As Nelson Mandela dies at the age on 95, we remember his visit to LSE in April 2000 when he was welcomed with music, dance and poetry as he spoke to students, staff and alumni.
The former South African president was greeted by LSE’s Director Professor Anthony Giddens, and Lord Grabiner, QC, chairman of LSE’s Court of Governors, before giving a lecture on Africa and Its Position in the World.
Mandela dancing at LSE
African dance group Adzido performed at LSE’s Peacock Theatre as the invited audience of 1,000 arrived – with more than 600 students, staff and alumni also viewing the event via video links in another building on LSE’s Aldwych campus. Continue reading
Charles Robertson says that there will be no stopping Africa’s economic boom for decades to come.
Africa’s billion people have just experienced 15 years of massive growth, and the continent is on a trajectory that will see African wealth double every decade for generations to come. Why?
First, governments are managing their finances in an impressive way. Sub-Saharan Africa was burdened with debt until the early 2000s, when thanks to good fiscal policies, and a debt forgiveness programme, debt levels halved to less than 40% of GDP. Private sector debt too is very low, at 10-30% of GDP in many countries, compared to 200% of GDP in Spain, the US or UK.
The increasing use of mobile phones in African countries is a factor in the continent’s economic growth Photograph PA
African exports have boomed, but contrary to the general impression, only 1 in 6 of Africa’s exports go to China. Africa sells its products to everyone. And Africa now attracts everyone too. It is India and Canada that invest nearly as much in Africa as China. More FDI has flown into Africa as a share of Africa’s GDP, than into China itself. Continue reading
Lalji PfAL Scholarship recipient, Moses Mpungu hopes he and his colleagues can follow in the tradition of other world leaders who studied at LSE.
There has been a strong East African flavour on the LSE campus this term, mostly due to 26 students from Uganda, Kenya and South Sudan studying for Masters degrees in the Department of International Development.
The 26 Lalji PfAL Scholarship recipients pose with Firoz Lalji (centre) and academics from LSE’s Department of International Development
The students are recipients of the Lalji PfAL Scholarships. Initially Firoz and Najma Lalji, through the Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) Foundation, pledged 15 scholarships. The interest was overwhelming and the standard of applicants so high that LSE generously agreed to fund a number of additional places. In the end 27 scholarships were awarded in total, however sadly one of the awarded scholars had to withdraw for personal reasons.
The students are pursuing programmes in either the MSc in Development Management or the MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies (IDHE). In addition, they will participate in a series of workshops, lectures and seminars focusing on African leadership and the challenges and opportunities facing the continent. Continue reading
In the concluding post of our series commemorating 2013 World Aids Day, LSE’s Rochelle Burgess calls for authorities to address the root causes of HIV/Aids pandemic.
December 1 marked the arrival of the 25th World Aids Day – a day commemorating the thirty-plus year battle against the virus that has claimed the lives of more than 35 million individuals internationally. Events held globally provide an opportunity for reflection and spreading awareness, in major cities and small towns millions are branded in red ribbons seeking to highlight a collective community of individuals in solidarity with those who continue to fight the battle in their homes, offices, and on the battlefields of science and policy.
In the United States, the World Aids Day theme, Shared responsibility: strengthening results for an Aids-free generation, appears to reflect this notion of a collective struggle – the belief that the battle against HIV/Aids must be considered as everyone’s problem. And yet, many remain weary of these assertions, appearing like clockwork year after year, viewing them as little more than symbolic fanfare that at worst detracts from broader issues of concern. In some ways, such pessimists have cause for concern: financing for HIV from donor countries, of which America is the largest contributor, have been at a plateau since 2008, despite increased costs to fight the epidemic in poor countries. For further depressing news, one need only reflect on the theme of 2011 – zero infections – and then fast forward to the recent statistics citing that every hour 50 young women are infected with HIV. Continue reading
We continue our commemoration of 2013 World Aids Day with LSE alumnus Waiswa Nkwanga reporting on a new drug that could transform the struggle against Aids in African countries.
During the World Aids Day last year, I wrote a piece on this blog in which I pointed out that there is a big problem with the approach that the global fight against Aids has taken in Africa. Namely, the blind focus on Antiretroviral (ARV) provisioning while ignoring the crumbling healthcare systems across the continent, which seems to negate the little progress made in the fight against Aids. I still believe this is a serious issue in need of urgent attention, but my recent work on Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) , a relatively new prevention medication, has increased my confidence that the battle against Aids can be won.
Over the past couple of months, I have worked on a project that seeks to understand the drug’s spread and adoption in USA. PrEP means that a person takes the HIV treatment pill Truvada every day before they are exposed to the virus to prevent becoming infected. It is recommended that Truvada is taken while using condoms, but the drug can still be very effective among those who do not use condoms regularly if they take the tablets as prescribed. At least two studies have found that taking Truvada for PrEP everyday could be nearly 100 percent effective for both women and men. Continue reading
Ahead of World Aids Day on 1 December, LSE’s Rachel Deacon calls for a new approach in tackling the epidemic among young people.
Another World Aids day, another conference. On 7 December, over 10,000 delegates will congregate at the International Conference on Aids in Southern Africa (ICASA) to discuss efforts to tackle the virus in the region. Before the conference, a youth programme, ICASA Youth Front, will discuss the new UN campaign and its report, ‘Young People Today’ . The campaign calls for a high level commitment on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual reproductive health services for adolescents and young people in the region.
Why the focus on young people and adolescents?
Young people have been one of the groups hardest hit by the epidemic. According to this latest report, an estimated 430,000 15-24 year olds in the region are infected each year, with 50 young people being infected every hour. Add to this a growing interest the role of youth in development more generally and young people are now seen as key actors in pushing back the epidemic. Continue reading
While praising Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika for bringing relative stability to Algeria, LSE’s Nabila Ramdani says that allowing the 76-year-old to run for a fourth term in office would be a serious impediment to positive advancement. This post originally appeared on Asharq Al-Aswat.
There is absolutely no doubt that Abdelaziz Bouteflika has become synonymous with a long period of relative stability in Algeria. When he came to power in 1999, the country was racked by a murderous civil war between his government and Islamist factions. By the time Bouteflika surpassed Houari Boumédiène as Algeria’s longest-serving president in November 2012, democratic reforms were being implemented, along with economic initiatives which were all contributing to the country’s prosperity. Terrorist outrages continued, but nothing like on the scale of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Notwithstanding the fact that President Bouteflika has not actually said he is going to run for a fourth term, there are plenty of those who think the re-election of the 76-year-old would not be a good thing for Algeria’s democratic experiment. The first objection is a purely practical one—Abdelaziz Bouteflika is clearly not a well man. It was only in July that he flew home to Algiers from a Paris hospital. His exact condition was kept secret, but rumors of his imminent death abounded at the time. There was talk of a “mini-stroke”, but many considered the illness to be far worse, especially after the head of state was seen in a wheelchair as he was escorted on to a presidential jet at Le Bourget Airport, close to the French capital. However, Ammar Saidani, the newly-elected Secretary General of the president’s National Liberation Front (FLN) party, which nominated Bouteflika as their candidate for the 2014 election last Saturday, argued that: “The former US president Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected four times, and he was in a wheelchair.” Continue reading