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The following is a guest submission by Habeeb Kolade

MauritiusThanks to its excellent scenery, pristine blue waters and exotic beaches, Mauritius stands as one of the top destinations for tourists in the world. Isolated from the rest of Africa, Mauritius stands distinct from the rest of the continent in many ways.

While many are still battling issues of gender balance in the areas of governance as well as other exploitable opportunities, Mauritius took the bold step of voting in a female president, making her only the third sitting female President in Africa, along with Presidents of Liberia and Central African Republic. Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim wasn’t even a politician and was last only in contention to be the Vice Chancellor of the University of Mauritius. A thorough-bred scientist, Dr Ameenah is known for her strides in science rather than politics. A 2007 Laureate for the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science for Africa, 2008 winner of the ‘Emma Award’ by Bank One Ltd ‘For Outstanding achievement and accomplishment’ and Fellow of the African Academy of Science as one of the foremost modern scientists in Africa, the choice of Dr Ameenah can easily be recognized as meritocratic rather than political, a system generally lacking in many African countries.


The following report was submitted by Isack Danford

Uhuru Leadership AcademyIsack Danford, former African Students For Liberty board member and founder of the Uhuru Initiative for Policy and Education organized a training seminar for undergraduates and young professionals in Tanzania.

The training seminar called the Uhuru Leadership Academy (ULA) brought thirty participants from across Africa and gave them training, resources, a network, and other tools with which they can effectively organize and make an impact in their universities, cities and regions.  After the event, participants of this training organize events, help start and grow student groups, and seek out other potential leaders for liberty with the resources that this young organization provides. (more…)

The following was submitted by ASFL blog team member Babajide Oluwase

2015 IEFOut of a population of about 1 billion people, it is not exaggerating to say that majority of Africans are not free to make choices about who should govern them, let alone the kind of economic system to be practiced to produce the desired outcomes.

No doubt, African economies need entrepreneurs to create jobs and drive new innovations to the market. But what do the entrepreneurs need?  Economic freedom.

Why economic freedom?

Economic freedom is the key to greater opportunities and an improved quality of life. It’s the freedom to choose how to produce, sell, and use your own resources, while respecting others’ rights to do same. It is an engine that drives prosperity in the world and it is the difference between why some societies thrive and others do not. In economically free societies, government allow labour, capital, and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself.

In this year’s Index of Economic Freedom (IEF), published by the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal, just over 40 African economies are included in its 152-strong list. This apparently sends a message that, Africa has fundamental issues to deal with. Mauritius (10th), Botswana (36th), and Rwanda (65th) are rated as the continent’s freest economies, while Congo (168th), Equatorial Guinea (173rd), and of course, Zimbabwe (175th) wallow at the bottom of the index. The index also indicates that Sub-Saharan Africa is ranked last in seven of the ten economic freedom assessed, performing particularly poorly in three crucial areas: property rights, freedom from corruption, and business freedom. Though, better than the global average on government expenditure. (more…)

The following was written by ASFL blog team member Osoteku Demilade

While the world is enthralled with the migrant crisis in Europe, the number of homeless people displaced  in Nigeria is already nearing those from the Nigerian Civil war.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre revealed that as of April 2015, over 1.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes in Nigeria. This figure is comprised of people displaced as a result of terrorist attacks by the Islamist armed group Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria, the government-led counterinsurgency operations against the group, ongoing inter-communal clashes and natural hazard-induced disasters.

Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.

Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria

Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria

By  September 2015, the number of homeless people as a result of the Boko Haram related operations has increased to over 2.1 million; the highest number of internally displaced persons in the world as revealed by the latest International Organization for Migration Report.
The deadly Nigerian Civil War of 1967 – 1970, the greatest humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s history, claimed thousands of life and made about 1-3 million civilians homeless. The Boko Haram insurgency although more subtle as it doesn’t operate as a full scale war, has already made over 2.1 million people homeless and has killed people in their thousands. (more…)

The following was contributed by ASFL Programs Associate Chukwuemeka Ezeugo

ASFL Board Retreat

African Students For Liberty will be posting periodic updates of her activities to keep members and partners informed about what the organization is up to on the continent.

On the 29th and 30th of August, 2015 the African Executive Board Retreat  held in Ibadan Oyo State, Nigeria, where East, West and Southern Africa were represented. The Board members came up with plans about realizing SFL objectives in Africa, while at the same time taking ownership of the plans and means of achieving this. We look forward to a more pragmatic ASFL in the coming year.


We ended applications to the LCP with over 200 applying for the training, which shall commence in two weeks time. Executive Board members shall take part in the selection of successful applicants for the training, while handling post-LCP periodic trainings for future LCs. This is part of our efforts to give Board members practical management training.

2015 board retreat in Ibadan.

2015 board retreat in Ibadan.

The following was written by Michael Howe-Ely and first appeared on the Ineng blog

African Students for Liberty Cape Town‘s first event: Fixing our Energy Crisis

The Independent Entrepreneurship Group (Ineng) and the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) had the pleasure of sponsoring the first event for African Students for Liberty‘s Cape Town chapter.

Mienke Steytler from the Institute of Race Relations (which published Andrew Kenny’s work on energy policy reform as The Rise and Fall of Eskom – and how to Fix it Now) spoke on the IRR’s extensive policy work, looking at numerous issues affecting South Africa.

Andrew Kenny, an independent energy and electricity policy expert, gave a talk on South Africa’s current power crisis, including its history, causes and possible solutions. Although the facts paint a grim picture of the road ahead, Kenny’s talk was not all doom and gloom. He detailed his own ideas on policy reforms and changes at Eskom that would get South Africa back on its feet and mentioned the role of entrepreneurs in helping South African households to cope with the lack of power. He remarked that there were thousands of ways in which entrepreneurs could help South African households cope with the power crisis through innovative business ideas.


Join usApplication to join ASFL blogging team is just a week away!

Are you a student or recent graduate interested in gaining writing
experience? Would you like to share your opinions and ideas on several
issues regarding liberty with thousands of viewers? Now is your chance
to do so. Apply to join African Students For Liberty’s blogging team
of highly motivated student writers. Prior blogging experience is not

The ASFL blog features a wide diversity of content including
philosophical musings, campus activism and student organizing
features, news coverage, pop culture commentary, interviews, and
profiles of influential libertarian figures and works.  We seek to
maintain a free and open dialogue and encourage people of all
ideological stripes interested in liberty to apply.

If you are accepted to be on the blogging team, you will be expected
to blog twice per month throughout the 2015-2016 school year. For
one-time submissions and any other direct questions regarding the
blogging team, please contact the Blog Content Manager, Ajibola Adigun
at:  aadigun@studentsforliberty.org.  Apply by July 31st here!


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

Libertarian pioneers were certainly not shortsighted. From general philosophical works like Murray Rothbard’s The Ethics of Liberty to legally-inclined texts like Bruno Leoni’s Freedom and the Law, libertarian authors have covered it all. It comes as no surprise then that some within our movement made the conscious decision to not focus on philosophy and deeper understandings of governance, but simply on the machinery that will underlie this philosophy: leadership and management for liberty.

Students For Liberty, far from being only a debate or philosophical club, focuses overwhelmingly on training, equipping and placing leaders. A leadership manual of over 200 pages, which is arguably more of a book on leading libertarianism, is one of these resources SFL provides its leaders; excluding all the webinars and talks. Leonard Read of the Foundation for Economic Education wrote an actual book on the topic: Elements of Libertarian Leadership. These works move beyond the theoretical and into the practical, something which is often lacking within our movement.

Read says that several thousand libertarian leaders with a deep (constantly improving) understanding of freedom as a concept will naturally attract the masses. He calls this the power of attraction. But he further stays that we as libertarian leaders should recognize our shortcomings – he lays much emphasis on this – since we risk becoming authoritarian if we fancy ourselves omniscient, and thus able to decide what is best for others (even if it is rooted in libertarian philosophy). We as libertarian leaders should concern ourselves only with ourselves (and not others), and through the power of attraction as we improve, others will come. If we concern ourselves overwhelmingly with others, we are in fact exhibiting authoritarian tendencies, for the authoritarian goes through life “not building his inner self,” but attempting to fight others. Freedom cannot be marketed or sold. It can only be bought by those who do not have it when they are attracted to those (our libertarian leaders) who do.

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 2.58.05 PMA precondition for libertarian leaders to achieve this magneticity is to be able to listen and receive other ideas. The SFL manual and Clark Ruper, in a leadership webinar, also touched on this. Libertarian leaders, especially student leaders at places of learning, cannot spread ideas and the philosophy of freedom without understanding where their opponents are coming from. An example from my own experience is the case of ‘critical theory’ (more commonly known as ‘cultural Marxism’), as developed by the Frankfurt School. When I first came into contact with the ideas of critical theory earlier this year, I was profoundly interested. While I came to realize its authoritarian, and eventually, totalitarian nature, I was fascinated by how well this nature is hidden. (more…)

The following was contributed by ASFL Local Coordinator Olanrewaju Elufisan

yemi osibajoNigeria, Africa’s largest economy and most populated country recently enthroned a new administration at the polls, with President Muhammadu Buhari at the helm of national affairs. Since the emergence of the former dictator turn democrat, Nigerians have been looking forward to the ruling party’s delivery of their promise of change. One of such promises is the monthly payment of 5000 Naira, about 30 dollars, to the unemployed. The administration seems resolved to deliver on this promise.

It is at a period of economic downturn in the nation’s history, when the APC campaigned to provide security, curb corruption, and create millions of jobs. While these changes are needed and expected in the country as soon as possible, at its best, the promise to pay unemployed graduates and poor Nigerians a monthly benefit is tilting at windmills because it does not address the real causes of unemployment and poverty. The proposal at its ugliest and truer face is to curry political gains.

The Vice President who is also the head of the National Economic Council, Prof Yemi Osinbajo at a lecture delivered at Crescent University last month said that about 66% (112 millions) of Nigerians live in extreme poverty below $1.25/day. He added that such programs needed to be established to save people from poverty. But as good as it is to want to alleviate citizens from poverty, what is questionable is this method of doing so.
The numbers just don’t add up. If a hundred million Nigerians will get five thousand naira monthly, it will require five hundred billion Naira – which is a little more than two billion dollars per month – to afford and sustain this at the current exchange rate. Eventually, the government will realize that it cost so much, then it will devise a means of determining who is or who is not qualified for this benefits in order to cut cost. This in itself will cause problems of patronage and people will find corruptible means to be qualified. Populist policies like this incurs debt and when debt rises, the government will likely take on some inflationary policies which could lead to currency devaluation, and many more interventionist strategies will be exercised to deal with the financial crisis that will emerge.


Exemplars of such institutional failure of welfarism to learn from is the US looming debt and the economical bankruptcy of Greece. The costs of such programs rise unsustainably as the years go by. David Kelly’s A life of one’s own provides the rising cost of the US Medicare programs inherent in such welfare plans. Greece’s present trouble and debt crisis is a precautionary tale of unsustainable populist programs.


The larger problem, however, is that poverty programs as such dampen the incentive to become self-supporting through work. The human consequence is becoming inured to a life of dependence.


Although the intentions are good, but their outcomes are not good enough as the unintended consequences when weighed are often negative, often leading to financial crisis. The question of affordability then arises. How will the government get so much for this purpose? Given its present financial state or even at boom? Simply, the government will use up its reserve, raise taxes, borrow a lot, or use the monstrous strategy of printing more money.


This will hinder capital accumulation and stifle innovation that is required for economic growth in a free economy. Whether Nigeria will take the tough road of individual responsibility and economic freedom to prosperity or a populist agenda to debtitude is a discussion of will. Given however the failed records of welfare statism, it is not in the best interest of unemployed and poor Nigerians to embark on such populist policies, because it is often unsustainable and causes more harm than good for those it was intended to help.

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…)