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4 new african april/may 2021
Give us more on African writers I thoroughly enjoyed the review of African literature, An explosion of African creative writing talent (NA February/March 2021), although the breakneck pace of the piece by Gail Collins left me a little breathless! But how wonderful to know that African writers are now thoroughly mainstream and their stories are being eagerly absorbed around the world. Give us more along the same lines please!
Best profile ever Clayton Goodwin’s profile of Sir Lewis Hamilton is easily the best I’ve read so far on my all-time hero. Thank you New African, you made my month!
HARISH PATEL, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe Eye-opening piece on terrorism Neil Ford’s article, Africa now eye of global terrorism (NA February/ March) came as a sobering shock. While we have read and heard that terrorism in Africa is on the rise, as organisations such as al-Qaeda and ISIS are losing their bases in the Middle East, few realise just how entrenched it is becoming in Africa.
Terrorism in Africa is often ignored by the Western press as these events are seen to take place far away and are of little concern to people in the West – until another outrage takes place, then people panic and lash out left, right and centre.
Your article should be taken very seriously by security organisations around the world, not just in Africa. It’s an eye-opener and I wish to congratulate the writer for his research and you for publishing it.
Free speech is bedrock of democracy In his article Governance, the good, the bad and the ugly (NA February/ March), your columnist, Allen Choruma clearly and explicitly delineates what characterises the various manifestations of the quality of governance in Africa.
In any democracy around the globe, parliaments, which are the most legitimate institutions, through which democratic ideals are focused and promoted, often determine whether or not the quality of governance will be deemed good or bad.
Unfortunately in most democracies around the world, the aspirations for a particular country’s citizens based on human rights, freedom, democracy and social justice have not been as satisfied as envisaged by a forwardthinking liberal society.
Leaders in any part of the globe have a responsibility to create an enabling environment for good governance, so that economic development can prosper in the public as well as private sectors.
In this context, the term ‘freedom of speech’ is the bedrock of a liberal society. Without it democracy cannot thrive. Free speech has many advantages; it creates a healthy environment for competition and the debate of ideas and at the same time, it creates an environment of fairness and inclusivity in a civil society. This enables thorough checks and balances on governments in power.
Freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitutions of many advanced countries. Governments do respond well to the expectations of their citizens on the provision of a democratic, transparent and accountable political system.
Suppression of free speech on the other hand leads to resentment as grievances cannot be peacefully articulated or important issues discussed and debated openly. It also creates a lack of trust between the government which suppresses free speech, and the public, leading to clandestine meetings as well as rumours and speculation. The result, as we have seen so often, is civil unrest as well as violence and ultimately, revolution.
KOKIL K. SHAH,