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Poverty

Transparency trickles down...Berlin

James Martone's picture
   

The Democratic Republic of the Congo was accepted as an EITI Candidate Country in 2008.

In April, I was sent to an EITI conference in Germany to question participants for an upcoming World Bank video.  I didn’t know much about EITI and its multi-donor trust fund which the World Bank manages, so I did a lot of reading on the plane from Washington, and was in place and ready the next day with cameraman Axel Goppelt outside the main doors of the conference hall in Berlin.

We interviewed EITI country members and representatives of countries supporting EITI, as well as NGO’s intent on securing social and environmental rights of people living in nations dependant on natural resources like minerals, gas, oil and timber.  We also interviewed private companies involved in extracting these resources.

The views were many, some conflicting, others not.  You will find those details in the upcoming video, so stay tuned to the EITI-MDTF website!!

Let them drink milk

Nicholas van Praag's picture

Reflections on a journey through the Rift Valley..

My main take-away from a visit to Kenya last month is that the ‘post-electoral violence’ has deep pre-electoral roots.  While inter-ethnic violence is not uncommon, the legacy of the displacement of tens of thousands of people in early 2008 seems to have created a Balkanization of Kenya. There is so much poverty, so much hatred, so much fear, and so many politicians willing to exploit this, that I felt a long-term peace is still elusive.

Driving up the Rift Valley, ground zero for much of the violence that erupted after the disputed elections in December 2007, I got a chance to hear tale after tale of loss and disruption, and to learn about people’s hopes and fears for the future.

   Hoping for a better future. Photos © Nicholas van Praag

At first it is hard for me to remember all the ethnic groups and follow the history of decades of social and ethnic disparity.  In many places Kikuyu were attacked by Kalenjin.  In others, Kikuyu gangs killed and displaced Luos and Luyas and Kalenjins.

The outcome today is a redrawing of many towns and villages along ethnic lines.  Most prominent of all is the town of Naivasha, reknowned for its flower farms that export roses and carnations around the world.  Once home to many different groups, it is almost entirely Kikuyu now. Luos and Luyas have been kicked out, their jobs taken.  None dare to return.