Posted tagged ‘South Africa’

DEVELOPING WORLDS’ WORLD CUP STAKES

July 12, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Happy World Cup Season to everyone!

The entire planet is glued on the world soccer games at this moment, indicating an ever growing sense of one family sort of planet. We may all experience both euphoria and pain while we watch the events, but one thing is sure about the matter: the World Cup is a banner event that can rally our planetary citizens towards peace and cooperation.

That the present world cup season was held in South Africa, a country of the South (it used to be North when it was White-dominated), signals what could be an emerging phenomenon: of world games being held for consecutive times in the South states. Just like the Olympics, there may never be World Cup up North again or later.

I am myself highly appreciative of the holding of the games in South Africa, enchanted as I am with the magnificent architectural designs of the games’ venues. An unsolicited advice would go for the organizers of the games: “let’s have some more games held in South Africa in the future to maximize the use of those marvelous stadium facilities.”

And, I wish that my own country, the Philippines, can catch up on the soccer fever. We seem to be stuck up here with the love for basketball, thanks but no thanks to our colonization by the U.S.A., which explains the older generations’ luke warm attitude towards the World Cup.

I’m happy at least that the youth of my country has been catching up on the World Soccer hysterics. Around my neighborhood area in the suburban boondocks, soccer watchers scream to the highest heavens at wee hours as a cathartic way of appreciating the games.

How about my continent Asia? Where goes my fellow Asians after the games? How far can Asia forge ahead strong teams that can reach the final rounds at least? Of course, the better it is that at least one Asian team that will “bring home the bacon.” We Asians just can’t be let down by sobs and blues over our poor performing teams, can we?

Overall ratings for developing countries remain to be seen yet. Brazil was already badly mauled as of the latest rounds versus the North countries (trounced by the Dutch). But Brazil has consistently shown enormous firepower in soccer, ditto for its neighbor Argentina.

We peoples of the South can proudly say that, no matter how sluggish our development efforts have been, we can at least out-perform the North soccer-wise. Soccer is an instance where we’re able to ‘level the playing field’ and humiliate neo-Nazi skinheads for misplaced White supremacist arrogance.

The World Cup has been an excellent platform for us peoples of the South to regain our damaged self-esteem—damaged by 500 years of Northern imperialism and enslavement—and recoup lost grace. Instead of avenging our impoverishment by declaring a world war versus our Northern ex-enslavers, let us forge stronger World Soccer teams and overpower them in the playing fields.

What say you, fellows of the South? friends from the North?

[Philippines, 05 July 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

ENERGY & ECOSYSTEM RESILIENCE

August 20, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

 

Climate change is reshaping human engagements the world over. In Africa, observations have already been made before regarding vulnerabilities to climate change and related attendant ecological concerns.

 

Below is a report regarding energy interventions that could re-adjust the livelihood/economic engagements of peoples of Africa.

 

[09 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

 

 

 

A preliminary assessment of energy and ecosystem resilience in ten African countries

Authors: Connor,H.; Mqadi,L.; Mukheibir,P.
Produced by: HELIO International (2007)

Africa is vulnerable to climate change on two fronts: firstly, because of existing vulnerabilities and secondly, due to capacity limitations for disaster mitigation and inability to adapt to climate change. There is an urgent need to ensure that activities centring on adaptation to climate change and sustainable energy development are increased and maintained so as to generate sustainable livelihoods.

This paper is a preliminary attempt to identify points of vulnerability as they relate to climate change-related events and sketch out what changes are needed – both politically and programmatically – to increase resilience. It explores the current state of vulnerability and details potential for adaptation. Results are presented summarising the key vulnerabilities for eight sub-Saharan countries: Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

It is argued that energy development for Africa in a changing climate will require greater emphasis on small-scale, decentralised and diversified supply and increased distribution to households and enterprises alike. A diversified and distributed energy mix is identified as the best insurance policy against climate change. However, it is argued that adaptation of energy policies and systems is only part of the solution; building up the resiliency of local populations and energy systems is equally important.

Key priorities identified for policy are:

  1.  
    • harness the value of indigenous knowledge to plan and achieve resilience
    • mobilise adequate and stable financial resources
    • mainstream adaptation and resilience in the development process
    • develop policies to institutionalise and mobilise “social capital”

The authors conclude that, despite the obstacles facing Africa, hope is not lost. They identify a number of positive characteristics upon which successful programmes can and should be built, including:

  1.  
    • culturally, Africa has strong social networks, which serve an important function in educating communities, disseminating information and serving as substitutes for collateral in micro-loans
    • as primary collectors and users of biomass and water, women are well-placed to monitor and manage resources, spur innovation on adaptive techniques and experiment with new management approaches
    • Africa’s decades-long experience coping with poverty that may be its strongest resource. By its collective survival, the region has shown itself to be adaptive and resilient despite enormous obstacles.

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38442&em=310708&sub=enviro