Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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ideas have consequences

You are here:Home>>All Expert Articles>>Displaying items by tag: Tourism
Displaying items by tag: Tourism

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
-    Thomas Jefferson

The United States of America has been called an exceptional country not necessarily because of its wealth or democratic capitalism but for her propensity to change and adapt.  It is beginning to denote that America has copyrighted the word CHANGE, for we can factually suggest that change has been coded in America’s DNA.

The genius of the framers of the US constitution and the founding fathers was to create the means and modus operandi to put America on a pathway to a perfect union. The framers being human beings may not be perfect but their desire to construct a united, prosperous and perfect union cannot be overemphasized. From the afore-mentioned words of Thomas Jefferson’s Preamble to the U.S. Declaration of Independence to the Bill of Rights were tools that great men and women of emancipation struggle successfully employed and utilized to give us abolition of slavery, civil right bill and woman’s suffrage.

Harriet Tubman, a great American and abolitionist has been honored together with countless of unnamed heroes that made and continue to make America a better place for everybody.  Tubman like America represents a willpower, vision, courage and fearlessness that have come to become the hallmarks of American greatness and audacity. Tubman’s face on the $20 dollar bill will sagaciously buttressed America’s commitment to her heritage of liberty, freedom and justice.

Despite the original sin of slavery and host of others mistakes at the inception of America. The majority of the forbearers of this great representative democracy knew that slavery, woman’s suffrage and civil rights will gradually and finally come to fruition but their greatest challenges were on how to get to their destinations without wrecking the turbulent boat.

The great news about having the face of Harriett Tubman on the new $20 dollar is not necessarily about a picture of a Black woman of African descent appearing on the most important currency in the world. But for the fact that America has fully recognized that the struggle for equality is not an exclusive minority issue but a global exercise in which America is pioneering and leading.

United States of America has not yet become a perfect union but if the truth must be said, America deserves a pat on the back on how far she has come and most importantly, on how far she is willing to travel.

There is no place like America and no other place, be it in Africa, Europe or Asia has the willpower to make a change as in United States of America. Only in America that after chattel slavery and Jim Crow’s segregation that a Black man was elected the president of United States of America and now an anti-slavery icon Harriet Tubman has been bestowed with such an honor.

The lesson to be learned about this gesture is that the struggle for human right is a universal endeavor without boundary.   Just like US dollar is the acceptable and global currency of reserve and transaction, human rights must also be accorded same perspective and reality.

Image result for emeka chiakwelu
Emeka  Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning including tagteam Harvard Education. Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it       www.afripol.org

The Governor of Central bank of South Africa, Gill Marcus has proven herself a pragmatic free market banker rather than ideological by the way she goes about with her responsibilities as the apex banker of the land. She has wisely asserted her independence by refusing to yield to pressure from politicians and labor union to further cut down the benchmark interest rate.

"On March 25, the central bank cut its benchmark interest rate to the lowest in at least 12 years, reducing it by half a percentage point to 6.5 percent, to shore up a recovery from the first recession in 17 years. Labor unions have been pushing for further rate cuts to create jobs." Governor Gill Marcus understood quite well that credit crunch must be ameliorated in order to stimulate the economy for wealth and job creations. For her gallant action she deserves every kudos.

Gill Marcus, Governor of South African Reserve Bank

Gill Marcus was the deputy governor of South African Reserve Bank before she was appointed the new governor of South African apex bank to replace the retired Tito Mboweni. Marcus appointment assured the global financial market that President Jacob Zuma who made the appointment was still committed to free market and financial discipline of his predecessor Thabo Mbeki.

The retired former governor of South African Reserve Bank, Tito Mboweni have the reputation of being fiscal conservative with a prudence in the application of well thought monetary policy to control inflation and maintaining the value of rand. Under the watchful eye of Mboweni the South African currency rand have continue to maintain its strong value but not too strong to dwindle export of home made goods.

South African economy is quite ebullient with its relentless dominance of the entire African economic and financial landscape - the largest economy in Africa and the only African country that made it to G20. A good thing coming from South Africa is the continued investments in the continent. South African investors are investing heavily in West Africa particularly in Nigeria and neighboring countries where they are dominating telecommunication industry. Many of construction contracts in buildings and road constructions in many African countries are dominated by South African firms.

Afripol praised the appointment of Gill Marcus by President Jacob Zuma and maintained that "the keeping of high interest rates do not augur well for growth of small and viable businesses in South Africa. High interests make it difficult for a flourishing economic growth in the country and for upcoming new capitalist it can be detrimental in obtaining and paying back loans from financial institutions." Therefore lower interest rate can be necessary for economic growth and job creation.

The further cutting of interest rate can stimulate economic activities and can help to regenerate economic growth in South Africa in era of global recession, ultimately setting the climate for job creation that is badly needed in the country. When business community and marketers have access to credit, it will surely bring about the needed liquidity that the market is craving for. But cutting the interest rate to appease political constituents will not be good for a coordinated and well thought monetary policy.

A way lower interest rate may certainly encourage more borrowing but more spending and easy money have its downside too. Excessive liquidity may trigger inflationary trends and higher inflation that may retard economic growth that comes with higher unemployment and even weaker rand. The rand is not doing badly even with local demand of dollar; it stood its ground and always rebounded. It was reported that "the rand has surged almost 27 percent since the start of last year, helping to ease price growth by reducing the cost of imports such as oil." An appreciating and strong rand is an indicator of prosperous economy but overtly stronger rand may discourage and dampen export.

The inflation rate since February in South Africa has been 5.7% and that is three-year low. And Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus deserves the credit on the handling of the apex bank and its monetary policy. Keeping the inflation lower may be the most important job she has been doing. Higher inflation will complicate her duties by slowing growth and that will not help to alleviate poverty among the youths and unemployed of South Africa. And the increasing stronger and appreciating rand will lose its luster and potency with rising inflation.

Governor Gill Marcus has done well by resisting the mounting pressure to further lower the benchmark interest rate. Yielding to such pressure without the consideration of the market forces will not be prudent. And with that comes the losing of independence and a weaken reserve bank.


Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.












Several climate regimes characterize the African continent; the wet tropical, dry tropical, and alternating wet and dry climates are the most common. Many countries on the continent are prone to recurrent droughts; some drought episodes, particularly in southeast Africa, are associated with El NiZo-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena. Deterioration in terms of trade, inappropriate policies, high population growth rates, and lack of significant investment-coupled with a highly variable climate-have made it difficult for several countries to develop patterns of livelihood that would reduce pressure on the natural resource base. Under the assumption that access to adequate financing is not provided, Africa is the continent most vulnerable to the impacts of projected changes because widespread poverty limits adaptation capabilities.

Ecosystems: In Africa today, tropical forests and rangelands are under threat from population pressures and systems of land use. Generally apparent effects of these threats include loss of biodiversity, rapid deterioration in land cover, and depletion of water availability through destruction of catchments and aquifers. Changes in climate will interact with these underlying changes in the environment, adding further stresses to a deteriorating situation. A sustained increase in mean ambient temperatures beyond 1EC would cause significant changes in forest and rangeland cover; species distribution, composition, and migration patterns; and biome distribution. Many organisms in the deserts already are near their tolerance limits, and some may not be able to adapt further under hotter conditions. Arid to semi-arid subregions and the grassland areas of eastern and southern Africa, as well as areas currently under threat from land degradation and desertification, are particularly vulnerable. Were rainfall to increase as projected by some general circulation models (GCMs) in the highlands of east Africa and equatorial central Africa, marginal lands would become more productive than they are now. These effects are likely to be negated, however, by population pressure on marginal forests and rangelands. Adaptive options include control of deforestation, improved rangeland management, expansion of protected areas, and sustainable management of forests.

Hydrology and Water Resources: Of the 19 countries around the world currently classified as water-stressed, more are in Africa than in any other region-and this number is likely to increase, independent of climate change, as a result of increases in demand resulting from population growth, degradation of watersheds caused by land-use change, and siltation of river basins. A reduction in precipitation projected by some GCMs for the Sahel and southern Africa-if accompanied by high interannual variability-could be detrimental to the hydrological balance of the continent and disrupt various water-dependent socioeconomic activities. Variable climatic conditions may render the management of water resources more difficult both within and between countries. A drop in water level in dams and rivers could adversely affect the quality of water by increasing the concentrations of sewage waste and industrial effluents, thereby increasing the potential for the outbreak of diseases and reducing the quality and quantity of fresh water available for domestic use. Adaptation options include water harvesting, management of water outflow from dams, and more efficient water usage.

Agriculture and Food Security: Except in the oil-exporting countries, agriculture is the economic mainstay in most African countries, contributing 20-30% of gross domestic product (GDP) in sub-Saharan Africa and 55% of the total value of African exports. In most African countries, farming depends entirely on the quality of the rainy season-a situation that makes Africa particularly vulnerable to climate change. Increased droughts could seriously impact the availability of food, as in the Horn of Africa and southern Africa during the 1980s and 1990s. A rise in mean winter temperatures also would be detrimental to the production of winter wheat and fruits that need the winter chill. However, in subtropical Africa, warmer winters would reduce the incidence of damaging frosts, making it possible to grow horticultural produce susceptible to frosts at higher elevations than is possible at present. Productivity of freshwater fisheries may increase, although the mix of fish species could be altered. Changes in ocean dynamics could lead to changes in the migratory patterns of fish and possibly to reduced fish landings, especially in coastal artisinal fisheries.

Coastal Systems: Several African coastal zones-many of which already are under stress from population pressure and conflicting uses-would be adversely affected by sea-level rise associated with climate change. The coastal nations of west and central Africa (e.g., Senegal, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Angola) have low-lying lagoonal coasts that are susceptible to erosion and hence are threatened by sea-level rise, particularly because most of the countries in this area have major and rapidly expanding cities on the coast. The west coast often is buffeted by storm surges and currently is at risk from erosion, inundation, and extreme storm events. The coastal zone of east Africa also will be affected, although this area experiences calm conditions through much of the year. However, sea-level rise and climatic variation may reduce the buffer effect of coral and patch reefs along the east coast, increasing the potential for erosion. A number of studies indicate that a sizable proportion of the northern part of the Nile delta will be lost through a combination of inundation and erosion, with consequent loss of agricultural land and urban areas. Adaptation measures in African coastal zones are available but would be very costly, as a percentage of GDP, for many countries. These measures could include erection of sea walls and relocation of vulnerable human settlements and other socioeconomic facilities.

Human Settlement, Industry, and Transportation: The main challenges likely to face African populations will emanate from extreme climate events such as floods (and resulting landslides in some areas), strong winds, droughts, and tidal waves. Individuals living in marginal areas may be forced to migrate to urban areas (where infrastructure already is approaching its limits as a result of population pressure) if the marginal lands become less productive under new climate conditions. Climate change could worsen current trends in depletion of biomass energy resources. Reduced stream flows would cause reductions in hydropower production, leading to negative effects on industrial productivity and costly relocation of some industrial plants. Management of pollution, sanitation, waste disposal, water supply, and public health, as well as provision of adequate infrastructure in urban areas, could become more difficult and costly under changed climate conditions.

Human Health: Africa is expected to be at risk primarily from increased incidences of vector-borne diseases and reduced nutritional status. A warmer environment could open up new areas for malaria; altered temperature and rainfall patterns also could increase the incidence of yellow fever, dengue fever, onchocerciasis, and trypanosomiasis. Increased morbidity and mortality in subregions where vector-borne diseases increase following climatic changes would have far-reaching economic consequences. In view of the poor economic status of most African nations, global efforts will be necessary to tackle the potential health effects.

Tourism and Wildlife: Tourism-one of Africa's fastest-growing industries-is based on wildlife, nature reserves, coastal resorts, and an abundant water supply for recreation. Projected droughts and/or reduction in precipitation in the Sahel and eastern and southern Africa would devastate wildlife and reduce the attractiveness of some nature reserves, thereby reducing income from current vast investments in tourism.

Conclusions: The African continent is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because of factors such as widespread poverty, recurrent droughts, inequitable land distribution, and overdependence on rain-fed agriculture. Although adaptation options, including traditional coping strategies, theoretically are available, in practice the human, infrastructural, and economic response capacity to effect timely response actions may well be beyond the economic means of some countries.


Source:GRID-Arendal on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


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