Richard Lee's blog

ECDE Conference Dec 2013

By Richard Lee | April 30th, 2014
ECDE Conference Dec 2013

122 participants from 14 countries, including 10 in southern Africa, came together for a 3-day conference on ECDE in December.

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Elephants vs Gas in Botswana

By Richard Lee | January 16th, 2014
Elephants in Botswana © Jeffreybarbee.blogspot.com

In a recent column entitled Southern African elephant corridors blocked by poachers, Don Pinnock paints an alarming picture of the threats facing Botswana’s huge elephant herds: how hordes of hunters and poachers are lining up to gun them down, and how thousands of hungry elephants are now trapped south of the Chobe river unable to head north to colonise the vast empty parks in Zambia and Angola.

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Miracles do happen in Zambia

By Richard Lee | November 06th, 2013
Blogging about the good, the bad and the ugly in southern Africa

It’s been a dreadful year for gay rights in Zambia with waves of homophobic hate speech interspersed with spurious arrests and public harassment of same sex couples. But last night an astonishing thing happened – the country’s First Lady, Dr Christine Kaseba-Sata called for an end to discrimination against sexual minorities.

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No compromise for King Mswati

By Richard Lee | October 29th, 2013
OSISA's blog on the good and the bad and the ugly

Buoyed by the unprecedented criticism of Swaziland’s recent elections by the African Union, SADC and the Commonwealth, some optimists believed that this might be a turning point, that King Mswati might consider a more conciliatory – even reform-minded – approach. No such luck.

Instead, he re-appointed Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini as the country’s Prime Minister – giving the two-fingered salute to everyone who has called for Swaziland’s absolutist monarchical system to change.

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Once in a blue moon in Angola...

By Richard Lee | June 10th, 2013
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos at 2012 election rally © James Oatway/Sunday Times

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is not much of a talker – well not publicly at any rate. So when he does give one of his very rare interviews, it is worth highlighting – even if he still doesn’t give all that much away.

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DRC education coalition graduates to regional role

By Richard Lee | May 21st, 2013
Education system in DRC needs all the help it can get

As everyone knows, the education system in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is beset with enormous challenges – challenges that often seem insurmountable. But only a few people know that progress is slowly being made thanks to the dedicated work of the National Coalition for Education for All (CONEPT).

With institutional support from the DRC office of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), CONEPT has been far more active across the country in recent times – not just during the annual national week of action on education but throughout the year.

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Deafening silence after Angolan corruption report

By Richard Lee | May 21st, 2013
Human Rights and Wrongs Blog

It has been a month since the release of a damning report into a massively corrupt Angola-Russia debt deal. A month since it explained in forensic detail how more than US$700 million ended up in the pockets of arms dealers and senior Angolan officials, including President dos Santos. A month since a group of courageous Angolan anti-corruption campaigners used its new evidence to file criminal complaints in Angola and Switzerland.

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Where did all the money go?

By Richard Lee | April 16th, 2013
Hugely corrupt Angola Russian debt deal

Angolan anti-corruption campaigners are taking legal action in Switzerland and Angola over a debt deal with Russia that robbed the country of over US$700 million. Some of the money was diverted into the pockets of President dos Santos and other Angolan officials.

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Playing politics with military history

By Richard Lee | November 11th, 2012
Military chiefs only support ZANU-PF

As Zimbabwe heads towards elections in 2013, ZANU-PF is once again looking to the country’s highly partisan securocrats to dash the people’s democratic desires and keep the party – and President Mugabe – in power.

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