On the re-opening of SLPP Office … “We would never encourage violence” John Benjamin...

Sierra Leone News: Africa Notebook

Well, they called it a temperature explosion but it seemed never ending. It kept rising unchecked, 98 degrees at one time and 100 or so thereafter. So, it kept everybody in the shade although the various activities never stopped.
Jaheim International and a couple of students held an outdoor session of a sampling of some of the sharpest, wittiest, insightful, thought-provoking writing originating in south-east Washington. The performance illustrated real world issues which African-Americans encounter daily. The students exhibited the process of festival production. Inclusive of writing plays, stage managing and directing. The passion shown in the performance, the actors and playwrights resonated on all around. It was a day well spent.
One of the most pressing subjects nowadays is about the internet.
Reclaiming the internet for democracy got a fiery discussion for the pros and cons in the debate organized by the National Endowment for Democracy the other day. Positive questions raised included how are the various groups working to ensure that the internet remains an open platform for democratic engagement, what are the biggest challenges faced and what can be done to support their efforts. Speakers expressed concern that at present, global internet policy decisions are dominated by large technical firms and state actors. Missing from the equation, they noted are a number of important voices from the democratic community.
Well, politics also featured during the week as African students and leaders debated on the issue of Cameroon, which they said was slipping into chaos.
Organized by the Centre for International Private Enterprise, the debaters agreed that Cameroon is experiencing a dramatic decline in democratic freedoms and individual liberties escalating internal conflict. Since 2016, protests over the imposition of the French language in the minority Anglophone regions of the country have been strongly suppressed by the largely Francophone government. The government’s shutdown of the internet in response for the protests and security challenges have stifled eco-activities and freedom of expression. Growing tensions between the military and separatists threaten state and regional stability.
Cameroonians are scheduled to go to the polls in October but there is growing concern about the legitimacy of the polls.
A public discussion on the major outcomes of the 2018 International Aids Conference was co-hosted with the Kaiser Family Foundation to assess the major outcomes of the International conference in Amsterdam. The discussion touched on the latest scientific developments to the field emerging from the meeting and panelists looked ahead to the Aids2020 meeting.
By Rod Mac-Johnson
Monday September 03, 2018.

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