50–78% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Studies even report that vegan diets lower blood sugar levels in diabetics more than the diets from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA) and National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).

In one study, 43% of participants following a vegan diet were able to reduce their dosage of blood-sugar-lowering medication, compared to only 26% in the group that followed an ADA-recommended diet.

Other studies report that diabetics who substitute meat for plant protein may reduce their risk of poor kidney function.

What’s more, several studies report that a vegan diet may be able to provide complete relief of systemic distal polyneuropathy symptoms — a condition in diabetics that causes sharp, burning pain.

Bottom Line: Vegan diets may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They are also particularly effective at reducing blood sugar levels and may help prevent further medical issues from developing.

4. A Vegan Diet May Protect Against Certain Cancers

Bowl of Bean Salad

According to the World Health Organization, about one-third of all cancers can be prevented by factors within your control, including diet.

For instance, eating legumes regularly may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by about 9–18%.

Research also suggests that eating at least seven portions of fresh fruits and vegetables per day may lower your risk of dying from cancer by up to 15%.

Vegans generally eat considerably more legumes, fruit and vegetables than non-vegans. This may explain why a recent review of 96 studies found that vegans may benefit from a 15% lower risk of developing or dying from cancer.

What’s more, vegan diets generally contain more soy products, which may offer some protection against breast cancer.

Avoiding certain animal products may also help reduce the risk of prostate, breast and colon cancers.

That may be because vegan diets are devoid of smoked or processed meats and meats cooked at high temperatures, which are thought to promote certain types of cancers.

Vegans also avoid dairy products, which some studies show may slightly increase the risk of prostate cancer.

n the other hand, there is also evidence that dairy may help reduce the risk of other cancers, such as colorectal cancer. Therefore, it’s likely that avoiding dairy is not the factor that lowers vegans’ overall risk of cancer.

It’s important to note that these studies are observational in nature. They make it impossible to pinpoint the exact reason why vegans have a lower risk of cancer.

However, until researchers know more, it seems wise to focus on increasing the amount of fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes you eat each day while limiting your consumption of processed, smoked and overcooked meat.

Bottom Line: Certain aspects of the vegan diet may offer protection against prostate, breast and colon cancers.

 

5. It’s Linked to a Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Bowl of Oatmeal with Fresh Berries

Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and fiber is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

All of these are generally eaten in large amounts in well-planned vegan diets.

Observational studies comparing vegans to vegetarians and the general population report that vegans may benefit from up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

Vegans may also have up to a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease.

All of these are generally eaten in large amounts in well-planned vegan diets.

Observational studies comparing vegans to vegetarians and the general population report that vegans may benefit from up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure.

What’s more, several randomized controlled studies report that vegan diets are much more effective at reducing blood sugar, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels than the diets they are compared to.

This may be particularly beneficial to heart health since reducing high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels may reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 46%.

Compared to the general population, vegans also tend to consume more whole grains and nuts, both of which are good for your heart.Bottom Line: Vegan diets may benefit heart health by significantly reducing the risk factors that contribute to heart disease.

6. A Vegan Diet Can Reduce Pain from Arthritis

Cilantro and Rice Salad

A few studies have reported that a vegan diet has positive effects in people with different types of arthritis.

One study randomly assigned 40 arthritic participants to either continue eating their omnivorous diet or switch to a whole-food, plant-based vegan diet for 6 weeks.

Those on the vegan diet reported higher energy levels and better general functioning than those who didn’t change their diet.

Two other studies investigated the effects of a probiotic-rich, raw food vegan diet on symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Both reported that participants in the vegan group experienced a greater improvement in symptoms such as pain, joint swelling and morning stiffness than those who continued their omnivorous diet.

Bottom Line: Vegan diets based on probiotic-rich whole foods can significantly decrease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourteen year old South African Zameer Dada has been crowned the 1st ever African spelling bee champion.

Dada beat 26 other top spellers from nine African countries to be crowned Africa's champion orthographer.

The contestants came from all corners of the continent. Some of the nations represented include Zimbabwe, Malawi, Nigeria and Lesotho.

Competitors may be separated by borders, but are united by a mastery of the Queen's language. One by one they took to friendly rivalry, belting out words in an attempt to be Africa's top speller.

As the words got trickier the numbers dwindled.

First prize proved elusive to many.

It was down to the top three contenders - South Africa, Kenya and Ethiopia all looking to make history.

Dada was all too happy to share his winning formula.

Organisers say they are working towards greater participation. They say the inaugural competition is one way to celebrate the African child.

A case of female genital mutilation (FGM) was reported every 109 minutes in England between April and September last year, yet there has not been a single prosecution, according to government figures.

 

The charity Plan UK, which analyzed the most recent data from the UK government's Health & Social Care Information Centre — which records cases of FGM newly-discovered by health professionals — said until now FGM had been a "hidden danger" of which the full scale was only just beginning to become apparent. 

 

The only FGM prosecution ever brought in the UK, of a doctor accused of carrying out the practice in a London hospital, ended in acquittal in February last year.

 

The United Nations also revealed on Friday that the scale of the practice around the world was far higher than previously estimated, with more than 200 million girls and women globally having suffered genital mutilation.

 

Despite growing momentum to end FGM, experts warned that booming populations in some high prevalence countries were undermining efforts to tackle the practice widely condemned as a serious human rights abuse.

 

Related: We Found the First Egyptian Doctor Convicted of FGM Manslaughter — And He's Still Practicing

 

"If current trends continue the number of girls and women subjected to FGM will increase significantly over the next 15 years," the UN children's agency UNICEF said, on the eve of International Day of Zero Tolerance of FGM.

 

The UNICEF data covers 30 countries, but half of girls and women who have been cut live in just three countries — Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia.

 

The new global figure includes nearly 70 million more girls and women than UNICEF estimated in 2014.

 

But this is largely due to the inclusion of data from Indonesia which was left out in 2014 because there were no reliable national figures at the time.

 

"Female genital mutilation differs across regions and cultures, with some forms involving life-threatening health risks," said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta.

 

"In every case FGM violates the rights of girls and women. We must all accelerate efforts — governments, health professionals, community leaders, parents and families — to eliminate the practice."

 

The ancient ritual — practised across a swath of African countries and pockets of Asia and the Middle East — usually involves the partial or total removal of a girl's external genitalia.

 

In its most extreme form the vaginal opening is also sewn up. In many countries girls are commonly cut before their fifth b

We have found this source at https://news.vice.com/article/fgm-case-reported-every-109-minutes-in-england and wrote by 

 By VICE News and Reuters on

 

CMC - Newsletter subscription

Newsletter

Get our newsletter!

It seems that you have already subscribed to this list. Click here to update your profile.
sub
Advertisement

Weather

Paris France Cloudy, 65 °F
Current Conditions
Sunrise: 7:49 am   |   Sunset: 7:30 pm
71%     14.0 mph     34.304 bar
Forecast
Thu Low: 59 °F High: 76 °F
Fri Low: 55 °F High: 65 °F
Sat Low: 49 °F High: 66 °F
Sun Low: 48 °F High: 64 °F
Mon Low: 45 °F High: 68 °F
Tue Low: 48 °F High: 71 °F
Wed Low: 50 °F High: 67 °F
Thu Low: 49 °F High: 67 °F
Fri Low: 47 °F High: 68 °F
Sat Low: 49 °F High: 66 °F