Emmanuel Ayah Okwabi on Sat, 23 Jan 1999 13:47:18 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> AFRICA WEB MAG - JANUARY 1999

Editor : Emmanuel Ayah Okwabi
         Emmylundsvägen 3-832
         171 72 Solna,Sweden
         Tel 08-833237


Africa web magazine is a monthly magazine about Africa as well as current
economic, political and social events. Readers letters are welcome for
subsequent publication


Immigrants and Jobs

The immigrants in Sweden suffered far more from the economic crisis in the
early 1990s than native Swedes. A lot more people with a foreign
background lost their jobs than Swedes . The crisis thereby increased an
already noticeable segregation. That can be concluded from a report from a
research project involving several Swedish universities, reports Dagens
Arbete. About 100 000 job opportunities vanished in the crisis of the
early 90s. The researchers have investigated geographical segregation and
segregation on the job market. They state that the gap has increased. One
example of that is that unemployment among people with an immigrant
background was four times as large as among Swedes, both in 1990 and 1995,
and only about a tenth of the people with an immigrant background who
settled in the Stockholm area in 1990 and the five subsequent years had a
job in 1995. The Stockholm boroughs that were the product of the large
housing development program of the 1960s is where segregation is most
visible. In 1990 60% of the immigrants in the Tensta borough were
employed. Five years later that figure had shrunk to 39%. Among the Iraqis
in Tensta the employment figures went from 51% in 1990 to a mere 13% in
1995, and only five percent of the relatively large Somali population in
Tensta were employed in 1995. Swedish translation by Nicks Rolander 

Is thera a Culture of Democracy? Emmanuel Okwabi Culture is the the day to
day comportment of the individual and the culture of democracy means
selecting people in a relatively free atmosphere.

There can be no democracy without democrats and democracy may emerge out
of a non-democratic government. For example, an opposition leader may take
power from a dictatorship but this may not bring about democracy . Also,
competitive elections are a necessary condition for a viable democracy but
elections alone are not enough. There is the need for a free press and
judiciary as well. In this regard, the growing role of the opposition
parties in some African countries is encouraging. Although there was a
wave of elections in the 1990's in Africa,Latin America and Eastern Europe
this has not lead to geniune democracy .There was intant coffee but no
instant democracy.

Geniune democracy means the involvement of all groups including
elites,respect for democratic values.Sustaining democracy requires
democrats . Some of the obstacles facing democracy in Africa include low
participation of women in politics and lack of civic education which makes
people ignorant of their rights and responsibilities. Given the diversity
of democratic practices that there can no single approach to democracy in
africa. There is no single culture of democracy,For example there was more
transparency in the United States while consensus-seeking was a typical
feature of Japanese democracy.However both countries shared similarities
of tolerance . One bad tradition in Africa is the legacy of one party
systems. The phenomenon of the civilian coup where leaders violated the
constitution without complaints from the people andexpensive elections
were the greatest threat to African democracy. Challenges facing democracy
in Africa include political parties,are they really democratic ? Secondly,
the future role of former presidents. Creating conditions where past
African presidents would realise that there is life beyond state house is
one solution. Thirdly, regarding the problem of corruption and weak
institutions. There should be no safe haven for money gained from
corruption. Although corruption is everywhere it becomes a disaster
because Africa is a poor continent. International financial support to
sustain democracy is necessary. A legacy of humanism,traditions, attitudes
and responsibility of people in a nation cannot be overemphasised in
bringing about democracy. While admitting that there are varieties of
democracy,the danger of pluralism is that is that none of the various
versions may be democratic ultimately. Democratic structure is basic and
therefore democracies differ only to a certain extent. The culture of
democracy cannot replace the religious and cultural values of a society.
Religious and cultural values may sometimes contradict democracy. People
must appreciate the limits of democracy.

Democracy is a means to promote equality but offers no guarantee for
achieving this end.


highlife Safari compact disc by Eric Agyeman

Stern's African classics Repertoire 1. Matutu Mirika I have rushed through
life through life 2. Abenaa Na Aden ?Abena recounts her misery following
the untimely death of her lover
 3.AO! Masem yi(God please help me to carry my load) 4.I dont care.I can
only help you if you cooperate with me 5.Nea Abe Beto The Palm Tree will
always Grow where there is water. (one always takes refuge where one feels
safe) 6.Odo Bra(come back my love,I miss you)

Highlife Safari, originally released in 1979 by Apogee records is a
combination of Ghanaian and congolese music styles,guitar band and dance
band rythmns. Agyeman,guitarist and Thomas Frimpong,drummer and singer as
members of Dr K. Gyasi and his Noble Kings band originated a new form
known as Sikyi highlife rooted in the common Ashanti practice of singing
medleys of traditional songs accompanied by acoustic
guitar,calabash,finger bells and premprensua-a large wooden box with metal
or bamboo keys set over a central sound-board. Noble kings transformed the
box sound to a solid electrical bass which retained the original sikyi
beat which differed from the guitar band highlife and dance band highlife
of the late 1950's and late 1960's. Dance band highlife was based on wind
instruments similar to American and European bands which had on average
four saxes in front row,two trombones,three trumpets,two lead
singers,backed by guitar,bass bongos,claves,congas and kit drum. Ghanaian
dance bands such as E.T Mensah and his Tempos band or Uhuru played
ballroom dance songs for entertainment of european expatriates and their
Ghanaian elite counterparts. Against the background of the harsh economic
climatein Ghana of the late 1970's and changing music taste of the younger
generation , bands started having leaner brass sections. Agyeman's style
is a medley of Ghanaian and congolese music styles.

Highlife music illustrates the innovatives and dynamism which
characterises African music where economic circumstances, tradition,
imagination and creativity of the musician have play a role in what is
finally produced by the musician.

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