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The following was submitted by ASFL Local Coordinator Oluwafemi Ogunjobi

WP_20150107_101Prof. George Ayittey, a Ghanaian Professor, said; ‘the Cheetah generation is the generation of youths that will not wait for the government to do things for them; they are the ones Africa’s salvation rests on their shoulders’. For four days, youths across Africa gathered at the Wood Training Center, Kumasi, Ghana for the 2015 Winter Liberty, & Entrepreneurship Camp organized by African Youths Peace Call (AYPC).

 

Kumasi is the capital city of the Ashanti region, a very important and historical center for Ghana. Tradition is held very high in the city and blends very well with modernity. The ancient capital of the Ashanti kingdom, Kumasi is still the heart of Ashanti country and the site of West Africa’s largest cultural center. To add to the appeal, it is surrounded by rolling green hills and has a vast central market as vibrant as any in Africa.

It hosts the Wood Training Center, which youths from various parts of Africa converged on last week, spreading the gospel of liberty, entrepreneurship and prosperity. (more…)

The following was written by Pretoria-based ASFL Local Coordinator Martin van Staden

ancThe African National Congress (ANC), the continent’s oldest political party, celebrated its 103rd birthday this weekend. Phumlani UMajozi, Youth Coordinator with the Free Market Foundation of South Africa, wrote in August 2014 about his experiences on social media with people who supported the ANC’s affirmative action and Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policies. In arguing against the policy’s divisive nature, Phumlani pointed out that not all poor South Africans were black, and that if the government was truly non-racial, it would support the poor regardless of race. To illustrate his point, Phumlani argued that if there must be such a thing as BEE, then there must just as well be a White Economic Empowerment policy. His suggestion of colorblindness, however, was met with fierce opposition on social media. Critics claimed that he, as a Black South African, should not have such sentiments, and that he must remember what “where he comes from’. In reply to these critics, Phumlani rightfully pointed out that Black South Africans are not obliged support the ANC forever, and that the ANC isn’t owed anything. Suggesting that the ANC must always have the support of Black South Africans, Phumlani argued, is a betrayal to what the ANC fought for, being “… a free, democratic society; where we all, regardless of our race or creed, could have a voice about the future of this nation. They were hungry, not for the political power of their movements, but to live in a democratic country.”
I agree with all of his arguments with the exception of one point. As I came to read more and more material from that era, I must disagree with him on the aspect of what the ANC fought for. It would seem that they did not fight for a free and democratic society, but that this “free and democratic” aspect only came about due to the compromises and concessions made at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA). Instead, the ANC fought for a Marxist socialist state, as envisioned in the “Freedom” Charter, with black majority rule. So rather than fighting for a society in which individuals could excel and aspire to more than the status quo allows, the African NP (as I have come to name them, on occasion) wanted a collectivist state based on the rule by a group with the most members of a particular skin color, not unlike the Afrikaner NP (National Party) which created and enforced Apartheid. (more…)

The following was written by ASFL executive board member Alex Njeru

The tyranny of ideology is real, and perhaps more pronounced in Africa than in any other place in the world. Although scientific socialism or oScreen Shot 2015-01-07 at 8.27.02 PMne of its many variants is not practiced anywhere in Africa, well at least not manifestly, the vestiges of the insidious ideas that beguile the whole body of work behind socialism are still here with us.

The ideas that were very grain of socialism are making abrisquecome back, well maybe they never went away, but there are calls by many a contemporary Africans to go back to the ‘good old ways’ the good sweet discipline of socialism. The ideology has never lost its allure and sexiness, that is why many a people would wish for a return of the days of old; the days of Nyerere’s Ujaama , and Nkrumaism, the ones who are do not want the days of old back are ambivalent at best and do not know what idea-engine should drive development on this continent.

Therein lies the problem, the many off-shoots of Marxism and particularly the ones that found currency in Africa were not growth oriented, they were not pre-occupied at ways and means of growing Africa or bringing it abreast with other global economies, they were much more oriented towards re-distributing miseries as widely as possible. That is why when Asian tigers were gaining considerable eminence at marshaling populations out of poverty, African countries could be described as ‘scared serval cats, tiptoeing in fear in the global market environment.’ The construct of socialism was in its redistributive anchor not growth or regeneration that is why when economies elsewhere were growing, African economies were mark-timing or worse still regressing.

The main issue here, is not that socialism gained utility in Africa, it is that it did not have competition of note. The tyranny of socialism was not challenged, in fact it has never been challenged. It was the bedrock upon which African academia and practice of academia was built, it influenced: literature, political science, economics it almost influenced science. The curriculum was and still is imbued with heavy doses of Marx, the practice ‘mostly public practice’ is heavily laden with offices who swear by Marx but acquire and stash billions in foreign accounts.

That is the ideological waddle that Africa finds itself in, waddling in shallow ponds of poverty and destitution, with no real alternatives for respite and relief.

What then happens when you realize that your life, academic life has been a lie? Not really, but what happens that you have been tunnel visioned to think in an acute sense? Adulate Marx and socialism and all that he stood for? What happens when you discover that the only purpose of your education was to turn you into an ebullient socialist cheerleader? What happens when you get that epiphany, have a vision like the one that Saul had on the journey to Damascus, subsequently became Paul? What happens when you realize that there could be a redeeming alternative to that lie that you have lived for so long?

It is simple; you win yourself first, you look to win others in the process, you appeal to the neutrals, and you take on convention. You develop a substratum upon which the redemptive theory will challenge the dominant theory. You throw your heart in the ring and offer a few ideological punches, you challenge conventional wisdom. You do not win against the ideological tyrant by resigning to fate, do you?

That is what we set out to do, to: challenge and query conventional wisdom; to unearth how deeply the African political system has been under the yoke of socialism, we can only do this by coming up credible options for development and alternatives to the ideas that have kept Africa down for the better part of the last half century.

This post was originally published on AfricanLiberty.org 

The following was contributed by African Students For Liberty Executive Board Chair Emeka Ezeugo

A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government – George Washington

 Recently, I have been engaged in discussions with a lot of people on gun ownership in Africa, in respect to one of the basic human rights – right to life, liberty and security. Unfortunately, this right has been taken away from us by the barrel of a gun, with which the state holds its citizens captive, in Africa. From the East to the West, North and South of the continent, conflicts have been recorded and are still a cause for concern in recent times. These are mostly armed conflicts and if they are not state-sponsored, they are carried out by people who have acquired weapons “illegally”.

The Nigerian government is in a fierce battle with Boko Haram insurgents in West Africa, while Al-shabab fighters keep terrorizing countries in the Horn of Africa. With a population of 173 million and counting, Human Rights Watch reported in July that over 2000 lives were lost to the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria. The numbers have continued to rise with over 1.5 million people displaced from their homes. Authorities in neighboring Chad have cried out that they can no longer harbor refugees from Nigeria, if the international community does not come to their aid.

In the wake of all these, reports that local vigilantes were taking on Boko Haram insurgents became widely circulated in both local and international media. At this time, The Nigerian Army (formerly regarded as the best in West Africa with several peace-keeping achievements), was losing to insurgents on their own turf, and had to enlist the help of these vigilantes who are assigned to troops, more or less armed with locally made weapons inferior to what their new-found allies and sworn enemies possess. Sadly, on the 18th of December 2014, Boko Haram invaded another town in Borno State, killed about 33 men and kidnapped another set of girls and women with their numbers put at about 185.ghandi on guns

While some people think it is not a good idea for citizens to bear arms in Africa, I believe it is important. We will continue to be “a nation of victims”, according to Senator Leyonhjelm of Australia, if we do not put in place laws that will ensure that every citizen has the right to life and to protect himself. Picture these insurgents driving into a village and they are greeted with equal or superior fire-power; surely they will think twice before they go attacking civilians. Army posts are usually far from these remote villages and therefore troops from the Nigerian Army get there after the atrocities have been committed. If the quarry workers killed in Kenya were allowed their right to bear arms, they would have probably defended their right to life, liberty and security, saving mothers and loved ones from grief and untold hardship. (more…)

The following report was submitted by ASFL local coordinator June Moseti

The Eastern Africa Policy Centre in collaboration with the Atlas Network and African Students for Liberty held a Freedom and Liberty Seminar in Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, Kakamega on Friday, 21 November, 2014. The seminar targeted university students and academic staffs from the Faculties of Economics, Education and Social Sciences, Business Administration, Journalism and Mass Communication as well as Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. The public lecture and discussions encompassed teachings on the principles of a Free Market Economy, Liberty, Entrepreneurship, Globalization, Property Rights, Good governance and Taxes.

seminarThe over 50 participant seminar, commenced with Opening and Welcoming remarks from Masinde Muliro Representative Dr. Bob Mbori, the Director of Public Communications and Publishing. He welcomed the initiative and applauded EAPC for fulfilling their promise of coming back to Masinde Muliro and the effort being done to enlighten the youth on the challenges Africa faces. He also encouraged the students and staff present to utilize their ‘twenties’ productively through use of technology in coming up with innovative solutions to the problems the continent faces. (more…)

Jeff Berwick of Anarchast interviews Africa Youth Peace Call president Afrikanus Kofi Akosah Adusei from Ghana, topics include: Libertarianism in Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Anarchism in line with traditions, Libertarianism seen as African rather than colonial, US trying to get into Africa, Skype bringing education, the black market is a free market, Ebola is a conspiracy to destablise region and gain access to resources, one of the biggest lies of the century, Africa is poor because of a lack of economic freedom.

The following is a video by South Africa Phumlani Umajozi

During South Africa’s platinum miners’ strike that ended in June this year, I was puzzled by union members who suggested they’d rather be unemployed than earn what they described as a “low wage”. I was really startled by their remarks. It made no sense to me, not only because I have had low-wage jobs, but also because I couldn’t imagine a poor desperate South African rejecting a low-pay job in favour of an incapability to feed, clothe and house their families.

During my first year at Rhodes University, eight years ago, I was lucky enough to find temporary jobs during the holidays, mostly in gardening and construction. I had also submitted my resumé to various restaurants and clothing shops and responded to a number of job advertisements, but with no luck.

When my father told me of a family in need of someone to assist with their garden at least once a week, I thought “Thank God”. I was ecstatic and looked forward to work, long before I even knew how much I was going to be paid. What mattered to me most was that I was about to earn a wage that could, at some point, help me buy a bus ticket back to Grahamstown to continue with my Bachelor of Commerce studies. I needed the money.

Read the full article on the Free Market Foundation website here.

The following was written by ASFL Executive Board Member Alex Njeru

I have taken quite some time to pen this piece, partly because the moral gangs purporting to advocate for a ‘new era of a morally upright Kenya’ by undressing women, shook the belief I had in mankind to the core. I cannot understand it, this is the year of our Lord 2014 and for God’s sake we have smartphones, drones, rockets that land on comets and a selfie addicted president. There is absolutely no excuse for any being, Neanderthal or not to walk around pre-supposing that he or she or they for that matter are the moral guardians of Kenyan society. There is no excuse for people to forcefully impose their own subjective moral sanctions on other people. It is not right, it reeks and it is abhorrently wrong. I am not wearing a dress any time soon, but I have no objection against those men who have a fetish for mauve and black pleat dresses, it bothers me less.

Perhaps more worrying, is the fact that; suave, well educated men, who walk around with two smartphones and drink to a few exotic beers in the weekend do not find any problems with the layabout who undresses women. Those of us who have 8-5 white collar jobs have not equivocally condemned the actions of this underemployed touts who find mirth in the act of stripping women. (more…)

The following is a guest submission by Phumlani UMajozi

During South Africa’s platinum miners’ strike that ended in June this year, I was puzzled by union members who suggested they’d rather be unemployed than earn what they described as a “low wage”. I was really startled by their remarks. It made no sense to me, not only because I have had low-wage jobs, but also because I couldn’t imagine a poor desperate South African rejecting a low-pay job in favour of an incapability to feed, clothe and house their families.

During my first year at Rhodes University, eight years ago, I was lucky enough to find temporary jobs during the holidays, mostly in gardening and construction. I had also submitted my resumé to various restaurants and clothing shops and responded to a number of job advertisements, but with no luck. (more…)

The following was written by ASFL leader Oluleke Peter

On the 8th of November, 2014, 33 student leaders from 9 universities and 6 states within Nigeria gathered at Conference Centre, University of Ibadan for the African Students For Liberty Nigerian Leadership Forum. The forum shared best practices for pro-liberty student organizing: as discussions; brainstorming and lectures highlighted the need to establish a network of leaders who will work to make the country a stronghold for the pro-liberty student movement.

The forum commenced with a formal introduction by each participants. These participants were student leaders/representatives from University of Ibadan, Ibadan; Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta; Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye; University of Ilorin, Ilorin; Mashood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta; Kogi State University, Kogi state; and University of Abuja, Abuja.

(more…)