For its constant economic growth Mozambique is one of the international community's donor darlings. But the ones who need it most don't profit from the growing economy, on the contrary. Recent UN research now confirms what people in the streets of Maputo have been saying for a long time: the Mozambican poor are getting poorer. The emphasis on capital-intensive mega-projects has lost more jobs than it has created and has increased poverty. Only a small elite profits extravagantly and consumes itself to death. Investment in agriculture on the other hand is extremely low. The UNDP report
on Mozambique argues that 'pro poor growth' should be more important in the country's economic strategy.
She is 32 years old and as slender as her tenor saxophone, but the sounds she gets out of her instrument is full and intense. Sophie Alour
gave a concert last night in the Centre Culturel Franco-Mozambicain
in Maputo. The house was full and the Mozambican audience appreciated Alour's own compositions. The Française is touring Africa with her new cd Uncaged
. She already jammed with local musicians in Namibia, played on Madagascar and travels on today to South-Africa. People living in Ethiopia, Burundi or Eritrea might be able to catch her. Alour will be playing on the African continent until December 12.(more)
38 degrees Celcius here so every reason to start drinking 2M (my favourite Mozambican beer) early on the day... I'm back! Maputo
, the nicest town in Africa, will be my place of residence for the coming month. I'll be working on my new book and studying Portuguese. Despite the tropical temperatures. From now on you can expect regular entries from Maputo on this weblog. Até logo!
Her warm coloured paintings with abstract figurines have been hanging on my and my family's walls for quite some time now, and now Stella Atal
is also going to conquer our wardrobes. The Ugandan artist I met in Kampala is doing very well. Apart from very artistic, she also is a clever business woman who knows how to find an enthousiastic clientele. Last month in downtown Kampala Stella (who plays an important role in chapter 5 of my book) launched her own fashion line
. For her creations she uses the bark of the fig tree - the traditional cloth that the Bugandan kings used to wear. Stella to me is a great example of a young African women on her way to the top.