• #BREAKING: Nearly a dozen killed, dozens injured in crash involving university bus and truck in Voi, Kenya.

    #Voi | #Kenya

    At least 11 people were killed and 42 others were injured in a crash involving a university bus and a trailer in Voi, Kenya, near Maungu. The crash occurred on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway, police say. The 11 fatalities are believed to be students from Kenyatta University.

  • What do Germany’s migration partnerships entail ?

    Migration partnerships cannot halt large movements of refugees, but they can help countries manage migration better. Germany has signed a number of partnerships into effect in recent years.

    The German government seems to be working tirelessly when it comes to migration. In January, during her visit Rabat, Morocco’s capital, German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Svenja Schulze announced a new migration partnership with Morocco.

    Just days later, on February 6, she inaugurated a migrant resource center in Nyanya near Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, alongside Nigerian Minister of State for Labor and Employment Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.

    In May last year, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a migration partnership with Kenya in an attempt to attract skilled workers from the East African nation.

    Apart from Morocco, Nigeria and Kenya, the German government has also signed migration partnerships or is in negotiations to do so with Colombia, India, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Moldova.

    At the European Union (EU) level, such agreements have been in place for over 15 years. According to the EU-funded Migration Partnership Facility, there are around 50 such partnerships.

    ’Part of overall concept’

    What is the difference between these partnerships, repatriation cooperation agreements or previous migration agreements?

    For Joachim Stamp, Germany’s Special Commissioner for Migration Agreements, “migration partnerships are a component of an overall concept.” According to the Interior Ministry, to which Stamp’s post is assigned, this includes “a paradigm shift to reduce irregular migration and strengthen legal migration.”

    He explained that in contrast to general migration agreements, migration partnerships are more about trust-based exchange and cooperation in labor, training and attracting skilled workers. The idea is not only to fight irregular migration but to replace it with regular migration.

    Migration expert Steffen Angenendt from the Berlin-based German Institute for International and Security Affairs considers migration partnerships to be “extremely important” and “indispensable” but points out that they are not “a panacea for large migration movements.”
    Partner countries’ interests ignored

    “Previous agreements have generally been ineffective or have not achieved the effect they were supposed to,” Angenendt told DW. “This is because all the EU migration and mobility partnerships concluded since 2007 have been primarily aimed at reducing irregular immigration.”

    He added that the problem was that the interests of partner countries had consistently been neglected.

    These interests include the expansion of regular immigration opportunities to work, study or train in EU countries, he explained. Angenendt said that as long as these considerations were not considered, countries’ political will to fulfill treaty obligations would remain low.

    Such obligations include the rapid issuing of documents to nationals living in countries where they do not have the right to stay so they can be moved to their country of origin. They also include the stricter monitoring of those wanting to leave a country.
    Most asylum seekers in Germany fleeing from war

    On closer inspection, this means that migration partnerships are only partially suitable for reducing migration movements. Most people entering Germany as refugees are from countries where there are massive human rights violations and war.

    “We cannot develop migration partnerships with countries such as Syria and Afghanistan,” said Stamp in a statement. Instead, he stated that the German government was trying to support “neighboring countries that take in refugees from these countries.”

    According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, most asylum seekers in recent years have originated from Syria and Afghanistan. In the past three years, the number of asylum seekers from Turkey has also increased, accounting for 19% of the total.

    Countries with which Germany has migration partnerships, such as Georgia, tend to be at the bottom of the statistics.

    “I am very pleased that we have succeeded in reaching an agreement with Georgia and [will do so] in the coming weeks, with Moldova,” said Stamp in an interview with the German television news channel Welt TV in early February.

    He added that the migration partnership with Morocco announced at the end of January was already being implemented. “After many years in which things didn’t go so well, we now have a trusting relationship,” he said.

    Controversial deal between Italy and Albania

    For its part, Italy has reached a controversial agreement with Albania, which has EU candidate status, to reduce migration. This is sometimes called a migration partnership but does not seem to fit the description.

    According to the agreement, Albania will establish two centers this year that will detain asylum seekers while their applications are being processed. The international advocacy organization Human Rights Watch says the deal breaches international law.

    Compared to Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, German development minister Schulze appears to have struck a different tone regarding migration. But she still wants to see more migrants without the right to stay deported from Germany.

    “Migration is a fact of life,” she said at the inauguration of the migrant resource center in Nigeria at the beginning of February. “We have to deal with it in a way that benefits everyone: migrants, countries of origin and the communities that receive migrants.”


    #accords #Allemagne #accords_bilatéraux #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Maroc #Nyanya #Nigeria #Kenya #Colombie #Inde #Géorgie #Moldavie #Ouzbékistan #Kirghizistan #Migration_Partnership_Facility #accords_migratoires #partenariats #partenariats_migratoires

  • La Via Campesina exprime sa solidarité avec la Ligue des Paysans Kényans dans la lutte contre les OGM

    Nous, La Via Campesina, le mouvement paysan international avec plus de 182 organisations locales et nationales réparties dans 81 pays d’Afrique, d’Asie, d’Europe et des Amériques, exprimons notre solidarité avec la Ligue des paysans kenyans (KPL), notre organisation membre, dans sa lutte juridique visant à maintenir l’interdiction des OGM au Kenya. En octobre 2022, le gouvernement kényan a levé l’interdiction sur l’importation et la culture d’organismes génétiquement modifiés (OGM) qui était en vigueur depuis dix ans.

    Les ordonnances conservatoires maintenant l’interdiction des OGM par la Haute Cour en décembre 2022 et la décision de la Cour d’appel de maintenir ces ordonnances conservatoires en raison d’un manque de participation publique adéquate dans la décision du gouvernement de lever l’interdiction des OGM ont apporté un soulagement temporaire à la lutte.

    La lutte juridique bientôt commence à la Haute Cour. Nous appelons tous les mouvements sociaux et les activistes à se mobiliser et à soutenir la Ligue des Paysans Kényans dans sa lutte continue contre la levée de l’interdiction de l’importation et de la culture d’organismes génétiquement modifiés (OGM) au Kenya.


    #international #kenya #ogm

  • China Square: The cheap Chinese shop at the centre of Kenya row

    6.3.2023 by Victor Kiprop - Kenyan small and medium enterprise traders hold placards and shout slogans during a protest against Chinese nationals owning businesses that engage in import, manufacture and distributionImage source, EPA
    Image caption,

    Protesters wanted China Square to permanently shut its doors

    A Chinese-owned shop selling cheap household goods at the centre of a dispute in Kenya has reopened after a counterfeit complaint against it was dismissed. The row got to the heart of a debate about whether this kind of outlet hurts or helps Kenyans.

    Blowing whistles and vuvuzelas, Kenyan petty traders marched in their hundreds to the deputy president’s office in Nairobi to demand an end to what they called a “China invasion”.

    The China Square shop that had become a hit with consumers because of its cheap goods was the focus of their anger. Its rapid success had rekindled long-held fears about competition from abroad.

    The shop, which is in a mall on the outskirts of Nairobi, had already shut its doors, albeit temporarily, by the time of last week’s protest as controversy swirled around it.

    Barely five weeks into trading, it had become a social media phenomenon. Its low prices compared to what the petty traders were charging and convenient location made it very attractive.

    But some small-scale traders, who form a vital part of Kenya’s economy, began to notice business dropping off.

    “We want the Chinese out of Kenya. If the Chinese become the manufacturers, distributors, retailers and even hawkers, where will Kenyans go?” an unnamed trader told journalists at the protest.

    Peter Sitati, who imports and sells beauty equipment in Nairobi, was one of those at the demonstration.

    He says a plastic pedicure stool that costs around $43 (£35) in his shop, retailed at China Square for about $21, effectively undercutting him by more than 50%.

    “Many Kenyan businesses are going to close their shops and our economy will collapse,” Mr Sitati argued.

    Peter Sitati says he is not able to sell his goods at China Square’s lower prices

    Pressed to explain why he was charging so much more, he said he was covering the taxes and duty he was charged and thought that he might be buying the goods from China at a higher price than China Square.

    Despite being asked by the BBC, China Square did not explain how it set its prices, but it might be benefitting from being able to buy in bigger quantities.

    It may also have a more direct relationship with the manufacturers. A lot of the smaller Kenyan traders have to go through middle men and may be charged more as a result.

    China Square founder Lei Cheng insisted he had done nothing wrong.

    “My business is legal and is centred on healthy competition. We have cooperated with all government directives of opening a business in Kenya and we are here to break the monopoly,” Mr Lei said.

    He added that his business took more than $157,000 in its first two weeks.

    “The people who are fighting us feel threatened because Kenyans now know we exist and we are not exploiting them in pricing.”

    ’Quality goods, affordable prices’

    Some Kenyan shoppers are on the retailer’s side.

    “China Square should be allowed to operate. They’re selling quality goods at affordable prices,” Sharon Wanjiku said.

    “The cost of living is very high at the moment and these prices are exactly what we need.”

    The swift popularity of the shop followed by the controversy caught the attention of the government, with one minister saying it should cease operating as a retailer.

    “We welcome Chinese investors to Kenya but as manufacturers not traders,” Trade Minister Moses Kuria said on Twitter on the Friday before China Square shut down.

    It remains unclear why the shop did close its doors to customers. There were suspicions that it had been put under some pressure by the authorities.

    A statement from China Square said it was closing to “re-evaluate and replan our company strategy” and that it was “considering a possibility of co-operating with local traders”.

    But at the end of last week, Kenya’s Anti-Counterfeit Authority said it had investigated a complaint that China Square was selling fake goods but had found no evidence that that was the case.

    On Monday, the Kenya Chinese Chamber of Commerce (KCCC) welcomed the re-opening of China Square after discussions were held with the government, however it did not go into details of what the talks were about.

    “The Chamber looks forward to an equal and fair treatment of all businesses across [the] board to ensure a conducive business environment for all,” the KCCC statement said, but it did not say if any new agreement had been made.

    Image source, EPA
    Image caption,

    The protest against China Square attracted a large crowd

    Some fear that the row over the shop has sent out the wrong message about the economy and the interest in investment.

    Korir SingOei, from the ministry of foreign affairs, has been seeking to reassure potential investors, saying that Kenya welcomes money from outside and does not discriminate where it comes from.

    Wu Peng, the top diplomat for Africa at China’s Foreign Ministry, was pleased with the clarification and said a “non-discriminatory investment environment is vital to the healthy development of bilateral practical co-operation”.

    Kenya has in the past struggled to find a middle ground between attracting foreign investment and promoting free trade while protecting local traders from what some see as unfair competition.

    “Stopping foreigners from doing legitimate business in Kenya is retrogressive. We need to see how to build the capacity of Kenyans to be able to produce competitive products,” says Kenyan economist Gerrishon Ikiara.


    The Kenya Investment Promotion Act, which sets conditions for foreign investors, requires an investment to be beneficial to the country through things such as new jobs, the transfer of new skills or technology, or the use of local raw materials or services.

    There is no data available to show how many Chinese traders or people are in Kenya, but there has been growing anti-Chinese sentiment in recent years. This has been partly due to allegations that individual Chinese people in Kenya have been racist, as well as fears of Chinese traders taking businesses and jobs from Kenyans.

    In 2019, the Kenyan authorities deported seven Chinese nationals who had been operating in two markets in Nairobi, accusing them of not having work permits and saying they could not operate in a sector that had been reserved for locals.

    In 2020, four Chinese men were deported after being accused of caning a Kenyan man working at a Chinese restaurant.

    President William Ruto has so far steered clear of the matter, but ahead of his election last year he promised to deport Chinese nationals engaging in business that can be done by Kenyans.

    “We have agreements with different countries on what level of business or work is to be done by locals and which one is allowed, where one must have [a] work permit, to foreigners. And that level is not selling in kiosks, retail or roasting maize,” Mr Ruto said last June.

    China Square is clearly not working out of a kiosk, but its re-opening continues to present a challenge to the petty traders, whose complaints have not gone away.

    #économie #commerce #Afrique #Chine #Kenya

  • Ongoing violent attacks on LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees at #Kakuma refugee camp

    #queersOfKakuma is a group of LGBTI+ activists living in Kakuma refugee camp. Together with members of migration-control.info, we wrote the following report about ongoing violent attacks on LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees, focusing on the general situation at Kakuma refugee camp and specifically on challenges of the LGBTI+ community and the international resettlement and externalization politics.

    Content note: sexual and gendered violence, illness, precarity, death

    Kakuma is a refugee camp established in 1992 and located in the north of Kenya near the border with Uganda and South Sudan as shows the map below. The camp is managed both by the Kenyan government (Department of Refugees Services - DRS) and UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees). According to UNHCR statistics, Kenya hosted in July 2023 636.034 refugees and asylum seekers, 269.545 (42,4%) in Dadaab, 270.273 (42,2%) in Kakuma and 96,206 (15,1%) in urban areas. A deadline to close Kenyas camps was already set by the Kenyan and Somalian governments, in a trilateral agreement with UNHCR, for 2016. Since then, the deadline was postponed on several occasions and the number of asylum seekers and refugees is growing as a result of violence in the region. When in 2016 war broke out in South Sudan thousands of South Sudanese women, especially, escaped across the border to Kakuma. Today, Kakuma has almost as many inhabitants as Dadaab and is the second-largest camp in the country.

    Asylum seekers and refugees in Kenya face many challenges and living conditions are described as unbearable. The underfunding of the Kenyan branch of UNHCR (there has notably been a funding gap of 49% by the United Nations as of October 2022 according to UNHCR) directly affects the living conditions of asylum seekers and refugees at the Kakuma camp. For instance, “UNHCR and the World Food Programme (WFP) declared that they had ’never had such a terrible funding situation for refugees’ in East Africa, WFP having reduced food rations for 417,000 camp-based refugees by 40% for lack of funding” (Amnesty International and NGLHRC report, p14). According to queersOfKakuma one adult person currently receives per month: 1 kg rice, 500g peas, 500g Sorghum and a little portion of cooking oil. Underfunding by UN also serves as an argument for the Kenyan government to threaten to close the refugee camps. Indeed, the lack of funding also results in less workers at the camp, which further delays asylum-seeking procedures.

    LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees confronted to discrimination and violent attacks which stay unpunished

    Kenya is the only country in the East and Horn of Africa to offer asylum to people who seek protection because of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expressions of sex gender identity. But in April 2023, Kenyan MP Peter Kaluma has been promoting the Family Protection Bill, which criminalizes sexual relations between two people of the same sex-gender. The Kenya 2021 Refugees Act mentions in Section 19(2): “a refugee or an asylum seeker engaging in a conduct that is in breach or is likely to result in a breach of public order or contrary to public morality under the law irrespective of whether the conduct is linked to his claim for asylum or not, may be expelled from Kenya by an order of the Cabinet Secretary.” Associated to the Family Protection Bill, it would give the possibility to the Kenyan government to expel asylum seekers and refugees on grounds that they violate Kenyan “public order” and “morality”.

    The Kenyan Family Bill is similar to the situation in Uganda: in December 2013, the Ugandan parliament, with the support of President Yoweri Museveni, voted on an anti-homosexuality bill which also criminalizes sexual relations between adults of same sex-gender. This bill represents the explicit institutionalization of discrimination based on sex-gender orientation and expression which was already generally established in the Ugandan society, notably through the exclusion of LGBTI+ people from education and job such as described in Gitta Zomorodi’s article. Since then, LGBTI+ Ugandans’ life standards are threatened, like in other countries of the region, and perhaps soon by the Kenyan state, considering the Family Protection Bill. A member of queersOfKakuma states: “I don’t have anywhere to go.”

    According to a UNHCR statement, Kakuma hosts about 300 refugees and asylum-seekers with an LGBTI+ profile. In addition to the challenges faced by all asylum seekers and refugees in Kenya, asylum seekers and refugees who are LGBTI+ encounter additional challenges linked to their sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression and sex characteristics. An activist of queersOfKakuma explains the pain of being in the camp: “I’m living in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. I’m here to speak on behalf of my fellow Queers in Kakuma refugee camp. We were persecuted in our home country because of our sexuality. We managed to flee and seek for protection and safety but unfortunately, it’s like we jumped from a frying pan to a fire. The situation here is very terrible. We are facing discrimination, segregation. The place is very homophobic and when it comes to the trans, it’s worse.” Another activist describes the concrete living conditions: “We are dying from hunger. We don’t have medication, we don’t have anything and more people should care. We are just living today and we don’t know if we can live tomorrow [...] We are sleeping outside, we don’t have mattresses, we don’t have blankets, we don’t have even covers.” With Kenya’s 2009 Refugee Regulation, LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees could benefit from fast-tracked procedures because they were considered as being “at risk”. However, since 2018, they have had to wait longer, to the point where it has been observed by Amnesty International and NGLHRC that procedures have specifically been delayed for LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees, which is, yet, another discrimination.

    Besides, LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees often face verbal and physical violence and humiliation during procedures of registration. They explain that they have endured homophobic and sexist insults during their procedure. Hence, multiple LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees have purposefully decided not to disclose their LGBTI+ identity to state officers. This particularly excluded them from the fast-track procedure dedicated to populations “at risk” when it was possible. It also shows the strong distrust of state officers which has grown among the LGBTI+ community. This distrust is similarly caused by bad treatment from the police. The Kenyan police effectively rarely investigates discriminatory violence against LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees, who are regularly assaulted, beaten, raped. queersOfKakuma explain: “Here we live in open spaces which makes it easy for homophobic people to come and attack us and it has happened so many times. We lost lives of our colleagues and no reaction has been taken by the police and the UNHCR. So you see it’s really unfair. We are unsafe.”

    Moreover, police officers can, themselves, be violent towards LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees. They intimidated activists who organised the pride march inside Kakuma notably by arresting them and exposing them to rape and sexual violence from other detainees, as discovered during Amnesty International and NGLHRC’s investigation. QueersOfKakuma have also spoken of unfair arrestations: “Before we were sixty but four of us are in prison. They were imprisoned for nothing. They are in prison, we failed to collect money to get them out. Now it’s two months. We don’t have money, it’s two thousand dollars for the people in prison.”

    In addition to this institutionalised violence, LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees have difficulties accessing health care because of important stigma from carers. It is, thus, often hard for them to access necessary medical treatments and care which are vital, especially after violent attacks and for those of them who are HIV-positive, as explained by queersOfKakuma: “When we go to hospitals [...] the hospitals tell us that we are not normal, we are devils.”; “Some of us, two hundred and seven, they are positive, they have HIV. [...] they can’t even afford to get access to vitamins, the ingredients which can support someone who is suffering, who is traumatized with HIV. Even getting the medication sometimes is very hard.”

    Also, children of LGBTI+ parents and children who identify themselves as LGBTI+ face violence in Kakuma refugee camp. The discrimination they experience in school stops them from attending. QueersOfKakuma explain: “We can’t take our children to go to school in the camp. They will be discriminated against. They do miserable things to those kids but they are really innocent. They did not do anything. And if we can get an organization to support those kids to go to school and to get an uniform, bags and school fees, this would be very very wonderful.”

    As a protection measure, UNHCR and DRS have relocated some LGBTI+ refugees from Kakuma refugee camp, mostly to Nairobi and its environs. But the relocation to Nairobi is only allowed in exceptional cases and follows an opaque selection process, as the Kenyan government implements an encampment policy which restricts the freedom of movement (asylum seekers and refugees must seek permission to move from designated refugee areas to other locations in Kenya). Those who benefited from relocation also suffer from difficulties to access services and renewing their documents. Thus, internal relocation is not considered a solution. QueersOfKakuma report about the death of LGBTI+ relocated to Nairobi: “We lost our fellow queer. He was staying in Nairobi. He jumped from a flat. He lost hope, he lost everything and he was tired of his life because of homophobia. He requested justice, he was requesting support, he was begging support. He had nothing to eat. No one was caring for him, no one was there.”

    To recap, repatriation is very dangerous for LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees of the Kakuma camp, as they come from countries like Uganda which criminalizes and stigmatizes homosexual relationships; the “integration” of asylum seekers and refugees of the Kakuma camp in Kenya is unwanted by the Kenyan government and increasingly dangerous; and the needs of resettlement in other camps are greater than the space currently offered. The absence of dedicated help and institutional funding puts LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees in an extremely urgent situation.

    Kenya’s refugee camps in an international context

    As mentioned, Kenya is the only country in the East and Horn of Africa to offer asylum to people who seek protection because of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expressions of sex gender identity. This is questionable as Kenya is considered a safe country of origin – except LGBTI+ persons who are, according to a 2013 ruling of the European Court of Justice, entitled to asylum in the EU. Amnesty International and NGLHRC recommend third countries to increase opportunities for resettlement and complementary pathways for LGBTI+ asylum seekers and refugees in Kenya who need safety. In general, resettlement submissions always extend resettlement departures. According to UNHCR, by July 2023, out of 2,757 resettlement submissions, only 821 refugees were relocated.

    Besides lacking opportunities for refugees to leave the camps for a safer third country, international support for asylum seekers and refugees remaining in Kenya is missing too. In October 2022 a funding gap of 49% was reported by UNHCR. Also, at the 2015 EU-Africa Migration Summit, Kenya was promised very little money from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: the EU has invested 28 million euros in agricultural projects and food security and 12 million euros in improving economic opportunities for young people in structurally weak areas. Also, the 6 million euros budget of the European Commissions Action Plan for mixed-migration flows and the 45 million euros spent in the context of the Khartoum process only marginally concern Kenya.

    This is because, in terms of migration, Kenya remains uninteresting for the EU as it’s far away from Europe. As mentioned in the Kenya Wiki, the Refugee Spokesperson for Dadaab states that many young men’s interest in migrating is affected by a lack of money as they would need more than 10,000 dollars to be able to reach the EU. It seems that the EU does not worry a lot about people from Kenya migrating to Europe and thus the country is not a focus for externalization policy. But there remains a call to the EU to support all vulnerable refugees in general, and so also to support LGBTI+ persons in Kenya. Just a few hundred relocations are not enough - especially for those who are left behind. And, as mentioned by Amnesty International and NGLHRC, all third countries are asked to increase pledges for ressettlement and complementary pathways as well as financial, material and technical support.

    QueersOfKakuma and migration-control.info wrote this article to provide information. Besides, queersOfKakuma also urgently need food, medical treatments and shelters, which your donations can help them access: https://www.gofundme.com/f/lgbtiq-crisis-in-kakuma-refugee-camp. You can find more information on queersOfKakuma’s Twitter account: https://twitter.com/QueersOfKakuma.


    #homophobie #réfugiés #LGBT #réfugiés_LGBT #asile #migrations #Kenya #camps_de_réfugiés

    via @_kg_

  • « Forçats du numérique » : Comment une décision de justice au Kenya fragilise la sous-traitance des multinationales du web

    L’histoire commence en mai 2022 au Kenya : Daniel Motaung, un ancien modérateur de contenu de la société locale Samasource Ltd dépose alors une plainte (petition en anglais) contre ses dirigeants, ainsi que leurs donneurs d’ordre, de nombreux géants du web, dont Meta (la société mère de Facebook).

    Dans cette plainte, Daniel Motaung accuse Sama et Meta de traite d’êtres humains, de démantèlement de syndicats et de ne pas fournir un soutien adéquat en matière de santé mentale.

    Sama – leader dans le domaine de l’annotation – emploie des « étiqueteurs », qui ont pour mission de visionner et de taguer des contenus très éclectiques, souvent consternants, parfois extrêmement violents, provenant de divers réseaux sociaux et d’internet. L’objectif : modérer les contenus sur les réseaux sociaux et fournir des bases de données équilibrées pour l’apprentissage des intelligences artificielles.

    Neuf mois, plus tard, le 6 février 2023, une première décision historique a été rendue par le juge kényan Jakob Gakeri : ce dernier a statué sur le fait que les cours kényanes étaient compétentes pour juger des sociétés étrangères dont des filiales se trouvent au Kenya, ainsi que la responsabilité des donneurs d’ordre. La procédure est en cours pour de nouvelles audiences.

    C’est la première fois qu’une telle affaire est jugée dans les pays où vivent ces « forçats du numérique », et que le jugement se fait selon les termes de la plainte déposée. Une façon d’exposer à la planète entière les coûts humains du numérique.

    #Modération #Médias_sociaux #Kénya #Sus-traitance #Maltraitance #Justice

  • Kenya: #Dadaab e #Kakuma, da campi di rifugiati a centri urbani

    I rifugiati potranno ottenere documenti d’identità e avviare attività produttive

    Il Kenya è in Africa il quinto più grande paese che ospita rifugiati, e il 13° a livello mondiale. Sono infatti oltre 700mila le persone che vi hanno trovato asilo fuggendo da persecuzioni, violenza o siccità. La maggioranza risiede negli smisurati campi profughi di Dadaab e Kakuma, mentre la capitale Nairobi ne ospita 91mila.

    Ora il governo, per promuovere maggiore sicurezza e continuare a coprire gli obblighi umanitari verso i rifugiati, intende concedere loro, in un piano quinquennale, documenti legali d’identità con cui potranno validamente condurre attività per generare reddito.

    In tal modo i campi potrebbero così trasformarsi in centri urbani permanenti, piuttosto che in agglomerati di tendopoli e abitazioni precarie e insalubri.

    Le controversie sorte negli ultimi anni riguardo ai campi profughi hanno portato il governo a discutere più volte della loro chiusura, temendo che i campi sovraffollati siano luoghi privilegiati in cui reclutare giovani, pianificare e porre in atto attentati terroristici da parte di elementi jihadisti e criminali presenti in essi.

    In effetti, a un certo punto, nel 2015, dopo l’attacco del gruppo terroristico al-Shabaab all’università di Garissa in cui furono trucidati almeno 148 studenti, il Kenya aveva firmato un accordo tripartito con la Somalia e l’Agenzia delle Nazioni Unite per i rifugiati (Unhcr) per il ritorno volontario dei rifugiati.

    Il Kenya, infatti, aveva sostenuto che le aree di confine dove sono situati i campi erano diventati percorsi per l’introduzione di armi e il contrabbando dalla Somalia, e i campi erano terreno fertile per attacchi terroristici.

    Tuttavia, la mancanza di un ambiente favorevole in Somalia e il fatto che i rifugiati non potevano essere forzati a tornare a casa, ha avuto come risultato che solo 80mila dei 400mila rifugiati stimati in quel tempo rientrarono nel loro paese.

    Ora pertanto, il Kenya afferma che è bene che a Dadaab e Kakuma si apra la strada alla libertà di avviare iniziative private di produzione e commercio, investendo soldi e chiedendo a donatori disponibili di aiutare a erigere servizi sociali che faciliteranno la protezione e la sicurezza sociale dei campi.

    Scopo ultimo del piano, soprannominato Nashiriki (swahili per “io voglio cooperare”) è di garantire che i rifugiati e i richiedenti asilo siano sostenuti a passare dalla dipendenza dall’aiuto umanitario all’autosufficienza.

    «Lo sviluppo in tal senso – ha dichiarato il commissario kenyano per gli affari dei rifugiati John Burugu – andrà a beneficio di tutte le parti coinvolte. Le agenzie di aiuto dovranno apportare i necessari accorgimenti nel pianificare l’assistenza, adattandosi al nuovo modello di insediamento».

    «Queste agenzie – ha concluso Burugu – svolgeranno un importante ruolo di monitoraggio, benché sempre sotto la guida del governo per insediamenti progressivi e sostenibili».

    Primo passo nell’attuazione del piano è stato il riconoscimento di Kakuma come comune della contea Turkana. Altrettanto ha dichiarato che farà per Dadaab Nathif Jama Adam, governatore di Garissa.

    Dal canto loro, agenzie delle Nazioni Unite, partner donatori, istituti finanziari internazionali e ong che lavorano nei due campi hanno già promesso sostegno al piano.

    La scorsa settimana, il governo ha creato un Comitato direttivo intergovernativo per allineare il piano di transizione dei rifugiati con le priorità di sicurezza nazionale, in base alla legge che delinea privilegi e opportunità per rifugiati e richiedenti asilo, e le modalità per accedere all’acquisizione dei documenti d’identità.


    #Kenya #camps_de_réfugiés #villes #documents_d'identité #travail

  • Dans les plantations de thé fournissant Lipton, le scandale des abus sexuels
    « Le vrai coût de notre thé ». Voilà le nom de l’enquête terrifiante que vient de publier la BBC. Une journaliste sous couverture a intégré des plantations kényanes qui fournissent du thé à des marques comme Lipton. Elle a recueilli les témoignages de dizaines de femmes victimes d’abus sexuel de leurs supérieurs. La journaliste elle-même a été victime de harcèlement sexuel alors que plusieurs responsables ont été suspendus depuis les révélations.

    C’est un scandale d’ampleur que vient de révéler la BBC. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-64662056 Dans une enquête publiée le 20 février, la chaine britannique a recueilli les témoignages de nombreuses femmes victimes d’abus sexuels dans des plantations de thé au Kenya. Les plantations pointées du doigt appartiennent à Lipton Teas and Infusion, qui était il y a peu une filiale du géant britannique de l’agroalimentaire et des produits d’hygiène Unilever, ainsi qu’à sa compatriote James Finlay, filiale du conglomérat Swire.

    « Plus de 70 femmes dans des plantations de thé kényanes détenues pendant des années par deux sociétés britanniques ont raconté à la BBC avoir été abusées sexuellement par leurs supérieurs » , a rapporté la chaîne britannique sur son site internet. Selon les témoignages recueillis par la BBC, plusieurs victimes ont affirmé n’avoir d’autre choix que de céder aux exigences sexuelles de leurs patrons pour obtenir ou conserver leur emploi.

    Viol d’une jeune fille de 14 ans
    L’une d’elles dit avoir été infectée par le VIH, tandis que d’autres sont tombées enceintes, selon cette enquête de BBC Africa Eye/Panorama. Un responsable est accusé d’avoir violé une jeune fille de 14 ans qui vivait dans l’une des plantations. « Katy », une journaliste sous couverture, a également subi du harcèlement sexuel de la part de deux supérieurs. L’un des recruteurs de l’entreprise James Finlay & Co l’a plaquée contre une fenêtre en lui demandant de se déshabiller. « Katy a également été victime de harcèlement sexuel lorsqu’elle était sous couverture dans une ferme, qui était à l’époque dirigée par Unilever », note la BBC.

    Unilever, dont la vente de ses opérations au Kenya est intervenue pendant le tournage, s’est dit « profondément choqué par les allégations du programme de la BBC », . . . .

    La suite : https://www.novethic.fr/actualite/social/droits-humains/isr-rse/dans-les-plantations-de-the-de-lipton-le-scandale-des-abus-sexuels-151363.h

    #Thé #viols #abus_sexuels #Lipton #unilever (étonné) #Kenya #violence #multinationale

  • EU dumps 37 million items of plastic clothing in Kenya a year.

    “We went to the Ground Zero of the #fast_fashion world to unmask an ugly truth - that the trade of used clothing from Europe is, to a large and growing extent, a trade in hidden waste,” says Betterman Simidi Musasia, founder and patron of Clean Up Kenya, which advocates for sustainable public sanitation.

    [...] “A large proportion of clothing donated to charity by well-meaning people ends up this way. Why? Because the backbone of the fast fashion industry is plastic, and plastic clothing is essentially junk,” says Musasia.

    [...] More than two thirds of clothing is now made of plastics like nylon and polyester which are impossible to recycle.

    #déchets #vêtements #plastique #pollution

  • OpenAI Used Kenyan Workers on Less Than $2 Per Hour: Exclusive | Time

    In a statement, an OpenAI spokesperson confirmed that Sama employees in Kenya contributed to a tool it was building to detect toxic content, which was eventually built into ChatGPT. The statement also said that this work contributed to efforts to remove toxic data from the training datasets of tools like ChatGPT. “Our mission is to ensure artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity, and we work hard to build safe and useful AI systems that limit bias and harmful content,” the spokesperson said. “Classifying and filtering harmful [text and images] is a necessary step in minimizing the amount of violent and sexual content included in training data and creating tools that can detect harmful content.”

    Even as the wider tech economy slows down amid anticipation of a downturn, investors are racing to pour billions of dollars into “generative AI,” the sector of the tech industry of which OpenAI is the undisputed leader. Computer-generated text, images, video, and audio will transform the way countless industries do business, the most bullish investors believe, boosting efficiency everywhere from the creative arts, to law, to computer programming. But the working conditions of data labelers reveal a darker part of that picture: that for all its glamor, AI often relies on hidden human labor in the Global South that can often be damaging and exploitative. These invisible workers remain on the margins even as their work contributes to billion-dollar industries.

    Read More: AI Helped Write This Play. It May Contain Racism

    One Sama worker tasked with reading and labeling text for OpenAI told TIME he suffered from recurring visions after reading a graphic description of a man having sex with a dog in the presence of a young child. “That was torture,” he said. “You will read a number of statements like that all through the week. By the time it gets to Friday, you are disturbed from thinking through that picture.” The work’s traumatic nature eventually led Sama to cancel all its work for OpenAI in February 2022, eight months earlier than planned.
    The Sama contracts

    Documents reviewed by TIME show that OpenAI signed three contracts worth about $200,000 in total with Sama in late 2021 to label textual descriptions of sexual abuse, hate speech, and violence. Around three dozen workers were split into three teams, one focusing on each subject. Three employees told TIME they were expected to read and label between 150 and 250 passages of text per nine-hour shift. Those snippets could range from around 100 words to well over 1,000. All of the four employees interviewed by TIME described being mentally scarred by the work. Although they were entitled to attend sessions with “wellness” counselors, all four said these sessions were unhelpful and rare due to high demands to be more productive at work. Two said they were only given the option to attend group sessions, and one said their requests to see counselors on a one-to-one basis instead were repeatedly denied by Sama management.

    In a statement, a Sama spokesperson said it was “incorrect” that employees only had access to group sessions. Employees were entitled to both individual and group sessions with “professionally-trained and licensed mental health therapists,” the spokesperson said. These therapists were accessible at any time, the spokesperson added.

    The contracts stated that OpenAI would pay an hourly rate of $12.50 to Sama for the work, which was between six and nine times the amount Sama employees on the project were taking home per hour. Agents, the most junior data labelers who made up the majority of the three teams, were paid a basic salary of 21,000 Kenyan shillings ($170) per month, according to three Sama employees. They also received monthly bonuses worth around $70 due to the explicit nature of their work, and would receive commission for meeting key performance indicators like accuracy and speed. An agent working nine-hour shifts could expect to take home a total of at least $1.32 per hour after tax, rising to as high as $1.44 per hour if they exceeded all their targets. Quality analysts—more senior labelers whose job was to check the work of agents—could take home up to $2 per hour if they met all their targets. (There is no universal minimum wage in Kenya, but at the time these workers were employed the minimum wage for a receptionist in Nairobi was $1.52 per hour.)

    In a statement, a Sama spokesperson said workers were asked to label 70 text passages per nine hour shift, not up to 250, and that workers could earn between $1.46 and $3.74 per hour after taxes. The spokesperson declined to say what job roles would earn salaries toward the top of that range. “The $12.50 rate for the project covers all costs, like infrastructure expenses, and salary and benefits for the associates and their fully-dedicated quality assurance analysts and team leaders,” the spokesperson added.

    Read More: Fun AI Apps Are Everywhere Right Now. But a Safety ‘Reckoning’ Is Coming

    An OpenAI spokesperson said in a statement that the company did not issue any productivity targets, and that Sama was responsible for managing the payment and mental health provisions for employees. The spokesperson added: “we take the mental health of our employees and those of our contractors very seriously. Our previous understanding was that [at Sama] wellness programs and 1:1 counseling were offered, workers could opt out of any work without penalization, exposure to explicit content would have a limit, and sensitive information would be handled by workers who were specifically trained to do so.”

    In the day-to-day work of data labeling in Kenya, sometimes edge cases would pop up that showed the difficulty of teaching a machine to understand nuance. One day in early March last year, a Sama employee was at work reading an explicit story about Batman’s sidekick, Robin, being raped in a villain’s lair. (An online search for the text reveals that it originated from an online erotica site, where it is accompanied by explicit sexual imagery.) The beginning of the story makes clear that the sex is nonconsensual. But later—after a graphically detailed description of penetration—Robin begins to reciprocate. The Sama employee tasked with labeling the text appeared confused by Robin’s ambiguous consent, and asked OpenAI researchers for clarification about how to label the text, according to documents seen by TIME. Should the passage be labeled as sexual violence, she asked, or not? OpenAI’s reply, if it ever came, is not logged in the document; the company declined to comment. The Sama employee did not respond to a request for an interview.
    How OpenAI’s relationship with Sama collapsed

    In February 2022, Sama and OpenAI’s relationship briefly deepened, only to falter. That month, Sama began pilot work for a separate project for OpenAI: collecting sexual and violent images—some of them illegal under U.S. law—to deliver to OpenAI. The work of labeling images appears to be unrelated to ChatGPT. In a statement, an OpenAI spokesperson did not specify the purpose of the images the company sought from Sama, but said labeling harmful images was “a necessary step” in making its AI tools safer. (OpenAI also builds image-generation technology.) In February, according to one billing document reviewed by TIME, Sama delivered OpenAI a sample batch of 1,400 images. Some of those images were categorized as “C4”—OpenAI’s internal label denoting child sexual abuse—according to the document. Also included in the batch were “C3” images (including bestiality, rape, and sexual slavery,) and “V3” images depicting graphic detail of death, violence or serious physical injury, according to the billing document. OpenAI paid Sama a total of $787.50 for collecting the images, the document shows.

    Within weeks, Sama had canceled all its work for OpenAI—eight months earlier than agreed in the contracts. The outsourcing company said in a statement that its agreement to collect images for OpenAI did not include any reference to illegal content, and it was only after the work had begun that OpenAI sent “additional instructions” referring to “some illegal categories.” “The East Africa team raised concerns to our executives right away. Sama immediately ended the image classification pilot and gave notice that we would cancel all remaining [projects] with OpenAI,” a Sama spokesperson said. “The individuals working with the client did not vet the request through the proper channels. After a review of the situation, individuals were terminated and new sales vetting policies and guardrails were put in place.”

    In a statement, OpenAI confirmed that it had received 1,400 images from Sama that “​​included, but were not limited to, C4, C3, C2, V3, V2, and V1 images.” In a followup statement, the company said: “We engaged Sama as part of our ongoing work to create safer AI systems and prevent harmful outputs. We never intended for any content in the C4 category to be collected. This content is not needed as an input to our pretraining filters and we instruct our employees to actively avoid it. As soon as Sama told us they had attempted to collect content in this category, we clarified that there had been a miscommunication and that we didn’t want that content. And after realizing that there had been a miscommunication, we did not open or view the content in question — so we cannot confirm if it contained images in the C4 category.”

    Sama’s decision to end its work with OpenAI meant Sama employees no longer had to deal with disturbing text and imagery, but it also had a big impact on their livelihoods. Sama workers say that in late February 2022 they were called into a meeting with members of the company’s human resources team, where they were told the news. “We were told that they [Sama] didn’t want to expose their employees to such [dangerous] content again,” one Sama employee on the text-labeling projects said. “We replied that for us, it was a way to provide for our families.” Most of the roughly three dozen workers were moved onto other lower-paying workstreams without the $70 explicit content bonus per month; others lost their jobs. Sama delivered its last batch of labeled data to OpenAI in March, eight months before the contract was due to end.

    Because the contracts were canceled early, both OpenAI and Sama said the $200,000 they had previously agreed was not paid in full. OpenAI said the contracts were worth “about $150,000 over the course of the partnership.”

    Sama employees say they were given another reason for the cancellation of the contracts by their managers. On Feb. 14, TIME published a story titled Inside Facebook’s African Sweatshop. The investigation detailed how Sama employed content moderators for Facebook, whose jobs involved viewing images and videos of executions, rape and child abuse for as little as $1.50 per hour. Four Sama employees said they were told the investigation prompted the company’s decision to end its work for OpenAI. (Facebook says it requires its outsourcing partners to “provide industry-leading pay, benefits and support.”)

    Read More: Inside Facebook’s African Sweatshop

    Internal communications from after the Facebook story was published, reviewed by TIME, show Sama executives in San Francisco scrambling to deal with the PR fallout, including obliging one company, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, that wanted evidence of its business relationship with Sama scrubbed from the outsourcing firm’s website. In a statement to TIME, Lufthansa confirmed that this occurred, and added that its subsidiary zeroG subsequently terminated its business with Sama. On Feb. 17, three days after TIME’s investigation was published, Sama CEO Wendy Gonzalez sent a message to a group of senior executives via Slack: “We are going to be winding down the OpenAI work.”

    On Jan. 10 of this year, Sama went a step further, announcing it was canceling all the rest of its work with sensitive content. The firm said it would not renew its $3.9 million content moderation contract with Facebook, resulting in the loss of some 200 jobs in Nairobi. “After numerous discussions with our global team, Sama made the strategic decision to exit all [natural language processing] and content moderation work to focus on computer vision data annotation solutions,” the company said in a statement. “We have spent the past year working with clients to transition those engagements, and the exit will be complete as of March 2023.”

    But the need for humans to label data for AI systems remains, at least for now. “They’re impressive, but ChatGPT and other generative models are not magic – they rely on massive supply chains of human labor and scraped data, much of which is unattributed and used without consent,” Andrew Strait, an AI ethicist, recently wrote on Twitter. “These are serious, foundational problems that I do not see OpenAI addressing.”

    With reporting by Julia Zorthian/New York

    #Travail_clic #Etiquetage #Intelligence_artificielle #Kenya #Violence_sexuelle #Modération

  • Community adaptation strategies in Nairobi informal settlements: Lessons from Korogocho, Nairobi-Kenya

    Informal settlements are often the hotspots of vulnerability as evidenced by the recurrent environmental and climate-related shocks and stressors. Despite this exposure and susceptibility, their role in spearheading disaster risk preparedness and response is often overlooked. This exploratory research profiles four local community initiatives for climate mitigation and adaptation within Korogocho informal settlement in Kenya. Findings from 10 purposefully sampled key informants and 30 stratified sampled residents across nine villages within the informal settlement demonstrated the impact of locally led initiatives in creating awareness and developing the absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacity of communities for climate resilience. The research findings elaborate on the (...)

  • Analizzare la deforestazione tramite l’utilizzo di droni

    La foresta Mau, situata nella parte occidentale del Kenya, ha subito processi di deforestazione già in epoca coloniale, inizialmente per soddisfare la richiesta di legname da usare come combustibile per lo sviluppo della ferrovia dell’Uganda. Ma è soprattutto durante la fase di transizione verso la democrazia, tra gli anni Ottanta e primi anni Duemila, che si assiste a una maggiore perdita di superficie forestale, in quanto in questo momento sono state illecitamente attribuite terre tramite programmi di insediamento rurale come mezzo per ottenere consenso politico.

    Missione in Kenya

    In agosto 2019, con la supervisione del professor Valerio Bini e il supporto dell’associazione italiana Mani Tese e dell’organizzazione svizzera #Drone_Adventures, mi sono recato in Kenya per mappare una parte della foresta #Ndoinet tramite l’ausilio di droni ad ali fisse, con l’intento di quantificare e localizzare la presenza di pascoli di bovini e ovini e analizzare la tipologia di foresta.

    Durante la missione, con 22 voli, è stata coperta una superficie forestale di 6’000 ettari. In seguito Drone Adventures ha realizzato una ortofoto di tutta l’area mappata, utile per avere un’idea generale ma non per raggiungere gli obiettivi preposti.

    Analisi delle immagini

    Si è quindi deciso di suddividere le fotografie dei singoli voli, circa 300-400 immagini per cartella, tra più studenti. Nella mia ricerca ho quindi incluso un capitolo dedicato specificatamente allo scopo di fornire linee guida ad altri studenti su come gestire ed elaborare le fotografie in modo uniforme e ottimale. Nell’ultimo capitolo ho invece analizzato le fotografie di uno specifico volo, confermando ad esempio che l’area analizzata è composta perlopiù da foresta di transizione e spazio aperto contro una minima parte di foresta densa.

    Il dato più rilevante emerso da questa analisi è rappresentato dalla distribuzione degli animali che si trovano tuttora nelle zone di insediamento abbandonate nei decenni scorsi. Ciò può influenzare in modo diretto la ricrescita o meno della foresta in quelle zone.

    Attraverso le fotografie ho potuto riscontrare la presenza indiretta dell’uomo, grazie all’osservazione di alberi caduti, ciò che fa pensare, vista la vicinanza a strade o insediamenti abbandonati, all’abbattimento volontario antropico e non a cause naturali.

    Lo stesso si può dire anche per le possibili tracce di incendio che sono raggruppate in una specifica area “corridoio” tra le due strade. In un caso si è anche potuto osservare la presenza di fuoco vivo.


    L’utilizzo dei droni in questo contesto si è dimostrato molto utile in quanto permette, in un tempo ristretto, di avere una panoramica su un determinato settore di foresta. Questo facilita l’ottenimento di informazioni vitali per proteggere la foresta, come l’individuazione di fuoco vivo, che può indicare un principio di incendio o produzione illegale di carbone, senza la necessità di ricorrere all’uso di elicotteri, molto più costosi e inquinanti.

    L’analisi della deforestazione tramite droni si è rivelata efficace e conferma che questi nuovi strumenti possono essere utilizzati anche per foreste in altre aree, così come per analizzare altre situazioni in cui è difficile accedere in altri modi.


    #drones #déforestation #cartographie #forêt #Mau #Kenya

  • La rose kenyane face aux nouveaux défis de la mondialisation

    Le secteur des roses coupées est une composante majeure de l’insertion du Kenya dans la mondialisation des échanges. Cette production intensive sous serre, née de l’investissement de capitaux étrangers, tente de s’adapter aux évolutions récentes de l’économie globale et de tirer parti des nouvelles opportunités qu’offre ce marché. Les recompositions productives à l’œuvre concernent en premier lieu la diversification variétale et la montée en gamme de la production du cluster kenyan. Elles révèlent également de nouvelles interactions entre les producteurs et les obtenteurs. Par ailleurs, ce modèle productif fondé sur l’#exportation doit aujourd’hui faire face à de nouveaux défis en lien avec l’affirmation, au sein des principaux pays importateurs, d’un #capitalisme_d’attention centré sur les problématiques éthiques et environnementales. Ce contexte incite les producteurs kenyans à réduire leur dépendance historique vis-à-vis de l’#Europe et en particulier des #Pays-Bas en misant sur de nouvelles modalités de mise en marché et en diversifiant leurs débouchés commerciaux.


    #rose #fleur #Kenya #mondialisation #globalisation #ressources_pédagogiques #éthique #commerce

    • Une lecture géographique du voyage de la rose kenyane : de l’éclatement de la chaîne d’approvisionnement aux innovations logistiques

      La #rosiculture et sa #commercialisation à l’échelle internationale stimulent l’#innovation_logistique et révèlent des #interdépendances anciennes entre #floriculture, #transport et #logistique. L’objectif de cet article est de montrer, à travers la chaîne d’approvisionnement de la rose coupée commercialisée en Europe, que les exigences de la filière induisent des bouleversements et des innovations dans la chaîne logistique associée. Celles-ci ont un caractère profondément spatial qui justifie une analyse géographique de l’évolution de la chaîne d’approvisionnement : les imbrications entre floriculture et logistique produisent des effets de proximité puis de distance, de changement d’échelle, mais également des effets de concentration spatiale, de géophagie, de fluidité, ou encore d’imperméabilité. Ces recompositions spatiales se lisent à la fois à l’échelle de la chaîne d’approvisionnement dans son intégralité, des serres aux marchés de consommation, qu’à celle des lieux, des nœuds qui la composent : le pack house à la ferme, l’#aéroport Jomo Kenyatta de Nairobi ou encore le complexe logistique articulé entre l’aéroport d’#Amsterdam-Schiphol et les enchères de #Royal_Flora_Holland à Aalsmeer.


  • #Mariano_Pittana

    Nacque a San Paolo, frazione di Morsano al Tagliamento (Udine), il 9 settembre 1908 da Angelo e Pasquina Marus, penultimo di sette figli. Nel suo curriculum scolastico vanta il primato di essere stato il primo friulano (dopo la riforma dei corsi universitari) laureato all’Istituto universitario di architettura di Venezia nel novembre 1933, discutendo per tesi un progetto di villaggio turistico nell’area di Sant’Elena della città lagunare. Nel 1935 interruppe l’attività professionale appena avviata (vincitore ex aequo del concorso per la progettazione della colonia alpina di Tarvisio) per il richiamo al servizio militare, iniziando un periodo (che si protrasse fino al 1940) di lavori in Africa orientale, ad Addis Abeba, all’ufficio del genio civile. Nella città capitale dell’Etiopia (per la quale l’architetto Marcello Piacentini – ispiratore dello “#stile_littorio” tanto caro alle gerarchie fasciste – teorizzava la costruzione di edifici fortemente ispirati alla “romanità”) P. realizzò l’ampliamento dell’#ospedale_Duca_degli_Abruzzi, il #cinema_Impero, il #mercato_indigeno (una serie di padiglioni a un piano, sollevati da terra da pilastri per consentire l’esposizione della merce, immersi nel bosco di eucalipti che separa la città indigena dai quartieri europei), il palazzo per la sede dell’Ente Cotone e numerosi edifici commerciali e di abitazione, lavorando spesso con il fratello Tita, ingegnere. Alcune di queste opere furono interrotte a causa dello scoppio della seconda guerra mondiale. Partecipò come ufficiale al secondo conflitto mondiale e trascorse cinque anni in un campo di prigionia degli inglesi in Kenia. Al rientro in patria lavorò prima a Milano e poi si trasferì a Udine, aprendo lo studio professionale in via della Rosta. Negli anni Cinquanta, caratterizzati da una intensa attività edilizia, P. firmò i suoi migliori progetti: la casa di ricovero per anziani Daniele Moro a Morsano al Tagliamento, il centro studi di Pordenone (incarico assegnato a seguito di pubblico concorso di progettazione), la chiesa parrocchiale di Cordovado (in provincia di Pordenone) e, nella città di Udine, il palazzo Margotti in piazzale Osoppo, all’angolo tra le vie Gemona e di Toppo, i condomini di via Gemona, di via S. Chiara e di piazzale Osoppo. Agli anni Sessanta risalgono le scuole medie e il nuovo ospedale civile ad Aviano, il Centro sperimentale agricolo di San Vito al Tagliamento, le case per lavoratori del piano settennale INA casa (in collaborazione con l’ingegnere Plateo) in diversi comuni friulani (Attimis, Basiliano, Maniago, Martignacco, San Daniele del Friuli, Sequals, Tricesimo). In queste ultime realizzazioni P. seppe far convivere le proprie intuizioni e abilità compositivo-architettoniche con il rispetto degli standard prestazionali, funzionali e di spesa imposti dalla normativa di settore. Agli ultimi anni di attività risalgono i progetti a Mombasa (Kenya) del terminal e albergo dell’Air France, la realizzazione di un paio di alberghi e ville a Lignano Sabbadioro e a San Martino di Castrozza e di altri condomini a Udine (in piazzale Chiavris, all’angolo con via Colugna, in via Carducci, in via Cicogna, in via Tiberio Deciani, in via Montello). L’edificio che meglio rappresenta la cifra progettuale dell’arch. P. è sicuramente palazzo Margotti: un edificio massiccio con un coronamento “trasparente” all’ultimo piano, che ne alleggerisce la mole, con facciate arricchite da un gioco di luci e ombre prodotto da terrazze ora rientranti ora sporgenti, che si pongono in evidente contrasto con il dirimpettaio palazzo della Cassa di risparmio di Ermes Midena. Ad esaltare ulteriormente la differenza tra i due edifici, la scelta fatta da P. di impiegare un rivestimento di pietra con vibranti riflessi ferrigni, che conferiscono “colore” all’intero fabbricato. Nel maggio 1983 l’ordine degli architetti gli conferì un sigillo, disegnato dallo scultore Luciano Ceschia, a testimonianza della cinquantennale iscrizione all’albo professionale. P. morì a Udine il 4 maggio 1986, dopo aver patito per più di vent’anni una grave malattia che rallentò e limitò moltissimo l’attività progettuale.

    #Pittana #histoire #Italie #architecte #architecture #architecture_coloniale #histoire_coloniale #Italie_coloniale #colonialisme_italien #Addis_Abeba #Ethiopie #Tita_Pittana #Kenya


    découvert son existence dans le film de #Alessandra_Ferrini « negotiating amnesia » :


    ajouté à la métaliste sur l’Italie coloniale :

  • La Décolonisation britannique, l’art de filer à l’anglaise

    Le 24 mars 1947, Lord Mountbatten est intronisé Vice-roi des Indes dans un faste éblouissant. Alors que l’émancipation de 410 millions d’indiens est programmée, la couronne britannique tente de sauver les apparences en brillant de tous ses feux. Cinq mois de discussions entre les forces en présence aboutissent à un découpage arbitraire du territoire entre le Pakistan et l’Inde avec des conséquences désastreuses. Des violences qui sont reléguées au second plan par l’adhésion des deux nouveaux États souverains à la grande communauté du Commonwealth. Un arrangement qui ne va pas sans arrière-pensées. Mais déjà la Malaisie et le Kenya s’enflamment à leur tour. Dans les deux cas, la violence extrême de la répression qui s’abat est occultée par une diabolisation « de l’ennemi » et par une machine de propagande redoutable qui permet aux autorités de maîtriser le récit des événements.
    En 1956, la Grande-Bretagne échoue à rétablir son aura impériale après avoir été obligée d’abandonner le canal de Suez par les deux nouveaux maîtres du monde : l’URSS et les États-Unis. Le nouveau Premier ministre, Harold Macmillan, demande un « audit d’empire », pour évaluer le poids économique du maintien des colonies, car il sait que le pays n’a plus les moyens de poursuivre sa politique impérialiste. Il est prêt à y renoncer, à condition de restaurer le prestige national.
    Une décision mal vue par l’armée. En 1967 au Yémen, des unités britanniques renégates défient le gouvernement et s’adonnent à une répression féroce, obligeant la Grande-Bretagne à prononcer son retrait. En Rhodésie du Sud, c’est au tour de la communauté blanche de faire sécession et d’instaurer un régime d’apartheid. Incapable de mettre au pas ses sujets, signe de son impuissance, la couronne est condamnée à accepter l’aide du Commonwealth pour aboutir à un accord qui donne lieu à la naissance du Zimbabwe.
    Après la perte de sa dernière colonie africaine, l’Empire britannique a vécu et le dernier sursaut impérialiste de Margaret Thatcher aux Malouines n’y change rien. Jusqu’à aujourd’hui, la décolonisation demeure un traumatisme dans ces pays déstabilisés par leur ancien maître colonial tandis qu’au Royaume-Uni, la nostalgie prend le pas sur un travail de mémoire pourtant nécessaire.

    #film #film_documentaire #documentaire
    #colonisation #décolonisation #Inde #Pakistan #violence #Lord_Mountbatten #frontières #déplacement_de_populations #partition_de_l'Inde #Malaisie #torture #Commonwealth #Kenya #Mau_Mau #camps_d'internement #Kimathi #serment_Mau_Mau #travaux_forcés #Aden #Rhodésie_du_Sud #réserves #îles_Malouines

    ping @postcolonial

  • Omicron knocking on China’s ’zero Covid’ door - Asia Times

    Omicron knocking on China’s ‘zero Covid’ door
    HONG KONG – A trickle of Omicron cases is penetrating Hong Kong’s “zero Covid” defenses, worrying residents of a next viral wave and imperiling highly anticipated plans to reopen the border with the mainland later this month. As of Saturday, the city had identified 14 cases of the highly contagious variant.At the same time, China reported 125 new Covid-19 cases for Friday, of which 89 were local, according to the National Health Commission. Reports noted that marked the biggest daily tally for local infections since November 30 when the country had 91 domestic cases. It wasn’t immediately clear how many of the cases recorded on Friday, if any, were Omicron. The outbreak forced more than a dozen factories in China’s eastern manufacturing hub of Zhejiang province to close, according to reports.
    The cracks in China’s “zero Covid” come as the new highly contagious variant first discovered in South Africa surges in the West, with particularly rapid upticks in cases seen in the United Kingdom and the United States. New York state broke a record in new daily cases on Friday with 21,027 new infections reported.Australia’s populous New South Wales state reported a record 2,482 Covid-19 cases on Saturday, a day after easing international arrival rules for vaccinated travelers, indicating Omicron is likely taking hold Down Under. Hong Kong threatens to be an Omicron gateway into mainland China if the border is reopened. He was exempted from a 21-day quarantine after arriving in the city due to the nature of his job. During a three-day enhanced medical surveillance period, he stayed at home at Cheung Hing Building, 44-48 Pitt Street, Yau Ma Tei. But on Wednesday, he went to a mobile testing station in his neighborhood for a Covid-19 test and some places to buy food.When he arrived at the testing station, he developed symptoms on the same day with a cycle threshold (ct) value of about 25 to 29 and was immediately sent to quarantine. The pilot, who had been inoculated with two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on March 22 and April 15 in Hong Kong, carried the N501Y mutant strain but was negative for the L452R and E484K strains.As the Department of Health suspected that the man could be carrying the Omicron strain, it issued a mandatory Covid-test order to six places, including a Wellcome supermarket at 40 Waterloo Road, a Starbucks coffee shop at 56 Dundas Street, a city superstore at the Gateway Arcade of Harbor City, a Circle K store at 50-52 Pitt Street, a Mannings shop at 494-496 Nathan Road and another Wellcome supermarket at 1 Kwong Wa Street. Prior to this, a mandatory test order has been issued to people who live in the Cheung Hing Building where the infected pilot resides. As of Friday, none of the 160 people in the building has tested positive. Cathay Pacific said the operating aircraft that the pilot flew had been sent for deep cleaning. It said all of its operating flight crew was fully vaccinated.On Friday, two more Omicron cases were identified among cargo crew members of the same flight, which arrived in Hong Kong from Kenya, India and Uganda via the United Arab Emirates on flight ACP502. on Wednesday.The duo included a 41-year-old and a 27-year-old man who had received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the Moderna vaccine, respectively, in Kenya. Earlier this week, the Hong Kong government declared that travelers returning from the United States and United Kingdom would have to spend a week of quarantine in spartan isolation camps and then serve another 14 days in a hotel room they pay for themselves.


  • Coronavirus: Britain, US top exporters of Omicron to Hong Kong so far, with cases expected to surge over Christmas holidays | South China Morning Post

    Coronavirus: Britain, US top exporters of Omicron to Hong Kong so far, with cases expected to surge over Christmas holidays
    Published: 3:20pm, 21 Dec, 2021
    About a quarter of Hong Kong’s imported Covid-19 Omicron infections so far have been arrivals from Britain, the most from any country, with the United States next in line, a Post review of recent cases has found amid a near-daily detection rate of the highly transmissive variant over the past week.As Omicron continued its global spread, a medical expert on Tuesday warned that a surge of such infections over the next week was all but certain, with residents coming back to the city for the holidays.
    “As more residents return to Hong Kong from Britain and the United States, the city will see the number of imported infections increase substantially”, said Dr Ho Pak-leung, an infectious disease expert from the University of Hong Kong.He also criticised the government for waiting until Tuesday to add the United Kingdom to the new highest-risk category, just over a week after the country was found to be the source of two imported Omicron infections.“From the anti-pandemic perspective, it’s not ideal, and will increase the infection risks to Hong Kong,” he told a local radio programme.
    Hong Kong on Tuesday confirmed eight new Covid-19 cases, including seven that carried N501Y, a key mutation linked to Omicron. Those infections took the city’s overall tally to 12,541, with 213 related deaths.
    Separately, the government announced that all its employees would be required to present proof of Covid-19 vaccination when entering official buildings for work, taking effect in mid-February next year.Since the city’s first Omicron case was confirmed in late November, a total of 19 – all imported – have been recorded.
    Five returned to the city from Britain, accounting for 26.3 per cent of all cases. The United States came in second, with four cases, while the rest were spread mostly among African countries including South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.Since December 12, almost every day has included an Omicron infection among the Covid-19 caseload. On Friday, four of the seven cases involved the new variant, the most yet in a single day.Ho on Tuesday warned the city to brace for a surge in such cases as residents flocked home for Christmas from countries where Omicron had already become the dominant version of Covid-19.Britain was added to Hong Kong’s highest coronavirus risk category on Tuesday, meaning arrivals from that country must now spend the first portion of their mandatory quarantine at the government’s Penny’s Bay facility.


  • World Bank’s COVID-19 Assistance to Kenya Benefits Multinational Agribusiness and Agrochemical Firms | The Oakland Institute

    The World Bank(link is external) and International Monetary Fund(link is external) (IMF) have committed billions of dollars in loans to help countries respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While some of these loans will be used to strengthen the capacity of health systems, the funding appears conditioned on countries adopting policies favorable to the private sector. World Bank President David Malpass has explicitly laid out the types of policy shifts that will be necessary for countries to receive support, stating(link is external) in March, “For those countries that have excessive regulations, subsidies, licensing regimes, trade protection, or litigiousness as obstacles, we will work with them to foster markets, choice, and fast growth prospects during the recovery.”

    Kenya offers a striking illustration on how this conditionality materializes for a mostly rural economy in Africa, where the Bank is behind significant reforms and deregulation in the agricultural sector. On May 20th, the Bank approved US$1 billion(link is external) to support the second phase of the country’s Inclusive Growth and Fiscal Management Development Policy Financing (DPF) Program. Hailed by the Bank(link is external) as a timely response to the ongoing economic shock, the DPF loan aims to support affordable housing and expand access to agricultural inputs with a subsidy program that will allow farmers to purchase fertilizers, “improved” seed, and agrochemicals through electronic vouchers (e-vouchers) sent to their mobile phones.

    While the proportion of the DPF loan that will be spent on the e-voucher program remains to be confirmed, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation announced(link is external) before the onset of the pandemic that approximately US$500 million would be allocated to the input program. As of March 2020, the first round of the DPF e-voucher subsidies reached 86,000 farmers and the second phase of the program(link is external) aims to reach 150,000 by 2021.

    #Fmi #Banque_mondiale #Kenya #agroindustrie

  • (1) Coronavirus live: England sets daily jabs record; Von der Leyen issues fresh warning to AstraZeneca | World news | The Guardian

    Kenya’s plans to offer free Covid-19 vaccines to all diplomats based in the country, including United Nations staff, has been met with criticism by local medics after the country’s health workers have not all been inoculated.
    Seen by Reuters, a letter by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to diplomatic missions was where the offer was made. Macharia Kamau, the foreign ministry principal secretary, said they need to “protect everyone resident in Kenya,” including the international community. The capital and the largest city in the country, Nairobi, hosts the U.N. headquarters in Africa and is one of four major sites worldwide where agencies like UNICEF and others have huge presences.Kamau estimates that 25,000 to 30,000 diplomats, U.N. staff and family members live in the country’s capital.Just over 28,000 health workers, teachers, and security personnel had received their first shots, the Ministry of Health said in a March 19 post on Twitter.It said in early March that it would set aside 400,000 vaccines for health staff and other essential workers. “I think the government should focus on getting the priority population vaccinated and achieving vaccine acceptancy with them before opening up to diplomats,” said Elizabeth Gitau, a Kenyan physician and the chief executive officer of the Kenya Medical Association (KMA).
    The health ministry referred questions to the foreign ministry. Two Nairobi-based diplomats who declined to be identified confirmed their embassies had received the offer.“Kenyans must be given priority,” said Chibanzi Mwachonda, head of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union.The government note said vaccinations would begin on March 23, and only accredited diplomats and their families were eligible.
    Kenya has so far only received two batches of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines - just over 1 million via COVAX and a 100,000 shot donation from the Indian government.


  • Making sense of silenced #archives: #Hume, Scotland and the ‘debate’ about the humanity of Black people

    Last September, the University of Edinburgh found itself at the centre of international scrutiny after temporarily renaming the #David_Hume Tower (now referred to by its street designation 40 George Square). The decision to rename the building, and hold a review on the way forward, prompted much commentary – a great deal of which encouraged a reckoning on what David Hume means to the University, its staff and students. These ideas include the full extent of Hume’s views on humanity, to establish whether he maintained any possible links (ideological or participatory) in the slave trade, and the role of Scotland in the African slave trade.

    Hume’s belief that Black people were a sub-human species of lower intellectual and biological rank to Europeans have rightfully taken stage in reflecting whether his values deserve commemoration on a campus. “I am apt to suspect the negroes and in general all other species of men (for there are four or five different kinds) to be naturally inferior to the whites. […] No ingenious manufactures amongst them, no arts, no sciences.” The full link to the footnote can be found here.

    Deliberations are split on whether statues and buildings are being unfairly ‘targeted’ or whether the totality of ideas held by individuals whose names are commemorated by these structures stand in opposition to a modern university’s values. Depending on who you ask, the debate over the tower fluctuates between moral and procedural. On the latter, it must be noted the University has in the past renamed buildings at the behest of calls for review across specific points in history. The Hastings ‘Kamuzu’ Banda building on Hill Place was quietly renamed in 1995, with no clarity on whether there was a formal review process at the time. On the moral end, it is about either the legacy or demythologization of David Hume.

    Some opposing the name change argue against applying present moral standards to judge what was not recognised in the past. Furthermore, they point to the archives to argue that prior to the 1760s there is scant evidence that Scots were not anything more than complicit to the slave trade given the vast wealth it brought.

    I argue against this and insist that the African experience and the engaged intellectual abolition movement deserves prominence in this contemporary debate about Hume.

    For to defend ‘passive complicity’ is to undermine both the Africans who rose in opposition against their oppression for hundreds of years and the explicit goals of white supremacy. For access to mass acquisition of resources on inhabited land requires violent dispossession of profitable lands and forced relocation of populations living on them. The ‘moral justification’ of denying the humanity of the enslaved African people has historically been defended through the strategic and deliberate creation of ‘myths’ – specifically Afrophobia – to validate these atrocities and to defend settler colonialism and exploitation. Any intellectual inquiry of the renaming of the tower must take the genuine concern into account: What was David Hume’s role in the strategic myth-making about African people in the Scottish imagination?

    If we are starting with the archives as evidence of Scottish complicity in the slave trade, why ignore African voices on this matter? Does the Scottish archive adequately represent the African experience within the slave trade? How do we interpret their silence in the archives?

    Decolonisation, the process Franz Fanon described as when “the ‘thing’ colonised becomes a human through the very process of liberation”, offers a radical praxis through which we can interrogate the role of the archive in affirming or disregarding the human experience. If we establish that the 18th century Scottish archive was not invested in preserving ‘both sides’ of the debate’, then the next route is to establish knowledge outside of a colonial framework where the ideology, resistance and liberation of Africans is centred. That knowledge is under the custodianship of African communities, who have relied on intricate and deeply entrenched oral traditions and practices which are still used to communicate culture, history, science and methods.

    To reinforce a point raised by Professor Tommy Curry, the fact that Africans were aware of their humanity to attempt mutiny in slave ships (Meermin & Amistad) and to overthrow colonial governance (the Haitian revolution) amidst the day-to-day attempts to evade slave traders is enough to refute the insistence that the debates must centre around what Scots understood about the slave trade in the 18th century.

    To make sense of these gaps in my own research, I have broadly excavated the archival records in Scotland if only to establish that a thorough documentation of the African-led resistance to Scottish participation in the slave trade and colonialism cannot be located in the archives.

    Dr David Livingstone (1813–1873), whose writing documenting the slave trade across the African Great Lakes galvanized the Scottish public to take control of the region to be named the Nyasaland Protectorate, would prove to be a redemptive figure in Scotland’s reconsideration of its role in the slave trade. However, in 1891, 153 years after Hume wrote his footnote, Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston (1858–1927), the first British colonial administrator of Nyasaland, would re-inforce similar myths about the ‘British Central African’: “to these [negroes] almost without arts and sciences and the refined pleasures of the senses, the only acute enjoyment offered them by nature is sexual intercourse”. Even at that time, the documented resistance is represented by Scottish missionaries who aimed to maintain Nyasaland under their sphere of control.

    Filling in the gaps that the archives cannot answer involves more complex and radical modalities of investigation.

    I rely on locally-recognised historians or documenters within communities, who preserve their histories, including the slave trade, through methodically structured oral traditions. The legacy of both the Arab and Portuguese slave trade and British colonialism in Nyasaland remains a raw memory, even though there are no precise indigenous terms to describe these phenomena.

    I have visited and listened to oral histories about the importance of ‘ancestor caves’ where families would conduct ceremonies and celebrations out of view to evade the slave catchers. These are the stories still being told about how children were hidden and raised indoors often only taken outside at night, keeping silent to escape the eyes and ears of the catchers. Embedded in these historical narratives are didactic tales, organised for ease of remembrance for the survival of future generations.
    Despite what was believed by Hume and his contemporaries, the arts and sciences have always been intrinsic in African cultural traditions. Decolonising is a framework contingent upon recognising knowledge productions within systems that often will never make their way into archival records. It centres the recognition and legitimization of the ways in which African people have collected and shared their histories.

    The knowledge we learn from these systems allows us to reckon with both the silence of archives and the fallacies of myth-making about African people.

    At very least, these debates should lead to investigations to understand the full extent of Hume’s participation in the dehumanization of enslaved Africans, and the role he played to support the justification for their enslavement.

    #Édimbourg #toponymie #toponymie_poltique #Ecosse #UK #Edinburgh #David_Hume_Tower #esclavage #histoire #mémoire #Kamuzu_Banda #colonialisme #imaginaire #décolonisation #Nyasaland #Nyasaland_Protectorate #histoire_orale #archives #mythes #mythologie #déshumanisation

    ping @cede @karine4 @isskein

    • Hastings Banda

      The #University_of_Edinburgh renamed the Hastings ‘Kamuzu’ Banda building on #Hill_Place in the 1990s. Whilst fellow independence leader and Edinburgh alumni #Julius_Nyerere is still regarded as a saint across the world, #Banda died with an appalling record of human rights abuses and extortion – personally owning as much as 45% of #Malawi’s GDP. There are no plaques in Edinburgh commemorating #Kamuzu, and rightly so.

      Banda’s time in Edinburgh does, however, give us a lens through which to think about the University and colonial knowledge production in the 1940s and ‘50s; how numerous ‘fathers of the nation’ who led African independence movements were heavily involved in the linguistic, historical and anthropological codification of their own people during the late colonial period; why a cultural nationalist (who would later lead an anti-colonial independence movement) would write ‘tracts of empire’ whose intended audience were missionaries and colonial officials; and how such tracts reconciled imagined modernities and traditions.

      Fellow-Edinburgh student Julius Nyerere showed considerable interest in the ‘new science’ of anthropology during his time in Scotland, and #Jomo_Kenyatta – the first president of independent Kenya – penned a cutting-edge ethnography of the #Kikuyu whilst studying under #Malinowski at the LSE, published as Facing Mount Kenya in 1938. Banda himself sat down and co-edited Our African Way of Life, writing an introduction outlining Chewa and broader ‘Maravi’ traditions, with the Edinburgh-based missionary anthropologist T. Cullen Young in 1944.

      Before arriving in Edinburgh in 1938, Banda had already furthered his education in the US through his expertise on Chewa language and culture: Banda was offered a place at the University of Chicago in the 1930s on the strength of his knowledge of chiChewa, with Mark Hana Watkins’s 1937 A Grammar of Chichewa: A Bantu Language of British Central Africa acknowledging that “All the information was obtained from Kamuzu Banda, a native Chewa, while he was in attendance at the University of Chicago from 1930 to 1932”, and Banda also recorded ‘together with others’ four Chewa songs for Nancy Cunard’s Negro Anthology. In Britain in 1939 he was appointed as adviser to the Malawian chief, Mwase Kasungu, who spent six months at the London University of Oriental and African Languages to help in an analysis of chiNyanja; an experience that “must have reinforced” Banda’s “growing obsession with his Chewa identity” (Shepperson, 1998).

      Banda in Edinburgh

      In Edinburgh, Banda shifted from being a source of knowledge to a knowledge producer – a shift that demands we think harder about why African students were encouraged to Edinburgh in the first place and what they did here. Having already gained a medical degree from Chicago, Banda was primarily at Edinburgh to convert this into a British medical degree. This undoubtedly was Banda’s main focus, and the “techniques of men like Sir John Fraser electrified him, and he grew fascinated with his subject in a way which only a truly dedicated man can” (Short, 1974, p.38).

      Yet Banda also engaged with linguistic and ethnographic codification, notably with the missionary anthropologist, T Cullen Young. And whilst black Edinburgh doctors were seen as key to maintaining the health of colonial officials across British Africa in the 19th century, black anthropologists became key to a “more and fuller understanding of African thought and longings” (and controlling an increasingly agitative and articulate British Africa) in the 20th century (Banda & Young, 1946, p.27-28). Indeed, having acquired ‘expertise’ and status, it is also these select few black anthropologists – Banda, Kenyatta and Nyerere – who led the march for independence across East and Central Africa in the 1950s and 60s.

      Banda was born in c.1896-1989 in Kasungu, central Malawi. He attended a Scottish missionary school from the age 8, but having been expelled from an examination in 1915, by the same T Cullen Young he would later co-author with, Banda left Malawi and walked thousands of miles to South Africa. Banda came to live in Johannesburg at a time when his ‘Nyasa’ cousin, Clements Musa Kadalie was the ‘most talked about native in South Africa’ and the ‘uncrowned king of the black masses’, leading Southern Africa’s first black mass movement and major trade union, the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU).

      Banda was friends with Kadalie, and may have been involved with the Nyasaland Native National Congress which was formed around 1918-1919 with around 100 members in Johannesburg, though no record of this remains. Together, Banda and Kadalie were the two leading Malawian intellectuals of the first half of the twentieth century and, in exploring the type of ‘colonial knowledge’ produced by Africans in Edinburgh, it is productive to compare their contrasting accounts of ‘African history’.

      In 1927 Kadalie wrote an article for the British socialist journal Labour Monthly entitled ‘The Old and the New Africa’. Charting a pre-capitalist Africa, Kadalie set out that the

      “white men came to Africa of their own free will, and told my forefathers that they had brought with them civilisation and Christianity. They heralded good news for Africa. Africa must be born again, and her people must discard their savagery and become civilised people and Christians. Cities were built in which white and black men might live together as brothers. An earthly paradise awaited creation…They cut down great forests; cities were built, and while the Christian churches the gospel of universal brotherhood, the industrialisation of Africa began. Gold mining was started, and by the close of the nineteenth century European capitalism had made its footing firm in Africa….The churches still preached universal brotherhood, but capitalism has very little to do with the ethics of the Nazerene, and very soon came a new system of government in Africa with ‘Law and Order’ as its slogan.” (Kadalie, 1927).

      Banda’s own anthropological history, written 17 years later with Cullen Young, is a remarkably different tale. Banda and Young valorise the three authors within the edited volume as fossils of an ideal, isolated age, “the last Nyasalanders to have personal touch with their past; the last for whom the word ‘grandmother’ will mean some actually remembered person who could speak of a time when the land of the Lake knew no white man” (Banda & Young, 1946, p7). Already in 1938, Banda was beginning to develop an idea for a Central African nation.

      Writing from the Edinburgh Students Union to Ernest Matako, he reflected: “the British, the French and the Germans were once tribes just as we are now in Africa. Many tribes united or combined to make one, strong British, French or German nation. In other words, we have to begin to think in terms of Nyasaland, and even Central Africa as a whole, rather than of Kasungu. We have to look upon all the tribes in Central Africa, whether in Nyasaland or in Rhodesia, as our brothers. Until we learn to do this, we shall never be anything else but weak, tiny tribes, that can easily be subdued.” (Banda, 1938).
      Banda after Edinburgh

      But by 1944, with his hopes of returning to Nyasaland as a medical officer thwarted and the amalgamation of Nyasaland and the Rhodesias into a single administrative unit increasingly on the cards, Banda appears to have been grounding this regional identity in a linguistic-cultural history of the Chewa, writing in Our African Way of Life: “It is practically certain that aMaravi ought to be the shared name of all these peoples; this carrying with it recognition of the Chewa motherland group as representing the parent stock of the Nyanja speaking peoples.” (Banda & Young, 1946, p10). Noting the centrality of “Banda’s part in the renaming of Nyasaland as Malawi”, Shepperson asked in 1998, “Was this pan-Chewa sentiment all Banda’s or had he derived it largely from the influence of Cullen Young? My old friend and collaborator, the great Central African linguist Thomas Price, thought the latter. But looking to Banda’s Chewa consciousness as it developed in Chicago, I am by no means sure of this.” Arguably it is Shepperson’s view that is vindicated by two 1938 letters unearthed by Morrow and McCracken in the University of Cape Town archives in 2012.

      In 1938, Banda concluded another letter, this time to Chief Mwase Kasungu: “I want you tell me all that happens there [Malawi]. Can you send me a picture of yourself and your council? Also I want to know the men who are the judges in your court now, and how the system works.” (Banda, 1938). Having acquired and reworked colonial knowledge from Edinburgh, Our African Way of Life captures an attempt to convert British colonialism to Banda’s own end, writing against ‘disruptive’ changes that he was monitoring from Scotland: the anglicisation of Chewa, the abandoning of initiation, and the shift from matriarchal relations. Charting and padding out ideas about a pan-Chewa cultural unit – critical of British colonialism, but only for corrupting Chewa culture – Banda was concerned with how to properly run the Nyasaland state, an example that productively smudges the ‘rupture’ of independence and explains, in part, neo-colonial continuity in independent Malawi.

      For whilst the authors of the edited works wrote their original essays in chiNyanja, with the hope that it would be reproduced for Nyasaland schools, the audience that Cullen Young and Banda addressed was that of the English missionary or colonial official, poised to start their ‘African adventure’, noting:

      “A number of important points arise for English readers, particularly for any who may be preparing to work in African areas where the ancient mother-right still operates.” (Banda & Cullen, 1946, p.11).

      After a cursory summary readers are directed by a footnote “for a fuller treatment of mother-right, extended kinship and the enjoined marriage in a Nyasaland setting, see Chaps. 5-8 in Contemporary Ancestors, Lutterworth Press, 1942.” (Banda & Young, 1946, p.11). In contrast to the authors who penned their essays so “that our children should learn what is good among our ancient ways: those things which were understood long ago and belong to their own people” the introduction to Our African Way of Life is arguably published in English, under ‘war economy standards’ in 1946 (post-Colonial Development Act), for the expanding number of British ‘experts’ heading out into the empire; and an attempt to influence their ‘civilising mission’. (Banda & Young, 1946, p.7).

      By the 1950s, Banda was fully-assured of his status as a cultural-nationalist expert – writing to a Nyasaland Provincial Commissioner, “I am in a position to know and remember more of my own customs and institutions than the younger men that you meet now at home, who were born in the later twenties and even the thirties…I was already old enough to know most of these customs before I went to school…the University of Chicago, which cured me of my tendency to be ashamed of my past. The result is that, in many cases, really, I know more of our customs than most of our people, now at home. When it comes to language I think this is even more true. for the average youngster [In Malawi] now simply uses what the European uses, without realising that the European is using the word incorrectly. Instead of correcting the european, he uses the word wrongly, himself, in order to affect civilisation, modernity or even urbanity.” (Shepperdson, 1998).

      This however also obscures the considerable investigatory correspondence that he engaged in whilst in Scotland. Banda was highly critical of indirect rule in Our African Way of Life, but from emerging archival evidence, he was ill-informed of the changing colonial situation in 1938.

      Kadalie and Banda’s contrasting histories were written at different times, in different historical contexts by two people from different parts of Nyasaland. Whilst Banda grew up in an area on the periphery of Scottish missionaries’ sphere of influence, Kadalie came from an area of Malawi, Tongaland, heavily affected by Scottish missionaries and his parents were heavily involved with missionary work. The disparity between the histories that they invoke, however, is still remarkable – Banda invokes a precolonial rural Malawi devoid of white influence, Kadalie on the other hand writes of a pre-capitalist rural Malawi where Christians, white and black, laboured to create a kingdom of heaven on earth – and this, perhaps, reflects the ends they are writing for and against.

      Kadalie in the 1920s looked to integrate the emerging African working class within the international labour movement, noting “capitalism recognises no frontiers, no nationality, and no race”, with the long-term view to creating a socialist commonwealth across the whole of Southern Africa. Britain-based Banda, writing with Cullen Young in the 1940s, by comparison, mapped out a pan-Chewa culture with the immediate aim of reforming colonial ‘protectorate’ government – the goal of an independent Malawian nation state still yet to fully form.


  • Reconfiner ou pas ? Le dilemme du Kenya face à la deuxième vague de Covid-19

    Un nouveau confinement – même partiel –, une nouvelle fermeture des commerces et des frontières, une mise à l’isolement des grandes villes les plus affectées ? Les Kényans ne veulent pas en entendre parler. Pourtant, le pays fait déjà face à une nouvelle vague de propagation du coronavirus, à peine quelques semaines après le début du retour progressif à la normale.
    La moyenne quotidienne des contaminations oscille officiellement entre 700 et 1 000 et un nouveau pic a été atteint le 5 novembre, avec 1 494 nouveaux cas, un record national depuis le début de la pandémie. Une explosion des cas qui a suivi la réouverture des bars, l’autorisation de vendre de nouveau de l’alcool dans les restaurants, le recul du couvre-feu à 23 heures… Tombé de 13 % en juin à 4 % en septembre, le taux de positivité au Covid-19 vient de rebondir, atteignant pour la première fois 16 %.« Je ne peux pas me permettre de fermer mon bar comme la dernière fois. Si c’est le cas, nous allons tous devenir des cambrioleurs pour avoir à manger », jure Joseph*, qui tient un boui-boui dans la petite ville de Naivasha, non loin de Nairobi. « Nous avons facilement obéi au départ, parce que nous avions peur de mourir. Le Covid-19 était un virus inconnu qui tuait tout sur son passage, en Europe et en Amérique. Nous craignions le pire en Afrique, mais nous avons vu que ce n’était pas le cas ici », défend le cabaretier, qui doit désormais fermer son bar à 21 heures pour se plier aux nouvelles directives.Joseph n’est pas seul à chercher comment joindre les deux bouts. Le Bureau des Nations Unies pour la coordination des affaires humanitaires (OCHA) fait état d’environ 1,7 million de Kényans vivant en zone urbaine et actuellement confrontés à l’insécurité alimentaire. Le résultat d’une augmentation du prix des denrées, d’une diminution des revenus ou de la perte d’un emploi, autant de conséquences économiques directes du Covid-19.La situation dans les hôpitaux n’a jamais aussi été alarmante. « Nous sommes débordés, il n’y a plus de places à l’isolement, témoigne un médecin de l’hôpital de district de Naivasha. Avoir les symptômes du Covid-19 ne suffit plus pour être reçu et il faut être visiblement malade ne fût-ce que pour avoir droit à un test. Une partie du personnel soignant est positif. Nous n’avions jamais vu une chose pareille depuis le début de la pandémie. » Les données officielles évoquent un taux d’occupation allant jusqu’à 140 % dans différents établissements sanitaires.
    Le dilemme se pose jusqu’au sommet de l’Etat. « Mon gouvernement désire ouvrir le pays et le garder ouvert », a souligné le président Uhuru Kenyatta dans son discours à la nation, le 4 novembre, évoquant tout de même « la possibilité de nouvelles mesures de confinement visant les régions les plus affectées », Nairobi et Mombasa étant les villes les plus touchées. Ces deux métropoles, totalement isolées jusque début juillet, totalisent à elles seules plus de 26 % du PIB kényan, d’après les données de la Banque mondiale de 2017.


  • Série « #Nairobi en bande dessinée » : la #ville, les frontières urbaines et l’injustice spatiale (billet introductif)

    La bande dessinée au service de l’enseignement de la #géographie, la géographie au service de l’enseignement de l’histoire des Arts Réflexion autour de la bande dessinée de reportage : Patrick #Chappatte, 2010, La vie des...

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  • Série “Nairobi en bande dessinée” : les paysages de la richesse à #Nairobi (3e billet)

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