Est il bon pour une femme de refaire sa vie?

La culture a pendant longtemps été encrée dans la tradition, elle a aussi subit à un moment donnée des conflits de civilisation. Mais en plein vingt unième siècle la conception de la culture n’est plus la même . En effet, la culture africaine a subi plain d’influences extérieures. Les événements qui ont changés la culture africaine d’une manière globale sont la compagne d’évangélisation à travers la mission catholique et la colonisation qui comme en le sait avait pour effet d’ assimiler l’homme noire à l’homme blanc. Ces deux faits ont énormément influencés la culture africaine. Cependant, bien qu’il y ait beaucoup d’européanisation de la culture africaine de notre époque, le mariage traditionnel du moins sa conception est un élément que tous les africains de lAfrique sub saharienne ont gardé . Et d’ailleurs il sécurisant de dire le mariage traditionnel qui symbolise la culture africaine, c’est tout ce qui reste des valeurs traditionnelles. On peut aller au Nigeria ou au Ghana et dans bien d’autres pays anglophones d’ Afrique on va vous parler du « wine carrying » ou du « bride price » et Au Sénégal, côte d’ivoire les deux Congo, le Sénégal l’Angola .., on nous parle de la dote du premier vin .. En tout cas la conception du mariage traditionnel est une originalité africaine qui, malgré l’administration établit par la colonisation qui instaure le mariage civil et religieux, est toujours d’actualité. Du coup l’on se demande si dans cette conception traditionnelle il est bon pour l’épouse d’un homme célèbre de se remarier.

La société a évolué énormément. À l’heure de la mondialisation, des réseaux sociaux , on peut dire que la distance entre les quarte coins du monde s’est rétrécie. Un événement qui se déroule à Los Angeles par example peut être suivi dans les minutes qui suivent à Lagos ou Brazzaville. Cette vitesse de l’information est en train de changer les gens ou créer une potentielle homogénéité de la culture et peut être on va vers une culture mondiale. L’influence des des stars des réalités show ou télé réalité tels les Kardashians est indéniable.
Beaucoup de femmes de nos jours veulent devenir comme les Kardashians avec leur conception libérale de la vie et du mariage
Et oui une conception libérale du mariage basée sur l’émancipation , la quête de son bonheur, que si l’on est pas heureux dans un mariage il est ok pour une femme de passer à autre chose à quelque chose de mieux. Et la fascination que la vie des stars présente crée beaucoup de fantaisies. Les femmes américaines sont très émancipées et je les admire pour pour cela. Ce sont des femmes fortes qui privilégient leur bonheur avant celui des autres et tout cela est bon . Et d’ailleurs la device à mon sens est que quand ça ne marche pas il faut passer à autre chose d’où la célèbre phrase « i move on » ou you have to move on.
Il est vrai que la femme doit être émancipée. Et nous avions été durant nos années estudiantines des adeptes de l’émancipation. La femme est en effet libre de se marier, divorcer, remarier et de faire tout ce qui est de son pouvoir pour son bonheur. En réalité le mariage n’est pas une fin en soit. Il ne serait pas bon pour une femme de sacrifier son bonheur, sa jeunesse pour un mariage. D’ailleurs comme on le sait déjà le mariage est un contrat social qui peut subir des épreuves. Les épreuves les plus communes sont l’adultère, la malhonnêteté, l’addiction a l’alcool ou aux drogues, les abus physiques et pourquoi pas le changement de priorités. Donc face à ce genre d’épreuves, toute femme est en droit de demander le divorce, la séparation..,

Cependant, cette conception de la vie a créé une société où le taux de divorce est élevé ou d’ailleurs beaucoup ne font confiance à l’institution du mariage . Le mariage est en déclin il n’intéresse plus assez de gens car selon un article intitulé les erreurs qui peuvent conduire au divorce du Huffington post, 50 % des mariages finissent par le divorce. Il faut ici préciser que ces statistiques concernent les États Unis . Et comme ils sont le prototype de notre société mondiale, on est en droit de les citer.

Du coup, le remariage est devenu monnaie courante de nos jours particulièrement dans le showbiz. Beaucoup de femmes du showbiz se sont mariées au moins plus de deux fois dans leur vie. Comme on le sait Elizabeth Taylor s’est mariée 5 fois , Jennifer Lopez 3 fois Kim Kardashian peut être deux fois et qui sait je encore. L’accumulation d’amants et d’époux est business as usual dans le showbiz.
En ce qui nous concerne, nous pensons que ça ne fait pas beau pour l’épouse d’un homme célèbre d’aller d’amant en amant ou de foyer en foyer ou encore de mariage en mariage. Nous pensons en tout cas que quelque soit la grandeur du prochain époux c’est dégradant pour une femme d’aller lit conjugale à un autre.
La première raison est simple. Même les sociétés qui nous miroitent le progrès, le libéralisme sont le plus très conservatrices et très traditionnelles en ce qui concerne le mariage.Le mariage il est sacré c’est une institution divine c’est même la plus vieille institution sociale. Et cette institution a des règles qui aujourd’hui avec le rapprochement culturel peuvent être considérées comme règles universelles. Ce qui est vrai c’est que Une femme qui va d’hommes en hommes surtout celle qui a eu une relation officialisée aux yeux du publique ne peut susciter aucune admiration pour son record de maris. Nous ne parlons pas ici de dating. Il est permis de date ou d’être en relation avec qui tu veux mais dès lors que aux yeux du public tu es considéré comme la femme de x il faut respecter cela.
Même dans le showbiz, les femmes qui ont trop de record ça existe c’est certainement intéressant.Elles régalent les fantaisies des fanatiques et des hommes. Mais la perception que les gens ont de ces femmes la n’est pas toujours bonne. Le cas de Kim Kardashian’s et je la prend comme example parce qu’elle est célèbre elle a beaucoup de fans et beaucoup de détracteurs aussi . Elle est riche elle a utilisé tout ce qu’elle a pour devenir célèbre et riche. Bravo à elle et à sa maman pour la vision. Et oui, la maman a eu une vision de la réussite qu ‘Elle a mis en place et a exécuté pour ces filles. C’est une manière de voir les choses et on respecte. Cependant, nous voyons comment lorsque l’on parle de cette jeune femme, on ne peut s’empêcher de penser à son sex tape je le dis parce que ce n’est pas un secret c’est documenté ici là. Et d’ailleurs bien que mariée aujourd’hui beaucoup d’hommes de son parcours se permettent de temps en temps à la rabaisser en révélant les aventures d’antan. Et l’on peut imaginer ce que ça doit faire à monsieur son époux. Juste pour dire que ces femmes sont confrontées au testes de crédibilité.

Le showbiz n’est pas toujours un monde pourri. Il existe dans le showbiz des femmes , bien que célèbres, qui ont une vision conservatrice des relations amoureuses et du mariage. Elle sont nombreuses à Hollywood. En RDC on peut prendre l’exemple de maman Mbilia bel. Elle a eu ses moments de gloire a été présentée aux eu de tous comme l’amante de ‘une célèbre star “Mais elle a gardé et mérite le respect de tous jusqu’ aujourd’hui. Est ce que après cette star elle n’a pas refait sa vie. Bien sûr que si , mais comme elle a garder low profile ou profil bas, elle est toujours respectée jusqu’aujourd’hui . De même Aïcha Kone de la Côte d’Ivoire une très célèbre chanteuse respectée et respectable . Elle était dans un mariage polygamist ou il y avait 4 épouse selon les règles de la religion musulmane et à garder son respect et elle représente un modèle pour les jeunes femmes qui observe les règles de mariage selon cette culture . On peut aussi mettre Beyonce ou Alicia Keys dans la liste des femmes du showbiz respectable.
La deuxième raison c’est l’aspect éducatif. Lorsque l ‘on est homme public à travers ses œuvres et que l’on devient célèbre par ricochet ou homme public par association, par mariage etc..le public a le droit d’exiger de vous un degré de moralité . En fait, le statut de femme public ou d’homme public exige de vous une certaine tenue. Le public il est très jaloux il peut faire vous un homme célèbre, respecté mais il a le pouvoir de vous salir et de vous détruire surtout votre réputation. Un célèbre musicien congolais a dit dans une chanson en lingala et je vais essayer de traduire “on descent par l’arbre par lequel On est monté.”
Il ya des règles dans toute chose le Stardom respecte les regles du jeux. La femme d’une star on la veut exemplaire telle qu’ on nous l’ a présenté. Il n’est pas dit que le mariage avec une star n’est pas tumultueux bien sûr qu’il l’ai. Cependant, dès lors qu’une femne est présentée au public comme femme de ou épouse de, le public gardera cette image. Et pour ne pas être considérée comme femme au mœurs légères, il faut garder law profil sinon le public jugera .
En ce qui concerne le mariage, que l’on se trompe pas, le stardom ne doit pas nous tromper . D’ailleurs beaucoup d’entre eux mènent une vie de famille traditionnelle bien qu’étant star. Moins vous présenter votre vie au public plus vous garder votre dignité. Pour vivre heureux il faut Vivre cacher tout n’est pas bon a présenté au public.

Dans l’ensemble femme épanouie émancipée, libérée ne veux pas dire légèreté d’esprit. Le 8 mars approche , juste une opinion pour se souvenir de cette journée pour nous femmes modernes. Qu ‘est ce qu’elle 8 mars vous inspirée? Laisser vos commentaires

Mélanie P

In search for resolution to the economic crisis in central Africa

On june 16 2018, a meeting was held between the IMF board and the governor of the bank of Central African states known as BEAC. The purpose of the meeting was to have a « cordial and open discussion on progress under the strategy adopted by the BEAC to support the adjustment effort undertaken by theCEMAC member states, in response to the sharp decline in oil prices in 2014. »This is according to the statement released by the IMF: Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the Conclusion of a Meeting with BEAC Governor Abbas Mahamat Tolli

it said in the release that in response to the decline of oil prices, the BEAC has adopted the following measures -tighter monetary policies, elimination of direct monetary financing of budgets, and ambitious reforms to modernize the BEAC governance and operations. These measure help to stop the decline in BEAC official reserves in 2017.

The CEMAC  countries, judging by the release, still have a lot of work to do. They need to continue implementing the BEAC policies and reforms  in order to achieve fiscal and financial objectives recommended by the IMF, if they want to qualify for an adjustment program. It is also important notice that on that same Friday it was announced that the price of oil has risen to the mid $60.00. Does this give a leverage of négociations for the countries of the CEMAC?

Is the Congo Brazzaville on the path for debt relief ?

The answer to this simple question will be yes.  However, a press release of April 19 2018 by the IM makes it difficult to answer by a simple yes to this question. In according to that press release the republic of Congo and the IMF came to an “understanding”, whatever that really mean. One thing is sure that the IMF and the authorities of the republic of Congo have concluded their negotiations on April the 18th. These negotiations started on April the 3rd of 2018. The purpose of these negotiations was according to the IMF press release number 18/137, to discuss the Congolese authorities economic, and financial program and possible financial support by the IMF.

After 15 days of work, the parties to the negotiations came to the conclusion that the Congolese authorities still have a lot of work to do in order to secure support from the IMF. Basically, the Congolese authorities need to take “bold and immediate governance reforms to put into effect the government proclaimed intention to make a break with the past policies and practices.” Said the IMF press release.

The Congolese authorities on their part have pledged to  publish governance study that guide future reforms in the area of governance, transparency and public finance management, to establish an independent anti corruption body with full investigation powers and an asset declaration system for high level officials, to reinforce oversight over large investment projects and state owned enterprises such as oil companies, to report fully to the parliament and the population on the management of natural and large infrastructure investment projects, to enhance transparency in oil sector with view to increase the share of the state in the nation natural resources, to approach all companies exploiting natural resources with time bound requests to declare any claims they may have on the government share of resources .

This decisions are necessary in order for the country to secure a debt relief. This are the requirements that the IMF are making to the authorities have the Congo.  the country is in deep recession.  Judging from all that is been put out through the press release are officials statements,  the negotiations with the IMF are still focused on the economic based on resources and especially oil. Among the recommendations of the IMF, is the the need for the Congolese authorities to ” develop capacity to systematically reconcile all government transactions backed by natural resources.” The IMF meaning its staffs, also thinks that a strong participation of civil society will be critical for the success of the governance reforms. The IMF and the Congolese authorities economic talks mainly focused on auditing the oil sector in order for the country to regain confidence of the investors in order to secure a debt relief. If this mission that started about a year ago purpose is to audit the oil sector, it will be a failure on a long run. The Congo Brazzaville has always been under some type of program by the IMF. In the 90, the program was called structural adjustments program. And of course , because the Congo Brazzaville is one of those resources rich countries of Guinea Golf, any program that the IMF and its partners will implement will be guaranteed by natural resources. Frankly, it is kind of strange why it is taking so long  to put the country on such a program, especially when the work they have been doing is mostly oriented on natural resources. it seems like the authorities are still hoping for the oil price to pick up to a level it was 4 to 5 years ago.

When a country is in deep recession like the Congo Brazzaville is in right now, without being an economist, it is fair to say the solutions should come from a broader economic picture. It is important for the Congo Brazzaville authorities to realize that the solution to the country’s financial problems can be found beyond the equation called debt plus oil equal economy. This is a recipe for failure and it has always been. There is a say that bankruptcy is not always a bad thing. It strange how in the middle of talks with the IMF, a meeting of all finance ministers of the CFA zone countries is held in Brazzaville. And at the end of the meeting, a pledge is made my the French finance minister to help the Congo brazzaville with 135 millions Euro in aid which is actually another debt that will be guaranteed by the future oil production of the Congo. How can you pledge to land such amount to a country that is in default and unable to pay its debts?

The Congo will be better of focusing on non oil economy by developing a private sector and reorganizing its fiscal system. After the fall of crude oil prices, many countries, whether it is in Africa or Asia that relied on oil for their economy were in deep trouble. Most of them made a shift to non oil economy, and the results has been spectacular for some of them . This is the case for many Asian countries such as Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. Many economic experts have been noticing there is an economic rebound in this part of the world by the end of 2017. the predictions are the economy of countries such as Saudi Arabia will fully recover by the year 2018.  how did these countries recover quickly compare to those of Africa such as the Congo Brazzaville?  well , in the case of Saudi Arabia for example, the country entered into two years of austerity , and rolled out a plans that balance the need to rebuild state coffers while avoiding crippling private business said an article on Bloomberg markets of December 2017. A shift to non oil economy made a different. In fact, non oil economy is an engine to job creation. while assessing the situation of Timor Leste, the Asian bank of development prescribe the same path for this country to  attain a sustainable economic results.

The way forward for the Congo Brazzaville is to create a vigorous private sector  in order to grow the economy and improve the livelihood of its population.  for the private sector to be vigorous, the authorities need to improve the investments climate y enhancing dialogue among the population and the authorities,  to strengthen private sector contracts and create  a judicial system that is capable of settling commercial dispute in timely manner.  It is said that “a government is more likely to design credible and workable reforms when its ministries work together in coordinated way and when it engages with the private sector. In the Congo Brazzaville women are really active in the private sector.  However, the private sector is still informal.  Formalizing these activities that women participate in will  be beneficial for the government in order to collect revenue. The Congo also need to rethink its fiscal system. It is safe to say that in the case of the there is not really a need of reform when it come to tax issues. The problem is enforcement of the system. and this is what the negotiation mission program work on with the authorities of Brazzaville. and certainly there are working really hard to raise money that the state need in order to be operational. The Congo also need to rethink its educational system. It is clear from the way the public finances are  managed, there is an issue of promoting mathematics, accounting or public accounting.  In the Congolese educational system, by the time student enter high school, they get to pick their specialty too early. Students will choose to focus subject related to literature( philosophy, franc,  history…) or to science( mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology). Early on in their life students will neglect either or subjects. Those who have chosen literature will neglect all science subjects and vice versa. But in the real world you will need all these subject matters.

The Congo is indeed on a path to get on one of those IMF programs and get its debt relief, would it be a sustainable program certainly not if there is not a serious review of the fiscal system and a promotion of the private sector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The IMF is back in the Congo Brazzaville

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On April the 3rd of 2018, experts from the IMF came back to the Congo Brazzaville to continue négociations on country’s debt. This is the third time that the IMF has been in the country in order to bail it out from debts. The Congo has been seeking debts relief from the IMF because, 6 years after the country received a debt relief from this same institution, the government debt reached 77% of its GDP, exceeding the 70% limit imposed by the institutions called the CEMAC or the Central African economic and monetary community.

A country with a lot of potentiality

The Congo is strategically positioned in central Africa with a coastal front on the Atlantic Ocean and a deep water port in Pointe-Noire. For many years, the Congo Brazzaville played a crucial economic role in the Central Africa region. In fact, the country played the transit role in the region. In fact, many of the surrounding countries used its infrastructures for the transportation of their merchandise . Those days are long gone. However, this strategic position can still benefit the country.

The Congo also has a good natural resources base. As many of its peers in the central part of Africa, the Congo is a oil producer. And its economy mainly relies on the production of oil. The multinationals such as Total( French company), ENI (Italian multinational), the SNCP( National oil company) and some others are the main actors in the oil production activities.

Besides oil, this country in the middle of Africa is also rich of its forests which as we know is really important in world. The forest of the basin of Congo pays a second most important role in regulating the world climate.Saving the Congo basin . Other minerals such manganese, gold, potassium and many more. A big land that is arable and good for agriculture activities. Basically the country has all traits needed for an economic development. But why the country is having the financial crisis.

The roots of the financial debts in the Congo Brazzaville

The Congo Brazzaville crédit rating is D. Meaning the country has been unable to repay its massive debts to his creditors. The Congo has always been at risk of economic crisis because of its debt structure. According to an article Congo hidden debt darkens the outlook country rating the problem of the Congo is rooted in the structure of the date. In fact , the creditors of the Congo Brazzaville are mostly trading houses who are according to the author of the article, those lenders who are willing to “regularly lend money to resource rich clients in financial distress, when other lenders walk away.” The bottom line is this trading houses takes the risks of lending money to oil or resources rich countries regardless of its credit rating. These trading houses also charge really high interest since the money to repay their debt come from the production of oil. This is the gamble the trading houses such as Trafigura and Glencore took. These two creditors lent about $2 billions to the republic of Congo taking the risk of relying on oil revenue.And between 2005 and 2014 the Congo had its boom in oil production which in 2015 help the country to get its debt relief from the IMF.

However by 2014, the price of oil fell. Since then, the country has been unable to repay its debts. The solution country’s officials took was to seek debt relief from the IMF. The last time the IMF was in the Congo back in June of 2017 for the négociation, the organization officials pressure the country to take austerity measures in order to hope for credits: among those measures are spending cuts, work on good governance, give up on major infrastructure projects and many other. The population has been suffering from this situation. Families have been unable to meet their needs. Can the fall of oil prices be the only issues to the financial problems of the Congo.

Absolutely not, the Congo for many years has mainly relied on oil production for its economy.

The problem that the Congo Brazzaville is facing goes beyond the fact that the country bet on oil production and prices to repay its debts.

It is a deeper macroeconomic issue. It is important to consider that bigger picture. To understand all of this, economics 101 books will help. The theory of buyers and sellers who make decisions based upon what is their best interest ought to be considered. Inflation, unemployment, business cycle, fiscal policies and so for are important elements of the economy.

Between 2002 and 2014, years when the price of oil reached more than $100 per barrel , the country had its oil production boom ever with a lot of money coming in. It is safe to say that the oil production boom did not translate in a sustainable economic development .At the same period, there has been a failure of fiscal management. The Congo Brazzaville has fiscal a system that is govern by a tax code named ” code général des impôts” and also by diverse finance laws which are voted each year. These diverse finance laws are a set of instructions on how to apply to laws . And for 2017, instructions can be found in the fiscal law number 31-2016 of December 2016. This just to say that the country is armed with all the necessary tools to become turn around its economy,

However, like many of its peers in central Africa, the country is plagued with a corruption system that overall shadows all its strength and opportunities. Almost, all businesses that operate in the country are active or passive actors of that corruption. It is alleged that certain multinationals or may be most of them do not pay taxes at the regular rates set by the country’s tax code. If they happen to pay, it is alleged that the money do not reach its destination which is the public treasury of the Congo Brazzaville.

The IMF mission in the Congo put the question of corruption on the table and many other measures as a premise for qualifying the country for an structural adjustment program in order to fix the country’s debt problems. Hopefully, this time around, the négociations get a good outcome for the people of the Congo Brazzaville. Because at the end of the day it should be about them. But fixing a debt problem by contracted other debts is a not the best way to go. Spending versus revenues is the best way to go. And revenues should not only come from the production of oil which is actually a “curse” for the Congo Brazzaville. The revenues should come from a rigorous application of country ‘s fiscal laws. What will be the best mechanism to used to avoid corruption and actually for Congolese tax revenues to reach the public treasury? This is a question for another discussion .

Ideas for Easter diner

Tomorrow is Easter. Christians all over the World will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, for it is supposed to be the day when Jesus rose from the death. So, it is an important religious day for the believers of Christian teaching of the resurrection mysteries.

It is also an occasion for families to get together around a table to share a diner. What should we have for Easter diner?

The traditional Easter menu should be for entree eggs mimosa or devil eggs, roasted lamb or turkey. For side dish,we can have steamed carrots, sautéed green beans or sautéed spinach. A diner can not be complete without a dessert. Our suggestions for dessert are chocolate strawberries which is ideal dessert for the occasion . But, you can pick any other dessert such us tarts or pie. My favorite is the strawberries short cake.

For more informations on recipes click Cuisine

The difficulties of saving the Congo basin from deforestation

The Congo basin play an important role in regulating the world climate. That is why the UN has approved a financial mechanism to curb deforestation. The countries of the Congo basin have been turning to other power for loans. Many projects have been given to partners who are not really concerned about global warming Many contracts have been signed here and there for economic reasons. However, this has an impact on the global mechanisms to curb deforestation.

According to Marlow Hood the only UN-approved financial mechanism to curb deforestation, a key driver of global warming, has bulldozed the rights of forest-dwelling peoples on three continents and needs to be fixed, experts say. The latest sign that these schemes — which pay to restore tropical forests rather than cut them down — are falling short comes from the Democratic

Republic of Congo (DRC), where 20 pilot projects in Mai-Ndombe province have upended indigenous communities, according to a detailed report from the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a Washington DC-based research group. Backed by the DRC government and international financing, private companies that manage huge tracts of forest have ignored the land rights of local peoples, engineered displacements, and avoided prior consent requirements, the report says.

They have also failed to share the windfall such programmes can bring, said lead author Marine Gauthier, who has monitored the projects in the western province of Mai-Ndombe since 2012.

“Indigenous peoples simply do not benefit from REDD+ because there is no benefit-sharing plan in place,” she told AFP, using the UN acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. So far, more than $90 million (73 million euros) have been disbursed or committed in the province for forest-related climate change projects.

Funding from Norway, France, Britain, the European Union and the UnitedStates, along with private sources and NGOs, is funnelled through the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. Destroying forests intensifies global warming in two ways. Losing a wooded area the size of Greece each year not only reduces Earth’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, it releases huge amounts of the planet-warming gas into the atmosphere, accounting for nearly a fifth of global emissions.

– Tension unresolved –

Tropical forests provide livelihoods and anchor the cultural identities of at least 250 million indigenous people. Research has shown that stewardship by local communities significantly slows the pace of deforestation.

“Unfortunately, REDD+ projects in the DRC — as currently structured — are channelling money to private sector actors who do not have the same incentives to protect the forests,” said Alain Frechette, RRI’s director of strategic analysis. Negotiated under the UN’s 1992 climate change treaty, REDD+ projects began a decade ago, but many are on hold until 2020, when the mechanism’s “strategic framework” will be finalised.

In the meantime, it is a work in progress. Indeed, pilot programmes in dozens of countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa have, all too often, shortchanged local communities and underperformed as a bulkhead against climate change — their primary goal.

“REDD+ is evolving in a context of rights abuses, displacement and dispossession, threats and harassment over territories, and the repression and assassination of environmental activists by state and private forces,” the non-profit Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) found in a 2017 review of academic literature.More than 200 environmental campaigners, nearly half from indigenous tribes, were murdered around the world in 2016 alone, according to watchdog Global Witness.

– Corruption a key concern –

“It is unclear how indigenous peoples will benefit from REDD+,” the CIFOR review concluded. “The tension between conserving carbon stocks” — the CO2 locked in standing forests — “and providing rights and livelihoods has not been solved.”Corruption in countries with weak governance has been a major concern.

In the DRC — home to 50 percent of Africa’s tropical forests — abuses related to land tenure conflicts have also turned violent, though not, so far, within REDD+ projects, Gauthier said. As far back as the 1970s, some 6,000 Batwa Pygmies were forcibly expelled from the Kahuzi Biega National Park — collateral damage to a conservation project.

In Mai-Ndombe, another group of pygmies were recently barred by foreign concession holders with a REDD+ contract from using traditional slash-and-burn agriculture because their ancestral forests had already been severely degraded by industrial logging operations.

“The situation is highly conflictual,” said Gauthier. By design, REDD+ pays to reduce CO2 emissions from deforestation, but not for keeping healthy forests intact.

This, critics say, can create perverse incentives. A company in Mai-Ndombe, for example, recently cleared a wooded area under a logging concession, and then applied for a “conservation concession” on the same tract.

“After getting money from harvesting the trees, in other words, they want to get REDD+ money to plant some more,” Gauthier said. The solution, many experts say, is not to scrap REDD+. “REDD+ has brought unparalleled attention to the importance of forests in the global strategy to fight climate change,” said Frechette.

“But there are fundamental flaws in its conception, especially the lack ofimportance given to rights of indigenous peoples. It needs to be fixed.”

©️AFP

The Diplomats battle over Africa

Last week, the top diplomats of the United States of America and Russia have crisscrossed the continent of Africa  by scheduling trips in some strategic countries for them. Sergei Lavrov started on Monday by visiting Angola,  then Namibia, Zimbabwe,Zambia and Ethiopia. Rex Tillerson started his, with a visit in Ethiopia where the headquarters of African Union is located. He also planned a visit in Kenya and Nigeria. During this visits, there  has been a communication war between these top world diplomats . The American Rex Tillerson criticized Chinese economic approach when dealing with the continent. In fact, he warned the countries of Africa to be careful in signing contracts with China. He thinks China encourages dependency policies while dealing with Africa. By utilizing corrupt deals and endangering natural resources.

Russia’s Sergei Lavrov on it parts , criticized the top American diplomats for criticizing China.  What is really going on? Why all of the sudden, Africa is becoming  like a woman that everyone  wants to court? What is at stake for the Chinese, the Americans and the Russians? Is the continent prepared for this sudden courtship in order to preserve its interests.

The continent of Africa has always been an object of attraction. Beginning with ancient time, people from ancient Grèce came to the continent for knowledge. It is reported in the work of those who have study ancient Egypt such us cheikh Anta Diop. Socrates  and others during their time had been in the continent to acquire knowledge. The second wave of attractiveness started in the 15th century with the Portuguese who were the world power at the time. This is the period that started misery of historical proportions for Africa with the slaves trade and the destruction of entire kingdoms and culture through the christianisation of Africans

The 18th century enlightenment and the industrial revolution, created a need for natural resources in order to develop industry in Europe. This eventually transformed the slaves trade to colonialism. Colonisation of the entire continent, that was not limited to the christianisation but open the door to the exploitation of natural resources. With colonialism, Europe took over the continent sharing among themselves territories during the Berlin conference in the 19 century 1884-1885) , a conference that is also called the Congo conference. This conference proceeded to not only divid the content, but also to regulate trade with Africa, regulations that designated Europeans as masters of the African lands.

In the middle of the 20th century, although most countries of Africa became independent from their colonial masters, they did not completely free themselves from them. This is the case of the 15 countries in west Africa and central Africa that were under France authority. Africa has always been in the middle of the geopolitical strategies of the world power. What is at stake for the new wave of attraction by Africa.

At the end of the 20th century, while many developed countries neglected Africa, considered it as a country in need and limited their dealings with the continent to aid, China progressively position itself as Africa number one partner. The continent had been turning to China for aid and trade. China has surpassed the US as the trade partner since 2009. It has invested in infrastructure in Africa using Chinese firm and labor. China is also provided African countries loans .

As far as the US is concerned, the objective is reconquer the continent. It is a fact that the US limited their relationship to aid. The US contributes a lot in the humanitarian aid that goes to Africa. The us invested a lot of resources during the ebola crisis more than two years ago. According to Reuters, the last past three years, Kenya has received 100 millions annually in security assistance. But the gap of direct trading is really large. In fact, while us concentrates in aid China invest in infrastructure. Kenya has inaugurated a 3.2 billion railways funded by China last year. The top US diplomat trip purpose is also to reassure its African partners of the friendship besides the reported « shithole countries incidents ».

Russia on its part has been fighting to regain its position as a superpower on the world stage. With the other members of the so called BRICS pôle ( Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa), Russia has been countering western way of conducting world business. In fact, Russia has been calling the West has neocolonialist. They have been offering the African countries a partnership that will not go against the cultural value of the continent.

With all this unfolding in front of our own eyes, what are the strategies for Africa? How does Africa need to respond to all these powers flattering her. At this moment, it does not appear that the African Union has a strategy that will guarantee the well being of its people. Hopefully, with the awakening of the African youth , Africa will secure its interests. It will deal with the partners that have a better plan that will lead the continent to free itself from its foes ( those who wish that colonialism or neocolonialism continue).

Violence against women in the Congo Brazzaville

 

Picture from un.org (celebration of November 25 in Monrovia)

The last thirty years have been difficult for the Congo Brazzaville. It started with the abondamment of the socialist regime which has been adopted by the country since 1963. In 1991, after a national conference, during which the country has decided to change the form of government, the Congo adopted a democratic regime with a president that was elected. Since then, the country has been affected by an instability due to civil unrest, war and really serious conflict that takes roots in the tribal diversity.With this instability, the Congolese women conditions have been deteriorated. Women have seen a rise of violence against them that was not known before the multiple wars that the country went to.the nature of violence against women can been notice in the rise of cases of rape, violence that are rooted in’ the traditions and customs still persists. Besides, all these cases there is a lack of judiciary protections for women. Our thoughts on this month of March, the women month as it has been referred, are focused on these issues.

ThenatureofviolenceagainstwomenintheCongoBrazzaville

After the multiple civil wars and the political instability that followed, the Congo Brazzaville have a significant amount of cases of rape. The other form of violence is rooted on the custom and tradition.

Rape against women

In recent years, rape has been become the number one cause of violence against women. Rape has not always been common in Congolese society. The cases of rape were really rare. However, by the the early 90´s , the country went into a lot of political events that created a lot of civil unrest, tribal conflicts and wars. We think about the war, in 1993 and 1994, another armed conflict in 1997 and 1998, and the most recent one that started in 2016 and it is still going on.

This atmosphere of war has left the Congolese women very vulnerable. In fact, a report by a NGO Medecin sans frontières , published in french by Francoise Bouchet-Saulnier, it said that a thousand of women raped during the civil war presented themselves at the hospital called Makelekele in Brazzaville in 1999.These are only the cases that have been reported. With the new war that is going on at this very moment, some new cases of rape have been reported by sources that have not been verified yet by leschroniquesdeladiaspora.com

Other form of violence

In Brazzaville, violence of other nature than rape, still exist. In fact many women are still being beaten by their husbands, partners or significant other. In most cases, it is not reported on the media because it has been commonly accepted that it is ok for a man to correct his wife by beating them. This is not ok and it should not be.A study conducted in 2015, by the Congo Brazzaville minister of women rights promotion concluded that among the 600 women that were surveyed , 62% of them were victims of physical, emotional, mental and psychological violence.(ref actualités.agenceinfonet.com).The sad part is that there seem to be a lack of protection.

Lack of protection from violence

In the Congo Brazzaville , the laws to protect women against violence of all nature exist. The Congo model his judiciary system to that of France. Therefore, most laws that are recognized in France are in the Congo. The penal code of the Congo Brazzaville recognizes all sort of violence that women can be subject to. And the same code goes even further by recognizing sexual abuse during conflicts. This is the case of article 330 and 340.

However, these laws that were meant to protect women are not well known in the country. Often, all cases of rape, physical and psychological abuse are not reported to the authorities. Women are still vulnerable and lack protection against all sort of violence against them.

The cases of rape during war is even worst. In fact, for these particular cases the government or maybe the entire society failed to protect those women who were victims of sexuel violence during the events or civil war of 1993-1994, 1997, and 1997-1998. A law number 21-99, of December 20 1999, gave an amnesty to all those who committed war crimes such as rape…The purpose of this amnesty was to reconcile the Congolese society with itself, to promote peace. However the well being of women was not taken in consideration.

The Congolese women are still vulnerable to violence. Society has so far failed to protect women. That why,on this day of women international day, our thoughts really go to those women who have all their life have to live with the burden of violence and its consequences. So many of them are raped everyday. May God protect all women who victims of violence all around the world.

Cassava leaves recipe: saka-saka or pondou

Cassava leaves are one of the most popular dish in the Congo. They are served during big family diners and special occasions such as weddings, birthday parties, kids baptism and Eucharist. It a pretty complicated dish to prepare. Normally the first step is to pound the leaves in a big mortar with its pillar. This is the traditional way of getting the leaves ready.

However, modern life has saved us from that step. So we get buy already pounded cassava leaves in the store. There are plenty of brand to Choose  from.  And in the Congo Brazzaville there are two versions of cassava leaves . Here are the ingredients forversion number ;

ingredients

  •  2 lbs of cassava leaves
  • 1/ 2 liter of palm oil or olive oil
  • 2 to 3 onions
  • garlic
  • scallions
  • 2 green peppers
  •  2 tea spoons black pepper
  • 3 fish
  • 2 big eggplant
  • 1 can of peanut butter

In a big pan, put the cassava leaves and add 1/2 liter of  water. Let it boil until the water completely dry out add an other 1/2 liter of water. Let it dry out again . This step is really important because it helps get rid of the green color of the cassava leaves . Once the leaves turn into a more yellowish green , cut the eggplants into pieces add them to the pan with another 2 cups of water or 1/2 liter.

Meanwhile, wash and cut onions, garlic, scallions and green peppers. Then put them in a blender to get  a purée.  Add it the pan along with salt and black peppers.  Let it boil until it completely blend with the cassava leaves an the eggplants.

Meanwhile, in another pan, put the fish to a boil. Once it is cooked, get rid of the bones and add it to the cassava leaves pan and follow it with the peanut butter. Let it cook at a low temperature. Once the peanut butter is completely melted and blended with the cassava leave, the next step will be to add the palm oil.

For this last step, cut another onion and 4 to 6 garlic into pieces. In a frying pan pour a 1/2 liter of palm oil . Once the oil is hot add garlic and onions to it. Once these are cooked pour the oil into the cassava leaves pan. Let it boil for another 15 to 30 minutes at low temperature. Your cassava leaves are ready to be served.

tip: serve your cassava leaves with rice, foufou and either fried fish or chicken.

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