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This report was prepared by the project steering team which is made up of ten Club Presidents and staff members of SFL Burundi. The Country Director of SFL Burundi and ASFL East African Regional Director, Aimable Manirakiza, approved this report.

Student leaders over at SFL Burundi have just completed a project that aimed to bolster their members’ knowledge of the principles and foundations of the capitalist system. Through the support of the Atlas Network and the Eastern African Policy Center,  SFL Burundi distributed 500 books that discuss the benefits of capitalism.sfl-burundi-lead

Aimable Manirakiza deserves special mention. After being selected to sit on the African executive board, Aimable wanted to share materials in Burundi — materials that discuss the ideas of liberty. Aimable was faced with the problem of how to distribute the material to the students. He received a grant from the Atlas Network to print the books in Kenya. Following the printing, Aimable transported the books on the road.

Aimable spent November and December traveling around Burundi, visiting ten different campuses. It was at these schools that he set up a presentation detailing the ideas and ultimately ended up distributing 500 books to students. (more…)

This report was written by Linda Kavuka, Chairperson of the ASFL Executive Board.

On June 17th and 18th, 2016, libertarians from Kenya, Uganda, DR Congo, Burundi, Eritrea, Nigeria and USA converged at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa’s Jubilee Hall for the third annual ASFL East African Regional Conference. The event was the first of its kind in the continent as participants were required to apply in order to attend the two day conference. In the end, 109 of the best applicants were invited to attend.

Linda Kavuka, Chairperson of the ASFL Executive Board and host of the event, gave the opening remarks followed by a representative from Catholic University. SFL African Programs Director Olumayowa Okediran then gave the first presentation on barriers to movement and trade. He illustrated how the current boundaries were colonial systems that have destroyed our unity and pride as Africans. They continue to hinder us from exploiting potential inter-state trade and movement which could boost not only our individual economies but Africa as a whole. The barriers have allowed corrupt officials to thrive.

From left to right: Stella Nderitu (SFL Member, Kenya) Joseph Kwanya (Local Coordinator, Kenya) and Aimable Manirakize (Local Coordinator, Burundi).

From left to right: Stella Nderitu (SFL Member, Kenya) Joseph Kwanya (Local Coordinator, Kenya) and Aimable Manirakize (Local Coordinator, Burundi).

Next, Local Coordinator Teklemariam Bekit shared a rather moving personal experience concerning immigrants and the challenges they face in their host countries using Eastern Africa as a case study. He expressed his disapproval of the repatriation of the Somali refugees at Dadaab and instead suggested that the refugees should be absorbed into the community and granted asylum.

June Arunga graced the event with her presence and chose to share her personal take on liberal ideas which was not only an African perspective but a practical one as well. She made reference to the slang word ‘tunyitane’ which in her interpretation means ‘let us get each other.’ Urging the audience to apply this attitude in their daily lives, June reasoned that doing so will help to promote a peaceful society in which mutual understanding endures despite differences of opinion.

Mike Rotich, Co-founder of the Eastern African Policy Center, shared his take on the challenges that Africa faces in the area of regional integration. He argued that there are too many regional markets which fail to  accomplish their objectives yet continue to receive money from their member countries. Vice President of Atlas Network Tom Palmer gave the keynote and final presentation of the day. He gave us an overview on liberty with respect to the present state of Africa. He broke down the major principles of free markets and their benefits to the audience, which he has addressed in his book, The Morality of Capitalism. (more…)

The following was written by African Students For Liberty Local Coordinator Zeiny Ali Taleb. 

Located between the Atlantic Ocean, Morocco, and Mauritania lies what many call “Africa’s last colony.” While the U.N. technically considers it a “non-self-governing-territory in the process of decolonization,” Western Sahara has been occupied by Morocco since 1975 when they marched several hundred thousand settlers into the territory. The Moroccan presence in Western Sahara triggered a sixteen-year war between Morocco and the Polisario, the leaders of the independence movement. Morocco also erected a 1,677 mile long sand berm and surrounded it with some seven million land-mines, which divide the territory.

Protesters waving Western Sahara flags shout slogans during a protest against the Moroccan government, in Madrid, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010. Protesters waving Western Sahara flags shout slogans during a protest against the Moroccan government, in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010.
 

The violence and conflict have forced more than 100,000 Sahrawis to seek refuge across the border in Algeria. Thousands of refugees remain living in camps near Tindouf, Algeria and it is in one of these camps where I was born and raised.free-western-sahara

From the beginning, life as a refugee has been difficult. Like many of my fellow Sahrawis, I have lived my entire life in exile. I am torn between two countries: Algeria and Western Sahara.

Though I was born and raised in Algeria, my work is dedicated to Western Sahara and its people, who are marginalized and robbed of basic rights. The Sahrawi are also torn and struggle to balance the complex relationship between common identity, individual identity, and personal ambition. We are self-reliant and individualistic in certain ways, but we are also willing to sacrifice some of our individual identity for the sake of the community.

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Students For Liberty’s Student Disorientation grant program helped campus groups start the semester off right! Here’s Stacey Nduta from Maseno University in Kenya, on how she signed up over a hundred students to learn more about SFL. 

Day2_setting_up[1]Maseno University is located in Western Kenya surrounded by green vegetation and a serene environment. The African Students for Liberty Maseno chapter tabled for Student Disorientation successfully for two consecutive days with the help of the chapter members.

DAY 1: The first day, September 24th, was exciting. We held it at Siriba campus where most students were curious about Students For Liberty. We were able to engage them and get their view on liberty and the various philosophies they were aware of. Those who signed up or were the most argumentative were awarded with either books, stickers, CDs, or information brochures. (more…)

What are your region’s broad goals for the upcoming school year?

Linda Kakuva

Linda Kavuka, IEB Member representing African SFL

Our major focus in ASFL is to improve the quality of training programs and the student leaders in Africa. The approach we are adopting  is to ensure that the core principles of liberty are understood and implemented. The training programs will be rigorous and participants will be taken through a wide variety of materials and additional trainings through the year. We are expanding to more countries, and hope to train leaders who will help us in promoting the ideas of liberty. We are looking into reaching out to students in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, to Eritrean students and South Sudan. We also intend to strengthen and improve the quality of students groups we have currently, including the kind of events to be hosted by our leaders on their respective campuses. We shall achieve this by ensuring our student leaders are properly resourced with materials and mentally with knowledge.

How many Local Coordinators have you accepted this year? And how many conferences are you planning?

We have just launched the Local Coordinators program and we are currently accepting applications. Only strong applicants shall be accepted to join the program. Our focus is on improving the quality of our leaders. We shall have two major conferences, the Eastern African Conference and the Southern African Conference.

asfl-lcp-15

African Students For Liberty is currently accepting applications for the Local Coordinator Program!

What, in your opinion, is the greatest opportunity for social change in your region?

Our greatest opportunity for social change geared towards liberty, is the development of stable and active civil society entities dedicated to freedom. Currently we have free market institutes in Zimbabwe and South Africa. This is great, but there is room for more institutes to cater for the needs of the continent. There is little to no coordination between the various libertarian and quasi-libertarian entities in furthering the ideas of freedom. We would like for our student leaders to take their passion for liberty wherever they will go after graduating as they pursue their professions. We hope that the there will be partnerships between the think tanks gradually increasing, the free market institutes and SFL in hosting projects geared towards promoting the ideas of liberty. This will help develop a new libertarian narrative in the region.

If there’s one thing you could tell the world about SFL, what would it be?

SFL is changing the lives of young people, not just in USA, but in the whole world, with the message of peace, love and liberty. I speak as a beneficiary of this organization, that encourages young people to believe in themselves, to follow their dreams, and that their dreams are valid. SFL is certainly one of the few truly international champions of liberty.