Dambisa Moyo

Dambisa Moyo’s new book has debuted at number 13 on the New York Times Best Seller list! I knew Dambisa’s dad Dr Steve quite well back in the day when he was boss of Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation and he was making me organize talent show, telethons and the like! We’re delighted that daughter Dambisa is making such a name for herself!

Zambia’s internationally acclaimed economist and author Dambisa Moyo’s new book Winner Takes All: China’s Race for Resources and What It Means for the World, has debuted at number 13 on the New York Times Best Seller list for Non-Fiction books. Dambisa is also the author of Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way For Africa and How The West was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly – And the Stark Choices that Lie Ahead is still on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Dambisa, older sister of singer and author Marsha Moyo and daughter of Indo- Zambia Bank chairperson Orlean and academician Steven Moyo, is only bettered by the likes of The Amateur, by Edward Klein, a journalist who argues that President Obama is a callow and unable to lead, which is on number one and Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, a biography of the recently deceased entrepreneur. Others are It Worked for Me (Colin Powell and Tony Kolz), which deals with the rules for effective leadership from the four-start general and former US Secretary of State and Killing Lincoln (Billy O’Reilly), about the events surrounding the assassination of former US President Abraham Lincoln and I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me, which are reflections by the comedian Joan Rivers.

However, Dambisa’s new book examines the commodity dynamics that the world will face over the next several decades, particularly the implications of China’s rush for resources across all regions of the world. With the scale of China’s resource campaign for hard commodities (metals and minerals) and soft commodities (timber and food) being one of the largest in history, Dambisa presents her research of the financial and geopolitical implications of this in a world of diminishing resources and argues that we are in the middle of unprecedented times.

Dambisa, who was born and raised in Lusaka, and holds a Doctorate and Phd in Economics from Oxford University, was in 2009 honoured by the World Economic Forum as one of its Young Global Leaders. In 2010, TIME Magazine named her as one of the world’s 100 most influential people while in September 2009; she was featured in Oprah Winfrey’s power list of 20 remarkable visionaries.

In 2010, she was a participant at the Bilderberg Conference while last year, she spoke at annual Observance ceremony marking Commonwealth Day in Westminster Abbey. She spoke on “Women as Agents of Change” in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister David Cameron and 2,000 guests. At the same time, The Daily Beast also selected her as one of the “150 Extra-ordinary Women Who Shake The World” along with Hilary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and others.


Labour Stimulus – Aussie Style!

Thanks to Judy for this (cynical) one!

Labor Stimulus by: Gillard and Swan (above):
Sometime this year, we taxpayers may again receive another ‘Economic Stimulus’ payment. This is indeed a very exciting program, and I’ll explain it buy using a Q & A format:
Q. What is an ‘Economic Stimulus’ payment?
A. It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.
Q. Where will the government get this money?
A. From taxpayers.
Q. So the government is giving me back my own money?
A. Only a smidgen of it.
Q. What is the purpose of this payment?
A. The plan is for you to use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.
Q. But isn’t that stimulating the economy of China?
A. Shut up.
However, fear not, below is some helpful advice on how to best help the Australian economy by spending your stimulus cheque wisely:
– If you spend the stimulus money at Coles, the money will go to China or Sri Lanka 
– If you spend it on petrol, your money will go to the Arabs.
– If you buy a computer the cash will go to India, Taiwan, Malaysia or China.
– If you buy fruit and vegetables, the money will go to Mexico, Philippines and New Zealand.
– If you buy an efficient car, it will go to Japan or Korea.
– If you purchase useless stuff, it will go to Taiwan.
– If you pay your credit cards off, or buy stock, it will go to management bonuses and they will hide it offshore.
Instead, keep the money in Australia by:

1) Spending it at garage sales.
2) Going to the footy.
3) Spending it on prostitutes or
4) Beer or
5) Tattoos.
(These are the only Australian businesses still operating in Australia )

Go to a footy game with a tattooed prostitute that you met at a garage-sale and drink beer all day!


Aussie Patriotic Retirement Plan

A nice one from Judy in Perth, Australia!

Dear Ms. Gillard,

Please find below our suggestion for fixing Australia’s economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan – you can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force. Pay them $1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.
– Ten million job openings – unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new Australian car.
– Ten million cars ordered – Car Industry fixed.

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage
– Housing crisis fixed.

4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university
– Crime rate fixed.

5) They MUST buy $100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week
– and there’s your money back in duty/tax etc.

6) Instead of stuffing around with the carbon emissions trading scheme that makes us pay for the major polluters, tell those greedy companies to reduce their pollution emissions by 75% within 5 years
– or we shut them down.

It can’t get any easier than that, but if more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back
their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances!

Grumpies of the World Unite!


Consumer Diaries

Here’s a good website for consumers in Zambia having a hard time at the moment! Consumer Diaries, written by Zambian consumers for Zambian consumers. The latest post involves the suspension of the air service permit for Zambezi Airlines by government – no great surprise there – they’ve been in a shambles for weeks with delayed and cancelled flights. Yesterday there were about 15 stranded travellers at Harry M Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone, negotiating seats on other airlines flying to South Africa.
We hope Consumer Diaries will soon turn their attention to Zambia Breweries and the constant annual shortages of beer and soft drinks in Livingstone and other parts of Zambia through October and November – not alright in the nominated (should that be nominal?) ‘tourist capital’.
And what about Zesco? Most Zambian consumers thought that one of the first impacts of the new government would be restoration of constant power supplies – not so – even though the President did fire the Zesco MD nothing has changed there! Just as well we have a good stand by generator at Chanters Lodge!

“The Consumer Diaries is a Zambian consumer’s mouthpiece written strictly by consumers for other consumers. It contains a compilation of reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services based on reporting and results from consumers themselves. This is done in order to help people have an opportunity to rate product/service experiences that they have had, and also to investigate new products or services in order to make informed decisions.”

Wish them the best of luck!

The picture? A bottle of Zambia’s great Mosi beer – currently unavailable from distributors in Livingstone, Zambia.


Magic Hands Of Africa

Magic Hands of Africa is a non profit company that was incorporated in March 2007 at the Registrar of Companies as a company limited by guarantee.

They reach out to unskilled and unemployed women and youths living in poor communities and provide them with an important source of income that helps them send their children to school, feed families, provide and improve their shelter and pay medical bills. This source of income also helps the youths to keep away from destructive activities.

Magic Hands Of Africa do this by training people to make beaded products and other creative crafts, provide them with raw materials and buy back the finished products from them which they later sell to the local and international market. Each person is paid according to the number of items made and 50% of all sales go back to their artisans. The other 50% helps meet operational costs. Any profits made after paying our artisans and meeting operational costs are either re-invested in the company or ploughed back into the community.

The company currently work with 13 women and 7 youths but have the capacity to employ more when demand is high. They make beaded necklaces, bracelets, waist beads, earrings, lanyards, key holders, scatter cushions, belts, purses, coasters, table mats and notebooks. Magic Hands of Africa currently has no shop and runs a home office. Their products are mainly sold at craft markets and are also found at Fine Stitches, Crossroads shopping mall in Lusaka as well as Souvenirs of Zambia, Livingstone Airport.

Customers can also contact Magic Hands of Africa to take products to their homes, places of work or any convenient and central place.

Wishing them the best of luck!


Musical Youth

Courtesy of Education Post

It is undeniable that unemployment is one major problem young people in Zambia are facing, making plenty of youth flock to the entertainment industry, especially music, to try to earn a living. Although music sales in the country are not as good as in the developed world partly due to piracy, the rewards from the industry are now coming from stage performances mainly at local nightclubs or scheduled functions.

It’s clear to see that the more shows an artiste plays, the more money they’ll make but this is only possible if their music is on demand. With the stiff competition, lack of political will to guide the sector and above all the demands required to keep up with the celebrity status, one wonders why young people are still opting for music rather than sticking to education to get a formal job.

The Education Post spoke to three young people in the music world to get their experiences in the sector. Cynthia Chalwe, 24, popularly known as Maya (pictured above) has been in the industry for close to a year now as a budding hip-hop artiste who joined the sector after acquiring a Diploma in Law – she shares her challenges so far.

“I believe there are challenges in everything and music is not an exception. I personally have problems with creating time for other people and other things and because of this my family were a bit hesitant in showing their support, especially that they expected me to take up a formal job,” she says, “For me getting into it (music) was more to do with the love for it, but eventually it helps me to also earn an income. I am happy everyone knows what they want and I know what I want because I believe that only if you know what you want and work towards it, can you achieve many things,” Maya whose debut single Life Ya ma Diva produced by her crew XYZ, says she is about to complete her debut album.

“Positively music has changed me, I have become more open to people and in the process, I have discovered that as a young artiste, I can use my name to even venture into other things that will benefit others, I am still keen on going back to school and later get that corporate job but for now I am concentrating on my first album,” she says emphasising to her fellow youths that “in life, when you are yourself, you will make it.”

Chanda Joseph aka CJ is another artiste trying to make it in the industry with his first album Umutwe Wamunobe just recently released. CJ completed school in 2008 but chose music to expose his talent and most importantly, to earn an income which will eventually enable him to pursue other avenues in life.

“I have always enjoyed school since I was young but you know education has become expensive so my hope is to earn money through music and later go back to school. I want to pursue pharmacy but music is my talent which I have chosen to live with,” he says. Having worked with the likes of Jerry Fingers and Baska Baska as producers for his 12-track album, CJ hopes he will realise his investment and focus on widening his skill and appeals for support. “I appeal for more people to support us because there are so many of us young people in music. It is our employment and the problems can be reduced if we work together,” CJ adds registering his advice to the youths as, “never feel shy to try out a lot of things to earn a living, one day you will have your greatest dream. “

For 20-year-old Vida Mwale aka Vida, a school leaver, music has been her long-term plan and her aim is to use it to voice out the many issues surrounding young people which are her main target. Vida, who is working on her debut album to be released soon by NBI, believes so much in education and dreams of becoming a lawyer or journalist. “I think for me, the best time I can do music is now when I am so energetic. It is not so much for the money for me but talent. I just left school and because I love music, I took a chance to try it and at the same time pursue studies. The idea is that one can still manage to combine the two if they just work hard, “she argues adding that her greatest dream is to become a successful yet academic musician.

Vida draws her inspiration from artiste Mampi.


Sugar Plantation & Bio-Ethanol Plant for Southern Zambia

Here’s some great news for this part of Zambia:

A South African company will this month start work on a 2- hundred and 51 million US dollar project involving a sugar plantation and bio-ethanol plant in Kazungula District. This came to light during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between AGZAM project developers Limited and the Zambia development Agency- ZDA in Livingstone yesterday.

ZNBC‘s Kennedy Bwalya reports from Livingstone that President Rupiah Bands witnessed the signing of the MOU for the project which will create 4000 for the local people. AGZAM Project Business Development Manager Anthony Alexander (above) said the new company will be producing 200,000 metric tonnes of sugar and 28 million litres of bio-ethanol per annum.

And ZDA Director for Investment promotion Muhabi Lungu said the project is one of the biggest investments the country has achieved this year. And President Banda said he is excited that government has managed to facilitate a huge investment that would create new job opportunities for Zambians.

Mr Banda said he is happy that the new project which is expected to kick off in the next 21 days, will create wealth for the nation.

How come I got the photo? Guess!!



Another guest blog from George da Soulchild aka Kaufela tells us all about Da-gas and his new controversial album. George writes:

“While the country’s self-righteous politicians seem to seek only praise, it appears, resentment is what they mostly attract and often it comes in the form of music.

Little-known dancehall reggae singer Chomba Mutale, otherwise known as Da-gas, has just released an 11-track album which he says is about love – but going by its title track ‘Kankalidwe’ (lifestyle) it will inspire little love from politicians, especially those in government! In the song, the 28-year-old Lusaka based artist lays bare his anger and blames the politicians’ greedy lifestyle on skyrocketing poverty levels and the inequalities that exist between the country’s different social economic classes.

He attributes the culture of dishonesty and declining moral values to politicians who resort to pouring lies on the electorate each time there are elections. “You are the cause of our sisters becoming prostitutes, you are the reason why our brothers become thieves and you are the cause of poverty and suffering in this country” Da-gas tells politicians in the chorus of the song. He also castigates politicians for building themselves luxurious mansions while pensioners languish homeless without receiving their benefits.

Da-gas says as a Rastafarian, it hurts him to see so much suffering in the country and he feels obliged to speak about these things especially as the country heads to the polls this year. He says the song ‘Kankalidwe’ is all about sensitizing people to identify selfless political leaders who would represent the interests of the majority poor.

Da-gas however says he is not concerned by the harassment that musicians such as Twice of the Tomato Balunda fame have suffered in the past for singing songs critical of the government. He insists the album including Nkankalidwe is about love. “It’s all about love. Go to the hospital and you’ll find people sleeping on the floor with no beddings. People are suffering and I’m just trying to remind our leaders to show love to all these people” he says. “If leaders feel offended by the songs that musicians are producing, they should be more concerned about the songs that are full of vulgar and demeaning references to women.” He continued.

“I grew up with my mother who raised me singlehandedly. She used to encourage me to talk when I have something to say and she listened to us, so similarly I expect our leaders to listen when we the young people speak about issues that effect us” he says.

‘Kankalidwe’ is a follow-up to Da-gas’ debut album ‘Umm’hum’ released in late 2008, which was confined to party mongers that patronized nightclubs, as the artist struggled to personally sell copies of the album. Other songs on the new album are jointly produced by Baska Baska, Jerry Fingers and Jerry D. While his knack for conscience dancehall reggae is conspicuously obvious on his latest album, it may just suffer the same fate as his first. Vigorous marketing seems to elude the album.”


Labour Investigation

Couldn’t resist this one from Derek Dawson this morning:

The Yorkshire County Council Department of Labour, claimed a small northeast farmer was not paying proper wages to his help, and sent an agent out to investigate him. The Department of Labour employee said, “I need a list of your employees, and how much you pay them.”

Farmer:- Well, there’s my farm hand, who’s been with me for 3 years.
I pay him £200 a week, plus free room and board.

Then there’s the mentally challenged worker. He works about 18 hours every day, and does about 90% of all the work around here. He makes about £10 per week, pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night, so he can cope with life. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally.

IDL employee:- That’s the guy I want to talk to…the mentally challenged one.

Farmer:- That would be me.


It’s Wild!

No! Not the bungee jumping, zip line and gorge swinging that a group of post graduate students from the University of California, Berkeley undertook while they were staying at Chanters Lodge recently on a brief break from their involvement with Comaco. The trade name for Comaco products is ‘It’s Wild‘ – “never heard of it!” I said to the group as I was dropping them off for a one night ‘splurge’ at the David Livingstone Safari Lodge and Spa. “You should have done” said Ciera Ashley, the group organizer, “one of their trucks just passed us on the road and this morning we were eating ‘It’s Wild’ Peanut Butter and Honey in your restaurant!” (Richard! Don’t worry, it might be an age thing – my remark not theirs! )

COMACO is a model for rural development that supports natural resource management. It operates through a community-owned trading centre, registered as a non-profit company, called the Conservation Farmer Wildlife Producer Trading Centre.CTC

Community residents benefit from this trading centre by receiving high market value for goods they produce and having access to affordable farmer inputs and improved farming skills on the condition that they adopt land use practices that help conserve their area’s natural resources. Specific land use practices required include conservation farming, which helps maintain soil fertility, crops that help reduce conflicts with wildlife or rates of land clearing, and commitment to stop wildlife snaring or illegal hunting. Under these conditions and by increasing the market value of more desired crops, the model is able to influence the land use practices of thousands of households across large landscapes that are associated with important wildlife and watershed resources. All proceeds from the company are reinvested in efforts to achieve food security, increased rural income, and improved natural resource management. With assistance from a range of collaborating partners, COMACO has become increasingly self-financing to help sustain efforts to mitigate problems of environmental degradation in areas where poverty and food insecurity were primary factors driving this degradation. Six basic steps describe how COMACO has set about to achieve increased synergies between agriculture, markets and conservation:

1. Target poor, food-insecure farming families with improved farming practices (conservation farming, composting, improved seed varieties, etc.) to increase food production and attain sufficient food to meet their annual needs.

2. Concurrent with step one, organize farmers into producer groups, especially those learning improved farming practices, and promote group commitment to abandon land use practices destructive to natural resources.

3. Diversify livelihood skills (livestock husbandry, dry season gardening, carpentry, bee-keeping, improved fisheries management, etc.) among these producer groups to increase opportunities for earning legal income without degrading natural resources in their area.

4. Mobilize producer groups in a prescribed area as a depot unit and establish a trading depot for bulking goods for markets.

5. Establish a regional trading center that offers producer groups through their depots fair, high-paying producer prices, on-site transactions, and reliable transport of goods to high-paying markets.

6. Formalize an agreement with producer groups through their depot that such services and benefits are available only if producer groups are fully compliant to land use practices not in conflict with their natural resources as guided by a community-approved land use plan.

We’ll certainly support them knowingly, in future!

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