PEACEFUL PROTESTS IN AFRICA

Protests, whether peaceful or otherwise, have been in existence for a long time in one form or another. The underlying factor or main reason for protests are the desires of an individual or group that feels the need to change to improve the current condition of the resisting person or group; be it political, social or economic.

According to Snow et al. (2004) a protest is a form of collective action and of social movement participation at the same time. Wright et al (1990) proposed a framework which categorizes protests based on three distinctions: the first between inaction and action, the second between actions directed at improving one’s personal conditions (individual action) and actions directed at improving the conditions of one’s group (collective action) and thirdly; the distinction between actions that conform to the norms of the existing social system (normative action like petitioning and taking part in a demonstration) and those that violate existing social rules (non-normative action like illegal protests and civil disobedience).

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How Can Africa Produce Graduates Fit for Future?

A recent World Bank report[1] estimates that as many as 11 million young people in Sub-Saharan Africa will be joining the job market every year for the next decade, and the risks associated with growing numbers of urban youth without meaningful occupation are high.

In Ghana, an estimated 71,000 graduates enter the job market every year. There is high pressure and expectation for the education system to deliver the skilled technicians, thinkers and entrepreneurs who will push Africa’s development forward. The pressure of expansion while maintaining quality and achieving equity across a diverse cultural and economic landscape creates obstacles that the education system nevertheless aims to overcome.

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Zim Prepares for 2016 SADC People’s Summit

Chitungwiza residents and a network of civil society organizations  came together at a National SADC People’s Summit consultative meeting on 30 July, 2016  to share views and develop the national position towards the 2016 SADC People’s Summit to be held in Manzini, Swaziland. The meeting which was held under the theme “A People Driven Zimbabwe Committed to Promoting Social and Economic Justice” came up with numerous resolutions from different thematic areas among them the youth; labour; HIV and AIDS; social service delivery; governance, human rights and constitutionalism.

The SADC People’s Summit is coming at a time when Zimbabwe is in turmoil and unrest as a result of citizen grievances that cut across social, economic and political sectors. Zimbabwean citizens feel betrayed by the government which  they elected  and feel that it is critical to come up with a position that  states the views of the people particularly those at grassroots level.

The ZIMCODD national board chairperson Liberty Bhebhe expressed concern over the constantly deteriorating state of the economy, alarming levels of unemployment, standard of living and dilapidating social service delivery system and most importantly the rampant corruption that is ravaging our economy.

“We have 92 per cent unemployment and the 8 per cent that is employed is not certain of getting their salaries”, he said.

Bhebhe said people should air out their grievances without fear because it will greatly contribute in changing the status quo.

Pastor Chiwendere from the Pastors Fraternal Ministries lamented how religion has made Zimbabweans think that the world we live in is a temporary place and there is no need to stand up and act for the benefit of their own welfare.

“The Church  has let us down by remainining quiet while the majority of Zimbabweans suffer with the fear of being labbelled as rebellious to the will of God. The Church must act as the conscience of the people. We should turn the song mhururu kumatenga to mhururu kuZimbabwe.  How can we sing a song of Jerusalem when people are suffering?” said Chiwendere.

Organising Secretary of  Zimbabwe Informal Chamber’s Association, Charity Mandishona  expressed displeasure on the ill treatment  of vendors by municipal police and state police and the ever increasing levels of corruption.

"There is need to educate the general populace on  constitutional provisions that protect them  to avoid any kind of abuse and mistreatment. Kanzuru inotitorera mari yapedza yotimhanyisa (council take away money from us  and chase us away thereafter)'’, she said.

Youths also discussed and presented their issues to the stakeholders present and vowed to go to Swaziland and speak out on issues that are crosscutting in the SADC region. Some of the issues discussed and agreed upon include;

  • The need for SADC member states to have a coordinated approach to the problem of unemployment and most importantly protect migrating workers.
  • Take particular interest on the health of girls and young women particularly providing sanitary wear as a basic entitlement.
  • Solve the problem of abuse of youths in violence and political power struggle.
  • Develop a standard and compel member states to value and upgrade ICTs and internet as a basic entitlement for sustainable development.
  • Creation of a vibrant SADC Youth Wing that has power of engagement with the regional leadership.
  • The need for SADC to create research and invocation platform for employment creation and promotion of creativity and local talent.
  • Increase youth access and involvement in the management, preservation and usage of local natural resources
  • Governments  to protect and promote the rule of law and youth participation in economic, social, political and elective processes
  • Monitor the commitment of member states on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • Affordable, accessible, quality education that cater for the needs of particularly for youth living with disability.

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