Sudan's Lost Boys Pursue Olympic and American Dreams (interview with Dominic Maurice)

Virginia Mitchell and Charlton Breen of the Michigan Darfur Coalition (MDC) recently sat down for an interview with Dominic Maurice. Maurice is a former "Lost Boy" refugee from Sudan who has become a U.S. citizen and resides in Michigan. Last week, Maurice's friend, Lopez Lomong, was selected by Team USA to carry the American flag at the Olympic parade of nations in [...]

Power-Sharing in Zimbabwe

It is Tuesday, August 12, and the leaders of the political parties are still locked in talks of power sharing -- it was expected that a deal would be struck on Sunday, but to no avail, so the talks continue. Most of us are still digesting and coming to terms with the content of the proposed new deal -- some parts are hard to swallow, but I think the model of power-sharing being used by chief mediator Thabo Mbeki is modeled on the South African experience.

If you can recall, [...]

South Africa's Complex Challenges

Being at home in the land of my birth, South Africa, over the last five weeks has been awesome. It is wonderful being amongst family and friends, and having our daughter Mahalia Khanya be with our "peeps."

However, as much as the wonder and joy of being home is "something to write home about," there is also much shock and disgust brewing for me personally, as well as for the broader South African society.

People are feeling the pinch of living in a South Africa where democracy [...]

Slicing the Cake of Power in Zimbabwe

The latest development on talks between the opposition party -- the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) -- and ZANU-PF President Robert Mugabe is that they have produced a 50-page document as a way forward in power-sharing and the installation of a transitional government. The duration of the transitional government is still being debated -- the opposition wants two years and ZANU-PF wants five. The plan is to eventually dissolve the transitional government and hold fresh [...]

The IMF Files: They Want to Believe

Andrew Berg, an International Monetary Fund African department policy adviser, is a nice man. I know this because he spent some time talking earnestly with me after an IMF press conference in which I'd asked a pretty confrontational question about Malawi, whose 2002 famine is often partly attributed to IMF (and World Bank) advice, and whose current bumper crops are attributed to ignoring it.

Berg looks a tiny bit like The X Files' Agent Skinner, but what this conversation [...]

Good News for Democracy in Africa

The breeze was blowing off of Lake Tanganyika, and I was enjoying the evening with a friend at the Hotel Club Du Lac. We were enjoying a cold drink and good conversation when it occurred to me that the beachfront was filled with foreigners enjoying the beach at sunset. It was July 1, and the beach was teeming with laughter, BBQs, and a game of volleyball. This is something we have not witnessed in Burundi for more than 15 years, and it was almost like a dream as I watched the good [...]

Making Sense of Zimbabwe's Violence

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows (Luke 12:6-7).

He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight (Psalm 72:14).

My friends and I were discussing the ongoing violence in Zimbabwe -- it [...]

Back to Square One for Zimbabwe's Ubiquitous Billionaires

I was in Zimbabwe from June 21 to 28. I traveled by bus, and my experience is typical of what has become the norm for road travel between South Africa and Zimbabwe -- long queues and delays at the border posts and police-controlled roadblocks.

Almost all vehicles going to Zimbabwe are loaded to maximum capacity with goods from South Africa -- mostly basic foodstuff. With ever-rising inflation currently at 3 million percent, the Zimbabwean dollar cannot keep up, and the government [...]