Archives for August 2010

What do you know about cholera?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 16:29 UK time, Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The cholera outbreak in Nigeria has so far led to the deaths of more than 300 people with a further 6,000 cases reported in the past three months.

Zimbabwe kids crossing stream during 2008 cholera outbreak (AP)Health authorities say the epidemic could threaten the entire country and doctors are monitoring outbreaks in 12 of Nigeria's 36 states.

The spread of the disease is being blamed on heavy seasonal rains and the scarcity of clean water and proper sanitation, outbreaks have also been reported in Cameroon, Niger and Kenya.

In an Africa Have Your Say health special, we're asking, how much do you know about cholera and how it is spread? Are deaths preventable and if so how? Can cholera be eradicated?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 1 September at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Are African nurseries too academic?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 18:55 UK time, Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Do you have children in an African nursery or creche? Are you worried about the type of education they are  getting?

kids from DR CongoBBC Africa HYS listener Anne Mayanja from Uganda contacted us to suggest we discuss early childhood education in Africa.

Anne says the learning that toddlers receive between ages 1-5 is too focused on pushing academic achievement, while ignoring the child's personal, social and emotional development in those formative years.

In her opinion, this could harm the continent developing knowledgeable but well rounded future leaders. Do you agree with her? 

In Norway for example children only begin to learn how to read from the age of 7.  Would you like to see African nursery schools adopt a similar practice?

Is there too much focus on academic work and not enough social interaction for Africa's toddlers?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 25 August at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

How would you resolve Somalia's crisis?

Charlotte Attwood | 11:27 UK time, Tuesday, 24 August 2010

More than thirty people including six members of parliament were among those killed in an attack on a Mogadishu hotel today, again focusing attention on the worsening political and military situation in Somalia.

The attack - on one of the most fortified government areas - comes after al-Shabab Islamist militants announced a "massive war" on AU peacekeepers backing the transitional government.

So what should happen next?

Is there a military solution to this conflict? Should the "West" intervene as it did against the Taliban in Afghanistan? Should the government negotiate with al-Shabab?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 24 August at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Should Africa look to the stars?

Charlotte Attwood | 15:18 UK time, Monday, 23 August 2010

Africa is one step closer to setting up its own space agency after AU ministers approved a feasibility study to develop an 'African Space Agency'.

The idea is to draft a common space policy which - some say - would aid development and help Africa overcome many of its challenges.

But should Africa really be pouring its limited resources into space technology when some governments can barely provide for their own people and natural disasters ravage the continent? And if so, is it better for each country to develop its own space initiatives rather than work together?

What would be the benefits of a space agency to Africa? Is it worth the cost? Should such research be left to more prosperous continents?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 31 August at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Should Africa's media be "nation builders"?

Alex Jakana | 15:52 UK time, Tuesday, 17 August 2010

President Jacob Zuma has stepped into a debate raging over ANC proposals to change the way the media is regulated in South Africa.

 

zumacropped.jpgJournalists argue media freedom and democracy will be threatened by the introduction of a parliamentary Media Appeals Tribunal and a law allowing the government to classify material currently not secret.

But the ANC says new legislation is needed to make journalists legally accountable for inaccurate reporting.

And, in a letter to the ANC published online, President Zuma has said "Does it [the media] have a role in promoting nation building? Is it a spectator, or does it have vested interests and an agenda, political and commercial, that it cherishes and promotes?"

Does President Zuma have a point? Should Africa's media play a role in promoting nation building? If so, how? Do you think the press in your country gets away with too much? How should the media be held to account?

 If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 18 August at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

 

Who should run Guinea-Bissau?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 13:09 UK time, Monday, 16 August 2010

Diplomatic efforts led by West Africa's regional body, Ecowas, to shore up Guinea-Bissau's fragile government are gathering momentum, and may result in a military and political intervention.

President Malam Bacai Sanha of Guinea-BissauA decision is expected in the next few weeks after a call earlier this month by President Malam Bacai Sanha for a "stabilisation force".

Troops would be provided by the African Union, Ecowas and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).

It has been a turbulent few months in Guinea Bissau, which is now a major drugs trafficking hub. The European Union is to withdraw its security mission in September citing "political instability and the lack of respect for the rule of law in the country".  

Do you agree that Africa should send an intervention force? Is Guinea-Bissau on the verge of becoming a failed state? What do you think should happen to states that are 'failing'? Should countries become protectorates? What other solutions do you see for Guinea-Bissau?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 17 August at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Is Africa tough on paedophilia?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 16:28 UK time, Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A court in Ghana this week sentenced a 21-year-old farmer to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to defiling a five-year-old girl. 

rape.jpgAlmost every day newspapers in many African countries carry reports of the sexual abuse of minors. It's an emotive and disturbing issue but we're keen here on Africa Have Your Say  to hear how you think our societies should be dealing with child defilement.

Are there laws in your country that punish paedophiles? If so, do you think they are tough enough? Do we even recognise the existence of paedophilia? How can young children in your country be better protected against paedophiles?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 11 August at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Should vaccination be forced?

Charlotte Attwood | 13:35 UK time, Monday, 9 August 2010

An outbreak of measles is currently engulfing countries across Southern Africa.

But some church groups in both Zimbabwe and Malawi have resisted vaccination because medical treatment goes against their beliefs. With the severity of this health crisis, should vaccination be forced?

Is there any excuse for not vaccinating your child? Should the right to personal belief systems have priority over public health? Should health authorities take religious or cultural belief systems into account? Should vaccinations be compulsory for all or optional?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 10 August at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

BBC African Performance begins

Charlotte Attwood | 16:05 UK time, Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Thursday 5 August marks the beginning of the BBC African Performance season. For the next 6 weeks there will be no BBC Africa Have Your Say on Thursdays. On these days from 1600 to 1700 GMT you will hear the winning plays of 2010.

090529124909_wolesoyinka_446.jpgOur judge this year was Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka. He has chosen Will Smith Look-Alike, written by Deborah Asiimwe of Uganda as the winning play of the annual BBC World Service African Performance playwriting competition.

'I thought the writing was very good and I became really caught up with the play wondering what the final denouement would be.' Wole Soyinka on Will Smith Look-Alike.

On Thursday 5 August you will hear the winning play and Wole Soyinka on what he thought of the winners.

Enjoy!

Are you better off in Africa?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 13:51 UK time, Tuesday, 3 August 2010

In Wednesday's Africa Have Your Say programme we're keen to explore some of the issues thrown up in the winning play in this year's BBC African Performance Season.

newyork200.jpgWill Smith Lookalike, written by Ugandan Deborah Asiimwe and broadcast at 1600 GMT on Thursday, tells the story of young Tereka. He stays behind after a school trip to New York with the dream of becoming famous. But that dream quickly falls apart and a wise Jamaican bag lady takes him under her wing.

With global economies in a flux and jobs losses at an all time high, does migrating abroad still hold the same allure? Are you better off realising your dreams in Africa? Or do the more developed countries in the west still remain the best places to build a better life?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 4 August at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Would you report domestic violence?

Charlotte Attwood | 17:13 UK time, Monday, 2 August 2010

A social experiment carried out in Johannesburg has found that local residents appeared far more concerned about the noise of drums than they were about possible domestic violence.

domesticviolence.jpgThe research showed that the neighbourhood was immediately up in arms during a vigorous drumming session, but when a recording of what appeared to be a physically violent fight between a couple was played, not a single person spoke out.

The experiment was carried out by POWA - a South African support group for victims of domestic violence in conjunction with an advertising agency. A video of the experiment has been posted on You Tube.

What would you do? Intervene or mind your own business? Is what goes on behind closed doors a private matter? Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 3 August at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

 

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