Posted tagged ‘Africa’


October 15, 2013



Erle Frayne D. Argonza


“In the long run, we shall all be dead!” – John Maynard Keynes


Good day to you fellow global citizens!


By the year 2050, the world’s present human population will breach the 10 billion mark. That’s what the forecasts are saying so far, although it is always possible that assumptions done in the forecast may not work in the future.


At any rate, yielding a population figure that is based on zero population growth or ZPG is all wishful thinking. World population is now growing at 80 millions annually, and there is no indicating a reversal or decline of the number of babies born and survived annually (less the numbers of death).


There just aren’t enough land to treat as frontier lands anymore, sufficient to yield greater harvests. Human food production is still based largely on land cultivation, though hydroponics was already perfected in the late 1980s yet, which can considerably shift production stress away from land. So we will still be stuck up with land-based cultivation + land- based fish farming + land-based livestock production.


As studies show, the sub-Saharan (desert largely) has the potential for feeding an additional 4 billions of warm bodies. This is quite some good news so far, though it only is a palliative. Unless that population growth will taper down slowly across the coming decades, till it possibly gets nearer ZPG, the feeding problem will be a headache for humanity in the long run.


Below is a very interesting report about the feeding forecasts and problems anticipated in food production in the long run.


[Manila, 10 October 2013]



Focus on Poverty: How can we feed ten billion people?

Speed read

  • Demand for food is set to outstrip supply and there is little spare land for crops
  • But Sub-Saharan Africa has great potential to increase production
  • As well as science, inequality and consumption patterns must be considered

It will be even harder to feed the world in 2050, but African farmers could be key, says Roger Williamson.
An alarming study has found that major crop yields are increasing too slowly to meet future food demands. With the latest UN projections suggesting a world population of 9.6 billion by 2050 [1] and the population rising by more than 80 million a year — with the fastest rates in some of the most populous African countries — how will the human race feed itself?
In future, will we be talking about three to four billion people in extreme poverty rather than the current ‘bottom billion’?
A recent, timely book, 10 Billion by Stephen Emmott [2], paints a bleak picture. Emmott examines technological fixes or changes in behaviour or political will as potential solutions, but says  these are likely to fail.
This conclusion must be taken seriously. A key part of his narrative is that there is simply not enough land to feed the growing population — more importantly, one with growing food needs. What’s left are cities, where you buy food (not grow it); oceans, which are largely being overfished; forests; and desert. Thus there are only two real possibilities: somehow finding more land to cultivate or improving yields from existing cropland.

A video posted online earlier this month by the ReCom programme — which aims to research and communicate what works in foreign aid — of the UN University-World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER), based in Finland, provides a more hopeful scenario for Africa.

In it, Ephraim Nkonya, a Tanzanian land management specialist at the International Food Policy Research Institute, makes the surprising statement that Africa could become the world’s breadbasket.

His argument hinges around two interlinked opportunities — that the yield gap for current and maximum potential production for crops is greatest in Sub-Saharan Africa, and that there is potential for radically expanding food production through increasing the area of land under production. According to Nkonya, 90 per cent of all land that could be brought under cultivation is in Africa or Latin America.

Akio Hosono, of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Research Institute, recently presented positive examples of the latter at a UNU-WIDER conference. He highlighted the use of Brazil’s vast Cerrado region for soya production. [3] JICA and the Brazilians are exploring this model’s applicability to Mozambique. [4]
However, increasing crop yields by expanding the area under cultivation often means deforestation. Intensification of yield is the key.

Forecasts of having three to four billion people living in absolute poverty, and strategies for eradicating this problem, are questions for science, but they are also more than that. Social and economic issues of extreme inequality (for example around access to land) and consumption patterns (for example ensuring that resources for food production are distributed equally) are also vital elements to the mix.

Roger Williamson is an independent consultant and visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Previous positions include organising nearly 80 international policy conferences for the UK Foreign Office and being head of policy and campaigns at Christian Aid. 


[1] Worldwatch Institute Fertility Surprises Portend a More Populous Future (Worldwatch Institute, 10 July 2013)
[2] Emmott, S. 10 Billion (Penguin, 2013)
[3] Hosono, A. Industrial Strategy and Economic Transformation (ReCom, accessed 26 July 2013)
[4] Hosono, A. South-South/Triangular Cooperation and Capacity Development. In K. Hiroshi (ed) Scaling Up South-South and Triangular Cooperation (JICA Research Institute, November 2012)


September 26, 2013



Erle Frayne D. Argonza


Gracious day to you fellow global citizens!


An alarming report by health experts concerns the 450 millions of Africans who are at risk of meningitis. While the ailment can be cured, response systems are insufficient to reach out to the very poor families who comprise the greater majority in the resource rich continent.


The good news that is now ‘knocking on heavens doors’ in Africa and developing countries is that a recently innovated vaccine is now out in the open for immediate usage. Not only does it cure the deadly disease, it can also prevent meningitis from taking place for the persons who immediately seek an intervention.


Eradicating meningitis via vaccination is valuable an intervention to me, as my own country used to be very poor whence my own relatives in the provinces died of the ailment. There were also moments in my past when I was on the verge of being hit by meningitis, as I keep on contracting inflammations of my sinus and throat—with infections that can lead to meningitis if not treated early.


Chad was employed as a test case for the new vaccine, with stunningly high success. For the details on the report, please refer to the enclosed  article below.




[Manila, 24 September 2013]

Meningitis vaccine cuts cases by 94 per cent in Chad

Albert González Farran/UNAMID

Speed read

  • The MenAfriVac vaccine helped cut cases by 94 per cent in the 2012 epidemic season
  • Results are based on analysis of 1.8 million vaccinations in Chad
  • The vaccine’s roll out should continue, but also be monitored

A meningitis vaccine that has recently been rolled out in several African countries has reduced the incidence of the disease by 94 per cent in Chad after just a single dose per person, in what scientists say is a startling success for the new vaccine, called MenAfriVac.
And the presence of the bacteria responsible for the disease in people’s throats — carriage prevalence — dropped by 98 per cent, according to the study published in The Lancet today.
The research, based on an analysis of data from 1.8 million vaccinations in Chad, revealed that there were no cases of serogroup A meningococcal meningitis, the most dangerous strain of the disease, following vaccination.
“This is one of the most dramatic outcomes from a public health intervention that I have seen,” said lead author Brian Greenwood in a press release (12 September).
“There are now real prospects that the devastating effects of this infection in Africa can be prevented,” said Greenwood, a professor of clinical tropical medicine at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom, which carried out the study together with the Centre de Support en Santé Internationale in Chad and other partners. 
Deadly epidemics of meningitis A occur regularly in Sub-Saharan Africa’s meningitis belt, a band of 21 countries stretching from Senegal in the west to Ethiopia in the east, where around 450 million people are at risk.
Group A meningococcus accounts for an estimated 80 to 85 per cent of all cases across the belt, with the most affected countries being Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia and Niger. If untreated, the disease — which mainly affects infants, children and young adults — kills half of those infected.

“One of the most dramatic outcomes from a public health intervention that I have seen”

Brian Greenwood, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

In the new study, researchers compared the impact of Chad’s 2011 vaccination programme on meningitis incidence and carriage in three vaccinated areas with the results from the unvaccinated areas over the same period.
When the 2012 epidemic seasons arrived, the incidence of meningitis of any type in the three vaccinated regions was 2.5 per 100,000 people, compared with 43.6 per 100,000 people in the unvaccinated areas.
And there were no meningitis A cases in the vaccinated regions, compared with 59 in the unvaccinated regions.
Carriage of the bacteria also dropped dramatically among vaccinated people, and even unvaccinated people — those too old or young to be vaccinated — showed no cases after their communities were vaccinated, suggesting that vaccination programmes substantially reduce carriage and transmission.  
Although mass vaccination campaigns in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger had shown the vaccine to be safe and highly effective so far, “until now, it was not known definitively whether MenAfriVac had a major impact on the incidence of serogroup A epidemics and carriage”, according to Greenwood.
The WHO says the vaccine has several advantages over existing vaccines, including: a higher and more long-lasting immune response; reducing the number of throat bacteria, and thus transmission; its expected long-term protection for those vaccinated, their family members and others who are exposed; and its lower than average price.
The findings support the case that vaccination programmes should continue across the African meningitis belt, according to Greenwood.
But he warns that continuing surveillance and further carriage studies in the belt will be needed to confirm the duration of protection provided by this vaccine.
“This is an extremely encouraging sign for those countries that are yet to introduce the vaccine,” Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, director of the WHO department of immunisation, vaccines and biologicals, said in a press release.
“We are not even half-way done with introducing this revolutionary new vaccine across the meningitis belt of Africa, yet we already have extraordinary results.”
The vaccine was developed by the Meningitis Vaccine Project, a partnership between the WHO and PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health), with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Link to paper abstract


The Lancet doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61612-8 (2013)



October 20, 2011



Erle Frayne D. Argonza


Mad bombings in Abuja won’t stop social development work by the UN agencies notably the United Nations Development Programme o UNDP. This is surely a most welcome move, as UN workers involved in social development have brought home results based on our experiences in PH and Asia.


I still recall the blog I published earlier about the Abuja bombing. After posting it,  so-called ‘liberal’ in a blog site retorted that “the UN is an evil agency.” Liberalism and conservatism are two sides of the same coin, and the dividing line between the liberal-conservative domain and fascism is a thin one. Political partisans are of the Herd mind or morons who are in fact being orchestrated from Above by the ideological operators of global Elites to continuously foment global anarchy or ‘synarchy’ and polarization.


True, the United Nations is being maneuvered by the Rockefeller section of the global elites, the same Rockefellers who donated the UN estate in New York. But to say that the UN is an instrument to make morons out of the non-Western participants (the global Elites are centered in the West) is to reveal the partisans’ ridiculously substandard to subhuman minds.


Killing social development personnel of the UN agency isn’t justified at all by the maneuverings being done by the Elites within the UN. Only Demoniacs or sociopaths would feel glorified by the deaths of true professionals and community servants in the hands of terrorists.


[Philippines, 20 October 2011]




Nigeria: UN work continues after bombing, says UNDP chief

05 October 2011

UNDP chief Helen Clark lays a wreath at the damaged UN headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria Tuesday on the first day of her three day official visit to Nigeria. The August 26 bomb blast killed 23 people, including 11 UN staff, and injured more than 100. (Credit: UNDP)

Abuja UNDP Chief Helen Clark met with UN staff and toured the damaged UN headquarters in Abuja yesterday on the first day of her three day official visit to Nigeria.

“These were unarmed civilians who had dedicated their lives to helping the people of Nigeria,” said Clark after she laid a wreath at the site of the bombing.  “This senseless attack will not stop our critical development work here.”

The August 26 bomb blast killed 23 people, including 11 UN staff, and injured more than 100.

“I have been very shocked, and to see the scale here today is very sobering indeed.”

Later in the day, Clark met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan who expressed condolences to the UN and lauded UNDP’s work globally.  Speaking after the meeting, Helen Clark thanked the President for his support and pledged continued support to Nigeria’s development priorities, including the President’s job creation scheme.

“Nigeria has a tremendous role to play in the continent, and overcoming its challenges can be a lesson for other countries,” she said.  “With the threat of global recession, times are tough, and we will also focus our efforts on the imperative of employment, so as to fulfil the aspirations of young people.”

The President acknowledged that youth unemployment remained a challenge in Nigeria, and that by November of this year, 56% of the 166 million Nigerians will be under the age of 35.

“These young people have to acquire skills, find work, proper housing, and a place in society,” said President Jonathan. “We want every young person to create employment for 5 other young people, and thus develop a multiplier effect.  We are launching a major youth entrepreneurship program this month, and we welcome our partners’ assistance in this initiative.”

Helen Clark also met with the Minister of the National Planning Commission Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, Minister of Foreign Affairs Olugbenga Ashiru, and Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo Iweala. She is accompanied by Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP Africa Bureau, Mr. Tegegnework Gettu.

Contact Information

In Abuja:
Anthony Dioka
UNDP Nigeria Communication Associate
Tel: +234 803 291 3085

In Dakar:
Maimouna Mills
UNDP Regional Communication Adviser
Tel: +234 706 860 2318 // +221 77 529 1298



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August 16, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

There seems to have been an abusive employment of universalistic yardsticks to measure scientific innovations across diverse countries. For instance, the preponderance on formalistic institutional developments have tended to favor Northern economies that have built universities and think-tanks across the centuries.

Such cross-cultural indices have incidentally overshadowed equally significant developments that could serve as yardsticks for innovations in any given Southern country. Therefore, the move towards idiographic assessments of innovations—based on culturally-specific indices—is novel an approach to unearthing those informal, primary sector engagements that were overlooked using Northern-biased yardsticks.

The case for Africa is shown in a report below.

[Philippines, 16 July 2011]

Africa needs its own indicators of scientific innovation
Watu Wamae
6 July 2011 | EN
Policies to stimulate African development require evidence that is difficult to obtain using existing indicators, says policy analyst Watu Wamae.
Evidence-based indicators in science, technology and innovation (STI) help governments across the world to formulate policies and identify opportunities for development. The second round of a survey designed to capture such indicators across Africa, a project sponsored by SIDA, was recently launched in Ethiopia.
But if STI indicators are to contribute effectively to a sustainable path towards social and technological transformation, they need to be sensitive to the African context. Comparisons of indicators such as research and development (R&D) expenditure between African countries must not dominate policy discussions.
Besides, Africa is not well served by borrowing indicators from other regions. There is no point simply reinventing the wheel, but Africa must develop measures of STI activity that accurately reflect African economies and experiences that are likely to be neglected because existing methods to capture them are lacking.
In particular, we need to understand how to convert beneficial technologies into tangible benefits in Africa, and how to capture traditional as well as modern knowledge.
Collecting the right data
To develop effective indicators, African nations must first establish what resources they have and how to make the most of them.
Most African economies are dominated by agriculture, although some resource-rich countries have industries such as petroleum exploration or mining of minerals. In the current context of rapidly emerging economies such as China, the demand for natural resources will continue to grow, and these industries will continue to expand.
This demand is closely connected to the boom in the development of infrastructure across Africa, such as roads and ports, providing opportunities not only for economic activity, but also for learning about technology and applying scientific knowledge.
Ensuring that this development benefits people requires STI indicators that can help policymakers stimulate innovation in these sectors.
Existing methods of data collection provide neat and tidy indicators for manufacturing, among other sectors, but this is clearly not the main driver of most economies in Africa.
And although it is important to strengthen manufacturing, this must not come at the expense of other key sectors, such as agriculture, health, extractive industries and infrastructure development, even though these areas lag behind in useful methods for data collection and analysis.
Capturing complexity
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, the contribution of manufacturing to national income has not risen since the 1960s when it stood at 15 per cent. In Kenya, for example, manufacturing accounts for 12 per cent of national income, roughly half the contribution from agriculture (25 per cent) – and Kenya has one of the strongest manufacturing sectors on the continent.
Agriculture can involve the use of sophisticated technologies. And vegetables such as French beans and snow peas grown in Kenya are on supermarket shelves across Europe within 24 hours of being harvested.
But like other sectors, agriculture straddles the formal and informal economies. It also draws on both modern and traditional knowledge. The STI indicators used must capture this duality of knowledge systems, as well as the informality of the economic activity.
Agricultural innovation often results from work in research institutes — but also from the ingenuity of farmers, including those in remote areas, who use and adapt new ideas to suit their needs. These innovators are often part of informal networks that pool ideas and expertise, using them in novel ways to meet specific challenges.
This complexity raises the question of how STI indicators should be developed to capture innovative activity that is highly fragmented and informal, and that often goes undetected by existing processes.
I am not suggesting that those responsible for collecting STI data should single-handedly deal with these issues. There must be broader national ownership of processes to develop such indicators in a systemic, strategic way. People need to understand that, like a national census, the collection of STI data is useful, meaningful and deserving of their cooperation.
Beneficial technologies
Another major gap in Africa’s STI system is the lack of specialised capabilities for innovation — the process of converting knowledge to tangible benefits for people and communities.
This transformation depends on human capabilities or skills that can connect scientific output to local demand for solutions to existing problems. Without these capabilities, the products of scientific research will just gather dust.
Policymakers have tended to focus on capabilities for R&D to promote STI. But we need to give serious attention to the capabilities needed to translate the outputs from R&D into usable and accessible solutions to existing problems challenges — such as technical, engineering and managerial skills.
Producing STI indicators that overlook these capabilities is not likely to lead to evidence-based policies that can effectively leverage innovation for development.
Innovation is not just a technical process, but also a social and economic process of introducing beneficial technologies and helping countries achieve development. This is important for the shift from R&D as a determinant of progress to the broader perspective of innovation as a process of social transformation.
STI indicators must provide policymakers with the means to formulate evidence-based policy that is effective in mobilising innovation for development.
Watu Wamae is innovation and technology policy analyst for the non-profit research institute RAND Europe.
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August 16, 2011


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

As in any enterprise, the industrial sector of any developing country begins with a ‘take off’ stage. In that stage or phase, capital goods industries considered as sine qua non for take-off are textiles, steel, and coal/energy.

Such a phase was well optimized in Western and Asian countries that are way past their own ‘infantile’ stage of industries. Textiles often go along with furniture, steel is representative for a much broader base of capital goods (including shipbuilding, railway, metal alloys, pulp & paper), and coal represents a broader mix of energy sources.

African countries are largely taking stock of their own industrialization take-off, and so it is appropriate that they conduct studies of diverse capital goods, taking Asia as instances of successful development country cases.

Below is a summary of the efforts of some African countries along that line of development tasks.

[Philippines, 12 July 2011]


Monday, 04 July 2011
New study examines cotton yarn spinning in 11 African countries
VIENNA, 28 June 2011 – In an effort to further support the African cotton industry, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Gherzi Textil Organisation AG, a consultancy specialized in the textile industry, have released a study that looks at ways to build productive capacities in the cotton, textile and garment value chain.

The study will also help policymakers in Africa learn from the experiences gained by cotton and textile-producing Asian countries in strengthening the value chain.

The publication, “Feasibility study for a cotton yarn spinning mill in 11 sub-Saharan African countries”, includes a techno-economic feasibility study for setting up a cotton yarn spinning mill based on the factor costs prevailing in 11 sub-Saharan African countries.

“A comparative analysis of economic returns has revealed that because energy is scarce and expensive, only a few African countries meet the investment criteria. A strategic research finding was that Government support in the form of policies and incentives is essential for attracting foreign direct investment to the capital-intensive spinning industry, especially in Africa. It is, as a matter of fact, Government support that drove the expansion of cotton value chains in Asia,” said Philipp Scholtes, Director of UNIDO’s Agribusiness Development Branch.

Cotton plays a significant role in the economy of sub-Saharan Africa, yet hardly 15 per cent of the cotton grown in the region is processed locally – the bulk of it is exported as a basic commodity. The spinning of cotton yarn represents the first stage in the industrial transformation of raw cotton into an intermediate textile product (yarn), and results in significant value addition.

World trade in cotton yarn is estimated at eight billion US dollars, so the market represents an attractive option for cotton-producing African countries. From a development perspective, promoting the spinning industry helps integrate the African cotton economy into global value chains.

The release of the study was linked to the Pan-African Cotton Meeting (PACM) organized by UNCTAD in Cotonou from 27 to 29 June.

For further information on the study, please contact:
Philippe Scholtes
Director, UNIDO Agribusiness Development Branch
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February 4, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza


Africa is on fire. From north to south, east to west of the continent, politico-military turbulences are taking place, hence tending to confuse and scale up fear among the ordinary folks of the continent.


You can go ahead and harbor your own perspective in explaining the causes of the conflicts there. You can see the conflicts from a domestic vantage point, thus explaining turbulence based on internal factors such as religious, ethnic, and geopolitical factors. You can also choose to explain them from the vantage point of a globalist, thus explicating the turbulences as offshoots of global synarchy of chaos fomented by the financier oligarchs of the West.


At a time when a new millennium is accelerating momentum, bringing forth glad tidings of prosperity and relative peace, hot fires are taking place in Africa. Whether a single set of explanations would suffice to comprehend the predominance of negative imagery in the continent would be subject of debates. What is clear first of all is that the continental imagery tends to recline on the negative which bodes ill for the Africans.


To name a few representative projections of the turbulences: growing protests in Tunisia; contested poll results in Cote d’Ivory, spiraling into civil war proportions; paper governance in Somalia where pirates abound as offshoot of a failed state; still unabated turbulence in Zimbabwe, spilling off millions of migrants to South Africa; Sudan’s split between North and South as a result of religious and ethnic divergences; and, brewing conflict between Copts and Muslims in Egypt.


Those representative turbulences alone demonstrate that in every corridor of the continent—north, east, west, south—turbulence is the pattern. The anarchy practically overshadows or masks the peace, cooperation and development now going on in countries that have struggled hard to depart from the path of failed states that were balkanized by internecine wars.


Let us take the case of the Sahara. A gigantic effort to green the historically desert region has been going on for years now, which to me is a milestone event that will reverse the age-old desertification. With the turbulences going on in the cardinal corridors of the continent, who would now care to examine and extol the very admirable eco-balancing inter-country efforts in the pan-Sahara?


Tanzania and Ghana would also be worth your enquiry. Both countries are undertaking development efforts, with external investors showing great interest in both countries as showcase of cross-border direct foreign investments. Ghana is most especially important to my beloved Philippines, as many of its leaders were schooled by top universities in Manila. Who would ever care for such exemplary developments in both countries, with the media perpetually presenting staccato and crescendo of turbulences in the continent?


Africa is indeed on fire, all of its representative regions have their respective versions of hot spots, so the situation must first of all be accepted by all stakeholders there. There must be no denying about the hot fires and brewing caldrons, so that the alternative courses of action can be configured, and the compass of peace be identified and executed.


As an external observer who is keenly interested in seeing Africa accelerate its development and poverty-reduction, I am very supportive of efforts by all stakeholders in the continent to forge ahead the agenda for stamping out hot fires, contain brewing caldrons, and prevent other fires from igniting in the foreseeable future. Africans who wish for my moral support can go ahead and let me sign advocacy positions that need the support of solidarity groups and individuals outside of the continent as I’ve done in the past.


Watching those exemplars of positive development in the continent, I am optimistic that Africans will be able to transcend their predicaments, imbroglios, and anarchies in due time. I hope that the fast rising ‘emerging markets’ in other continents would expand and diversify on their support for peace and development in Africa, and reinforce their deployment of grassroots volunteers to the continent.


To all concerned Africans, Love & Peace! You shall overcome!


[Philippines, 01 February 2011]




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December 12, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

The Yuletide Season is now here with us, Christmas is a globalizing special event, so let me say my yuletide greetings to my fellow global citizens.

For this piece, the greatest love and care I wish to share is for the peoples of Africa. The post-colonial efforts of Africans to establish strong nations, sustain economic growth, and graduate to middle income countries have been marred by colossal barriers. Such barriers are strongly external, a matter I’ve treated in past articles, so I pray and wish that Africans will be able to dis-entangle from those encumbrances.

As a matter of revelation, I’ve long wanted to serve Africa as a development expert. There were already two (2) occasions for me to offer my services to do enterprise development for the continent, one for the southern African region (I could have based in Madagascar) and another for the northern region (Ethiopia could have been my base).

Having drafted some project prospectus for each of those endeavors, I then prepared to fly to the continent. Just as when I was ready to move on, driven by my eagerness to serve the peoples there, something happened to my clientele sponsor.  Communications stopped on the African side, which left my consulting team and myself wondering what was going on there.

I guess that’s how tough it is to push through with agenda of change anywhere in the continent. From North to South, East to West, enormous obstacles are getting in the way of change programs. In the end, the marginal peoples of Africa suffer all the more from misery, hunger, alienation, and psyche fragmentation.

I invite my fellow global citizens to please pray with me for the welfare and growth of Africans and the African nations. Let us wish together that Africa would be able to salve its ailing problems of poverty, hunger, dreaded diseases/poor health, discrimination against women & children, ecological degradation, and low human capacities. Let us pray that 2011 would be a much better year, as new opportunities for human development will flourish.

Peace is a pre-requisite for prosperity, for nation-building. So may those guns of warring enemies across the continent be silenced somehow and give way to dialogues for cooperation and mutual help. May there be more procurement of peace and the building of peace zones across the continent in the years ahead.

Let us also pray with the Africans that European imperialism, which seeks to fragment Africa in order that Euro-oligarchs will be able to get back the continent and exploit its natural resources, will erode all the more. May Euro-imperialism be consigned to history in the short-run, thus enabling Africa more breathing space for nation-building, cross-national cooperation, and prosperity.

Finally, let us pray and wish that Africans will be able to forge greater cooperation and unity among the nation-states, and strengthen the continental union that took them painstaking efforts to construct. Let there be a united Africa in the long-run, thus ending millennia of conflicts and hatreds.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you Africans!

Love & Light!

[Philippines, 10 December 2012]