Archives for June 2011

Is Nato going too far in Libya?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 15:02 UK time, Tuesday, 28 June 2011



The rubble of a residential building in Tripoli which the Libyan authorities say was hit by a Nato air strike in June 2011


This week marks 100 days of the International Air Strikes in Libya, and now the mission has been authorised to continue for another 90 days.  

Nato forces have been hitting around 50 targets a day, but the rebels have struggled to take advantage of the coalition air strikes.

The Libyan authorities have accused NATO of targeting civilian infrastructure but NATO has strongly denied this. 

Some Africa Have Your Say contributors got in touch with us on the Facebook to express concern over the operation - one person was particularly perturbed by what he perceived as the extensive destruction of Libyan infrastructure. 

Do you think NATO has gone too far in Libya?  Or not far enough? 

Also, thousands of people in Senegal have taken to the streets of Mbour and the capital Dakar over continuing power cuts.  But Senegal is not the only African country grappling with widespread power cuts.

What is behind the unrest?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 28 June at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published. 

Is Equatorial Guinea coming in from the cold?

Alex Jakana | 11:28 UK time, Wednesday, 22 June 2011

African heads of state will descend on Equatorial Guinea this week for an African Union summit. The country is currently chair of the AU and in seven months time, it will host the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament.


President Teodor Obiang of Equatorial Guinea


But rights groups argue against Equatorial Guinea's AU role, contending that the country has one of the worst human rights records in Africa. Amnesty International's latest country report details politically motivated harassment and arrest of opposition figures; arbitrary arrests and detentions; and unlawful killings.

Critics have also accused the government of corruption, and of wasting public money on the multi-million dollar resort that has been built for the heads of state just outside Malabo. Whilst Equatorial Guinea boasts huge oil reserves - per head, national earnings are the same as European nations like Spain and Italy - all but a small elite live on less than a $1 a day.

In response to recent criticism, Equatorial Guinea's ambassador to the United Nations wrote to the New York Times. He said the country "is struggling vigorously to become more free, to modernize itself and to provide a better standard of living for its citizens."

So do you think it is right that Equatorial Guinea should be hosting these high-profile events? Is it setting a poor example to the rest of the continent - or is it a sign that things are in fact improving in Equatorial Guinea? And what about the Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea next year - will they be good hosts? Will you be going?

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


How should Boko Haram be dealt with?

Alex Jakana | 12:01 UK time, Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Nigeria's police chief is holding a crucial meeting on Tuesday with police commissioners from across Nigeria to discuss the threat posed by Boko Haram. The Islamist group are accused of shootings in Maiduguri in recent days, and they claim responsibility for Thursday's bombing in Abuja.



The Boko Haram sect accuses Nigeria's government of being corrupted by Western ideas and wants to overthrow the state and impose Islamic law on the country. Do you in any way sympathise with this view?

A section of the Nigerian media is reporting that the police have made some arrests including foreigners following last Thursday's attack. According to the reports those arrested include some Somali nationals. A spokesman of the Boko Haram group claimed last week that some of its members had been trained in bomb making by Somali militants.

Is anti-Western sentiment on the rise across Africa?  What would you like to see the police do to combat the threat Boko Haram poses to peace and stability?

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


Would you risk your life to enter Europe?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 18:46 UK time, Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Despite repeated horror stories, including the news of 150 bodies found dead at sea by Tunisia's coast guard this month, it is still expected that hundreds of Africans will risk their lives and attempt to enter Europe illegally this year.

Migrants from Africa crowded into a small boat

BBC reporter Kasim Kayira embarked on the dangerous journey from Nigeria to Morocco and then attempted to make the final crossing across the Mediterranean sea, in the wake of thousands of African migrants to Europe. His ordeal was filmed for the BBC's flagship investigative programme, Panorama, and will be broadcast in the UK on June 16th.

The unrest in Libya has added an additional hurdle to an already hazardous route, and hundreds of sub Saharan Africans hoping to continue north are currently stranded there.

Kasim Kayira will be a guest on Africa Have Your Say on Thursday 16 June at 1600 GMT to take your questions about his journey and the people he met along the way.

Have you taken a similar journey yourself? Would you consider taking such a journey? Are African governments doing enough to stop people from leaving?

If you would like to talk to Kasim Kayira LIVE on air, or share your experience, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Is Africa's youth getting the leadership it deserves?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 13:05 UK time, Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Julius Malema


In South Africa this year's ANC Youth League conference will be dominated by a leadership contest. The controversial incumbent, Julius Malema, is accused of dictatorial tendencies, plundering state resources and dividing the league by the campaign team of his challenger for the top position, Lebong Maile.

The ANC Youth League and its leader are regarded as kingmakers, having backed both former president Thabo Mbeki and President Jacob Zuma.  The ANC Youth League was founded by Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu, and every South African president post-apartheid has come through its ranks.

In other countries in Africa, the youth wings of political parties have less historic roots, but they and their leaders also come in for criticism. In Ghana and Uganda, for example, the perception amongst many people is that they are little more than mobs who can be rented by politicians, and are only motivated by a hunger for power and money.

Do the youth wings of political parties wield too much power in your country? Do they actually represent the youth, and their concerns? Are there ways in which these youth wings can be made more effective? Or can real change for young people only come from by-passing existing parties as happened in Egypt and Tunisia?  

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 15 June  December at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published. 

Is peace in Sudan unravelling?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 13:09 UK time, Tuesday, 14 June 2011



The UN peace mission in Sudan has a large presence in Abyei


As South Sudan prepares for independence celebrations next month, human rights organisations are warning of a humanitarian catastrophe as thousands flee from fighting in the border regions of Abyei and South Kordofan.


Amnesty International has told the BBC it suspects the north of conducting a campaign of ethnic cleansing targeting groups allied to the south on both sides of the border - something the government in Khartoum has denied.  

North and south Sudan are reported to have agreed in principle to demilitarise the disputed border region of Abyei. A spokesman for the African Union said the outline agreement provided for an Ethiopian peacekeeping force to be deployed in the area. 

But the mandate of such a force and other outstanding issues such as oil revenues from the northern state of South Kordofan remain on the table. What impact will all this have on South Sudan's independence? 

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 14 June at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published. 


What is wrong with renting out African land?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 12:36 UK time, Thursday, 9 June 2011


Kenyan farmer struggles to produce a crop of maize


A report from the US-based thinktank The Oakland Institute claims that the scramble for arable land in Africa by foreign investors is forcing millions of small farmers off their ancestral land.


As global food prices rise and exporters reduce shipments of commodities, wealthy countries and investment funds are seeing an opportunity in Africa and acquiring huge tracts of fertile land to produce crops like wheat, rice, corn and biofuels for consumption back home. The report says that an area the size of France has already been sold or leased to foreign investors.

Because of poor land ownership laws in many African countries and a lack of transparency about deals, it is claimed, these land deals are delivering almost none of the benefits promised to African citizens. The report also raises concerns about the lack of community consultation, and environmental and social impact assessments in many cases.

Are you worried by this? Is it a case of deja-vue, the modern version of Africa seeing its minerals and cash crops turning a profit for other countries who add value to them? Should African land be producing food for African mouths only? Could Africans be better exploiting the agricultural potential of the continent themselves?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Thursday 9 June at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

How has life changed for those living with HIV?

BBC Africa HYS Team | 12:38 UK time, Wednesday, 8 June 2011


HIV structure



Thirty years into the fight against HIV/AIDS the UN is meeting this week to chart progress and discuss the way forward. So we have decided to hand the airwaves over to those in the best position to give a verdict on how far we have come: HIV positive people.

Are you living with HIV? If so, is your quality of life better than it would have been had you been diagnosed thirty years ago? Do you still face stigma in your community? How has treatment changed?

Please get in touch and tell us your story. If you would like to appear LIVE on the programme on Tuesday 12 December at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

How should Africa deal with rogue police officers?

AfricaHYS Team | 12:39 UK time, Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A week long exercise to purge the Kenyan police of corrupt officers began on Monday.

2,000 senior police officers will be screened in a move the police commissioner Matthew Iteere says is meant  to ''separate the wheat from  the chaff ''.

The move is one of a wide reaching list of recommendations emanating from a commission set up two years ago to come up with measures to reform the police force and rid it of corruption and ineffectiveness.

The Kenya police has repeatedly topped Transparency International's list of corrupt institutions in East Africa.

Across the continent  the police have a reputation for being unfriendly, inefficient and  corrupt. So is purging police forces of certain senior officers the answer?

Can old dogs learn new tricks, or is a new generation of officers needed?
Do you think better pay would reduce corruption in the police?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Tuesday 07 June at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.

Is Africa losing the war on drugs?

Africa HYS team | 12:36 UK time, Thursday, 2 June 2011

A new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy says that the global war on drugs has "failed".  So how is Africa faring in its own fight? 


The panel  - made of prominent figures including former world leaders and ex-UN chief Kofi Annan - highlighted the increase in drug use despite the ongoing battle to combat it.

West Africa has become a major transit hub for smuggling drugs from Latin America to Europe in the last decade – so much so that some policymakers and academics say drug-trafficking has reached epidemic proportions in the region.

Have you noticed an increase in drug use where you are?  If so, what do you think is the best way of dealing with it?

The commission argues that if governments stop the criminalisation of drug use, and find ways of legalising some drugs, they would undermine organised crime syndicates involved in trafficking. Do you agree?

What will it take for Africa to win its war on drugs? Do you have any personal experience you would wish to share with the rest of the continent?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Thursday 2 June at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.


Are giant multinationals good for Africa?

Africa HYS team | 12:58 UK time, Wednesday, 1 June 2011

South Africa workers marching to protest Walmart's takeover of Massmart in Pretoria.

The world's biggest retailer Wal-Mart is to set up shop in Africa after being cleared to enter the South African market. Are giant multinational retailers good for Africa?


Several government ministries and trade unions had opposed Wal-Mart's bid to buy 51% stake in the South African company Massmart, saying it  could undermine local suppliers.

South Africa competition authorities did impose conditions,such as a ban on firing workers in the first two years and said that Wal-Mart must have a programme for developing suppliers.

But would you welcome a giant retailer such as Wal-Mart in your own country?

What impact do you think it would  have on the local economy? Can multinational  corporations boost a country's economy or do they do more harm than good?

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

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