Archives for April 2011

Why do we love weddings?

Charlotte Attwood | 12:39 UK time, Thursday, 28 April 2011

Across the world millions are expected to watch this week's wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in the UK. Months of planning have gone into it and the media coverage has been uninterrupted. In Ghana, a group of women have had special dresses made in honour of the royal couple and will be wearing them as they party in front of the televised ceremony on Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, this Thursday we're asking: why do we love weddings so much, even when they are not our own? And, in Africa, are we becoming too extravagant with our weddings? Should couples pay more attention to building a good relationship (instead of organising the big day) and save their money?

If you would like to share your experiences LIVE on air on Thursday 28th April at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Sierra Leone: Is there enough to celebrate?

AfricaHYS Team | 12:12 UK time, Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Sierra Leone is today celebrating 50 years of Independence. The state is reported to have spend $25 million on festivities to mark the day.

 

Critics have condemned the government spending  terming it 'unnecessary extravagance'

In East Africa, the government of Southern Sudan has approved a budget of $32 million for the celebrations to mark its independence on July 9. The money will be used to spruce up the stadium, and to pay for catering and entertainment.

Last year, there was uproar in Ghana after the government ended up spending $60 million to mark its own 50th anniversary.

Can poor countries justify spending such huge amounts to celebrate national events? Who benefits from these celebrations? How would you like your government to celebrate national events?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 27 April at 1600 GMT please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

 

What are the arts doing for Africa?

Charlotte Attwood | 15:03 UK time, Monday, 25 April 2011

On Tuesday 26 April 2011 BBC Africa Have Your Say will be broadcast live from the opening day of the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) in Zimbabwe. 
The six-day festival promises a programme of the very best of regional and global arts and culture

 

It also claims to be a symbol of something positive about Zimbabwe - a chance to unifying disparate groups at a time of political uncertainty in the country.

Do you think the arts can resolve tension and bring people together? Do we really need such festivals when there may be other more pressing issues to deal with? Is it right that money is spent on the arts when a country is struggling to provide basic amenities for its people? Have the arts ever had a significant impact on your life?

 

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 26 April at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Working abroad: Is it worth the risk?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 13:49 UK time, Thursday, 21 April 2011

Thousands of migrant workers from sub-Saharan Africa are stranded in Libya in the midst of fierce fighting. The International Organization for Migration, estimates there are at least 4,000 in the port area of Misrata and has already evacuated two boat-loads of them.

 

It also estimates that tens of thousands of migrant workers are still trapped in Abidjan after the violence of the past three months in Ivory Coast.

Every year more Africans leave their home countries in search of greener pastures. But sadly many of them end up working and living under horrendous circumstances in foreign countries.

Currently five Ugandan women are suing their government and a recruitment firm. They claim they were tricked into working as sex slaves in Iraq. 

Is the benefit of working abroad worth the risk?  What price are you willing to pay for a bigger salary? How do you assess the risk of working in another country?  And who is responsible for the welfare of migrant workers when things go wrong?  We would like to hear your experiences of working abroad - be they good or bad.

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Thursday 21 April at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published. 

 

Should women have equal inheritance rights?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 17:57 UK time, Tuesday, 19 April 2011

As Prince William prepares to marry Kate Middleton, the UK government is considering changing the laws on who can inherit the British crown. At present, if Prince William's first child is a girl, she will be by-passed if she has a younger brother. The general feeling in Britain, where The Queen has been on the throne for more than 50 years, is that this is unfair and outdated.

If the law is to be changed, the countries of the Commonwealth,19 of them African, will need to give their consent.  

And yet in much of Africa women do not have equal inheritance rights. Under customary law across many African countries, when a man dies, it is his adult sons who are are entitled to his property, at the expense of his daughters .The International Human Rights Law group highlighted that, in Nigeria, customary law has been used to settle at least 80% of land disputes to the disadvantage of women. 

Do women have the right to inherit land or titles where you come from? Should they have these rights? Have you been disinherited because you are a woman? 

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 20 April at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published. 

 

Can Nigeria unite behind Jonathan?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 11:35 UK time, Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Thousands of people have fled their homes in northern Nigeria after clashes following the election of incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. What does this mean for Nigeria?

 

Election observers have given the poll a broadly clean bill of health, but some supporters of the runner-up candidate General Muhammadu Buhari insist the election was rigged. Are they just poor losers? Do you think the vote was credible?
 

President Jonathan has appealed for an end to "unnecessary and avoidable" post-election violence and killing, while imposing a curfew. But can he heal the ethnic and religious divisions that still appear to dominate Nigerian politics?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 19 April at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

What can be done about stillbirths in Africa?

Africa HYS team | 17:43 UK time, Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Every year thousands of babies die before or during labour. Why is this happening?

In a BBC Africa Have Your Say health special, we hope to discover more about this traumatic phenomenon. Only now the first comprehensive set of stillbirth estimates are being published despite the fact that the experience can be devastating for families. Often these deaths are not talked about in the open, and what is more they are not even recorded in child mortality statistics.

Have you or someone you know had to cope with having a stillbirth? Is there any support in place to help families cope? 

If you have any questions you would like to ask or experiences you would be prepared to share on Thursday 14 April at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Should the UN return to Somalia?

AfricaHYS Team | 13:26 UK time, Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Somalia's Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is urging the UN to return its Somalia-related operations to Mogadishu rather than work out of neighbouring Kenya.

Somalia's Transitional Federal Government  has a mandate which expires in August. So this week the United Nations is hosting a conference in Nairobi to discuss what happens next. 

But the Prime Minister, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is  boycotting the meeting because he wants all UN work for Somalia to be done in Mogadishu. Mr Mohamed says the UN already operates in Afghanistan and Iraq, which he says are far more dangerous than Somalia.

Is he right? Should the UN move its operations back within the country, or would the risks of such a move outweigh the benefits?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 13 April at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

What should happen to Gbagbo?

Africa HYS team | 12:24 UK time, Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Ivory Coast's UN-recognised President, Alassane Ouattara, has urged restraint after the dramatic capture of his rival Laurent Gbagbo.

Laurent Gbagbo (AP)

 

Mr Gbagbo provoked a crisis by refusing to cede power, insisting he had won November's presidential election. This led to a bloody three month stand-off in which at least 1,000 people are thought to have died.

For many observers and Ivorians, what happens to Laurent Gbagbo now is crucial to the future of the country. Alassane Ouattara has promised a fair trial for him as well as a truth and reconciliation commission.

What do you think should happen to Laurent Gbagbo now? Should Laurent Gbagbo be part of the reconciliation process?
What immediate steps should Alassane Ouattara be taking now if the country is to move forward?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 12 April at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Should Africa draw a line under colonial crimes and move on?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 12:43 UK time, Thursday, 7 April 2011

Four Kenyans are suing the UK government for alleged human rights abuses during the colonial era.

The Mau Mau rebellion in 1950's was a violent campaign against white settlers and historians believe it helped Kenya achieve independence. But the uprising was crushed by the British colonial government. In the process, thousands of guerrilla suspects were detained in camps, tortured, starved, and even castrated.

The British government says too much time has elapsed since the alleged abuses and that it cannot be held liable.

But another former colonial power in Africa, Italy, has apologised and compensated Libya for abuses committed during colonial times.

Does Britain have a point or do you back Italy's decision? Is it time to draw a line under colonial crimes and move on, or would that be a denial of justice?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Thursday 7 April at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

What next for Ivory Coast ?

AfricaHYS Team | 13:22 UK time, Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Fighting has re-ignited in Abidjan after negotiations for defiant  Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo's departure appear to have failed.
 
Forces loyal to his rival Alassane Ouattara have launched attacks on the presidential residence where Laurent Gbagbo is sheltering.

 Mr Gbagbo inisists he won last November's run-off. But the Ivorian election commission found that Mr Quattara was the winner-a result certified by the UN.

The European Union and US government say they are ready to lift sanctions and help rebuild the country once Alassane Ouattara takes over.

So where should the rebuilding of the country start? How can the country overcome the animosity caused by the presidential dispute? Will a Ouattara -led government be able to unite and heal the nation?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 6 April at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Are Nigeria's delayed polls credible?

Charlotte Attwood | 14:32 UK time, Monday, 4 April 2011

Nigeria has postponed its parliamentary election for a second time. The vote will now take place on Saturday - a week later than expected.

The decision by the national electoral commission means both presidential and state elections will also be pushed back.

Official reasons are that staff and papers weren't at polling stations around the country in time. But with a history of vote-rigging and electoral violence questions are being asked. Can Nigeria ever get it right?

Are you in Nigeria, what do you think of the delay? What impact will it have on voter turnout and trust in the system? What can Nigeria learn from elsewhere? Is it still possible for the elections to be a success?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 5 April at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

 

 

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