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Friday, October 3, 2014

Volunteers hard at work at the Zone 9 Bloggers Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
Across the globe, journalists and activists are in jail for doing the kind of work we do everyday here at EFF—advocating for free speech and privacy. Last April, for instance, the Ethiopian government arrested six members of theZone 9 bloggers network and three other journalists.  All now face terrorism charges for blogging about free speech and online surveillance and for using free digital security software.
We wanted to raise awareness and educate people about the case in a way that would be maximally impactful, so we decided to spend a day editing Wikipedia to improve the entries relating to the Zone 9 Bloggers’ case. Here’s what happened.

Techno-Activism 3rd Mondays

At a recent Techno-Activism Third Mondays event (TA3M), a weekly tech-activist gathering in the Bay Area, one of the Zone 9 bloggers, Endalkachew Chala—who is in the U.S. finishing his Ph.D. and who worked with EFF this past summer as a policy fellow—gave a presentation about his imprisoned colleagues and the free speech climate and media laws of Ethiopia.
We've been following the case closely, largely thanks to Endalkachew’s Trial Tracker Blog, where he has been posting translated court documents and blogging in English about the case’s progress. And as with any story of injustice, the more we learned, the more we wanted to help.
When dealing with a  case in another country, there's often not much that a small group of concerned Internet users can do to help, but one thing that we can always strive to do is raise awareness. But how? More blogging? Social media campaigns? We wanted to raise awareness in a way that would be lasting and reach the most people, including those outside of our networks.
Our idea: a Wikipedia editing mini-marathon aimed at improving the articles about the Zone 9 Bloggers and Ethiopia’s Internet and free speech policies. Our hope wasn't to get people to take a particular action or a particular position on the case.  Rather, we wanted Internet users to learn about the political and human rights situation in Ethiopia.
Earlier in the summer, Niki Korth, a video artist and digital rights activist who is a regular at TA3M, and Elliot Harmon, communications manager at Creative Commons, organized aWikipedia edit-a-thon for imprisoned Syrian software developer, thought leader, and Internet activist Bassel Kharrabil, who has been in jail in Syria without charge since 2012.

Wikipedia Edit-A-Thons

Wikipedia Edit-a-thon is an event where users all over the world gather in person and online to improve the coverage of particular subject areas on Wikipedia.
When an event, theory, object, or individual doesn't have a strong Wikipedia presence, it's harder for to learn about it. Wikipedia helps us to gain context, research, and quickly get up to speed on even the most obscure topics.
Before the Bassel Edit-a-thon, the Wikipedia page for the imprisoned Internet activist was slim and in need of significant updates. Now any journalist, student, or curious mind can go to Bassel's Wikipedia page and learn about his work, his detention, and the international response surrounding his case. "Publicly and freely providing neutral, accurate, information about someone's cause is an ideal way to support them," said Korth, one of the event organizers.
Pages relating to Bassel’s case and work were also created and edited. For instance, there is now a Women in Syria page (which needs more editing!), and significant improvements were made to the article on the knowledge commons.

Zone 9 Bloggers Edit-a-thon

We put out the announcement and spread the word, and on the following Sunday, roughly a dozen people met at the Wikimedia HQ in San Francisco to get to work. After about four hours of writing and researching, we had not only tripled the size of the Zone 9 Bloggers article, but we had also added three sections to the Human Rights in Ethiopia entry: Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Association, and Electronic Communications.
Editors also greatly expanded the Internet in Ethiopia article to include sections on censorship and surveillance, updated the Ethio Telecom article about the country's only ISP (which happens to be owned by the government), and updated the article on spyware manufacturerFinFisher to include Ethiopia's use of the spyware. Editors also created a new page for Befeqadu Hailu, one of the more famous Zone 9 Bloggers currently in prison.

Easy and Important

The Zone 9 Bloggers edit-a-thon was quite easy to put together, and we encourage others to organize more edit-a-thons all over the world. Wikimeida has assembled a how-to guide to help you get started.
The point of the edit-a-thon isn't to advocate or campaign, but rather to make it easier to learn. Contributing to Wikipedia is an important way to create freely licensed educational content and share it widely. 
So contribute to Wikipedia, find stories that haven’t been told, and create an entry. Together, we can promote free speech and access to information. But to do so, we need to research, write, and share. Wikipedia is a great place to start.
Image by Wikipedia user Landru515.
Source: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/10/wikipedia-edit-thon-zone-9-bloggers-great-way-raise-awareness
Marty Nathan, M.D., of Northampton was a 2011 Fulbright specialist grantee at the Hawassa University Referral Hospital School of Medicine in Hawassa, Ethiopia.
This is the first of a two-part series on street people in Hawassa, Ethiopia. The second article examines the plight of street women and explores local efforts to help the town confront the needs of beggars and homeless people.
Photo from http://www.lonehomeranger.com/2012/10/on-street-children-and-how-we-can-help.html
Early one morning I was riding my bike to work at the Referral Hospital in Hawassa, Ethiopia. My husband, Elliot Fratkin, and I had lived in the city for six months, sent on federal Fulbright grants to teach students at the University of Hawassa. He taught undergraduates at the main campus and I lectured and oversaw medical students and interns in the internal medicine department at the hospital.
As I pedaled down a broad boulevard in this, the fastest-growing city in Ethiopia and a tourist center due to its location on a beautiful Rift Valley lake, I noticed two gaunt 6- or 7-year-old boys in tattered clothes and bare feet rising from under a gutter culvert. They stretched and climbed onto the street.
No adults were to be seen. I stopped and stared.
When my husband and I first came to Hawassa, we had been moved by the plight of the hundreds of street kids and beggars found throughout this burgeoning Springfield-sized city about 100 miles south of the capital of Addis-Ababa. But soon the sheer numbers of beggars overwhelmed our compassion, and suspicion and irritation replaced empathy as our internal defense against the onslaught of need.
We rationed our giving and excused our parsimony by blaming the beggars: Children were widely said to be fronting for criminal adults; men were "known" to be alcohol- or drug-addicted; women "borrowed" others' infants in order to augment their begging.
But that morning bike ride caught me up short. Here was a real crime, not the petty chicanery ascribed to the street people. Small children were sleeping directly on the filthy, cold concrete gutter. No adults defended them, fed them or guided them. They were homeless and alone on the streets of Hawassa. The image haunted me.
Within a few days I brought my camera downtown and started taking pictures of beggars. But as I snapped pictures of a woman and her baby sitting on the sidewalk, I was confronted by an angry medical student who demanded to know why I was photographing these people.
He implied that I was supporting the embarrassing and somewhat racist stereotype of an impoverished, squalid Ethiopia, not his country of professionals and businessmen and the much-vaunted 9 percent yearly economic growth.
I was offending the dignity of middle-class Ethiopians, whose independence throughout the history of the European colonization of Africa had created a world-class pride. He made it clear to me that if I was to investigate Ethiopia's street poor I would need to contextualize it in the country's rich history and fierce struggle for development.
Though mindful of his reproach, I continued to walk the streets with a university student named Dagim, inviting street kids to join us at nearby cafes where they told their stories over eggs or Ethiopian beef and the flatbread enjera.
The first three little boys we met were fishing for bugs in the gutter on a street near the university. Biruk thought he was 5, Ashenafi 6 and Ganda 7.
None was sure. None had eaten that day; all were too ravenous to be able to share a plate without a fight breaking out.
All had lost a parent, very likely to the HIV/TB epidemic that has killed millions of Ethiopian parents. Biruk's and Ashenafi's mothers were beggars in front of the large Ethiopian Orthodox Church in downtown Hawassa. They could not support their boys, so the two lived with a group of homeless youths on the cement sidewalk under a shop awning. Ganda and his father slept in a makeshift plastic- and burlap-covered shelter on the street next to the town dump. All three begged for bread to eat, peed by the roadside and bathed in the town lake.
They were threatened and beaten by "big boys" who "lived in houses" and stole their food and money. Ashenafi whispered with obvious sorrow that he had gone briefly to school until his shoes were stolen, a loss for which his mother beat him. He never went back.
In all we interviewed 27 girls and boys, aged 5 to 17. Some were literally born on the street. More were part of a flood of migrants from the countryside where low agricultural prices and decreasing farm size destroyed their parents' ability to feed, clothe or educate them. Though free public education has expanded rapidly over the last several decades, few of the children we interviewed had been able to afford the notebooks, pencils and shoes necessary to attend school.
At a cafe in another section of town, we interviewed three preteen boys near the bus station. All had come on their own or with a friend or sib from failing farms in the countryside. They came searching for jobs and all were sleeping on the sidewalk and scrambling to carry loads for bus passengers.
One child had been sent back to his village by the police, but had returned hungry and rejected by a family that could not maintain him. We discovered three others selling toothbrush sticks (raw pieces of wood cut from local trees, widely used to clean teeth) on the street by the lake. They had journeyed from farther away, one just two weeks before. He was particularly lonely, frightened and homesick, but had no options since his parents had sent him to find work.
Rural Ethiopian children as young as 8 are being directed or allowed to leave for the city to support themselves and, hopefully, their families - selling small items on the street, shining shoes, carrying burdens or washing cars - because there is not enough food at home.
But on the city streets their hunger is not appeased. Almost all we interviewed said they were "always" or "usually" hungry. Frequently they eat no more than one meal of bread a day, and almost all I saw were underweight and stunted. Further, they face the violence, fear, loneliness, cold and discomfort of homelessness.
Many of the children we met displayed a tough front, but for most profound anxiety and grief lurked below.
One boy who had come from far-off Wolayta two years before was so malnourished that, at age 12, he could not get work carrying baggage at the bus station. He collapsed in tears as he remembered his family. Ten-year-old Abatu, who still went to school and lived at home but begged and carried loads on the streets to pay for school supplies, silently wept when talking of his widowed mother's hopelessness in the face of their poverty.
The teenage son of a beggar with AIDS dedicated his life to supporting and protecting his mother, working long hours on the street so that she and his two younger sisters could survive.
The girls we met made us dizzy with their courage and vulnerability. Meskerem was the 13-year-old daughter of a widow who had been forced to beg after the death of her first husband. Meskerem herself had been begging since she was 7, had learned to fight for her own "turf" in front of the Orthodox Church on the town square, and had become the protector for her 8-year-old half-sister Tsehai. (Tsehai's father had been an abusive alcoholic and had left the family, which now lived in permanent "beggars' shelter" near the church.) When men in cars offered money to "sleep" with Meskerem (a euphemistic translation from the Amharic), she told them to go "sleep" with their money.
Some had been on the street for nearly a decade; most had arrived within the last three years. It was interesting to note that the youngest usually retained the most ambitious dreams. Ashenafi and Biruk smiled as they said they wanted to be doctors. Ganda pantomimed a flying jet and energetically brrrroooomed an appropriate sound effect when he told us he was going to be a jet pilot.
But a 15-year-old's dreams had shrunk to simply hoping "to get out of this life and to get a job." The exception to this rule was a 5-year-old girl born on the street who just wanted "to grow up."
Quick fixes
It is cities like Hawassa that are facing the consequences of the countrywide problem of profound impoverishment of the rural areas. The clamor to rid the streets of these young "eyesores" that impede tourism and hinder development has led to quick-fix schemes in Hawassa no less than in the metropolises of Addis Ababa, Harare and Nairobi.
But our findings indicate that local fixes can't work. The problem is systemic and the desperate poor always return because they must.
The growing numbers of these children in cities across Africa are a rebuke to development policy that focuses all attention on support for business growth at the expense of economic justice and human survival. They bear witness to its failure for millions, and beg for re-examination of the developed world's approach to aid to the global South.
Marty Nathan, M.D., of Northampton was a 2011 Fulbright specialist grantee at the Hawassa University Referral Hospital School of Medicine in Hawassa, Ethiopia. She is an assistant professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and a family practitioner at Baystate Brightwood Health Center in Springfield.

ምንጭ፦ ሶዶሬ ዶት ኮም Gazettenet ጠቅሶ እንደዘጋበው

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Ethiopia has dropped its bid to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations, and will focus instead on the next available tournament in 2025, the president of the country's football federation said.
Junedin Basha said the East African country decided against running as the replacement for Libya after meeting with Confederation of African Football officials.
CAF wants a country with already-established facilities to step in at short notice for 2017 after Libya withdrew as host in August because of security and organizational concerns. Ethiopia's bid revolved around building new stadiums.
CAF executives "advised" Ethiopia to delay its bid, Junedin said.
Zimbabwe and Algeria say they have submitted formal bids to host the 2017 tournament, while other candidates could include Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Egypt. The deadline for bids to be lodged was Tuesday.
Morocco will stage the next 16-team African Cup in January and February. Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Guinea have been named as hosts for 2019, 2021 and 2023 respectively.
CAF said it will name the 2017 host early next year.
- See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/sports/ethiopia-drops-bid-to-host-2017-african-cup-of-nations-1.1412793#sthash.kNc7gfxF.dpuf

African Diaspora

The African diaspora, together with the Jewish diaspora—the etymological and epistemological source of the term diaspora—enjoys pride of place in the increasingly crowded pantheon of diaspora studies. Studies of African diasporas can be divided into two broad categories. First, there are those that discuss the patterns of dispersal of African peoples around the world and the kinds of diasporic identities these populations developed in their new locations. Distinctions are increasingly drawn between the "historic" and "contemporary" or "new" African diasporas, referring respectively to diasporas formed before and during the twentieth century. Second, some studies are concerned with analyzing the various linkages that the diasporas have maintained with Africa. Here emphasis is on the demographic, cultural, economic, political, ideological, and iconographic flows.
The term African diaspora gained currency from the 1950s and 1960s in the English-speaking world, especially the United States. As pointed out by George Shepperson, none of the major intellectual forerunners of African diaspora studies, from Edward Blyden (1832–1912), the influential nineteenth-century Caribbean-born Liberian thinker, to W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963), the renowned African-American scholar-activist, used the term African diaspora. The Negritude writers from Francophone Africa and the Caribbean also did not use it. Instead, the term used to define and mobilize African populations globally was Pan-Africanism. One of the challenges in African diaspora studies, then, has been to overcome an American and English language-centered model of identity for African diasporas globally.

Defining Diasporas

There are several conceptual difficulties in defining the African diaspora—indeed, in defining the term diaspora.Contemporary theorizations of the term diaspora tend to be preoccupied with problematizing the relationship between diaspora and nation and the dualities or multiplicities of diasporic identity or subjectivity; they are inclined to be condemnatory or celebratory of transnational mobility and hybridity. In many cases, the termdiaspora is used in a fuzzy, ahistorical, and uncritical manner in which all manner of movements and migrations between countries and even within countries are included and no adequate attention is paid to the historical conditions and experiences that produce diasporic communities and consciousness—how dispersed populations become self-conscious diaspora communities.
Various analytical schemas have been suggested for diaspora studies in general and African diaspora studies in particular. Based on what he regards as the nine common features of a diaspora, Robin Cohen distinguishes between the "victim diasporas" (Africans and Armenians), "labor diasporas" (Indians),African Diaspora"imperial diasporas" (British), "trade diasporas" (Chinese and Lebanese), and "cultural diasporas" (the Caribbean). Kim Butler, a historian of the African diaspora in Brazil, suggests another schema for diasporan study divided into five dimensions: first, reasons for and conditions of the dispersal; second, relationship with homeland; third, relationship with host lands; fourth, interrelationships within diasporan groups; and finally, comparative study of different diasporas.
Diaspora refers simultaneously to a process, a condition, a space, and a discourse: the continuous processes by which a diaspora is made, unmade, and remade; the changing conditions in which it lives and expresses itself; the places where it is molded and imagined; and the contentious ways in which it is studied and discussed. In short, diaspora is a state of being and a process of becoming, a condition and consciousness located in the shifting interstices of "here" and "there," a voyage of negotiation between multiple spatial and social identities. Created out of movement—dispersal from a homeland—the diaspora is sometimes affirmed through another movement—engagement with the homeland. Movement, it could be argued, then, in its literal and metaphorical senses is at the heart the diasporic condition, beginning with the dispersal itself and culminating with reunification. The spaces in between are marked by multiple forms of engagement between the diaspora and the homeland—of movement, of travel between a "here" and a "there" both in terms of time and space.

African Dispersals

It is quite common in academic and popular discourses to homogenize and racialize the African diaspora and see it in terms of the Atlantic experience of forced migration and in terms of "black" identity. The first ignores African dispersals and diasporas in Asia and Europe, some of which predated the formation of the Atlantic diasporas and which emerged out of both forced and free migrations. The second is largely a legacy of Eurocentric constructions of the continent whereby sub-Saharan Africa, from which North Africa is excised, is seen as "Africa proper," in the words of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831). Early-twenty-first-century research has tried to go beyond these limitations.
There are numerous dispersals associated with African peoples over time. Colin Palmer has identified at least six: three in prehistoric and ancient times (beginning with the great exodus that began about 100,000 years ago from the continent to other continents) and three in modern times, including those associated with the Indian Ocean trade to Asia, the Atlantic slave trade to the Americas, and the contemporary movement of Africans and peoples of African descent to various parts of the globe. While such a broad historical conception of diaspora might be a useful reminder of common origins and humanity, it stretches the notion of diaspora too far beyond analytical recognition to be terribly useful. So most scholars tend to focus on the "modern" historical streams of the global African diasporas. Studies of African diasporas focus disproportionately on the Atlantic world, but literature is growing on the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean diasporas.
The historic African diasporas can be divided into four categories in terms of their places of dispersal: the intra-Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, and Atlantic diasporas. The challenges of studying intra-Africa diasporas meaningfully are quite daunting, given the extraordinary movements of people across the continent over time. Clearly it will not do to see every migration across the continent as a prelude to the formation of some diaspora. More fruitful is to focus on communities that have constituted themselves or are constituted by their host societies as diasporas within historical memory. And here may be distinguished five types based on the primary reason of dispersal: the trading diasporas (the Hausa and Doula in western Africa); the slave diasporas (West Africans in North Africa and East Africans on the Indian Ocean islands); the conquest diasporas (the Nguni in southern Africa); the refugee diasporas (e.g., from the Yoruba wars of the early nineteenth century); and the pastoral diasporas (the Fulani and Somali in the Sahelian zones of western and eastern Africa).
These intra-Africa diasporas have been studied in their own right, often without using the term diaspora except for the trading diasporas and the slave diasporas. But it should not be forgotten that the other diasporas, insofar as they existed, filtered into the historic diasporas or served as historical switching stations for the emergence of the new African diasporas in the twentieth century. At the same time, the formation of colonial borders and new national identities reinforced their diasporic identities and sometimes pushed them into the circuits of international migration.

African Diasporas in Asia and Europe

Recent studies clearly demonstrate that the African diaspora has very old roots in Asia, to which Africans traveled as traders, sailors, soldiers, bureaucrats, clerics, bodyguards, concubines, servants, and slaves. Hence unlike the historic Atlantic diasporas, the Indian Ocean diasporas were composed of both forced and free migrants. In India, for example, according to Richard Pankhurst, there were numerous African diasporan rulers and dynasties established between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries by the Habshi (corruption of Habash,the Arabic name for Abyssinia), Sidi (corruption of the Arabic Saiyid, or "master"), and Kaffir (from the ArabicKafir, or "unbeliever"), as the Africans were known, throughout India from the north and west (Delhi, Gujarat, the Gulf of Khambhat, Malabar, Alapur, and Jaunpur) to the northeast (Bengal), the south (Deccan), and the west coast. Besides the Indian sub-continent, significant African communities also existed in the Persian Gulf from present-day Iran and Iraq to Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Exploration of the African diasporas in the Mediterranean worlds of western Asia and southern Europe has been fraught with considerable difficulties, not least the fact that until modern times this was the most intensive zone of cultural traffic and communication, in which communities straddled multiple spaces in complex networks of affiliation. The case of the Arabs from the Arabian peninsula, who swept through northern Africa following the rise of Islam in the seventh century, is a case in point. They traversed northern Africa and western Asia, the so-called Middle East, although with the rise of the modern nation-state and national identities, notwithstanding the enduring dreams of the Arab nation, it is possible to talk of, say, the Egyptian diaspora in the Gulf.
Before the Atlantic slave trade, the most significant African presence in southern Europe was the Moors from northwestern Africa, who occupied and ruled much of Spain between the early eighth century and the late fifteenth century. As is well known, the Moors made enormous contributions to Spanish culture and society and to the modernization of Europe more generally during those seven centuries, but they are rarely discussed in diasporic terms—as an African diaspora. Discussions of African diasporas in the Mediterranean world, which are still relatively scanty, tend to focus on "blacks," that is, Negroid peoples, in ancient Rome or in the Mediterranean lands of Islam, where African diasporas were absorbed into the host communities thanks to the integrative principles and capacities of Islam.
Beyond the Mediterranean littoral in Europe, there are ancient African communities from Russia to Britain. The origins of the scattered African communities on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus mountains are in dispute. Some argue that they were brought there between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries as slaves for the Turkish and Abkhazian rulers, while others trace their origins many centuries earlier as remnants of an Egyptian army that invaded the region in antiquity. Allison Blakely believes the two explanations may not necessarily be contradictory, in that there were probably different waves of Africans. Modern Russia did not develop a significant practice of African slavery, but some Africans did come as slaves; others came as servants for the wealthy nobility or as immigrants, usually seamen, including some who came from the Americas. One of these Africans was Abram Hannibal from Ethiopia, who arrived as a boy around 1700 and was raised as a favorite of Peter the Great, became a general and an engineer, and was the great-grandfather of Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837), the great Russian poet.
The history of Africans in Britain can be traced back two thousand years, but the African presence became more evident following the rise of the Atlantic slave trade. Many of the Africans worked as domestic servants, tradesmen, soldiers, and sailors. A growing stream of Africans coming for education—a tradition that began in the eighteenth century and accelerated in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—later joined them. In the nineteenth century they included some of West Africa's most illustrious intellectuals and nationalists. Out of these waves emerged a "black" British culture with its own associational life, expressive cultural practices, literature, and political idioms, all forged in the crucible of unrelenting racial violence and oppression.

The Atlantic Diasporas

The Atlantic diasporas are the most recent of the global diasporas and are far better known and researched than the others. The diaspora in the United States often stands at the pedestal, the one against which to judge the identities of the other diasporas. The fact that Brazil has the largest African diaspora in the Americas, indeed in the world, is often forgotten, and so is the fact that in the Caribbean the African diaspora is the majority, rather than a minority population as in the United States. Debates about African diasporan identities have tended to be framed in terms of African cultural retentions or erasure on the one hand and diasporan adaptations and inventions on the other. Paul Gilroy's influential text, The Black Atlantic, is essentially a celebration of the supposedly new and distinctive Anglophone diaspora culture in which Africa is an irrelevant reality.
In effect, the two were not mutually exclusive, insofar as diasporic communities and consciousness were forged out of complex and sometimes contradictory encounters and negotiations between what Sheila Walker, inAfrican Roots/American Cultures (2001), calls the three puzzles and Stuart Hall calls the presences in the Americas—the African, European, and Native American puzzles or presences. It is also important to note that there were continuous movements of people from Africa and the diaspora and back that kept connections alive.
On the whole, studies of African diasporas in the Americas continue to be heavily focused on national histories. In situations where the African puzzle or presence is marginalized, as is often the case in the United States, excavating the dynamic import of the African cultural, religious, artistic, social, economic, and political imprint on mainstream American society has produced some exciting scholarship. In societies that have tried to "whiten" themselves, such as Argentina, the object has been to demonstrate the African demographic presence. Similar attempts have been made to demystify Africa's "absence" in the histories of other countries in America's Southern cone: Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela, and in the histories of the United States' immediate neighbors, Mexico and Canada, and to chronicle the contributions of African diasporas beyond picturesque folklore.
For Brazil, great store has been placed on explaining the remarkable survival and transformation of the Africans and their cultures as well as exposing the brutal realities behind the mystifications of race mixture and cultural syncretism. With their large African populations, the Caribbean islands reflect Brazil in terms of the evident demographic and cultural visibility of the African presence. Also as in Brazil, this presence, ubiquitous though it may be, has not always been valorized—at least not until the black consciousness movement of the 1970s. Perched in the Atlantic in the middle of the Middle Passage, as it were, the African diaspora in the Caribbean in fact embodies all the complex connections, crisscrossings, and cultural compositions of the African diasporas of the Atlantic. Not surprisingly, Caribbean activists and intellectuals played a crucial role in all the transatlantic Pan-African ideologies and movements, from Garveyism to Negritude to socialism.

The New African Diasporas

In the twentieth century there were several new dispersals from Africa, a continent divided into colonial territories and later into independent nation-states. Unlike their predecessors, whose communities of identity, either as imagined by themselves or as imposed by others, were either ethnic or racial (not to mention sometimes religious), the new African diasporas had to contend with the added imperative of the modern nation-state, which often frames the political and cultural itineraries of their travel and transnational networks. The "new" or "contemporary" African diasporas, as they are sometimes called, can be divided into three main waves: the diasporas of colonization, of decolonization, and of structural adjustment that emerged out of, respectively, the disruptions of colonial conquest, the struggles for independence, and structural adjustment programs imposed on African countries by the international financial institutions from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
As with the historic diasporas, the challenge has been to map out the development of these diasporas and their identities and relations with the host societies. Needless to say, and also in common with the historic diasporas, the contemporary diasporas are differentiated and their internal and external relations are mediated by the inscriptions of gender, generation, class, political ideology, and sometimes religion. Where they differ from the historic diaspora, complicating analysis, is that they have to negotiate relations with the historic diasporas themselves and also not just with "Africa" but with their particular countries of origin and the countries of transmigration. The revolution in telecommunications and travel, which has compressed the spatial and temporal distances between home and abroad, offers the contemporary diasporas, unlike the historic diasporas from the earlier dispersals, unprecedented opportunities to be transnational and transcultural, to be people of multiple worlds and focalities. They are able to retain ties to Africa in ways that were not possible for earlier generations of the African diasporas. The diasporas of the late twentieth century were even more globalized than those earlier in the century in terms of the multiplicity of their destinations and networks.
Particularly rapid in the closing decades of the twentieth century was African migration to Europe, which was characterized by increasing diversification in the number of countries both sending and receiving the immigrants. The African diaspora from the continent and the diaspora itself grew in Britain and France, the old colonial superpowers. Quite remarkable was the emergence as immigration countries of southern European countries such as Italy, Portugal, and Spain, which were themselves emigration countries. This development was as much a product of the improving economic fortunes in these countries and their integration into the prosperity and political sphere of western Europe as it was of mounting immigration pressures on their borders to the east and the south. New African immigrant communities also formed in central and eastern Europe, especially following the end of the Cold War.
Equally rapid was the growth of African migration to North America, especially the United States. By 2000 there were 700,000 African-born residents in the United States, up from 363,819 in 1990. This new African diaspora constituted only 2.5 percent of the total U.S. foreign-born population, up from 1.9 percent in 1990. The African migrants in the United States tended to be exceedingly well educated, in fact they enjoyed the highest levels of education of any group in the United States, foreign-born or native-born. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, among the African-born residents aged twenty-five and above, 49.3 percent had a bachelor's degree or more, as compared to 25.6 percent for the native-born population and 25.8 percent for the foreign-born population as a whole (U.S. Census Bureau, 2001).

Diaspora Linkages

The continuous formation of African diasporas through migration is one way in which the diaspora and Africa have maintained linkages. There have also been numerous movements among the diasporas themselves, for example, of Caribbean communities to Central, South, and North America and Europe, so that the entire Atlantic world, including the United States, is constituted by Earl Lewis's "overlapping diasporas."
One critical measure of the diaspora condition as a self-conscious identity lies in remembering, imagining, and engaging the original homeland, whose own identity is in part constituted by and in turn helps constitute the diaspora. This dialectic in the inscriptions and representations of the home-land in the diaspora and of the diaspora in the homeland is the thread that weaves the histories of the diaspora and the homeland together. Two critical questions can be raised. First, how do the different African diasporas remember, imagine, and engage Africa, and which Africa—in temporal and spatial terms? Second, how does Africa, or rather the different Africas—in their temporal and spatial framings—remember, imagine, and engage their diasporas? Given the complex ebbs and flows of history for Africa itself and for the various regional host lands of the African diasporas, it stands to reason that the engagements between Africa and its diasporas have been built with and shaped by continuities, changes, and ruptures.
The fluidity of these engagements is best captured by the notion of flow: that flows of several kinds and levels of intensity characterize the linkages between the homeland and the diaspora. The diaspora-homeland flows are often simultaneously covert and overt, abstract and concrete, symbolic and real, and their effects may be sometimes disjunctive or conjunctive. The diaspora or the homeland can also serve as a signifier for the other, subject to strategic manipulation. The flows include people, cultural practices, productive resources, organizations and movements, ideologies and ideas, and images and representations. In short, six major flows can be isolated: demographic flows, cultural flows, economic flows, political flows, ideological flows, and iconographic flows.
Clearly, engagements between Africa and its diasporas have been produced by many flows that have been carried on by a variety of agents; but not all flows and agents are equal, nor have they been treated equally. Much scholarly attention has gone toward the political and ideological flows across the Atlantic, as manifested, for example, in the role that the transatlantic Pan-Africanist movement played in engendering territorial nationalisms across Africa and how continental nationalism and the civil rights movement in the United States reinforced each other. Only recently has the discussion of cultural flows begun to transcend the question of African cultural retentions and survivals in the Americas to examine not only the traffic of cultural practices from the Atlantic diasporas to various parts of Africa but also the complex patterns and processes of current cultural exchanges through the media of contemporary globalization, from television and cinema to video and the Internet.
The historiography of these other forms of engagement is still relatively underdeveloped. Indeed, as with the history of the dispersals analyzed above, far less is known about the engagements between Africa and its diasporas in Asia and Europe than is the case with the Atlantic diasporas. The challenge in African diaspora studies, then, is twofold: to map out more accurately the dispersals of African peoples globally, and to map out the various engagements between Africa and its diasporas for each of the major world regions.


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Paul Tiyambe Zeleza

Source Citation

Zeleza, Paul Tiyambe. "African Diaspora." New Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Ed. Maryanne Cline Horowitz. Vol. 2. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2005. 578-583.Student Resources in Context. Web. 3 Oct. 2014.
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By Yilma Bekele
The Bay Area that currently is home away from home for thousands of Ethiopians is nothing like any other place that I have known. I was born in a small village on the southern part of Ethiopia and have resided in Addis Abeba, Oregon and Seattle Washington before moving here. The Bay Area is unique. I thank the Gods and celebrate my luck whenever I have a chance.

The place where I originated from is not known for such movement of people from one location to another. As much as I remember the majority of the people I know were born, grew up and die within a few miles of their home. A trip to the next town a few miles away was talked about days from departure. My journey to America was definitely a mind boggling experience and by any stretch of the imagination not an understandable act by most of my family and neighbors for the period I came to America.

The same thing cannot be said today. As I drive to go to work every day the sight of elderly Ethiopian mothers and grandmothers walking down Telegraph avenue, gray haired grandfathers sitting outside Pete’s coffee, taxi drivers silent greetings from the next lane is always a welcome sight to start the day. It looks like no one is left at home. They are all here. They make me feel at home.

Of all the places I have lived it is the Bay Area that gives me a sense of belonging and the absence of that feeling of being stranger in a new land. This is so because this corner of the world is where the world comes to prove that American concept of ‘the melting pot’ phenomena. No one asks you ‘where are you from?’ in the Bay Area. There is a restaurant for every food type, a worship place for any religion, a market for all ethnic product and court appointed translator for any language of your choice.

Photo from http://www.abdn.ac.uk/bale/infopage.html
Read more at http://people.su.se/~tgeme/Forest%20management.pdf
ZIMBABWE is set to lose out in the bidding for the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) stated that the contest was limited to countries that have previously hosted top football tournaments.
Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze returned to Harare on Tuesday after formally submitting Zimbabwe's bid that will compete with Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Egypt and Algeria.
Zifa had courted Zambia for a joint bid but were shunned and Botswana, after getting the specifics of the bid details, also pulled out together with Ethiopia.
The latest developments were revealed by Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) president Junedin Basha when asked by Supersport why his country had pulled out of hosting the finals, that initially set for war ravaged Libya.
"We had wanted to put up a bid but after several discussions with Caf Executives we decided to shelve the plans and prepare for 2020 CHAN and 2025 since we are not yet ready with the infrastructure that includes stadiums which are still under construction," said Basha.
"It's important to note that the 2017 bid was specific for countries that have managed to host top football tournaments and have existing facilities which we don't have.
"It is one thing to just put a bid and it's another thing altogether having a serious bid that has met all specifications.
"And after advice from Caf executives which we found to be very positive we decided, as a federation, not to bid for 2017 and I can say no East African country has a realistic chance since Ethiopia was the last country to host in the early 60's.
He added: "We understand so many Ethiopians have dreams of such a big football tournament ...
"... but it's also important to prepare well and avoid heartbreak from a failed bid that is why it was important not to present any bid but focus on the bigger picture."
Zifa did not engage anyone from Fifa, but worked with 'technocrats' from the Ministry of Sport and Tourism to write the bid document.
Kenya and Tanzania, following Basha's statement, also fall by the wayside leaving Ghana and Algeria as the main competitors as Egypt is also suffering from political uncertainty.
Ghana hosted in 2000 and 2008, but unlikely to get it as Cameroon, although more in Central Africa, Ivory Coast and Guinea have been given the rights to host the 2019, 2021 and 2023 editions, leaving Algeria in pole position for 2017.
Algeria last hosted in 1990, and according to sources, have already been asked to submit a detailed document on stadiums, accommodation, communication, security, immigration rules and regulations, among other key issues.
Source: allafrica.com