Africa Today blog

The flagship African show in Press TV

Archive for June, 2010

Israel’s secret relationship with Africa?

Posted by AT on June 16, 2010

Africa Today 61
Topic: Israel’s secret relationship with Africa?
Broadcast: 15th June 2010
Presenter: Henry Bonsu
Guest(s):
1- Thandi Makiwane, Community Activist
2- Richard Millett, Journalist
3- Richard Dowden, Royal African Society

Part 1

Description:
A report in the Guardian uncovers one of Israel’s secret relationship with Africa. It is not known the extent of Israel’s alliance with Africa and Secret documents revealing offer to sell nuclear warheads to South Africa cast fresh light on alliance.
Brief:
It’s the relationship that never was. Kept to the shadows, it was shielded behind secret agreements and disinformation that dressed up military cooperation as mining deals.
But when the spotlight occasionally flickered over one of the most intimate and enduring alliances of the postwar years, Israel was quick to underplay its deep military ties with apartheid South Africa as nothing more than a necessity of survival without a flicker of ideological affinity.
But as is shown by Sasha Polakow-Suransky’s book, The Unspoken Alliance, that relationship went beyond mere convenience.
For years after its birth, Israel was publicly critical of apartheid and sought to build alliances with the newly independent African states through the 1960s.
But after the 1973 Yom Kippur war, African governments increasingly came to look on the Jewish state as another colonialist power. The government in Jerusalem cast around for new allies and found one in Pretoria. For a start, South Africa was already providing the yellowcake essential for building a nuclear weapon.

Part 2

Israel’s relationship with South Africa began after most African governments cut ties with Israel against its 1973 Yom Kippur war. These Africa governments became suspicious about Israel and saw it as another colonialist power. South Africa was already providing Israel Uranium, a key ingredient in building nuclear weapon. Israel on the other hand failed in its attempts to sell South Africa nuclear warheads. However, Israel armed and provided the white minority government with military technology to help sustain its hold on power and its oppression of the black majority over two decades. South Africa subsequently became Israel’s largest weapons buyer. Is South Africa the only country Israel had this secret affair with? Africa Today explores Israel’s covert relationships with other African countries, and asks why some would rather we didn’t know what’s really going on”.

Part 3

Israel’s Africa relationship started long before Israel was founded in 1948. The father of modern political Zionism, Theodor Herzl in 1907 said “once I have witnessed the redemption of the Jews, my people, I wish also to assist in the redemption of the Africans.” This redemption was however shrouded in secret agendas and deals. Formal relations with Africa was established in the 1950’s when Israel opened its first embassy in Africa in Accra, Ghana. However many experts believe that Israel was more interested in political advantages and not economic gains. Its main contributions to Africa have been in the form of military aid such as weapons and training. Israel’s aim was to gain support over its war in the Arab region and also defuse Arab influence in Africa. The extent of this relationship with Africa is unknown but it is believed it goes further than South Africa.

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Has Ethiopian elections reversed the cycle of mistrust in its democratic system?

Posted by AT on June 15, 2010

Africa Today 60
Topic: Has Ethiopian elections reversed the cycle of mistrust in its democratic system?
Broadcast: 8th June 2010
Host: Vuyiswa
Guest(s):
1- Dr. Winston Mano; Editor, Journal of African Media Studies
2- Yosef Haimanot; Central Committee member, EPPF

Part 1

Description:
Ethiopian’s have voted in the first election since a 2005 contest which was marred by protests that led to the deaths of 200 people.
Brief:
Ethiopians voted on Sunday in national elections that are expected to return long-serving Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to power in the first ballot since a disputed poll in 2005 turned violent.
The opposition admits it has little chance of victory but says that is because the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has tightened its grip on power and routinely intimidates and jails its critics.

The EPRDF says it has won popularity during a period of economic growth by building roads, hydropower dams and supplying electricity to villages in a country where nearly 10 percent of the population needed emergency food aid last year.
Mr Thijs Berman, the European Union’s chief observer, said his impression from a visit to a polling station in the capital Addis Ababa was “very positive”. But, one of the main opposition parties, the All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) said its supporters and candidates were beaten, arrested and blocked from their constituency in Eastern and Western Ethiopia

part 2

This was Ethiopia’s first election since 2005. In that election it was reported that about 200 protestors were gunned down by police following a highly contested election in that year. In this year’s election the opposition claimed there had been fraud and irregularities in some areas of the country.   The current sitting prime minister, Meles Zenawi, who won this year’s election, has ruled the country for the past 19years. He has been criticized by the opposition and some international observers for suppressing press freedom, as well as the activities of the opposition parties and human rights groups. The AU commended the election as free and fair. However, United States and European Union observer mission criticized Prime Minister Zenawi for narrowing political space in the country.  As there were no reports of violence this time, Africa Today asks if perhaps, the election has reversed the cycle of mistrust in the country’s democratic system?

part 3

Ethiopia has a population of about 85 million people. The country mainly depends on agriculture which accounts for 60 percent of its foreign income and 80 percent of national employment.  Ethiopia has been plaque by a series of famines and droughts and its worst famine happened between 1984 and 1985 when almost one million people died after severe droughts.  Ethiopia is a strategic partner of the US in its fight against Somali insurgents and its military operations in the Horn of Africa. Mr Meles comes from a region called Tigray which accounts for about 6 percent of the national population and controls all major security institutions in the country. After successive coups Mr Meles stabilized the country after becoming Prime minister in 1995 and since then has tightened his grip on power.

 

Watch the comments on this (EthioTube) website.

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Polygamy ban in Malwai

Posted by AT on June 15, 2010

Africa Today 59
Topic: Polygamy ban in Malwai
Broadcast: 1st June 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa
Guests:
1- Debbie Ariyo, Executive Director, AFRUCA
2- Ali Bahaijoub, Editor, Africa News Agency

part 1

part 2

part 3

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What is the impact of US influence in Nigeria’s Political future?

Posted by AT on June 15, 2010

Africa Today 58
Topic: What is the impact of US influence in Nigeria’s Political future?
Broadcast: 25th May 2010
Presenter: Vuyiswa
Guests:
1 Olusoji Akinrinade, Editor-in-chief, Newswatch weekly magazine
2 Kayode Ogundamisi, Convener Nigeria Liberty Forum

part 1

part 2

part 3

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