Promoting World Affairs

Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category

Enough Project and a great Fareed Zakaria interview

In Africa, Russia on September 22, 2009 at 6:50 am

I actually have a lot to discuss today regarding access to good material.

The main theme of this web-site is to promote interest in world affairs. One essential tool for achieving this is to expose relevant web-sites and good sources of information to our readers. Enough is one of those web-sites.

The Enough Project is a project that conducts research in areas of conflict in Africa. From Somalia, Sudan, to Uguanda, the organization provides access to strategy and research papers and general overviews of the conflicts that its researching team has conducted. It’s an excellent way to understand the conflicts in Africa and is a must read for anyone who has been curious or confused by what exactly is happening in the region.

I used the web-site extensively when I conducted my research regarding Somalia and the concept of humanitarianism. The web-site really is a great resource, and what’s better is that they regularly offer assistant Research internships and full time positions. It’s a great way to study where Somalia is at the moment in terms of striving for peace, the origins of the Sudan crisis, and current news regarding decisions in Zimbabwe. What’s even better is that all their publications are free and they’re very well written and really do achieve a good, concise analysis, based of course on my own personal experience when I was conducting my research.

Second, be sure to check out Fareed Zakaria’s GPS podcast for last Sunday. He interviewed Russian President Medvedev and it’s really informative. The President really composes himself well and balked at critics who charge that the real holder of power is Prime Minister Putin. He simply pointed to the constitution and observed that for anything to be official, the President has to sign it. Though there are doubts whether or not this is true, take a look at Gorbachev’s interview with the BBC where he expresses worry regarding Putin’s comment that he’ll have a discussion with the President to determine whether or not he will run for another term as President. Another interesting tidbit came out in the interview regarding a secret meeting between Medvedev and Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu. The discussion probably had something to do with Iran, and it was interesting that the rhetoric used by Medvedev regarding Iran was much harsher.

Fareed essentially outlines these points during some pauses in the interview. He’s a great interviewer, albeit a bit diplomatic but still isn’t afraid to really ask some tough questions. What I found the most interesting was that he provided a link to Medvedev’s paper that severely criticizes the state that Russia is in right now. He expresses the danger of having rambid corruption, a state owned press, over-reliance on raw materials and the dire need to modernize the Russian economy. It’s a great article and you can find the link here. Watch the interview. Russia to the “West” is perceived as being a very mysterious country that makes the news by flexing its muscle. It’s refreshing to get a good insight into pertinent questions of how Russia is perceived to be behaving and seeing the “head” of state answer some tough questions. Medvedev has always advocated an independent press and has in the past encouraged the media to put more pressure on the government. The debate is whether or not that is possible under current conditions. Regardless, what was the most revealing was seeing or hearing where Medvedev believes Russia should be in terms of its own development. The tragedy is that it’s a far cry from where it actually is.