This week on our blog: the Horn of Africa


Our October 1st event is next week! As a lead up, this week we discussed Donor Funds, new African mega-cities, Islamic Fundamentalism, and hope for Women and Youth Empowerment. 

Below is a sum up of this weeks articles:


Dissent and Donor Funded Replacement 

by Erin Byrnes @mariebyrnes

The Thousands of ethnic Ormo students in Ethiopia organized non-violent protests this spring, triggering a government reaction that has left an untold number dead and pushed hundreds of students underground. The protests began in response to the municipal government’s strategy to extend the Ormo Region, annexing towns that border the capital city. In Ethiopia, regional and administrative divisions are based on ethnic affiliation. The protesters view this expansion of the Amharic city as a threat to Ormo culture and a precursor to a large-scale eviction of farmers. The expansion of Addis Ababa, the Orma Region could itself become Balkanized. Read more.. 


Joining Yemen and Djibouti with the Al Noor Twin Cities 

by Emily Savage, @emiliesavage

The African continent seems to be the last frontier for the construction of ‘world-class’ mega-cities that boast a high-degree of planning, pristine landscaping, and skyscrapers modeled after Singapore and Dubai. By designing cities by master-plan, governments can ‘leap-frog’ some of the less desirable urban attributes that seem to be synonymous with pre-existing African cities: poor infrastructure, traffic, pollution, housing shortages, and poverty. By starting fresh with a new city, governments can skip straight to the influx of international business and postcard-perfect architecture. Will these new cities play the role of changing the perception of African cities and  attract international investment provide and create job opportunities as promised? Read More…


Why Violent Islamic Fundamentalism in the Horn of Africa demands attention

by Jesse Comeau, @jessecomeau

While the eyes of the West were focused on Asia-minor, the problem of violent
Islamic fundamentalism was festering in Africa. Decades of an anarchic lack of central government in Somalia coupled with its close proximity to the Middle East has left the Horn of Africa a thriving bastion of violent Islamic fundamentalism. Canada should begin a phased shift in counter-terrorism policy towards dealing with groups like Al-Shabaab in Somalia. If the international community continues to ignore the problem, the violence could continue to destabilize this strategically crucial area and pose a direct threat to the safety of Canadians at home.  Read More…


Women and Youth Empowerment 

by Jacqueline Bagwiza Uqizeyimana

As many people are looking for a way to end conflicts, poverty, violation of human rights, corruption, poor leadership, and other problems associated with the Horn of Africa, this article is addressed to all the readers, advocates, researchers, development specialists, and government officials with an interest in the destiny of this region. Despite the lack of resources and support, brave women of the Horn of Africa are investing their energy, passion and dedication to safekeep lives. For instance, a midwife, Edna Adan Ismail created a health center in Somaliland in the region that has never had a hospital before, because it has been in an endless war.  This article strives to explain how women’s empowerment can be a new hope for the residents of the Horn of Africa. Read More..


Next week: What Role Should Canada Play in the Horn of Africa?

  October 1, 2014

@ the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat

Pre-Mixer: 7pm
(complimentary passed canapes, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages)  
Discussion: 8pm

To purchase tickets:

Moderated by Mercedes Stephenson from CTV news with the following panelists:
Cedric Barnes – Horn of Africa Project Director at the International Crisis Group
Hon. Irwin Cotler – M.P. and former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Christina Murray  – UN Standby Team of Mediation Expert and professor of Constitutional and Human Rights Law at the University of Cape Town


Keep the debate going on Facebook or Twitter. See you at the Wednesday!



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