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

Libertarianism is not a philosophy of appeasement. Unlike our social democratic colleagues, most of us do not dress libertarianism up as a vehicle for utopian outcomes. When we ask for welfare systems to be dismantled, we understand that some will be stripped of their immediate income, and so to say, be thrown under the bus (although, merely temporarily). When we ask for military intervention to cease, we understand that some civilian in a far off place may be deprived of protection he has become accustomed to. When we demand that the State should not violate privacy until there is no doubt that a liberty-depriving crime has been committed, we acknowledge that some crimes may not be averted and that some people may suffer as a consequence. Quite maturely, and with the application of logical reasoning and rationality, we know that the implementation and the construction of a free society, although perfectly practical, will not be an easy ride for anyone, and that the ride will be more difficult for some than it is for others. But we regard only one principle as mandatory imperative: individual liberty.

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 2.24.44 AMLibertarianism is about realizing that in all circumstances when dealing with people with agency, the individual is the best judge of their own interests. If you are of the Rothbardian school, you believe the State should move out of the way because it is a criminal entity which violates our natural rights. If you are inclined toward the ideas of David Friedman, you believe the State should move out of the way because as a matter of fact, it is always effectively inferior to the operation of the free market, an idea which Rothbard also broadly agrees with. ‘The State moving out of the way’ obviously has its own consequences, many of which are unknown, but which we believe in any case will be preferable than having a supermassive institution extorting us on a continual basis in every facet of our existence. Stefan Molyneux has been clear in this regard. A popular rebuttal of his when someone asks him “how would x be done without the State?” is to say that he does not care. However it will be done, is a better alternative to having people in costumes with guns doing it with purported legitimacy. Any voluntary acts are to be preferred over the coercion of government, even if they prove to be more difficult or uncertain. (more…)

The following is a guest submission by Phumlani M. UMajozi


Omar al bashirWhen Martin Luther King Jr. made the famous I have a dream speech in 1963, he spoke of a country where people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Like MLK, I too have a dream. Mine is about the continent Africa.

There is a sense of exasperation amongst many Africans today. They feel that for centuries, their continent has been looked down upon, disrespected by many around the world. I do not only see this exasperation on social networks, but also on my interactions with many people I know.
I have felt the same way too, at times. But instead of spewing vitriol against those who I believe undermine us; I have rather chosen to try and be analytical – ask myself why do they undermine this continent?


The following was contributed by ASFL local coordinator Olufemi Ogunjobi


jonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan’s administration ends May 29. It is a day that commemorates the restoration of democracy in Nigeria. Also, the day marks the day for the change of power from the present administration to the newly-elected government officers.

Nigeria’s President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan will on that day hand-over as the Grand Commander, Federal Republic of Nigeria to General Mohammadu Buhari, a former military head of state, after six years of democratic rule.
In 2010, the then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan took over the mantle of leadership from the 58-year old President, Umar’ Musa Yaradua, who died in office after a long illness. Yaradua’s election in 2007 marked the first transfer of power from one civilian president to another since the nation got her independence in 1960. He (Yaradua) came into power promising a long list of reforms, including tackling corruption and reforming the inadequate power sector and flawed electoral system. He made progress in banking reforms, but analysts say he made the most progress in the oil-rich Niger Delta, by offering an amnesty to rebels.
Mr. Jonathan came into power with lots of promises too for the Nigerian people. He tagged them “Transformation Agenda’’. By and large, he kicked off as the President of Nigeria. His administration was not without successes, but with many lapses.


The following was written by ASFL Local Coordinator Babajide Oluwase


africans on seaWhen we are discussing about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and its impact in Africa today, we are often carried away by investment figures committed, rather than the most important resource involved – Africans.
Africa’s greatest asset is its people. If Africa is to ever jump-start its development to be on par with other developed continents, it will have to significantly invest in its own people. In consequence, there can be no effective investment in Africa’s future without equipping the people that will contribute to her overall advancement.
Following the recent news circulating in the media on the issue of migration, one will get so worried about the influx of sea-borne migrants from Africa. People risking their lives on the Mediterranean Sea, all in the name of seeking for a better life in Europe, that is not even guaranteed. The remedy to this occurrence is not far-fetched; African governments simply have to make Africa more attractive to Africans.


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


The last few weeks have seen the second significant wave of xenophobic attacks by citizens on foreign nationals, some legally and some illegally, living in South Africa. Xenophobia has been an issue in South African society before and after our democratization in 1994, with foreigners having been assaulted variously in 1996 and 1998, when three individuals were thrown off a train by persons returning from a rally organized by the ‘Unemployed Masses of South Africa’ group, which sought to place much of the blame for the country’s vast socioeconomic issues on foreigners.


The 2008 xenophobic riots left 62 people dead, 21 of which were citizens. zulu kingJoblessness among citizens was said to be the chief cause of the attacks. Now, in April 2015, we are seeing the same pattern. The King of the Zulus, Zwelithini, is said to have started the current wave of violence by remarking to a crowd of his supporters that foreigners must pack up and leave the country. According to a BBC report dated 19 April; six individuals have already been killed. Thousands, many of whom are refugees, have had to move into camps for their own safety. Foreign governments have expressed serious intentions to start repatriating their citizens from South Africa.



Unfortunately, it is ironic that many of them have had to flee their own violent circumstances abroad, and met largely the same treatment by South Africans. Many from our northern neighboring Zimbabwe fled to South Africa specifically for economic reasons. The Zimbabwean economy has been in shatters since the early 2000s when the State launched a massive land grabbing program aimed at the largely successful commercial farming sector. Hyperinflation since 2003 caused the country to abandon its own currency, and it now uses the U.S. dollar and S.A. rand. Indeed, one of the Zimbabwean government’s “solutions” to their massive economic crisis was in 2007 to introduce a law which forced all white business owners to hand 51% of their ownership over to “native” black Zimbabweans.


The following was contributed by ASFL Programs Associate Chukwuemeka Ezeugo


acfl 2On the 13th of March 2015, over 70 students converged on campus to take part in the first African Christians For Liberty Conference. Five institutions of higher learning were represented and the line up of speakers included Mr. Olumayowa Okediran, the African Programs Manager for Students For Liberty, Mr. Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, the African Programs Associate for Students For Liberty and Mr. Dominic Agumba, Local Coordinator with Students For Liberty.


Mr. Dominic who is also the President of the Overcomers Student Fellowship and the host of the event, introduced the participants to Students For Liberty as a student-run international organization dedicated to the promotion of individual liberty, principles of a free society, effective leadership among other things. He encouraged the students not to wait until after graduation from the university before they can be agents of change in the society, as Students For Liberty provides the necessary support and platform for those who wish to be a part of the largest student libertarian movement in the world. Using himself as an example, he narrated how he attended the first African Students For Liberty Conference held at the University of Ibadan in July 2014. He learnt a lot from the various speakers who dwelt on topics in Economics, Law, Politics and personal development. Mr. Dominic eventually applied to take part in the Local Coordinator training and after successful completion, became a leader with African Students For Liberty. He has continued to work with African Students For Liberty ever since, even though he presides over other youth organizations.


The next speaker was Mr. Olumayowa, who explained in great detail what Libertarianism is and also the general idea of how a free society really works. Choosing the works of selected Libertarian scholars like Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand and F. A Hayek who influenced his decision to join the Liberty train, Mr. Olumayowa discussed various issues that borders on the economy, the rule of law, individual liberty and even entrepreneurship. On the latter, he reiterated what Mr. Dominic told students about developing themselves now, using himself and the founding of African Students For Liberty as an example. In conclusion, he also shed more light on the work of African Students For Liberty and Students For Liberty International, explaining the opportunities that abound for students in the Libertarian movement.


The following, written by Ian Birrell, was first published by the Center for Policy Studies blog here: http://www.capx.co/capitalism-and-democracy-can-unlock-africas-great-potential/


BuhariThe message to his country is simple: ‘Don’t expect miracles.’ These are wise words from Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s septuagenarian new leader surveys his immense domain. For having won power, the former general presides over a nation – the most populous in Africa – that is beset with problems from Islamic militancy in the north through to grotesque corruption and massive economic woes caused by collapsing oil prices.

Yet in some ways, the miracle has already happened. For Nigeria has joined the club of nations on the continent that has seen leaders removed from office through the ballot box, a process that began in 1971 in neighbouring Benin. After Buhari won last month’s ballot by 2.6m votes, the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan graciously accepted defeat in what was possibly the finest moment of his lacklustre presidency. Few Nigerians dared hope power might be handed over so peacefully; Jonathan’s party had, after all, controlled the west African behemoth since military rulers ceded control 16 years ago.

Whatever happens next, this is a moment to savour – and not just because the surprise success of the former military hardliner seemed the best of the bad options on offer to the electorate. Jonathan had done little to tackle the huge problems confronting Africa’s most influential nation, whether dealing with the Boko Haram insurgency, improving woeful infrastructure or simply making his remarkably entrepreneurial nation an easier place to do business. The result is that almost two-thirds of people in this oil-rich country remain trapped in poverty, while billions have been swindled from the public finances.


The following was contributed by ASFL Local Coordinator Femi Ogunjobi


OlumayowaThe Atlas Network in collaboration with the Students Union and African Students For Liberty (ASFL) Chapter of Obafemi Awolowo University held a Liberty and Leadership Forum in the Cooperative building of the institution on Saturday, March 7, 2015. The event targeted students and leaders from different universities and colleges to focus on best practices of students organizing, networking and exposure to strategies for expanding the frontiers of freedom across the continent. The discussion encompassed teachings on Free Market, Economy, Liberty, Leadership and Responsibility, Entrepreneurship, Freedom of Speech, and Good governance.


The over 100 participants forum commenced with opening remarks from Jude Feranmi, the institution’s group leader. He explained the liberty movement as a drive which must awaken young people in the society. He challenged African youths to imbibe the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that unlocks much potential. (more…)

The following was first published on eapcentre.org, and was contributed by ASFL Local Cordinator  June Moseti


MogadishuSomalia has the distinction of being the world’s longest running failed state with no central government of any real authority. Peace and harmony in Somalia are seen to be as fleeting as the morning dew. Civil war has ravaged the country ever since Siad Barre’s ouster as president in 1991. The dictator oversaw a regime of gross atrocities on his people with the Somali Armed forces targeting civilians in ruthless attacks such as the 1988 bloody siege in Hargeisa that claimed 5000 civilian lives. A coalition of clan-based armed opposition group came to the rescue in 1991 and ousted the nations long standing military government. It would however, come to be that these same heroes would turn out to be the most vicious of villains as the country was plunged into a civil war that has spurned over two decades.

War in the region can be traced back to the 20th Century due to three reasons, namely: Barre’s dictatorship, colonialism and cold war international relations. The former colonial masters ruled Somalia as two regions: North was administered as British Somalia and the South as Italian Somalia. The two colonies in 1960 merged to form the Independent United Republic of Somalia in 1960. This however, left discordant tension due to differing economic, colonial and political traditions.


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

This past Monday saw the revival of the South African (classically) liberal youth movement with the Inaugural Ceremony of African Students For Liberty – Pretoria (ASFL-Pretoria), at the University of Pretoria’s Hatfield campus. With the timely disbandment of the National Union of South African Students (Nusas) and the South African Liberal Students’ Association (Salsa) at the end of Apartheid in the 1990s, a great void was created; a void Students For Liberty in South Africa hopes to fill.

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 6.37.02 PMOur speaker for the evening was Mr. John Kane-Berman, lifelong classical liberal and former Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR), South Africa’s oldest classically liberal think tank. Mr. Kane-Berman gave an informative talk on the history of liberalism in South Africa, including its proud opposition to Apartheid and the unfortunate demise of the liberal youth movement in the country.

Please click here to read the full speech given by Mr. Kane-Berman, as it was posted on PoliticsWeb.

Also in attendance was Dr. Frans Cronje, well known political and economic commentator and the incumbent CEO of the IRR. Mr. Phumlani UMajozi of the Free Market Foundation Youth (FMFYouth) also joined us that evening. ASFL-Pretoria has already established a good working relationship with the FMF and the IRR in South Africa’s struggle for substantive liberty. The FMF enabled the Inaugural Ceremony in part by contributing over R5 000 ($400) worth of free market reading material which was distributed to new members at our tabling in February, as well as the most expensive books at the Ceremony itself, by way of a number drawing. Five new student members each went home with the Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report, worth R500 ($40). (more…)