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The following was written by ASFL Executive Board member Alex Njeru. 

A few weeks back when I had interest on a package travelling by sea from the Far East, I happened to stumble upon data that was a little troubling for my soul. I happened to come across info -graphic on current ship moorings and ships on transit along the major continents of the world. It turns out that at any one particular time there are more ships loading at ports in Japan than are docked at the shores of the entire Africa continent. At any one time there more deep sea going ships moored at ports in Taiwan (115) than are moored at the entire India ocean sea bed on the Eastern sea bed of the African continent (72)1.  Whereas ships are clustered along the coasts of countries like; Japan, China, South Korea, China, Singapore and Malaysia there are hardly any on moored along the African coasts loading or unloading cargo from different parts or to different parts of the world.

International marine traffic to and from a particular region and country data is an important purveyor of two kinds of data; one the general level of wealth creation through myriads of ways like industry and two the general level of intra and interregional trade in a particular regional. It is thus not surprising that strong correlations can be drawn between international marine traffic and other economic indicators. For example, despite having quite a big land mass and 1 billion people to boot, Africa contributes a measly 2.58% of global GDP. The same 1 billion with a smaller land mass in India contribute 5.77 % to global GDP and in China the same population contribute to a whopping 15.621 %. The data is not pretty either when you compare Africa to other regional blocks technically blocked together as developing nations, for example developing Asians countries 26.101 % of global GDP. Africa’s largest economy Nigeria, after rebased base year accounts to only 0.56 %, take out the massive oil industry and the country slides into a whole new level of economic doldrums, now compare that with Brazil’s  share of global production that stands at 2.828 %. While the GDP in Africa has grown in real terms, Africa’s share to global GDP has declined, for example 25 years ago, Kenya’s contribution to global GDP stood at 0.11% today it stands at 0.094%. From the foregoing it is safe to say that Africa does not produce enough, but that is not where the problem ends.

Africa simply does not trade enough of what little she produces. A report by the UNCTAD, Economic Development in Africa Report 2013, alludes to the fact that, ‘by most accounts, African countries have not made significant progress in boosting regional trade. Over the period from 2007 to 2011, the average share of intra-African exports in total merchandise exports in Africa was 11 per cent compared with 50 per cent in developing Asia, 21 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean and 70 per cent in Europe. Furthermore, available evidence indicates that the continent’s actual level of trade is also below potential, given its level of development and factor endowments.’ Africa’s share of global trade is a negligible 3%.

There a whole range of reasons for this but the most notable among them is that, Africa remains the most fragmented continent in the world with 54 countries with numerous border crossings. This is how Africa shoots itself in the foot; so many artificial impediments on intra-Africa trade make African trade an extremely arduous affair.

So is it all doom and gloom for Mama Africa? No, but that is we stop pretending that hiding behind the beautiful shade of ‘Afro-optimists’ is going to make all our problems go away. Those who believe in a brighter Africa should start a sustained clamour for free movement of goods and people within Africa. We should also encourage and promote environments that diversify Africa economies from age old primary economic producers towards value and addition and such other measures that will hedge Africa against erratic prices of primary products in the international markets. Until then we shall have fewer ships on our bays and we shall all be poor for it.

Data courtesy of: http://www.economywatch.com/economic-statistics/economic-indicators/GDP_Share_of_World_Total_PPP/

http://www.marinetraffic.com/

 

The following was written by Chukwuemeka Ezeugo, Chairman ASFL Executive Board

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (KJV).

Some Atheists have been going on about how God hates homosexuals, citing the Bible scriptures of Leviticus 18 and 20 in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, and the Objectivist society has gone ahead to promote this misleading and ignorant notion. I call it misleading because it failed to recognize the significance of the works of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, and ignorant because it is only someone who sees Christianity from the spiritual perspective that can understand and recognize why Jesus Christ was sent to earth in the first place.

The Objectivists’ position on this matter is understandable, but it seems most Christians are beginning to believe this absurd assertion and are even using it to fuel the persecution of gay men and women across the world. The Christian Association of Nigeria encouraged the passing of the Bill to send homosexuals and their supporters to jail for 7 or 14 years, into law. Pastors in Uganda have firmly stood behind the persecution of homosexuals, and their incarceration for life.

According to the Bible, God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to redeem the world and to basically show us how to live as Christians. The word Christian means follower of Christ, and if anyone should be referred to as a Christian, then it should be someone who believes in Christ, and follows his teachings and examples that he showed, while on earth. And one of those examples is recorded in John 8: 3-11, where a woman was accused of adultery and was to be stoned to death. The accusers even mentioned that it was written in the law as commanded by Moses. But Christ proved to them that no one is totally righteous, and therefore has no right to judge or condemn another person.

Here, Christ not only condemned slut-shaming, but also discouraged the idea of lynching people for being “sinners”. Evidently, that used to be the case as instructed in “the law”, but that was part of the reason why Jesus Christ came to earth. No matter the “sin” one seems to be involved in, God is “not willing that any man should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. 2 Peter 3: 9. For the Christians that openly and secretly encourage the persecution and murder of other people because they are homosexuals, or practice another faith or religion, you are not fit to be called Christians, at all. Remember that two wrongs do not make a right. Christ clearly encourages us in Matthew 5: 43-47 to pray for our enemies and live in peace with everybody.

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

I think Objectivists should stop hiding under the cloak of Libertarianism to bash Christians at any given opportunity. As a Christian who is proud to be a Libertarian, I have come to see the similarities between the teachings of Jesus Christ and Libertarian principles and ideas. While some of these ideas may not go down well with some groups, for example the issue of taxes, I would like to point out that these are ideas that Christians have agreed to adopt and believe in, and should be respected for that. To the small extent that I accept and believe the selfishness largely promoted by Objectivists, I believe it is imperative that they continue to discuss Christianity and Objectivism from an intellectual point of view (to the best of their understanding) rather than publishing misleading articles every now and then meant to encourage animosity between Christians and others.

Finally, God is no hater. G.O.D is L.O.V.E.  (1 John 4:8)

The following was written by SFL Ghana leader Narigamba Mwinsuubo

The common characteristic of both Fraudulent and Fiat money is that they violate the principle of free association. They enable the producers of paper money to expand their production through the violation of other people’s property rights. The producer of fiat money sells a product that cannot withstand the competition of free-market moneys such as gold and silver coins, and which the market participants only use because the use of all other moneys is severely restricted or even outlawed.

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African Students For Liberty is excited to announce the launch of a new program specifically targeted at 25 individuals interested in providing market-based solutions to food shortage in Africa.

Food shortage is a problem faced across many parts of Africa, it is the responsibility of this generation of young Africans to map out strategies to ensure that famine and food scarcity are things of the past.

For this reason, African Students For Liberty is launching a series of trainings for young people interested in Agricultural entrepreneurship; these individuals must be able to provide proof that they are involved or have been involved with Agricultural endeavors within or outside Africa as well as prove their interest in contributing to finding entrepreneurial solutions to Africa’s agricultural problems.

These trainings will provide a blend of theory and praxis to modern practices of Agricultural production.

Tutor: Calvin Burgess

Calvin Burgess is the founder and CEO of Dominion Group of Companies . Mr. Burgess is a graduate of British Columbia Institute of Technology, (1972) Calvin Burgess managed a major construction company in Victoria, B.C. Upon moving to the U.S. in 1976, he established Canam Construction Company in Edmond, Oklahoma. Within 15 years of its founding, Canam had become the largest general construction firm headquartered in the Oklahoma City area.

In Kenya and indeed Africa Dominion Group has its footprint in the Dominion Farms. Dominion Farms Kenya Limited was chartered in Kenya in 2003. Since then Dominion Farms has turned over 4000 acres of previously un-accessible farmland into productive and sustainable farmland. Today Dominion Farm is the Single Largest producer of rice in Kenya, and employs over 800 locals. Dominion Farms is presently the largest single producer of Rice in Kenya.

The training is free and will take place on the 27th of July in Ibadan, Nigeria, immediately after the African Students For Liberty Conference. Application is open till 4th of July. Selected applicants will be notified on the 10th of July. Travel and housing are the responsibilities of participants.

Apply here.

The following was written by Peter Yakobe, an ASFL leader in Malawi 

Corruption has been retarding development in Africa and has disturbed the major operations in all sectors of society in Africa. These include the education sector, the agricultural sector, the health and business sectors just to mention a few. In all of these sectors, the major operations have been retarding because people in these sectors have been involved in rampant corruption at the expense of the poor people.

Every individual in one form or another has been affected by corruption. Many people who were supposed to face punishment for breaking the law have been going freely through corruption. Many accidents have been happening on African roads and highways because the policemen were involved in corruption and they allowed careless drivers to drive for free after accepting a bribe. People have been dying of treatable illnesses in various African hospitals because one man was involved in corrupt practices and he swindled the money instead of buying the medicine for the benefit of the whole nation or community.

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The following was written by Kenyan Charter Team member Alex Njeru 

The village is Ol-Moran, nestled deep and pretty in the Kenyan savannah.  Women sit on low stools outside a smoke filled grass thatched and mud-walled women. The women chatter about everything, from; the weather to local gossip is on the table to, each holds forward a big enamel cup forward as the host pours thin tea from a large aluminium kettle. After quite some helping of tea, it is time for the business of the day to start.  Each woman fishes 50 shillings and puts in bowl in the centrally placed stool, all 20 of them. The secretary of the group gets her black book out, it is time for the late comers to pay their fines, see everybody was supposed to be here by, 2:00 PM the late comers must pay a surcharge. The host of the day will be taking the sum of their contributions, 1000 shillings to be exact. She could buy seeds for the upcoming planting season, buy a new dress or pay fees for her children it is really up to her.  The urbane and schooled call this table banking, this is women know non of this, this is a monthly contributory merry-go round and this is how these women get by.

This is Ronald Ngala Street Nairobi, it 6.00 in the evening, multitudes on their way home, buses honking their way through the city. The hawkers in coordinated chirrups as they sell their wares, from; vests to Chinese watches, handkerchiefs to exotic Kiwi fruits, they trade their ways. All of a sudden hell breaks loose, the hawkers dis-assemble their small table top shops within seconds and run, run they must from the dreaded City council police. Some hawkers with their tiny toddlers, some pregnant they disappear among the multitudes, they will be back. Much, much later in the night they will sit together, each will contribute to the benevolent fund and each will contribute their savings and credit scheme, one of them will walk with five thousand shillings today.

Back in the highlands a truck has just delivered the tent and plastic seats the villagers have been saving for it has taken them an year, each house hold had to contribute 3,000 shillings. The tent buys convenience, no more being rained on in weddings and funerals, no more relying on the benevolence or lack thereof of the politicians, this is self-sufficiency.

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The Nation CAMPUSLIFE, in collaboration with AfricanLiberty.org and Network for a Free Society, is calling for entries into an essay competition.

Question: Freedom creates prosperity. It unleashes human talent, invention and innovation, creating wealth where none existed before. Discuss.

Eligibility: All African Students in any tertiary institutions (university, polytechnic, college of education and technical schools) in Africa. The format of the text should be in Microsoft word and not more than 1,500 words.

Interested students can visit www.africanliberty.org for background materials. Note that plagiarism is not allowed; any text or sentences copied from other people works must be indicated in quotation marks and credit must be given at the bottom of the paper to the author. Any entry that contains plagiarised work will be disqualified.

On the first page of the completed essay, please write your full names, department, level of study and name of institution. Also include your email address and mobile phone number. Send your entries to adedayo.thomas@gmail.com

Entries will be received between March 6 and June 6, 2014. Late entries will not be accepted. Winners will be announced on July 3 , 2014. All entries will get a free book titled Why Liberty by Tom G. Palmer OR Foundation of a Free Society by Eamonn Butler. Please be sure you include your postal address if different from your school address.

Prizes: 1st – George Ayittey (Platinum Prize): $1,000 and scholarship to 2014 Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)/ASFL at the University of Cape Town Business School, South Africa, from August 14-17, 2014

2nd – Anthony Fisher (Gold Prize): $700 and scholarship to 2014 Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)/ASFL at the University of Cape Town Business School, South Africa, from August 14- 17, 2014

3rd – Derenle Edun (Silver Prize): $500 and scholarship to 2014 Students and Young Professional African Liberty Academy (SYPALA)/ASFL at University of Cape Town Business School. South Africa, from August 14- 17, 2014

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“If we are to understand how society works, we must attempt to define the general nature and range of our ignorance concerning it. … The misleading effect of the usual approach stands out clearly if we examine the significance of the assertion that man has created his civilization and that he therefore can also change its institutions as he pleases. … In a sense it is true, of course, that man has made his civilization. It is the product of his actions or, rather, of the action of a few hundred generations. This does not mean, however, that civilization is the product of human design, or even that man knows what its functioning or continued existence depends upon. …If we are to advance, we must leave room for a continuous revision of our present conceptions and ideals which will be necessitated by further experience. We are as little able to conceive what civilizations will be, or can be, five hundred or even fifty years hence as our medieval forefathers or even our grandparents were able to foresee our manner of life today.” (F. A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty [The Definitive Edition edited by Ronald Hamowy], Chicago, IL, University of Chicago Press, 2011, p. 74)

2014 Essay Contest

Why is recognition of human ignorance an important starting point for Hayek? To what degree is human liberty important for the progress of civilization? Can the pretense of knowledge, independent of experience, mislead decision-making?

  • First prize: $2500 cash award + travel grant*
  • Second prize: $1500 cash award + travel grant*
  • Third prize: $1000 cash award + travel grant*

Visit www.mps2014.org for more information on the General Meeting.

The Hayek Essay Contest is open to all individuals 35 years old or younger. Entrants should write a 5,000 word (maximum) essay. Essays are due on May 31, 2014 and the winners will be announced on July 15, 2014. Essays must be submitted in English only. Electronic versions should be sent to: mps@heritage.org. Prizes are given to the top three essays and include a Hayek Fellow cash award plus a travel grant* to our Society’s next General Meeting in Hong Kong August 31-September 5, 2014. The essays will be judged by an international panel of three senior members of the Society. *Travel grant includes coach class airfare, registration fee, and most meals. Hotel, food, and other expenses will be the responsibility of the attendee. Please contact us at mps@heritage.org with additional questions.

 Announcing the

1st Annual African Students For Liberty Conference

July 25-26 2014, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

 

 African Students For Liberty is proud to present the first annual ASFL Conference at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Join ASFL from Friday, the 25th of July through Saturday, the 26th of July 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

In preparation for the 2014 African SFL Conference, ASFL has partnered with Hotels.ng to assemble a list of some of the best hotels available for reservations in Ibadan. To make reservations.please visit www.hotels.ng/events/asfl

Receive driving instructions to the SFL conference

  

Location: Trenchard Hall, University of Ibadan, Nigeria



 Registration is Free 

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The following was written by Kenyan Charter Team member Alex Njeru 

I will revisit this debate, not because I think I have something so critical and important to add, but because an opportunity presents itself to me to revisit an old high-school high-school debate on the same issue. That was seven years ago, clearly this debate has been here for much longer than my quarter decade or so of life, nonetheless at no time has this debate been as critical as it is now.

First because the debate is festering publicly, the moralists have spoken in loud and un-equivocal voices, they want to rid-off this continent of the ‘vermin’ that is homosexuality. The real moralists amongst us, who want, tolerance in society are afraid to speak out for fear of upsetting the moral grain and thus Africa society as it stands titters on a precipice, one step forward and we are off, flying into the ravine, hard rock and a crushed skull await us at the bottom. Some want to lynch their very own, toss them into the seas like Idi Amin and the slave traders before him did, others want to flog them in public just like the colonialist did and oh it does not matter whether they be gay or not they are Africans with who call Africa soil home to. (more…)