AJF:Newsletter[quarterly]"Africa NOW" No.94

Africa Japan Forum (AJF) works with African People for African People's better life.

Africa NOW No.94

Issued on March 31, 2012 by Africa Japan Forum (AJF)

Special Topic: Violent political upheaval in Libya and Cote d'Ivoire from the perspective of Africa's history

From the start of 2011, we saw many people, especially young people, calling for "Democracy" on the streets and in the city center in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. In Tunisia and Egypt, the old dictators gave up power and left the capital but in Libya Qadhafi clung onto power and a civil war began. In C?te d'Ivoire, there were violent conflicts after the 2010 Presidential Election, which gained much attention in Japan. However the news coverage that we could obtain in Japan on the upheavals in Africa were mostly brought about by Reuters, AP, AFP and other news agencies based in Europe and North America. On how African people saw the series of events, and on how the African press reported them, we have had little information. This issue of "Africa Now" makes an attempt to get alternative approaches to the violent political upheaval in Libya and Cote d'Ivoire.

pp.3-9 "Who is Lauren Gbagbo, a brave fighter for democracy or a power-obsessed politician?"
by MURATA Haruse

Now, Lauren Gbagbo, ex-President of Cote d'Ivoire, is detained on acts of violence committed during the conflict by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The Japanese press has described him as a veteran power-monger based on the reports by the European and American presses. Is this description correct? Quoting Prof. Haraguchi's words, Murata shows how young Gbagbo called for "Democracy" under One-Party Rule from 1970s to 1980s and proposes to view the events from the perspective of Cote d'Ivoire's history.

p.9 "Major political actors of Cote d'Ivoire in recent years"
by MURATA Haruse

p.10 "Political history of Cote d'Ivoire"
by MURATA Harusei

pp.11-15 "Distorted eDemocratization' and crisis in Libya" by
TAKABAYASHI Toshiyuki

Last October, Qadhafi was killed by a rebel soldier and a new civil war began.. Why did this happen? Takabayashi introduces the history of Libya from the Italian invasion to Qadhafi's death and argues that the root cause of the current civil war can be traced back to in the Italian colonial rule and the way of nation building after Libya's independence. He urges us to see the Libya's democratization from the viewpoint of Africa's people. Libya was one of the major fund-suppliers to the Africa Union and some of the rebels in various African countries have found their base camps and training centers in Libya. Although we have focused exclusively on the conflict in Libya, we should not forget that people's voices and actions for democracy have been violently oppressed in Bahrain by the Arab countries forces.

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pp.18-19 "What is the eMalaria problem': Case of the poor in Lagos, Nigeria"
by TAMAI Takashi

Tamai, a student of a graduate school, attempts to describe how the poor people in Lagos deal with the "Malaria problem". Last year, he made a visit to an influential person in the Makoko district of Lagos with a Nigerian supporter in order to ask him to support his research. The man whom Tamai visited made a firm statement that there was no "Malaria problem" in the Makoko district. Tamai reports his puzzlement by such reaction.

pp.20-23 Book review: Niiyama Tomoki "HIV positives in Africa made a world-wide impact: To make HIV positives survive"

Niiyama reports the voices of HIV positives themselves, AIDS activism for access to treatment throughout the world as well as the actions against the pro-patent policies of developed countries which started at the beginning of this century. Without the HIV positives' own voices, especially those from Africa, we could not have thought that a girl with HIV would survive and grow in rural Ethiopia.

pp.20-21 "HIV positives own movement and Global Justice"
by NOZAKI Yasunobui

Nozaki argues that it is very cool to have HIV positives --such as Zackie Ahmat and Edwin Cameron-- as leading figures for the HIV/AIDS movement. However the world which needs them has many problems. Indeed, in this world, many people with weak voices are still forced to bear heavy burden. He insists that what should be asked for is not charity but Global Justice.

pp.22-23 "Niiyama's work reminds us of Edwin Cameron's eWitness to AIDS'"
by YANAGIMACHI Masahiro

Yanagimachi follows the movement of HIV positives in South Africa and introduces Edwin Cameron's "Witness to AIDS". In his book Cameron, a judge in the South African Constitutional Court and who is an HIV positive, reports how AIDS developed in his own body, how highly expensive the anti-retroviral therapy is and how depressing the social stigma is as an HIV positive is in the country. Currently Yanagimachi and his friends are translating "Witness to AIDS" into Japanese. Here he shares some segments from their work.

Back cover To readers ("Hitotsu no musubime toshite" in Japanese) and Daily Information from the secretariat of AJF to readers.

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