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Our worst fears have finally befallen us, the US State Department gave and they have taken away. Ambassador Carmen M Martinez will be leaving Lusaka for her new assignment this Tuesday and will no longer be representing the interests Zambian Enterprise to the powers that be in Washington.

 

In just about two and half years, Ambassador Martinez has done what many have failed to accomplish in longer tenures.

 

I am proud that we at the Zambian Chronicle were the first to rings the right bells about her accomplishments before the rest of the world started to notice.

 

Over a year ago, we wrote the article below crowning Ambassador Martinez as the best ever and before long, the article was read around the world.

 

It actually became one of the top 10 read articles on Zambian Chronicle with as many feeds from the US State Department, Wall Street Journal, London Financial Times, political forums, internet blogs and others.

 

Best Ever US Ambassador To Zambia – Carmen M Martinez

 

Zambian Chronicle’s 10 Most Read Articles

 

What is nostalgic though is that our worst fears of her being promoted and assigned to other projects have come to pass at a time when the Zambian Enterprise needed her most. Some people have a way of changing their environment and Ambassador Martinez has that.

 

She is such a captivating individual with the ability to change moods around her. Those who worked for her at the American Embassy in Lusaka would be the first to agree. But what is more profound about her is the way she actually viewed the Enterprise and its people and here below are some of her farewell comments …

 

"I think Zambia is making great progress and is getting a lot of attention internationally for the role it’s taking, speaking out on many issues; human rights, gender issues and many other areas."

 

“As I said, we love cooperating with Zambia but it will be a proud day for us when we are no longer in the business of assistance but we are in business with Zambia. That is when you will be able to take your rightful role on the world stage,”

 

“I really believe that the key to this country is economic development. You have a nation blessed immensely with incredible natural resources with smart, capable, hardworking people and I just would like to see Zambia a little bit proud. Zambia number one! Zambia could do it! I think everybody in this country put together, you could do this,”

 

“I hope that people will not become discouraged during periods of setbacks. This is a stable nation with processes and institutions in place that can continue to keep you continuing along the road to progress.”

 

“Zambia is a leader and you should be proud of yourselves. It’s like, Zambia go for it! Zambia number one! Thank you!”

 

From her comments above, she sees potential that not many of our own people within the Zambian Enterprise see. One can tell she believes in Zambia more than we ourselves do. You can tell she is proud of the Enterprise and that is at the core of why she accomplished so much within the shortest possible time.

 

We were the first to acknowledge her and we will be the first to thank her for tremendous strides others just dreamed of. We wish Ambassador Carmen M Martinez all the best in all her endeavors; her shoes at the Embassy will forever be unique both in perceptive and temperament …

 

Carmen, you will forever be missed. Thank you for all you did for Zambia, some visible and a lot more actually invisible; for us at the Zambian Chronicle, gratitude confirms relationship …

 

So long, our dearest of all ambassadors, wishing you God’s Speed and a happy life ahead. If any body deserves it, its you and thats the more reason we dedicated this week’s memo to you.

 

Every friend of the Zambian Enterprise remains a friend forever, please come back to visit in your private capacity some day and have some fun; farewell …

 

Live Long & Prosper; that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian Chronicle … thanks a trillion. 

 

Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

CEO  & President – Zambian Chronicle 

 

Copyrights © 2008 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom. 

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Copyrights © 2008 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.

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b6_edited.jpegNegative Campaign ,Malicious Rumors, Gossip and Hatred on Aspiring presidential candidates are set backs and can bring a Destruction in Voting for a Great President. 

By Belliah K Theise

On March 9 2008, I posted our opinion on what negative campaigns can do to the communities. DIVISIONS and ANGER, I saw this coming. This is unhealth to the country. By all means, stop attacking each other in one party. You are confusing your supporters. Click the links and see for yourselves the effect of Negative campaigns.

WASHINGTON – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Friday denounced inflammatory remarks from his pastor, who has railed against the United States and accused its leaders of bringing on the Sept. 11 attacks by spreading terrorism.

As video of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright has widely aired on television and the Internet, Obama responded by posting a blog about his relationship with Wright and his church, Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, on the Huffington Post.

Obama wrote that he’s looked to Wright for spiritual advice, not political guidance, and he’s been pained and angered to learn of some of his pastor’s comments for which he had not been present. A campaign spokesman said later that Wright was no longer on Obama’s African American Religious Leadership Committee, without elaborating.

“I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies,” Obama said. “I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Reverend Wright that are at issue.”

In a sermon on the Sunday after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Wright suggested the United States brought on the attacks.

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Wright said. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

In a 2003 sermon, he said blacks should condemn the United States.

“The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”

He also gave a sermon in December comparing Obama to Jesus, promoting his candidacy and playing down Clinton.

Questions about Obama’s religious beliefs have dogged him throughout his candidacy. He’s had to fight against false Internet rumors suggesting he’s really a Muslim intent on destroying the United States, and now his pastor’s words uttered nearly seven years ago have become an issue.

Obama wrote on the Huffington Post that he never heard Wright say any of the statements that are “so contrary to my own life and beliefs,” but they have raised legitimate questions about the nature of his relationship with the pastor and the church.

He explained that he joined Wright’s church nearly 20 years ago. He said he knew Wright as a former Marine and respected biblical scholar who lectured at seminaries across the country.

“Reverend Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life,” he wrote. “… And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.”

He said Wright’s controversial statements first came to his attention at the beginning of his presidential campaign last year, and he condemned them. Because of his ties to the 6,000-member congregation church — he and his wife were married there and their daughters baptized — Obama decided not to leave the church.

Obama also has credited Wright with delivering a sermon that he adopted as the title of his book, “The Audacity of Hope.”

“With Reverend Wright’s retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good,” he wrote.

Also Friday, the United Church of Christ issued a 1,400-word statement defending Wright and his “flagship” congregation. John H. Thomas, United Church of Christ’s president, lauded Wright’s church for its community service and work to nurture youth. Other church leaders praised Wright for speaking out against homophobia and sexism in the black community.

“It’s time for all of us to say no to these attacks and to declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends,” Thomas said in the statement.

___

Something to think about.

 Here is something positive for you talented guys:

Nationwide Contest: Obama in 30 Seconds

MoveOn.org is sponsoring a contest to create the best political ad for Barack Obama. MoveOn.org did a similar contest in 2004 called “Bush in 30 Seconds”. The winning ad is below.This time around the ads should be positive and convey why Barack Obama should be the next President. The winner will have his or her ad aired nationally and get $20,000 for new film equipment.They even have a message board for collaborators.From MoveOn.org:

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: make a 30-second TV ad that tells the nation why Barack Obama should be our next President.

Today, we’re launching an ad contest called “Obama in 30 Seconds.” Anyone can make an ad about Obama between now and April 1. The public will vote on the best ads, and a panel of top artists, film professionals, and netroots heroes will pick a winner from among the finalists. (Judges include Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Naomi Wolf, Oliver Stone, John Legend, Donna Edwards, and Markos Moulitsas. The full list is below.)

Visit ObamaIn30Seconds.org for more details.

Thanks a trillion

Copyrights © 2008 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2008 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc   

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b6_edited.jpegNegative Campaign ,Malicious Rumors, Gossip and Hatred on Aspiring presidential candidates are set backs and can bring a Destruction in Voting for a Great President. 

By Belliah K Theise

Having followed USA presidential debates and making comparisons of what is going on in the entire world with politics, we found similar paterns that has made third world countries be the way they are now, in terms of economy.

Here is what we have to say at Zambian chronicle:

As a presidential candidate aspiring for a public office, or you may be a voter. This is a time to revisit your weaknesses and try to improve on them.

Listed below are some of the things future Leaders should avoid in order to maintain peace and trust in people who they lead.

1.      Negative campaigns that may bring damage to the image of  the country and future leaders.

2.      Malicious Rumors, without meaning or basis

3.      Cheap Gossip

4.      Hatred

5.      Tribal 

6.  Racial discrimination 

  By all means, the above six elements  should not be used as a tool to bring down your rival or to pick a right candidate for president. Positive campaign builds and unites nations. Negative campaigns, brings anger, violent and divisions.

As a voter, learn to validate each rumor, do not be a follower.  Learn to use your own discretion, good sense of judgement and common sense, in critical matters like choosing or picking the right candidate as your commander in Chief.  Avoid operating like robots that are programed to perform certain functions.  Operating like a robot, makes both leaders and their voters look like idiots, when things go sour.

Important factor to Remember :

Separate Hollywood gossip of celebrities to  a presidential candidate gossip. We do understand that, there is no smoke without fire , but on the other hand,  Learn to separate facts from gossip,  Every voter should know that, NOT every rumor or gossip comes out to be 100% true. You as voters only  come to realize when it is too late, after you have voted for a wrong person, because you based your judgement on rumors.  People use rumors and gossip  for many reasons. May be for financial gain, hatred or other things.

Always keep in mind that, we humans always enjoy negatives, We all focus on unproductive rumors and gossip, that diverts us from dealing with serious topics that is affecting the country.  If a negative outweighs a positive side of a candidate, it takes away all the good work he/she has done.

Remember, Media and campaigns are there to help voters to pick the best candidate, but at the same time, politicians uses that as a tool to bring down their rival candidates, depending  how strong one has links to the media.  Many great leaders are brought down in no seconds, and voters end up voting for useless candidates.

Again… use your common sense and your good judgement, when you read negatives that comes flying on potential candidates.

Good luck to all the presidential candidates, as they go on the road to lead their nations with a passion at heart for their people. Stay focused on important issues that affects your country. Do not get rapped up in personal issues, that can bring harm to your country and comes back to haunt you.

You all have one purpose:- To save your nation with integrity. The same people you are trying to persuade to vote for you, will be the same people who will vote you out. Voters always keep a record. Campaign with a passion for your people and country at heart.

For voters, validate your candidates with facts, and basing your votes on malicious rumors or unproductive  gossip , that will not do good to your country in the future, will not help.

Thanks a trillion

Belliah K Theise

Copyrights © 2008 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

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By Belliah K Theise

 b6_edited.jpegThis week ‘s memo is about  the next Zambian president. Who should take the Zambian presidential sit in 2011?

I hate to admit this, the truth is, our leaders are always voted by villagers, marketeers and street boys who have no clue about education and foreign policies. 

 According to our observation, most politicians have a way to get into a mind of a person with little knowledge or no knowledge at all.  This includes developed countries. If you take a close look on politics, you will find that people end up voting for a candidates who keeps preaching what voters want to hear. People will go out to vote just because of a hear say,  without assessing a candidate  in practical terms.

In most cases, political Candidates have a tendency to study what the audience want to hear. Any one can stand and say I will give you jobs, bring rich breakfast, lunch and dinner in your home. Zambian Voters will listen because there are no jobs and are in poverty. As a candidate, you are happy when people vote for you. Are you going to keep your promise once you are voted in office?

 Practically, things always turns out to be different from all the promises that politicians make.

it’s time for candidates who are aspiring, to start preaching on practical issues and not to give fake hopes to people. Talk about real things that affects the economy of every country, and explain, to voters that it is not an easy path to bring stability to the country, it takes hard work and devotion to make things happen.

Disappointments, comes out when a candidate makes fake promises, do something else after being voted into office. We ask all the aspiring candidates to be more practical in the way they make promises to people, to avoid early disappointments.

It is not fair for voters  who have no clue on “Inflation” or economics, who listens innocently and line up to vote for a candidate who later does something contrary to his/her promise.

Zambia has highly experienced ,knowledgeable, and educated people.  Why is it that Zambians ends up voting for wrong leaders?

Could it be that all the educated Zambians, are too frustrated with the system, and has opted to sit back and watch, while the poor Zambian villagers , marketeers and street boys take their stand to vote for what they hear from those who can read their minds and give them fake promises? or could it be that qualified leaders and educated Zambians are  too busy with other duties and other personal stuff, or they are not brave enough to fight for their people or  is it lack of bringing themselves out with a positive approach to their fellow Zambians?

 If you are candidate or a voter. It is time to revisit your weaknesses and try to improve on them.

Our advice is:

Avoid:  Hate, tribal, gossip, and malicious rumors. By all means, should not be used as a tool to pick a right candidate for president. Validate each rumor, use your own discretion and common sense. Avoid operating like robots that are programed to perform certain functions.  Operating like a robot, makes both leaders and their voters look like idiots, when things go sour.

Remember:

Not every rumor or gossip is true. Yes there is no smoke without fire, but you have to remember that humans always enjoy negatives that appear on a candidate without using their good sense of judgement or common sense, they vote basing on those facts. If a negative outweighs a positive side of a candidate, it takes away all the good work he/she has done.

Remember, Media and campaigns are there to help voters to pick the best candidate, but at the same time, uses that as a tool to bring down a candidate, if the opponent has strong links to the media.  Many great leaders are brought down in no seconds, and voters end up voting for useless candidates.

Again… use your common sense and your good judgement, when you read negatives that comes flying on potential candidates.

On that note, we decided to re-visit Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika’s profile, as she seem to be carrying all the package of what makes a great president.

We at Zambian Chronicle, would like to see Dr Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika, contest for president in 2011. We have well rounded Zambian candidates like, HH and Many more, Inonge adds to the package.

For years, Zambians have had a problem when it comes to picking a president. It’s time to check where Zambians go wrong when it comes to voting?

Weakness:

We Vote with emotions, tribal, rumors and hate, Worse more when it comes to gender. 

In the end we get disappointed with our own voting when things go in a different direction. 

May be it is time to turn around, and look seriously inside lives and works of the aspiring candidates, without looking at a tribe, relations, cheap gossips or malicious rumors.

It is even more difficult to convince a Zambian mind, when it comes to women leadership.

When we look at Zambians, we see a lot of potential candidates men and women, that can lead us in 2011, and bring light to Zambia. 

I am not here advocating for Inonge because I am a woman.

Here at Zambian Chronicle, we are looking at the credentials, Education and experience.

Zambia needs a candidate for president, that has both local and foreign policy experience. As an African country we can not rule out education. It should be very cardinal  in this aspect.

 Therefore when it comes to choosing a president, let us open our eyes and pick quality and not quantity.

Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika and Hakainde Hichilema are both quality.

Having said that, Zambian Chronicles will continue to bring out candidates, that we think can make great president for Zambia in the future.

As we pointed out, in our earlier debates, Hakainde Hichilema and Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika, have the real package.

Therefore, without looking at the tribes and gender, we feel Inonge can make a great president for Zambia for 2011. This includes, the appointees of ministers and local government officials.

This forum may help the next Zambian President to pick right candidates for certain roles.

Below is Inonge ‘s profile and credentials:

Copyrights © 2008 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

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Princess Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika (born 10 July 1943, Senanga) is a senior Zambian politician currently. For more about her check

http://www.inongelewanika.com/family.htm

   1.   Dr. Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika is currently Ambassador of the Republic of Zambia to the United States of America . Before her appointment to Washington D.C.

 2. She was Ambassador and Special Envoy to the Zambian President during his term as Chairman of the African Union.

3. Dr. Lewanika served as a Member of Parliament in the Zambian Parliament from 1991 to 2001. She was the first Chairperson of the Zambia All Party Women Parliamentarians Caucus and also founding Vice-chairperson of the outhern, Eastern and Horn of Africa African Women Parliamentarian Caucus.

  

4. At a very critical time just before national elections in 2001, Dr. Lewanika chaired the National Crisis Committee of the Alliance of Opposition Political Parties.

5.  She is a former candidate for President of the Republic of Zambia in the December 2001 Elections.

6.  She is an Educator by profession and has worked in various levels of Education.

Prior to her involvement in politics, Dr. Lewanika worked with UNICEF in key leadership roles in Africa overseeing more than twenty countries at a time. Jim Grant, the former head of UNICEF once called her “the most knowledgeable person about the children of Africa .” Dr. Lewanika was among five women from various continents to brief members of the United Nations Security Council on the first and unprecedented debate that resulted in UN Resolution 13 on WOMEN, PEACE and SECURITY in the year 2000. She was among sixteen (16) eminent African Women Members of the Organization of African Unity (now African Union) Committee on Peace and Development, an Advisory Group to the African Union.

She was President of Federation of African Women’s Peace Networks (FERFAP) from 1997 to 2002. As President of the Federation of African Women Peace Networks (FEFAP) she contributed to mobilization of peace activities. In that capacity, she was selected to be among ten prominent African Women Peace Workers that visited Rwanda soon after the genocide. She later led a United Nations delegation to Burundi and Rwanda to assess the effects of the genocide on women and children and recommend intervention strategies. She led the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) Observer Mission of 96 Southern African

Academicians, Researchers and Members of Civil Society to the Zimbabwean Presidential, Mayoral and Council Elections in 2002. She was one of the International Youth Foundation’s founding board members.

Dr. Lewanika holds a Ph.D. in Early Childhood and Primary Education from New York University . She is a mother of two grown daughters, a grandmother to four boys and a grand daughter. She has lived in five countries and speaks eight languages.

——————————–

A look at more of  Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika’s work Below: 

After 30 years of promoting girls’ education in the less-developed world, aid workers are now realizing that it is not enough to simply open the school door to girls. Unemployment, clean water and HIV/AIDS are now also on their agenda.
Inonge Mbikusita-LewanikaWASHINGTON (WOMENSENEWS)–Like many aid workers and activists trying to improve the lives of women in developing countries, Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika has long viewed education as the key to solving many of her countrywomen’s problems.Mbikusita-Lewanika, a former member of Zambia’s parliament and now the country’s ambassador to the United States, says the benefits of educating girls are so numerous– from raising marrying ages and lowering birth rates to stemming health and economic problems–that she would like to install a plaque reading “Send the Girls to School” in every village.But 30 years after the U.S. government and other aid-givers began to promote gender equality in their programs, they, like Mbikusita-Lewanika, have learned that relieving the burdens of poor women is more complex than once thought. Foreign aid officials from the United States, United Kingdom, United Nations and various nongovernmental organizations say that it is not enough to open the school door to girls if their families are besieged by unemployment, unclean water, labor-intensive household chores and, increasingly, debilitating health problems such as HIV/AIDS. Nor is it enough to get a few women elected to the parliament or congress while women in the countryside still suffer age-old discriminations.To succeed, say aid experts, gender-equality programs must be integrally incorporated into the aid process from top to bottom, beginning with constant attention to gender issues at the policy level and ending with a wide distribution of burden-relieving aid in the rural areas where discrimination is often most ingrained.In Africa, for instance, women perform about 75 percent of agricultural work, according to Mark Blackden, the lead economist in the World Bank’s Poverty Reduction and Management of Gender Equity Division. He estimates the continent’s per-capita income would have doubled over the last 30 years if women had been given more aid and education to help with crop production. But aid givers have only recently realized that “one does indeed need to talk about the African farmer and her husband,” Blackden said.Instead, because of cultural misunderstandings, they have often directed agricultural education and technology to men. As a result, Mbikusita-Lewanika said, it is not uncommon to see men sitting on tractors as women and girls continue to cultivate with a hand hoe nearby.Clearing a small plot of land in this manner can involve 18-hour days, leaving women little time to raise their children, gather fire wood, walk long distances to find potable water and, increasingly, care for the sick. With such intensive household labor needs, Mbikusita-Lewanika said girls often have little time for school.”The average woman takes care of everyone else but herself,” Mbikusita-Lewanika said at a recent Capitol Hill briefing for legislative staff.In countries where economies have been destroyed by conflict or AIDS, another factor diminishes the rationale for education: The lack of jobs when a girl graduates. As a result, Mbikusita-Lewanika said that, while education “may be the most important investment, it may not necessarily be the first investment” that donors should undertake. For instance, providing drinking water would save women in many Zambian villages 1 1/2 hours a day, she said.In 1973, the U.S. Congress passed the Percy Amendment requiring that the nation’s foreign aid help integrate women into the mainstream of developing countries’ societies. Since then, the U.S. Agency for International Development–the main administrator of U.S. development aid–and other organizations have progressed from conducting a few gender equality projects a year to considering gender issues as a part of nearly every decision. While women’s issues once were often segregated in a separate office or set of discussions, all programs are now expected to address their impact on women.”The progress can be summed up in one sentence: It is no longer a separate thing,” USAID administrator Andrew S. Natsios told a Washington foreign aid conference earlier this month.

More Work to Be Done

Still, aid officials and activists say there is much more to do. According to the World Bank, more than 20 percent of the world’s population still lives on about $1 per day. The majority are women. And women’s burdens, especially in AIDS-stricken Africa, are growing as they bear bigger social and financial burdens.

One way donors can begin to lift that burden, Mbikusita-Lewanika told legislative staff, is to bypass governments and distribute aid money to local faith-based organizations and other groups that work at the local level and already know the intricate problems the women in their community face. Many central governments have not established effective ways to distribute help in the countryside, she said.

Other officials suggest increasing funding to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. The $2 billion the Bush administration is prepared to spend in 2004 “is not enough,” said Kathryn Wolford, president of Lutheran World Relief, based in Baltimore.

Wolford also suggests an increased focus on debt relief for poor countries, which would free funds for social programs and infrastructure that could relieve women’s burdens.

Other activists say aid organizations need to collect and process more data showing the positive link between women’s participation and economic development. While many activists suggest that there is already too much talk about women’s problems and not enough action to solve them, economists say that more convincing evidence of the link between women’s progress and economic progress could be found.

At the foreign aid conference, Phil Evans, the senior social development adviser for the United Kingdom’s U.N. mission, said that statistical gender analyses are often riddled with “methodological problems,” in large part because researchers have focused on studying women instead of placing them in a societal context.

Some say the United States should signal its commitment to gender equality by ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, an international treaty that aims to outlaw discrimination against women and requires signatory countries to periodically report on their progress. President Carter signed the treaty in 1980 but the U.S. Senate has not ratified it as 174 nations have done.

Ratifying the treaty would send a powerful signal that the United States will join the world to “use the instruments available to us to hold countries accountable” for improving women’s lives, Geeta Rao Gupta, president of the Washington-based International Center for Research on Women, told legislative staff.

New Solutions in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, USAID is attempting to deal with these challenges and its methods are not always very subtle. To encourage families to educate their daughters, USAID gives extra rations of vegetable oil to girls who attend school every day for a month, Natsios said. The number of girls attending school has increased overall from 6 percent to 35 percent, Natsios said, and is reaching 50 percent in some towns.

Not all of USAID’s work in Afghanistan is so targeted at women and girls but Natsios said he has found that nearly every project is having an impact on women’s status. For instance, the U.S. program that is building a 300-mile road from Kandahar to Kabul is unexpectedly improving women’s health in southern Afghanistan. Now mothers in childbirth and women in other forms of medical distress can be driven to medical facilities in Kabul in a matter of five to six hours. Before the road was built, the trip could take two days, Natsios said.

In addition, USAID has installed day-care centers in all Afghan government ministry buildings. Natsios said women who work for the ministries–many now widows with young children–said they would not return to their jobs unless their children had a safe place to go.

While many activists and government officials say gender issues are no longer seen as women’s alone, they hope the next 30 years will bring a greater resolution to age-old problems.

“It has taken a very long time to get as far as we are and (we) have a very long road to go,” said Julia Taft, assistant administrator and director of the United Nation’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery.

Lori Nitschke is a freelance journalist living in Washington, D.C. She was recently a Knight-Bagehot fellow at Columbia University in New York, where she received master’s degrees in journalism and business administration. Previously, she covered economic issues for Congressional Quarterly.

Copyrights © 2008 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.

Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.

Copyrights © 2008 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc   

UN warns on food price inflation

Pakistani women at subsidised food store 03.03.08

Governments are urged to take action to help ease rising prices

The head of the UN World Food Programme has warned that the rise in basic food costs could continue until 2010.Josette Sheeran blamed soaring energy and grain prices, the effects of climate change and demand for biofuels.

Miss Sheeran has already warned that the WFP is considering plans to ration food aid due to a shortage of funds.

Some food prices rose 40% last year, and the WFP fears the world’s poorest will buy less food, less nutritious food or be forced to rely on aid.

Speaking after briefing the European Parliament, Miss Sheeran said the agency needed an extra $375m (244m euros; £187m) for food projects this year and $125m (81m euros; £93m) to transport it.

This is not a short-term bubble and will definitely continue
Josette Sheeran
WFP

She said she saw no quick solution to high food and fuel costs.

“The assessment is that we are facing high food prices at least for the next couple of years,” she said.

Miss Sheeran said global food reserves were at their lowest level in 30 years – with enough to cover the need for emergency deliveries for 53 days, compared with 169 days in 2007.

Biofuel prices

Among the contributing factors to high food prices is biofuel production.

Miss Sheeran says demand for crops to produce biofuels is increasing prices for food stuffs such as palm oil.

Miss Sheeran said governments needed “to look more carefully at the link between the acceleration in biofuels and food supply and give more thought to it”.

The WFP says countries where price rises are expected to have a most direct impact include Zimbabwe, Eritrea, Haiti, Djibouti, the Gambia, Tajikistan, Togo, Chad, Benin, Burma, Cameroon, Niger, Senegal, Yemen and Cuba.

Areas where the WFP is already seeing an impact include:

  • Afghanistan: 2.5 million people in Afghanistan cannot afford the price of wheat, which rose more than 60% in 2007
  • Bangladesh: The price of rice has risen 25% to 30% over the last three months. In 2007, the price rose about 70%.
  • El Salvador: Rural communities are buying 50% less food than they did 18 months ago with the same amount of money. This means their nutritional intake, on an already poor diet, is cut by half.
  • Anger over rising food prices have already led to riots in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal and Morocco.

    The BBC is planning a special day of coverage of this issue on Tuesday 11 March, online, on radio and on TV.

  • var clickExpire = “-1”;

    (CNN) — U.S. health officials said Wednesday they have found a contaminant in a blood-thinning drug produced by Baxter Healthcare Corp. that has been linked to more than a dozen deaths in the United States.

    art.blood.gi.jpg

    The drug can keep potentially life-threatening blood clots from forming in the veins, arteries, and lungs.

    In early February, the Food and Drug Administration launched an investigation and then a recall of some forms of the product.

    The scrutiny began after a spike in reports of health problems associated with heparin, a drug made by Baxter from pig intestines at plants in China and Wisconsin.

    Though the cause of the problems has not been determined, FDA investigators found “a heparin-like compound — that is not heparin — present in some of the active pharmaceutical ingredients” in both facilities, said Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

    The contaminant, which made up 5 percent to 20 percent of each sample tested, “reacts like heparin in some of the conventional tests used for heparin,” which explains why it was not picked up, she told reporters in a conference call.

    No causal link between the contaminant and the adverse events has been established yet, Woodcock said.

    She added that it was not clear whether the contaminant was added accidentally, as part of the processing or deliberately.

    It also was not clear whether the contaminant was introduced in the company’s plant in Wisconsin or the one in China, Woodcock said.

    Though she said the exact structure of the contaminant has not been identified, “it is similar to heparin glycans.” Glycans are polysaccharides, a complex class of carbohydrate.

    She added it was unclear whether other heparin products used outside the United States might also contain the product.

    Later this week, the agency will release recommendations on how manufacturers and regulators can screen for the contaminant, she said.

    Last year, pet food made in China was found to be tainted with an ingredient that replaced more expensive protein and that initial tests did not identify as a contaminant. Asked if the heparin contamination could be a similar case, Woodcock said, “It’s possible.”

    Doctors have used the blood-thinner for 60 years with “no history of any problems whatsoever,” said the FDA commissioner, Dr. Andrew C. von Eschenbach.

    Its intravenous use can keep potentially life-threatening blood clots from forming in the veins, arteries and lungs.

    Von Eschenbach said it would be “disingenuous” to expect the agency would be able to inspect “every institution in every case.”

    Over the last fiscal year, the agency reported having inspected more than 1,000 foreign plants, a record.

    Since the agency issued its report that 19 deaths had been linked to the drug since January 1, 2007, it has received word of another 27 deaths, “but many of those do not fit our definition of this type of event,” Woodcock said.

    In all, the FDA has received 785 heparin-linked reports of adverse events — including difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating and plummeting blood pressure that can lead to life-threatening shock.

    “They’re continuing to come in fairly rapidly because there has been a lot of reporting of this,” she said.

    In a written statement, Baxter said its tests have suggested “that the root cause may be associated with the crude heparin, sourced from China, or from the subsequent processing of that product before it reaches Baxter.”

    Meanwhile, Scientific Protein Laboratories LLC, which supplies the company with the active pharmaceutical ingredients, issued a statement saying it is working with the FDA, Baxter and outside experts to identify the cause of the adverse events.

    “Thus far, no conclusions have been reached about the root cause,” it said.

    “It is premature to conclude that the heparin active pharmaceutical ingredient sourced from China and provided by SPL to Baxter is responsible for these adverse events.”

    It said that its voluntary recall of suspect product was being made as a precaution. 

    CNN

    Bush says he wants McCain to win presidency

    • Story Highlights
    • President Bush pledges support to Sen. John McCain for president
    • McCain clinched GOP nomination with victories in Tuesday’s primaries
    • Republicans say Bush can help solidify GOP base behind McCain
    • Linking Bush, McCain helpful to Democrats, Democratic strategist says

     Enlarge font

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush endorsed Sen. John McCain for president on Wednesday, saying the presumptive Republican nominee has the “character, courage and perseverance” to lead the country.

    art.mccains.bush.ap.jpg

    President Bush meets Sen. John McCain and his wife, Cindy, at the North Portico of the White House.

    McCain thanked the president for his support and the work he has done in the Oval Office.

    “I appreciate his endorsement, and I appreciate his service to our country,” said McCain, adding that he wanted Bush at his side as much as possible on the campaign trail.

    “Whatever he wants me to do, I want him to win,” Bush said, who was challenged by McCain for the GOP nomination in 2000. But he said the 2008 run for the Oval Office was not his battle.

    “It’s not about me. I’ve done my bit,” Bush said.

    Addressing the calls for change in the presidential campaign, Bush said McCain would be steadfast to one of his administration’s policies.

    “He’s not gonna change when it comes to taking on the enemy,” Bush said of the senator from Arizona. Video Watch Bush explain why McCain should be the next president »

    Protecting the American people was the No. 1 job of a president and McCain understood that, Bush said.

    “He’s gonna be a president who will bring determination to defeat an enemy,” Bush said.

    McCain clinched the GOP presidential nomination with victories Tuesday in Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island. Watch McCain say how he will prevail in the fall Video

    McCain needed 1,191 delegates to secure the nomination and had 1,226 after Tuesday’s voting, according to CNN estimates.

    McCain said with the nomination secured, he would begin exploring possible running mates.

    He also said he called both Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and pledged “a respectful campaign” no matter who wins the Democratic nomination.

    Before Wednesday’s event at the White House, both Republicans and their Democratic opponents expressed excitement about the possibilities of Bush endorsing McCain.

    Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas said McCain can now focus on solidifying support among conservative Republicans, the majority of whom backed candidates other than the Arizona lawmaker in the primaries, according to exit polls.

    “I think the endorsement of President Bush will certainly go a long ways toward that,” Hutchison said Wednesday. “John McCain is going to be very focused on our base and the people that he wants to have in full force behind him.” Video Watch Bush greet McCain at the White House »

    Despite overall approval ratings hovering just above 30 percent, Bush receives far higher marks from conservatives, and the McCain campaign thinks the push from Bush will bring the party in line behind their presumptive nominee.

    “He’ll have the [Republican National Committee] behind him. He’ll have a broad base of financial support. It’s a big step,” said Alex Castellanos, a GOP strategist and CNN contributor.

    A senior administration official concurred Wednesday, saying Bush will raise “a lot of money” for McCain.

    “He is extremely popular” with the GOP base, the official said. “And so can do a lot to drive the base in the election, which will help across the board.”

    William Bennett, a CNN contributor who was in the administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and Reagan, said Clinton and Obama will have to factor McCain into their strategies to secure the Democratic nomination, something that should help the Republican define whomever becomes his November foe.

    “They have to factor that in as they debate each other every time they put out an ad and make a position,” Bennett said.

    But Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Paul Begala said his party is happy to see McCain get the nomination — and happy to see anything the senator does that links him more closely with the Republican president.

    “He’s embraced the Bush tax cuts that he voted against. He was against them being temporary; now he wants them being permanent. That’s like marrying a girl you didn’t want to date. He rushed to Bush’s Social Security plan, even disavowing his own Social Security plan on his own Web site. He has now become Bush’s third term,” Begala said.

    advertisement

    Begala called McCain’s victory speech Tuesday night “an eloquent but not very energetic defense of the status quo.” Video Watch McCain speak to supporters after clinching the nomination »

    “Democrats heard that speech and loved it,” he said. “To quote our current president, bring it on.”

    CNN

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    South Africa, U.S.: Dueling for Hegemony in Africa
    September 04, 2007 20 48  GMT

    Summary

    South Africa recently expressed opposition to the proposed U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), in a move to prevent Washington diplomatically from challenging Pretoria’s dominant position in southern Africa. However, South Africa’s designs do not extend into the West and the Horn of Africa. There, AFRICOM will face a different set of basing obstacles as it pursues its core interests of securing energy supplies and combating terrorism.

    Analysis

    Just days after South African Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota said the Pentagon’s command in Africa, known as AFRICOM, is not welcome in southern Africa, former Zambian Vice President Christon Tembo said Sept. 4 that caution is needed by African countries before AFRICOM can be established, an allusion to a similar position taken by Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa.

    However, South African opposition to AFRICOM will not block the latest U.S. combatant command from securing basing rights in the West and Horn of Africa regions. But it does represent an effort by Pretoria diplomatically to pre-empt the United States from challenging South Africa’s return as the undisputed regional power in southern Africa.

    South Africa sees itself as the natural power in southern Africa. It is thus seeking to re-establish its hegemonic position, which during the apartheid era reached as far north as southern Angola and the Katanga province area in southern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe were also in this sphere of influence.

    The end of apartheid in 1994 saw the African National Congress (ANC) party come to power in South Africa, first under Nelson Mandela and then under Thabo Mbeki. While both Mandela and Mbeki sought to reassure neighboring countries that South Africa no longer held hegemonic designs, South African commercial interests — dominated by its mining sector but also including banking, construction and telecommunications — not only continued but also expanded their operations in southern Africa.

    South Africa’s almost-complete consolidation of democracy under ANC rule also means its era of internal focus will be ending shortly, opening up room for maneuver elsewhere. With no credible rival political party in sight, Mbeki’s party will face certain re-election in 2009. Mbeki’s as-yet-unchosen successor — or possibly Mbeki himself, since he has not ruled out seeking a third term — will be expected to devote more resources to promoting South Africa as Africa’s premier power, able to involve itself internationally by mediating conflicts in Africa and assuming leadership positions at the U.N. Security Council, the African Union and the G-8.

    Already Africa’s most sophisticated polity and greatest economy, South Africa’s power soon will be complemented by a series of military moves. South Africa’s push for a Southern African Development Community peacekeeping force, to be equipped and based in South Africa but able to inject itself into any of the continent’s conflicts, will be reinforced by the procurement of Saab Grippen and BAE Hawk fighter jets, A-400M aerial refueling and transport aircraft and German submarines and corvettes. Delivery of this package began in 2006 and is expected to end by 2012. This defense package will provide South Africa, already Africa’s leading military power, with an even more robust capability that will far outstrip the capabilities of any other African military.

    Outside of southern Africa, South Africa has limited influence on the continent. During apartheid, South Africa did not concern itself with regions outside of southern Africa. It had enough going on domestically and in the southern region, from deal-making in the mining sector to combating liberation-seeking insurgents and domestic political opponents. Since the end of apartheid, South Africa’s efforts to mediate conflicts in Africa, such as the political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire, have been blocked by countries such as Nigeria, which sees West Africa as its sphere of influence. South Africa has not even tried to mediate conflicts or become otherwise involved in the Horn of Africa.

    West Africa and the Horn of Africa, however, are of great interest to AFRICOM. Securing access to energy assets in the Gulf of Guinea region is of core concern to Washington. This region includes Nigeria’s violent Niger Delta, where the Nigerian government has struggled to rein in militant groups such as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. Combating terrorism in West Africa’s largely ungoverned and violent Sahel is another of AFRICOM’s core interests. Similarly, ensuring that Somalian territory in the Horn of Africa region does not fall prey to transnational jihadist fighters aiming to take advantage of that country’s weak government and vast ungoverned territory is a final AFRICOM priority. This goal follows up on previous U.S. achievements through operations of the Djibouti-based Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

    While a decision has not yet been made on where to base AFRICOM — which will begin as a subcommand of European Command by October and stand up as a separate command by fall 2008 — a series of lily pad bases will be used to allow contingency operations in West Africa and the Horn of Africa. Administrative priorities aside, a single meaningful location for troop basing will be ruled out in deference to twin fears. One is the concern in Washington about committing large numbers of U.S. troops far from a sphere of core U.S. interests. The second is a fear held by African governments and populations that U.S. troops will serve as a colonizing power there.

    Compared to other regional commands, AFRICOM will have a much more fluid, dynamic structure emphasizing civil-military cooperation. Under this framework, and to deflect criticism of imperialism, AFRICOM will work with other U.S. government agencies and with African militaries to build up local capacities to respond to humanitarian crises in addition to combating terrorism.

    South Africa’s limited influence outside southern Africa means Pretoria cannot be expected to block the bilateral agreements under which the United States will secure AFRICOM basing privileges. Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, whose nation enjoys a very close relationship with the United States, has been the most persistent African promoter of AFRICOM. Sao Tome and Principe and the Malabo archipelago of Equatorial Guinea are two possibilities for AFRICOM basing in the Gulf of Guinea region. And Manda Bay, on Kenya’s east coast, and continuing operations at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti and in Ethiopia will figure into AFRICOM’s Horn of Africa activities.

    Strategy and enforced circumstances thus will result in a small but flexible AFRICOM footprint in a limited number of locations in West Africa and the Horn of Africa, something that does not directly clash with South African interests. Less pressing AFRICOM priorities in southern Africa resulting in the U.S. command’s focus being directed elsewhere removes a possible major rival to South Africa’s return as the dominant power in southern Africa.

    Other potential rivals remain, however, and are contributing to South Africa’s prickly posture. China is such a potential rival, which prompted Mbeki to warn that Africa must guard against a neocolonial relationship with Beijing. South Africa also is keeping a close eye on Angola. Historically, Pretoria has had a conflicted relationship with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, Angola’s ruling party. Flush with energy and diamonds, Angola also no longer faces an imminent insurgency to distract it. That combination of circumstances means Pretoria is keeping a close watch on Angola’s behavior in neighboring Zimbabwe and the DRC, which in turn means Pretoria must ensure that it remains fully capable of maneuvering in southern Africa.

    http://www.stratfor.com/products/premium/read_article.php?id=294869&selected=Analyses

    Meanwhile Botswana is ready forAfricom should stakeholders agree …


    Daily News does not publish on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Please email your comments to DailyNews@gov.bwFrom 6 July 2006, a graphic version of current edition is available at the Daily News Online web site.


    Govt to decide on AFRICOM
    06 September, 2007

    GABORONE – Government will listen to everyone before making a decision on a proposal by the United States to set up an African Command (AFRICOM) in Botswana.President Festus Mogae said Botswana, like any other, has been approached to host AFRICOM, but is yet to decide.We have listened, asked questions and we will continue asking more questions as we do not yet know what this animal will be like.

    He was responding to a question from academic, Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang, after delivering a public lecture at the University of Botswana on Tuesday.

    It was part of the UBs 25th anniversary activities.

    He said they have heard different viewpoints from academics, individuals and the news media and they would take them into consideration before reaching a conclusion.

    We are also not the only country where objections were raised, other countries had to retract from the idea of hosting AFRICOM after threats from their Islamic groups, Mr Mogae said …

    http://www.gov.bw/cgi-bin/news.cgi?d=20070906&i=Govt_to_decide_on_AFRICOM

    We at the Zambian Chronicle did mention that African Leaders are like that, we may need to learn never to talk on others behalf because they might say they are with you and when push comes to shave, you remain alone … thanks a trillion.

    Picture of Carmen M. Martinez The Zambian Chronicle has recognized the current US Ambassador Carmen M Martinez to Zambia as the best ever. Our commitment to the cause and accession has been based on a matrix of issues among which a few are underpinned here below. 

    Ø       In less than two (2) years of her appointment and subsequently being sworn in, Carmen M Martinez has managed to warm the hearts of the people of the Zambian Enterprise thereby creating a sense of partnership in development. Previous ambassadors were seen more as big brothers/big sisters waiting and watching what the next mistake would be before they issued what was perceived to be the way things ought to be run. 

    Ø       Carmen M Martinez has participated in a lot more community activities in her 18 months in office than any other ambassador’s complete tenure we could think of … she has not only been that active but also been more of a good voice for and on behalf of the Zambian Enterprise at the State Department. 

    Ø       Despite being a recipient of the Presidential Award for Meritorious Service in 2003 among other awards such as being a recipient of Senior Foreign Service Performance Awards in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003 and 2005; Ambassador Martinez comes out as a down to earth ambassador principally focused on representing her great nation. 

    Ø       Although she is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, she does not let her seniority come in her way of service of spreading good tidings thereby building the best ever relationship between the United States of America and the Zambian Enterprise. 

    Ø       Those close to her office and those who have worked with her have always attested to what a brilliant leader she is and how she is good at taking others point of views before putting a stamp on her own line of thought. 

    Ø       Lastly but not the least, Ambassador Martinez was very instrumental in helping shape the negotiations that helped the Zambian Enterprise reach its benchmarks for the completion of the HIPC process. She has been more than supportive in helping direct new inflows always wanting the most benefit for the Zambian Enterprise. 

    Ambassdor Martinez holds an MA degree in Medieval History, an MS degree in National Security and Strategic Resources, and speaks Portuguese, Spanish and Thai apart English of course…

    Our only worry at the Zambian Chronicle is that the appointing authorities may promote her and send her to another assignment before she does even more good for the Zambian Enterprise as people of her caliber are rare to find … thanks a trillion.

     

    Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.

    CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle

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