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The following was contributed by ASFL executive board member Peter Yakobe

ASFL Outreach in Malawi

ASFL Outreach in Malawi

Working to achieve its vision to have a Malawi where the students, and the youths in general are liberated and are taking necessary steps to advance liberty, African Students For Liberty in Malawi conducted a liberty awareness campaign at the University of Malawi, the Polytechnic on Saturday 21 February.

The main goal of the event was to raise awareness of liberty at the institution and also to establish a libertarian student club at the university. The Polytechnic students were encouraged to take a lead as young leaders in ensuring that we have a liberated nation where its people are able to enjoy individual freedom through the ideas of liberty.

The response from the students was overwhelming, considering the program held on a Saturday, when many students are not on campus, and the short period of time that the program was advertised for.
About 20 students who came to the event discussed about the principles that make for a free society. A student libertarian group was started and an interim committee to lead the group was formed. Students For Liberty T-shirts were distributed to some of the participants.Participants

African Students For Liberty plans to conduct more outreach activities in Malawi to make sure that the youths in general are at liberty to partake in socio-economic and political development pursuits and in line with one of its objective of liberating the young especially tertiary students to be agents of change in society.

The following was contributed by ASFL local coordinator Olanrewaju Elufisan

NairobiFor the second time in a row, Nairobi has been shortlisted among the world’s Smart 21 communities of 2015 which makes it the most intelligent city in Africa, tenth in the world and the only city from the continent to make the cut, according to the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) – A New York based international think tank.

The concept of a ‘Smart City’ or an ‘Intelligent Community’ as it is, is the effective maximization of opportunities presented by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to build prosperous economies, solve social problems and enrich local cultures. According to ICF, Intelligent communities are those that have taken conscious steps to create an economy that can prosper in the broadband economy.

As Africa’s ‘smartest city’, Nairobi has proven it has a thing for other African cities to learn from as no other city has achieved this feat, save for Cape Town in 2008. Robert Bell, ICF’s co-founder in a statement said “we see a strong foundation being put into place in Nairobi: sensible, pro-growth government policy, a more diversified economy and an innovation ecosystem of startups, international companies and universities. He added that “Nairobi made it to the list because of its level of Innovation”
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Announcing the

2nd Eastern African Students For Liberty Conference

May 15-16 2015, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

 

 African Students For Liberty is proud to present the second annual ASFL Eastern African Regional Conference at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

Join ASFL from Friday, the 15th of May through Saturday, the 16th of May for a weekend of inspiring lectures, insightful knowledge, and endless networking with pro-liberty students and young professionals from around the world.

By attending the conference, you will hear from top speakers in the freedom movement, network with other pro-liberty students, discover countless opportunities for jobs, internships, conferences and seminars, and have a lot of fun with other students. This event will feature tremendous speakers and panels on the ideas that lead to a free society and the actions necessary to implement them. In addition,  free meals and drinks and our evening social are included with your FREE registration. Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of the student movement for liberty! Register here.

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Location: Pope John Paul II Hall, Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya

Registration is Free

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The following was contributed by Phlumani  M. UMajozi

Robert Mugabe fallsThe 90 –year old President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe was elected the Chairman of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, last week. Mugabe will chair the union for one year. Although revered by many across the African continent as a hero who led Zimbabwe to independence, many questions have been asked about the African Union’s decision to elect the man who has ruled his nation with an iron fist for many years. I ask only one question: As chairman of the AU, who does Mugabe really represent?

 
For many, the answer may be simple: He represents the people of Africa. For me it is even simpler. Mugabe represents the old guard. The current chair of the AU is entirely the opposite of what our continent needs right now. There are numerous reasons why I think so.
Firstly, he mismanaged his country’s economy over the past twenty years – which has inflicted misery on millions of his citizens. Mugabe’s policies have worsened the lives of the ordinary Zimbabweans. His policies resulted in severe decline in agricultural productivity, and the sky rocketing inflation that left his citizens desperately poor. Most of his people are not happy – many left the country to search for a better life elsewhere. Most came to South Africa. Estimates of Zimbabweans who live in South Africa range between 1.5 million and 3 million. During the peak of the economic crisis just a few years ago, Zimbabwe was ranked the world’s unhappiest place to live at – all this under President Mugabe’s leadership.
Politicians are expected to better the lives of the people they lead, not worsen them; Mugabe worsened the lives of his people.

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Announcing the

1st Southern African Students For Liberty Conference

May 8-9 2015, University of  Malawi, Chancellor College, Malawi

 

 African Students For Liberty is proud to present the first annual ASFL Southern African Regional Conference at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College, Malawi

Join ASFL from Friday, the 9th of May through Saturday, the 10th of May for a weekend of inspiring lectures, insightful knowledge, and endless networking with pro-liberty students and young professionals from around the world.

By attending the conference, you will hear from top speakers in the freedom movement, network with other pro-liberty students, discover countless opportunities for jobs, internships, conferences and seminars, and have a lot of fun with other students. This event will feature tremendous speakers and panels on the ideas that lead to a free society and the actions necessary to implement them. In addition,  free meals and drinks and our evening social are included with your FREE registration. Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of the student movement for liberty! Register here.

Venue

Location: Great Hall, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, Malawi

Registration is Free  

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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…)