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Owei Lakemfa

Conversations in Beijing

Beijing hosts 4th Forum of China-Africa media cooperation

WE gathered at the Communication University, CUC,  Beijing. We were media and Communication scholars from a dozen countries. Eleven from Africa, and host China. It was for frank discussions on how Africans and the Chinese perceive themselves, and how to advance mutual interests.  The gathering  this Saturday, November 10, 2018 chaired by Professor Zhang Yanqiu, the CUC Director of African Communication Research Centre was not primarily concerned about the misinformation peddled by other countries and institutions worried about the growing cooperation between the African and Chinese people.

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Understanding China from the Great Wall

I STAND on the Great Wall of China. Not for the first time. This time on Monday, November   5, peering down at sprawling   Beijing, and literarily, the whole of the country. Trying to understand this gigantic dam almost going burst; whose waters of over production, full financial rivers and fast rapids of technological leaps and knowledgeable labour, is being systematically, released on the world.

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A country that exports jobs, imports poverty

THIS period has been a sobering one for me even as the country appears gripped in the excitement of politicking leading  to the general elections next February. I am not excited about whether incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari will be returned or be  flushed out of office. I am more preoccupied by the unquantifiable damage our leaders have inflicted on us especially since the 1980s by their incomprehensible, illogical, slavish and criminal de-industrialisation of the country and the attendant massive job losses that has turned our once promising country into the world’s capital of poverty.

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Shittu adebayo

Mission to Itase

I SPENT  five hours making the one hour flight from Abuja to Ibadan. It is part of a popular culture in Nigeria in which nobody is made to pay for time wastage, at least not the airlines that can delay flights for four or more hours. It was another experience clawing my way from the airport to the hotel. The roads were clogged, full of potholes and quite dirty. In the chaotic traffic, two children about four years, were playing hide and seek oblivious of the danger. In other climes, they should be preparing for bed; but these appear to be child labourers in the alms industry.

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Knife fights as party democracy

THE knives are out in the political arena and they are being used quite liberally in the name of internal party  democracy and  primaries. They are all sorts; table and bread knives, blades, and quite often, concealed daggers. The preferred knife of the more sophisticated party leaders, is the stiletto, made quite famous by the Italian and American Mafia. Some of the party bigwigs, to explain their blood stained hands simply use the scalpel claiming to be carrying out surgical procedures.

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The Saudi Monarchy needs evaluation

THE outrage against Saudi Arabia over last week Tuesday’s disappearance  of Jamal Khashoggi, a  59-year-old Saudi journalist within the precincts of its embassy in Turkey, is just the latest expression of international indignation against that country. In my December 1, 2017 column titled: Is Saudi Arabia also amongst the Terrorists? I had drawn attention to the Saudi monarchy’s unacceptable behaviour.

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NLC over strike

Minimum Wage, Maximum Politics

THE general strike on September 27 and 28 over a new National Minimum Wage will, going by antecedence,  be the first of many strikes to come. This strike was not about a new wage per se or  figures; not about  agreement or disagreement, not to talk about implementation. It was merely to demand that the Buhari administration which has an unenviable history of cancelling   promises, returns to the negotiation table. If a general strike had to be called just to pressure government to talk with workers and employers on a New National Minimum Wage in accordance with the constitution, imagine the struggles that will need to be waged to get the new wages implemented across all sectors and levels of government.

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Orphans of the African continent

FIVE  million fellow  Africans in Western Cameroon are between the hard hitting hammer of the Cameroonian military and security forces, and the anvil of an armed opposition that has risen to defend the victims. With unending military operations, life for these people has become a vicious cycle of harassment, arrests, torture, mass murders, disappearances and mass displacement.

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