Egyptian revolution in film by Almodovar

12.March.2011 · Posted in culture

I like it so much but the Tabla background is so cheerful and not that expressive considering the topic , we know that the Westerners think that this 1/2 beat which women shake their butts when they hear it is so oriental but as I said women dance on it and this is serious event in our life we did not dance in it except when he left !!

And despite I was not filmed in it but I felt that I was there , I think everybody went to the protests even for a short time will feel that he or she was there. Of course this is just another documentary about the revolution , there are so many documentaries coming in the way.

Among the earliest documentaries about the revolution was produced by PBS and it featured our dear Gigi Ibrahim. “We can’t watch from PBS website in Egypt by the way !!”


Microfinance – ‘Credit Should Be a Human Right’

12.March.2011 · Posted in out of Africa

Microfinance – ‘Credit Should Be a Human Right’

Date: Monday 14th March, 6pm
Venue: Rm 116, SOAS, Thornhaugh St, London WC1H0XG



  • Milford Bateman (ODI / Author of Why doesn’t microfinance work? The destructive rise of Neoliberalism)
  • Maude Massu (Microfinance Advisor at CARE International UK)


  • Dr Kate Meagher (lecturer in Development Studies at DESTIN, London School of Economics / expertise in the informal economy and non-state governance in Africa)

Event description:

‘Microfinance has a high record of success. It has been proven to elevate people out of poverty. Microfinance doesn’t just tackle financial stability but it also achieves social objectives; reaching the excluded, empowering women and developing the capacity of small groups of people to take control of their own lives.’

If this is true, why is there scepticism around Microfinance, Why has Milford Batemen written ‘Why doesn’t microfinance work? The destructive rise of Neoliberalism’ and Why is The Independent reporting on suicides and pressure tactics from Microfinance lending?

Join the guest speakers and Chair to discuss and debate the impact of Microfinance and if it really is successful.

Source: Royal African Society

Kenya:women speaks against extra judicial killings

09.March.2011 · Posted in news

A group of Kenyan woman activists have stepped up their campaign to have the extra judicial killings of their male relatives openly acknowledged.

Breaking the silence on Kenya’s extra judicial killings, was the aim of the press conference organised this Tuesday eighth of March in Nairobi, by an affiliation of three Kenyan human rights organisations: the World March of Women (WMM); the Centre for Social Reform (SOREC) and the Release Political Prisoners (RPP) pressure group.

Conference against Extra judicial killing

The event coincided with International Woman’s day, when people across the world celebrate the successes that the ongoing fight for women’s emancipation has produced over the last century.

The women at the press conference were not there to celebrate but rather to speak out as mothers, daughters and sisters about the disappearances and killings of their relatives at the hands of Kenyan police.

“Behind every extrajudicial killing there is somebody left to weep” said Beatrice Kamau, member of WMM and organiser of the event.

According to a 2008 report by the Kenyan National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC), the number of young men killed by the Kenyan police because of their supposed ties to the criminal organisation Mungiki was at that time around 8000 while those that have never been found 4000.

The findings of the KNHRC report reflected a similar report released the year before by the Oscar Foundation that examined the execution of young men that took place between 2002 and 2007.

Shortly after the Oscar report was published its founder Oscar Kingara, a lawyer campaigning against extrajudicial killings, was assassinated.Conference against Extra judicial killing

The international community has raised the question of extrajudicial killings in Kenya on different occasions yet little appears to have been done to effectively stop it.

In 2009 professor Phillip Alston, special rapporteur for the United Nations on Kenya’s extrajudicial killings, called for massive reforms in the police sector.

Just last month photographs were published in one of Kenya’s daily newspapers of police executing two suspects in broad daylight on a crowded Kenyan highway.

During Tuesday’s conference, women stood in single file holding candles as one by one with tears in their eyes, they told the story of how a relative had disappeared.

Press conference on extra judicial killings

A statement read by the chairman of the Kenyan Centre for Social Reform, Alice Wahome, underlined how after the introduction of the new Kenyan constitution in August 2010, high-ranking police had made statements claiming they would end the climate of impunity that had reigned in the country for so long.

Wahome, a politically engaged lawyer, said the movement sought to put a face to what was happening in order to allow the victims to seek justice and reparations from those who had committed these acts.

Although members of the Kenyan media were present at the conference, the following day, the story went largely unreported in any of the country’s main news outlets.

By Katy Fentress

Photos by Silvia Gioiello

Nigeria: EU to observe April elections in Nigeria

09.March.2011 · Posted in news

Nigeria: EU to observe the April elections in Nigeria

The European Union is deploying an Election Observation Mission (EOM) to Nigeria for the April 2011 elections, scheduled to take place over a period of three weeks, including National Assembly (April 2nd), Presidential (April 9th) and State House/Governor elections (April 16th).

MEP Alojz Peterle has been appointed as Chief Observer. Mr Peterle, a former Prime Minister of Slovenia, is making his first visit to Abuja. He will lead the EOM that will assess pre-election preparations and campaigning across the country, voting, counting and tabulation of the results for each election as well as the post-election period.

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said: “The upcoming intense elections calendar in Nigeria is important, not only for Nigeria but also for the region. Nigeria, as a major regional and global player, has an opportunity to show leadership in the democratic transformation of the West African region, and beyond. The invitation which we received to observe elections indicates the Nigerian government’s willingness to ensure that the 2011 elections meet international standards. In this context, I am delighted that MEP Alojz Peterle, who has a vast experience as a national politician in Slovenia, as OSCE High Level Representative for Central Asia as well as a European Member of Parliament, agreed last week to take on the role of Chief Observer.”

The core team of experts composing the EOM already settled in the country at the end of February. In his capacity as Chief Observer, Mr Peterle is visiting Abuja on March 8th and 9th to introduce the mission to the Nigerian authorities.

Mr Peterle was a former Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Slovenia. As an MEP, Mr Peterle is member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The EOM core team will be joined by 52 long term observers by mid-March, followed by a group of 60 short term observers at the end of the month.

In all, the EU EOM will have more than 120 observers in the field.

A Delegation of the European Parliament is expected to join the mission for the Presidential election scheduled for April 9th.

At the end of the electoral process, the EU EOM will issue a preliminary statement followed by a final report containing its findings and recommendations for the authorities. The EU EOM is independent from any EU institutions and the Member States.

Libya: IOM steps up humanitarian assistance

07.March.2011 · Posted in news

With about 5,000 migrants including women and children still stranded at Salum, on the Libyan-Egyptian border living in difficult conditions, IOM is stepping up the humanitarian assistance it is providing.

Although the stranded migrants have been taking shelter in empty buildings at the border post, they have needed food, water and sanitation facilities.

Until now, the Organization has been providing about 2,500 food rations and bottled water to the Egyptian army at the border to pass on to the migrants in addition to other non-food items.

However, as of today, IOM and other agencies which are now also on the ground at Salum including UNHCR, Islamic Relief, Egyptian Food Bank and Catholic Relief Services, is significantly increasing food assistance as numbers of migrants stranded at the border continue to remain large.

IOM is doubling its food and water assistance to 5,000 rations a day and UNHCR to 3,000 rations. With sanitation an issue, UNICEF will rehabilitate existing facilities.

Efforts to ensure adequate humanitarian assistance is in place are critical as migrants continue to arrive from Libya although in fewer numbers than before.

Nearly 5,800 Egyptians and non-Egyptian migrants reached Salum on 3 March although on 4th March only 1,400 migrants of various nationalities arrived there. Among them were several hundred migrants evacuated by IOM from the Libyan port of Benghazi that day. However, reports indicate that people are continuing to make their way to Libya’s border with Egypt.

IOM staff on the ground report growing tension among the migrants at Salum, mostly Bangladeshi, but also a large group of Sub-Saharan Africans desperate to get home.

With large numbers of Bangladeshi migrants not just on the Egyptian border but also an estimated 7,000 at Ras Adjir in Tunisia and about 730 on the Greek island of Crete, IOM and UNHCR are now focusing their efforts on evacuating as many as possible to Dhaka.

“IOM has already assisted nearly 1,270 Bangladeshi migrants to return home in recent days. We hope that with this push, we will succeed in getting much larger numbers of migrants home safely,” says Mohammed Abdiker, Director of Operations at IOM

More than 500 Bangladeshis will be assisted home by IOM from Tunisia on flights provided by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) on 6 March with IOM staff in Dhaka on hand to provide assistance on arrival.

Many more flights are currently being organized for departure over the next few days.

Elsewhere, more than 500 mainly Nigerien migrants have arrived at the IOM migrant reception and transit centre in Dirkou. Among the group were about 70 Malians, Senegalese, Burkinabés and Ghanaians as well as women and children. The centre is now hosting 683 migrants with IOM also providing food and non-food assistance.

Another 1,154 Nigeriens have already transited through the IOM centre in Dirkou and have been assisted by the Organization to get to Agadez and for some, to their home villages.

The centre is bracing for the arrival of several thousands of Sub-Saharan Africans reportedly en route from the Libyan border.

However, the geographic spread of stranded migrants is much greater than thought. IOM has been made aware of Vietnamese, Nepalese and Bangladeshi migrants in Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Algeria and Sudan.

Approximately 3,500 Vietnamese migrants are now in five other countries apart from Egypt and Tunisia, with close to 300 having fled to Algeria.

Libya: SAS members 'arrested near Benghazi'

06.March.2011 · Posted in news

Details of a UK operation to rebel-held Benghazi in Libya in which eight men – six reportedly SAS – were arrested, have been disclosed to the BBC.

Defence Secretary Liam Fox said a small diplomatic team was in Benghazi and “they were in touch with them”.

The BBC’s Jon Leyne said witnesses saw six men in black overalls land in a helicopter near the city early on Friday and they were met by two others.

They were later arrested when it was discovered they were carrying weapons.

According to an earlier report in the Sunday Times the unit was trying to put UK diplomats in touch with rebels trying to topple the Gaddafi regime.

In a statement, the MoD said: “We neither confirm nor deny the story and we do not comment on the special forces.”

Our correspondent, who is in Benghazi, said the men went to the compound of an agricultural company where they were challenged by Libyan guards and asked if they had weapons.

“Witnesses said that when the men’s bags were checked they were found to contain arms, ammunition, explosives, maps and passports from at least four different nationalities.

“The witnesses said at that point all eight men were arrested and taken to an army base in Benghazi where they are being held by the opposition forces who control this area.”

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses and rebels say four towns which Libyan forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi claim to have retaken remain under rebel control.

BBC staff report that Tobruk and Ras Lanuf remain in rebel hands.

Anti-Gaddafi forces still control Misrata and Zawiya, residents and rebels said. But Misrata was reported to be under renewed attack on Sunday.

Source: BBC

Africa’s Missing Millions: Illicit Financial Flows

06.March.2011 · Posted in out of Africa

Africa’s Missing Millions: Illicit Financial Flows (Oxford)

Date: Monday 7th March, 5.00pm
Venue: Oxford Department of International Development (QEH),
3 Mansfield Road, Oxford

Date: Monday 8th March, 6.00pm
Venue: Committee Room 9, Palace of Westminster, Houses of Parliament 20 Dean’s Yard, City of London SW1



  • Dev Kar

Event description:

By 2008 Africa had lost upwards of $854bn in illicit capital outflows – twice as much as its inflows of development aid. According to some estimates, the actual figure may be as high as $1.8 trillion.

Mispricing and transfer pricing by companies are among the main culprits, finds Dev Kar, author of the report.

Dev Kar is the Lead Economist at Global Financial Integrity, a Washington DC-based think tank, and former Senior Economist with the IMF. Over a career spanning nearly 32 years, Kar has worked on a number of issues surrounding development lending programmes, technical assistance, economic monitoring, and, more recently, illicit financial flows from developing states.

The discussion will be followed by a drinks reception.

Oxford Lecture: Please RSVP by 28 February 2011 to:
London Lecture: Please RSVP for all RAS events at

This event is part of the Royal African Society’s Corruption Series in collaboration with the Global Economic Governance Speaker Series (Hilary Term 2010) and the Oxford Department of International Development.

To check the updated schedule and confirm the details of each event closer to the time consult ‘Events’ at

Source: Royal African Society

A just defiance-book launch in London 7-March

05.March.2011 · Posted in out of Africa

Date: Monday 7th March, 6.30pm
Venue: Brunei Suite, SOAS, Thornhaugh St, London WC1H0XG



  • Peter Harris (Author of ‘A Just Defiance’)


  • Rt. Hon Peter Hain MP


  • Richard Dowden (Director of the Royal African Society)

Event description:

1987, Pretoria four young black men have just been arrested for a horrific string of political murders.

There’s no doubt that they’re guilty of everything they’re accused of – and more. But in a society driven by brutal repression and racial tensions, are they assassins or freedom fighters? Peter Harris is the lawyer called upon to defend them.

In gripping prose, Harris intercuts the story of their trial with flashbacks to the squad’s operations to reveal a campaign planned with cold-blooded brilliance and carried out with deadly efficiency. The theme of political justification of violence runs through the book.

The discussion will be followed by a drinks reception.

Source: Royal African Society

New Distribution Initiatives for African Cinema

03.March.2011 · Posted in culture

Press release

New Distribution Initiatives for African Cinema

Tarifa, Feb 21, 2011 – The African Film Festival of Tarifa participates at the Pan-African Film & TV Festival of Ouagadougou (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso.

FCAT together with its network partners[1] coordinates a seminar on the “New Distribution Initiatives for African Cinema”, which takes place on February 28 at the Hotel Azalai Indépendance in the country’s capital Ouagadougou.

The seminar will present new ways of distribution of African cinema to African audiences possible thanks to ACP-EU, AECID, Casa África, FCAT and assorted African initiatives such as Dockanema digital cinemas in Mozambique, MobiCINE motorcycle cinemas in Senegal and Mali and the online video-on-demand platform

The seminar correlates with the theme of this year Fespaco – “African Cinema and Markets”.

There has always been a controversy in the panorama of African cinema in terms of new technologies, new habits of the audiences, coexistence between art movies and commercial production, cultural differences between the European and African audiences and the issues of financial funding.

To help transform this discourse into concrete actions FCAT and its network partners want to establish a network of film festivals, institutions and other representatives of the film industry to improve the production and distribution opportunities of African cinema.

As regards Spain, FCAT presents over a hundred African movies every year in both competitive and non-competitive sections, as well as various retrospectives and monographs. Cinenómada shows African art movies all over Spain all through the year, and so fosters a new generation of cinema-goers and generates profit for African directors and producers. The aim of the Casa África is to bring Spain and Africa closer to one another and it is clearly demonstrated by the financial support for FCAT and Cinenómada, and it has evolved into an official partnership with Fespaco as well.

África Produce, an afro-hispanic co-production forum, celebrates its third edition at this year’s FCAT, where it will present, in cooperation with seven partnering festivals in Africa, America and Europe, selected African movie projects with the aim to find Spanish co-production partners for them.

The Spanish Agency for International Development and Cooperation (AECID) is another organisation to have contributed to the Dockanema project, which is financed from the ACP-EU programme for the support of cinema and audiovisual industry in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP Films). In this regard, AECID has financed a feasibility study necessary for the further implementation of a network of digital cinemas in Mozambique to replace disappeared cinemas which used 35 mm projectors.

The FCAT also participates in another two projects supported by ACP Films, which will be presented for the first time at the upcoming Fespaco. First is the brand new project of “motorcycle cinema” MobiCINE, which has been put to trial in Dakar and Bamako. The second project is online video-on-demand platform Both projects are managed from Dakar and Bamako in cooperation with Idmage (France), the hip-hop activist Didier Awadi and the filmmaker Salif Traore with support from Cooperation Agencies of France and Switzerland, foundations Doen, Jan Vrijman and Lettera 27 and the African Film festival of Verona.

The aim of all these projects is to make African cinema more accessible to the African audiences and to contribute to the economic sustainability of the film art.

Program of the seminar:

  • Block 1. New Roles Of The Festivals

10:00h Tarifa Case
African Film Festival of Tarifa, FCAT Guinea Ecuatorial, Cinenómada and África Produce. Presentation will be held by Mane Cisneros, director of FCAT.

10:40h Casa África. An Essential Institutional Member.
The instrument of the public diplomacy bringing closer Africa and Spain. Presentation will be held by Ricardo Martínez, director of the Casa África.

11:00h Questions and Answers

11:15h Coffee Break

  • Block 2. New Exhibition Models

11:30h Europa: From The Main Guidelines To The Concrete Projects.
Presentation will be held by Ms Michelle Dominique Raymond, Assistant Secretary-General of ACP

12:00h Digital Cinemas In Africa
Presentation of the feasibility study of the sustainability of the digital cinemas network in Mozambique by Pedro Pimenta, project coordinator.

12:30h Questions and Answers

12:40h African Cinema On The Internet And In The Field
Presentation of MobiCINE and y AfricaFilms.TV held by Enrico Chiesa, project director.

13:20h Questions And Answers