ctrp344 The Effects of the World Cup on South Africa

Photo by Flickr member jit bag

After all the glamour and hoopla surround the World Cup in South Africa, what about the actual costs and benefits of such an event for South Africa. The construction of massive new stadiums, the infrastructure projects, the tourism… was it everything people hoped? Was it everything FIFA promised? Where did the money come from? And do the benefits outweigh the costs?

Chris Bolsmann, Lecturer in the Sociology Department at the University of Aston (UK) has been following the topic since before SA got the world cup. He has been speaking and writing about the real costs of such a tournament for the nation. He joins me on the program from South Africa.

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ctrp306 Videojournalist in Somalia

As Somalia struggles to exist amidst what is a never ending power struggle, it is rare to have a reporter filing stories from the inside. Ruud Elmendorp is a rare example and someone that has been doing it for several years now. He joins me today to discuss what is happening and the challenges of doing things his way.

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ctrp303 Blogging, Development, and Africa

In all the excitement of my trip to Istanbul last month, I failed to post 2 podcasts I recording during my time at the Re:publica conference in Berlin.
So at long last I’m starting with this first interview with my friend Geraldine who has worked in a development corporation for the past 5 years. Since last year she has been involved with open source and digital culture project in subsaharan Africa.
Together we get into blogs and the role they play in Africa. Different and unorthodox ways content is diffused throughout the continent, broadband penetration and the building of new deep sea broadband links for the continent, the OLPC, and much much more.

Links Geraldine recommends:


  • Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Bloodless Coup
  • Steve Earl – Someday

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Engagement Over Isolation

Well my dear Portugal has taken over the EU presidency, and there is quite a buzz about their inviting Zimbabwe’s elected dictator Robert Mugabe to the upcoming Africa summit.

The UK and associated countries are upset, since there has been an ongoing travel ban on him and members of his government. Portugal is reportedly doing this because the African Union insists that every country be treated equally. But really this comes back to a classic debate in life, politics, you name it.

Isolation or engagement? Do you try to engage in dialogue with those you disagree with or those that have done something terrible? Or do you try to shut them out and find ways to punish or limit their capacity to act. And if you do either of these, what are the risks?

One of the common reference points is always the late Saddam and sanctions against Iraq. Then again there was also Qaddafi in Libya, which turned out quite differently.

At this point, taking into account this travel ban and the tactics adopted by governments critical of Mugabe, there doesn’t seem to be much change in terms of suffering Zimbabweans. He still does as he wishes and uses his office to carry out destructive policies and practices.


So maybe this is more than just pressure from the African Union. Maybe it’s time to try something else, including inviting the dictator you don’t like to some meetings; engaging in dialog. After all, he certainly wouldn’t be the only tyrant from Africa attending the meeting, and if you invite him, he has one less excuse during the next speech about how the “whole world wants to destroy him and the country”.

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