united nations – Liby Amazigh http://libyamazigh.org/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 11:00:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://libyamazigh.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-1-32x32.png united nations – Liby Amazigh http://libyamazigh.org/ 32 32 Meet the 16 Global Landscapes Forum Women Leaders Leading Earth Restoration https://libyamazigh.org/meet-the-16-global-landscapes-forum-women-leaders-leading-earth-restoration/ Tue, 15 Mar 2022 11:00:54 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/meet-the-16-global-landscapes-forum-women-leaders-leading-earth-restoration/

It’s International Women’s Month 2022! To mark this phenomenal month, The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) announces its third annual list of climate leaders. Jhe Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) honors 16 women who are making a significant impact on halting runaway climate change through science, finance, policy-making, art, activism, indigenous rights, etc.

The outstanding contributions of these women, spanning more than two generations and across five continents, have led to greater engagement in international climate treaty negotiations, increased public awareness and activism, the rise of climate finance, the growing reach of science, and soil conservation and restoration across the globe.

The third year 16 Women Restoring the Earth promotes the recognition of women in a world where women are underrepresented in science and technology – and are particularly vulnerable to climate change and environmental distress.

Each of the leaders has actively participated in the work and mission of the Global Landscapes Forum over the past year. ’16 Women Restoring the Earth’ aligns with this year’s Women’s Day theme: ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable future’.

Meet some of these amazing women:

Ndidi Nwuneli – The Transformer

On the food front, Africa is burdened with the negative stereotype of being a net importer in addition to facing the challenges of famine and drought. But serial entrepreneur, Ndidi Nwuneli, sees the future differently, and quite so.

Over the past two decades, Nwuneli has co-founded two companies, Sahel Consulting Agriculture and food shaping policies and AACE Foods integrating African food products into local and international markets; founded the start-up Changing Africa’s narratives to change global perspectives on African food systems; and sits on more than 10 global powerhouse boards, from the Rockefeller Foundation to the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders to Heineken-owned Nigerian Breweries Plc.

“As a continent naturally endowed with agricultural excellence, Africa holds significant potential not only to feed itself, but also to achieve food security and become a net food exporter,” says Nwuneli, who has dedicated the major part of his career, which began in management. Council, to drive this transformation forward.

Social entrepreneur Ndidi Nwuneli has transformed the way Africa produces and consumes food in a holistic and sustainable way. She is one of World Landscapes Forum 16 women restoring the Earth.

Fatoumata Diawara – The artist

Born in Ivory Coast and raised in southern Mali, Grammy-nominated Malian singer, songwriter and actress Fatoumata Diawara left her West African home as a teenager and traveled to France alone to pursue a career. of actress. And although she has appeared and still appears in various films – 12 so far, including the one nominated for the Oscars in 2014 Timbuktu — it was her musical career as a singer-songwriter and guitarist that she developed alongside acting that thrust her into the limelight the most.

“With all my heritage, with all my background, I needed to sing,” she says of her musical development in Paris. “I needed to hear my power, to speak, to express myself.”

Diawara is now one of the rare female African music artists to perform solo. Often singing in her native language, Bambara, she integrates the Wassoulou music of her region – considered one of the main heralds of the blues – with groovy syncopations and smooth instrumentals for songs that are both universal and deeply rooted in the history, identity and place.

Musonda Mumba – The mobilizer

Even two years into a pandemic when Zoom fatigue is at its height, Musonda maintains a way to turn digital events into inspiring gatherings, weaving stories from his career as an environmentalist with new scientific discoveries and powerful human truths in his singsong Zambian accent, kicking listeners in the ass to move forward with their personal environmental goals, whatever they may be. (“Humans are emotional and relate to stories easily. Jargon is confusing and unnecessary,” she says of her public speaking secrets.)

Mumba, who is the director of the Rome Center for Sustainable Development under the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), has held positions in nearly every major conservation organization over the past two decades, from Ramsar Convention to WWF to UN Environment, where she spent over 12 years working directly on ecosystem adaptation and restoration. And in this space where absolute femininity is celebrated less than a good pair of glasses and a slew of published articles (although she certainly has both – with red cat-eye frames and a doctorate from the University College London, no less), Mumba has carved out an image of a fashionista, a mother and a proud African determined to change the course of the world.

Houria Djoudi – The Protector

Raised in the Amazigh culture of North Africa, Houria Djoudi says the power of language was instilled in her from an early age. Master poets and storytellers who pass on their skills to the next generation – known as Aheddad bbwawal, “blacksmiths of the language” – were at the top of the social ladder in his home community. Encouraged by her parents, Djoudi spends long winter nights around the fires with other children, each telling a story to perfect her handling of words.

His education allowed him to open his eyes and sharpen his understanding as a scientist of different perspectives during his research: “There is my own culture full of imagination, symbolic meanings and spiritual connection to nature , and the dry and expected – but non-existent – ​​objectivity that a scientist is supposed to have,” she says.

By combining the two, she has developed a successful scientific career for herself, having published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and conducted research in more than 10 countries, mainly on the three topics that are most important to her: climate, trees and gender. She admits that her own bias as a woman plays into her worldview, but nonetheless, Djoudi struggles to understand why gender and social inclusion are only now receiving more attention in research and negotiations on gender. climate, while women produce the majority of the world’s food and yet have limited access to land or other assets and, on average, experience the challenges of climate change more severely than men.

Mariem Dkhil – The Financial

The importance of the role of the financial sector in agriculture cannot be overstated, especially as agriculture is increasingly uprooted by the effects of climate change and land degradation. These impacts are particularly felt in Africa, where drought, desertification and soil salinization are disrupting the lives of smallholder farmers who lack the resources to adapt.

“The bank itself makes it possible to reach all sections of the population in order to improve their incomes and their way of life. Access to finance is a prerequisite if we want farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices,” says Mariem Dkhil. An agronomist by training, Dkhil is a specialist in sustainable finance at Crédit Agricole du Maroc (CAM), a Moroccan bank that has championed agricultural financing since 1961. During her stay there, she contributed to the creation of CAM’s subsidiary, Tamwil El Fellah, which provides unsecured loans to smallholder farmers, giving them the opportunity to invest in medium and long-term projects. She also improved the bank’s environmental and sustainability standards and developed new products and services for climate-smart agriculture and responsible agricultural supply chains.

Today, she is committed to sharing the bank’s expertise with African financial institutions and mobilizing investments for the climate adaptation of African agriculture.

She also strives to consider the sustainability and social impacts of projects, such as creating an environment that gives women entrepreneurs access to financial services – a sign that inclusivity and sustainability are indeed investments. profitable. “I want other women to follow their lead and seize opportunities to have a positive impact,” Dkhil said when speaking about sustainable finance at GLF Luxembourg in 2019.

Other women leading the restoration of the land are:

Analí Bustos – the steward

“I find it absolutely heartening that we women are beginning to put ourselves at the forefront of restoration projects.” Biologist Analí Bustos is part of World Landscapes Forum 16 women restoring the Earth.

Galina Angarova – The defender

Galina Angarova highlighting the role of indigenous leaders around the world in preserving our planet’s ecosystems.

Gisele Bündchen – The model

Author, philanthropist, model and from UNEP Global Goodwill Ambassador Gisele Bündchen uses her powerful voice to advocate for a healthier, more sustainable future.

Katharine Hayhoe – The Believer

“What is climate change, at its core, other than a failure to love?” Climate scientist and activist Katharine Hayhoe believes in a just future for all.

Ko Barrett – The Connector

Koh Barrett, @IPCC_CHThe Vice President of connects people and science by sharing the global climate story, advocating for greater diversity and inclusion in climate science.

Luciana Gatti – The Guardian

“We have to put all our knowledge on the table and think about how to build a better future.” Harnessing science to save the Amazon is at the heart of Luciana Gatti‘s work.

Marguerite Kim – The accelerator

Margaret Kim is the CEO of Gold standarda foundation that enables entities to maximize their impact on climate finance and the SDGs.

Nonette Royo – The Lawyer

Filipino lawyer and land rights activist Nonette Royo continues the fight for indigenous peoples’ rights to their forests and lands.

Ridhima Pandey – The Activist

At 9, Ridhima Pandey sued the Indian government for failing to take action on climate change. Now 13 years old, she continues the fight for the future of our young people.

Ottilie Bälz – The philanthropist

As Bosch Foundation Senior Vice President, Ottilie Bälz understands the role local communities play in restoration activities that benefit climate goals, the ecosystem and provide sustainable livelihoods.

Samantha Power- The idealist

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha J Power, is one of the leading female foreign policy makers.

To visit World Landscape Forum to see their complete profiles.

Before voting, Libyans must speak out | Opinions https://libyamazigh.org/before-voting-libyans-must-speak-out-opinions/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 13:57:21 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/before-voting-libyans-must-speak-out-opinions/

On December 22, just two days before the scheduled date of the Libyan presidential election, the electoral commission announced the postponement of the poll. The High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) suggested January 24, 2022 as a new date for the polls, after a parliamentary commission overseeing the elections deemed them “impossible” to take place on December 24 as originally planned.

However, so far there is no agreement on the new date or electoral procedures, nor on whether or not to hold presidential and legislative elections on the same day. But the lack of consensus on these logistical issues is by far not the biggest problem.

There are currently major unresolved issues that polarize the country and, in the absence of an open dialogue to resolve them, holding elections on January 24 or any future date risks plunging the country into a new cycle of violence.

The puzzles of past elections

Holding elections in the midst of strong political polarization has already proved disastrous for peace in Libya. After the overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libyan and foreign actors rushed to the elections to revive the country’s political transition. But instead of bringing stability, the elections only worsened political and social tensions, resulting in repeated episodes of deadly violence.

On July 7, 2012, Libya held its first parliamentary vote since the collapse of the Gaddafi regime to elect the 200-member General National Congress (GNC). Although hailed as “free and fair” by the major Western powers and the UN, the elections did not bring stability to the country.

The major social and political divides had not been resolved, leading to unrest before and after the vote. Old grievances from the eastern and southern regions resurfaced, as their residents viewed the uneven geographic distribution of seats as a sign that their marginalization by Tripoli would also continue in post-Gaddafi Libya.

In addition, local political actors sought to weaken the GNC. Prior to the vote, the legislature was deprived of key powers, such as appointing a committee to draft the constitution and debate its provisions. Thus, the Tripoli-based GNC was born weak, suffering from limited powers and a lack of legitimacy. The cabinet he elected was also weakened.

This allowed rogue political actors to take advantage of interregional tensions for their own political gain. In February 2014, General Khalifa Haftar, a senior officer in Gaddafi’s army who had turned against him, launched his Operation Dignity, urging the Libyans to rebel against the GNC. In May, his forces stormed the GNC building in Tripoli and launched an offensive against armed groups in Benghazi.

With its mandate expired and the country falling into war, the GNC was forced to schedule new parliamentary elections in June. Amidst the violence and record turnout, the House of Representatives was elected. Many GNC members, mostly from the west, contested the results and refused to cede legislative power to the new body. Forces loyal to the GNC prevented the newly elected MPs from starting work. In November, the Libyan Supreme Court ruled that the June 25 elections were unconstitutional, but the House of Representatives, which had received UN recognition, ignored the resolution.

Thus, at the end of the year, the country was effectively divided between two camps: the General National Congress located in Tripoli, which acted as executive and was finally replaced in 2015 by the Government of National Accord (GNA). recognized by the UN, and the House of Representatives, which had moved from the capital to the eastern port city of Tobruk.

One of the main reasons why the elections failed to move the country forward was the lack of agreement between the various political actors in Libya and commitment to the basic political principles of democratic transition. Prior to undertaking these votes, no guarantees were put in place to ensure the acceptance and compliance of all parties with the final results. No meaningful steps have been taken to resolve the historic grievances of marginalized groups and preserve their representation in new state institutions. There was also no proper reconciliation between communities and tribes that had been involved in past violence.

The absence of these important elements of the transition process led to its eventual collapse. Gradually, the division over legitimacy and state representation dragged the country into a civil war between rival camps backed by regional actors.

It then took several years for the international community and Libyan civilian forces to try to relaunch the transition process. In 2020, a ceasefire was negotiated to end Haftar’s failed offensive on Tripoli. The Libya Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) was then launched, supported by the United Nations Mission in Libya (UNSMI) and regional and international actors, such as Egypt, Turkey, Russia, France, United States and Italy – each with their own interests in Libya.

In 2021, the Government of National Unity (GNU) was formed as an interim institution to advance the political process in the country, and presidential elections were scheduled for December 24. Despite the GNU’s initial approval, the House of Representatives eventually passed a no-confidence vote against in September.

Continuous polarization

Long before the vote, it was clear that old divisions continue to fester and undermine the transition. There were several sticking points, which reflect the widespread polarization in Libya and which undermined the electoral process.

First, the Election Law, which described electoral procedures and the post-election institutional setup, was not accepted by all parties. The provisions of the law were drafted and adopted by the House of Representatives, which failed to properly consult other Libyan state institutions, such as the GNU, the Presidential Council and the High Council of State ( HSC).

The law was also drafted in such a way as to erect the Libyan political system into a presidential regime, giving the presidency significant powers. The provisions of the law also allow current electoral office holders to stand for election and then return to office if they lose.

Second, no consensus candidate, who could unite a divided Libya, was presented before the elections. In fact, the first in the race were all division figures. Among them: GNU Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, who decided to run despite his promise not to do so; Aguila Saleh, Speaker of the House of Representatives and close ally of Haftar; Haftar himself; and finally, Saif al-Islam Kadhafi, one of Kadhafi’s sons, accused of crimes against humanity and wanted by the International Criminal Court and the Attorney General of Tripoli.

Saif al-Islam’s candidacy, in particular, has sparked a great deal of outrage among Libyans, who are dismayed that an election designed to put the country back on the path of democratic transition could bring the Gaddafi regime back. While he is the most controversial of these favorites, the others are also quite problematic. It is clear that they all want to come forward to restore or protect their positions and privileges and would be unable to defuse tensions, bring the country closer together and gain the support of all regional actors.

Third, just like in 2012 and 2014, there does not appear to be a consensus on the “rules of the game” before the presidential vote. The main political actors – backed by various armed groups – clearly disagreed about what would happen after the election, how the transfer of power would take place and how recognition of the results by all would be guaranteed.

In addition, there are no neutral security forces or a unified army that could ensure the calm of the vote, no neutral judiciary that could settle disputes, and no independent media that could keep the Libyan people properly informed. More importantly, there is no reconciliation among Libyans as old and new grievances continue to fester and various communities continue to be marginalized.

The path to follow

The UN, along with the international community, has tried to close its eyes to the internal divisions between the main Libyan actors and pushed the Libyans to organize elections at all costs, as it has done in the past, to the detriment of the nation.

It is clear that holding elections under these circumstances, which are quite similar to those of 2012 and 2014, if not worse, will not lead to peace and stability in Libya. This is why the postponement of the vote must be seen as an opportunity to prevent the country from descending into a new cycle of violence.

In order to put Libya back on a path of peaceful transition, the country needs a new national dialogue supported by the UN and the international community. It should bring together all Libyan stakeholders, including civil society, representatives of ethnic minorities (such as Amazighs and Tebu), marginalized areas (such as Fezza) and marginalized groups (such as women and youth) and seek to build consensus on the electoral process, relevant legislation, transfer of power and the division of powers between state institutions.

The main political actors should publicly declare their commitment to the electoral process, commit to respecting the final results and prepare to cede their power. The dialogue is also expected to result in a roadmap to address other critical issues of the transitional period, such as the drafting of a new constitution, the reunification of state institutions – especially the military – reform security sector and reconciliation among Libyans.

A decade after the fall of the Gaddafi regime, it is time for Libya and its international partners to learn from the mistakes of the past. Rushing the Libyans to hold one more election amidst severe polarization and latent grievances will lead to more instability and violence. Libya has the potential to emerge from its failed state, but to do so, it needs the support of the international community to hold a national dialogue and move forward towards peace and reconciliation.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.

UNESCO inscribes “tbourida”, a Moroccan equestrian art with intangible cultural heritage https://libyamazigh.org/unesco-inscribes-tbourida-a-moroccan-equestrian-art-with-intangible-cultural-heritage/ Fri, 17 Dec 2021 05:58:06 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/unesco-inscribes-tbourida-a-moroccan-equestrian-art-with-intangible-cultural-heritage/

The United Nations cultural agency on Wednesday added representations from Bahrain and Morocco to its list of “intangible” heritage.

Bahrain, a Gulf country with a population of around 1.5 million, presented its nomination for a musical performance Fjiri, which commemorates the history of pearl diving.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced the registration on Twitter, as well as that of the Moroccan equestrian show of tbourida.

They were among 48 candidates from around the world considered for inscription on the list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity at an annual meeting led by UNESCO.

Bahrain’s Fjiri dates from the late 19th century, when “it was traditionally performed by pearl divers and pearl crews to express the hardships encountered at sea,” UNESCO said on its website.

“The performers are seated in a circle, singing and playing different types of drums, finger chimes and a jahl, a clay pot used as an instrument,” he added.

“The center of the circle is occupied by the dancers and the lead singer”.

Fjiri “is seen as a way to express the bond between the Bahraini people and the sea,” UNESCO said.

Tbourida, also known as “fantasia”, is even older.

It dates from the 16th century and “simulates a succession of military parades, reconstituted according to ancestral Arab-Amazigh conventions and rituals”, specifies UNESCO.

The performances end with a burst of gunfire.

“The customs and costumes of the riders represent their tribe or region, and are passed down from generation to generation within families, through oral traditions and observation.

Bahrain and Morocco were also among the 16 Muslim-majority countries that nominated Arabic calligraphy, a tradition in the Arab and Islamic worlds, which was previously added to the heritage list at this week’s meeting.

Wednesday also featured “the art of Palestinian embroidery”.

In its recognition, the UN agency said the intricate sewing crafts began in the villages, where women wear long dresses, pants, jacket, headdress and veil, each adorned with embroidery. .

“Originally made and worn in rural areas, the practice is now common throughout Palestine and among members of the diaspora,” the UN agency wrote.

The list of intangible heritage now includes nearly 500 inscriptions.

7 MENA art forms on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list 2021 https://libyamazigh.org/7-mena-art-forms-on-unescos-intangible-cultural-heritage-list-2021/ Thu, 16 Dec 2021 07:31:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/7-mena-art-forms-on-unescos-intangible-cultural-heritage-list-2021/

By the end of 2021, UNESCO has added a number of traditional art forms and rituals to its list of intangible cultural heritage, showcasing them to the international public and underlining their importance to communities. local. Of the new art forms added, seven are from the Middle East and North Africa.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has announced its 2021 List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which includes 7 art forms that are very popular in our region.

List of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage 2021 of the MENA region

1. arabic calligraphy: knowledge, skills and practices

Shutterstock: Arabic Logos

UNESCO recognized the art of writing Arabic script using different historical fonts and techniques as intangible cultural heritage for Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan , Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

2. Al-Qudoud al-Halabiya

The style of music unique to the ancient city of Aleppo in Syria has also been added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. This music is quite popular throughout the Arabic-speaking world but it is mainly interpreted by artists from Aleppo.

In November 2021, Syria mourned the most iconic artist to have played Al-Qudoud al-Halabiya, Sabah fakhri, who died in his home country after 88 years of singing the traditional songs of his town.

3. Falconry, a living human heritage

List of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage 2021 of the MENA region
Shutterstock: H1N1

Even though it has spread to more than MENA countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Syria, the traditional art and practice of training and flight of hawks and other birds have also been added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List for 2021.

4. Fdjiroise music

Bahrain and its neighbors are quite famous for their pearls. Diving to hunt these precious glittering objects often found in shelled mollusks is a traditional practice that the people of Bahrain are proud of.

That is why UNESCO has decided to add the Fijri or Fijeri musical tradition often associated with these fishing trips to its 2021 list of intangible cultural heritage.

5. Tbourida

From Morocco this time, UNESCO has chosen the equestrian show called Tbourida, which dates back to the 16th century. Mixing the ancestral Amazigh and Arab rituals of Morocco, the dance celebrates parades and military successes.

6. Palestinian embroidery

The art of embroidery in Palestine, its practices, skills, knowledge and rituals have also been added to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List for 2021.

The art celebrates the village clothing of Palestinian women where the clothing is embroidered with a variety of symbols including birds, trees and flowers, each indicating the regional identity of the woman as well as her marital and economic status.

7. Iraqi crafts from Al Naoor

Here is the latest craftsmanship from the MENA region chosen by UNESCO for its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage for 2021.

Al-Naoor is a wooden wheel that spins on its axis and is historically placed in areas where the running waters of the Euphrates are low, so it helps farmers get the water they need for their land.

Bahrain and Moroccan representations join UN heritage list https://libyamazigh.org/bahrain-and-moroccan-representations-join-un-heritage-list/ Wed, 15 Dec 2021 20:38:11 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/bahrain-and-moroccan-representations-join-un-heritage-list/

Published on: Amended:

Dubai (AFP) – The United Nations cultural agency on Wednesday added representations from Bahrain and Morocco to its list of “intangible” heritage.

Bahrain, a Gulf country with a population of around 1.5 million, presented its nomination for a musical performance Fjiri, which commemorates the history of pearl diving.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced the registration on Twitter, as well as that of the Moroccan equestrian show of tbourida.

They were among 48 candidates from around the world considered for inscription on the list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity at an annual meeting led by UNESCO.

Bahrain’s Fjiri dates from the late 19th century, when “it was traditionally performed by pearl divers and pearl crews to express the hardships encountered at sea,” UNESCO said on its website.

“The performers are seated in a circle, singing and playing different types of drums, finger chimes and a jahl, a clay pot used as an instrument,” he added.

“The center of the circle is occupied by the dancers and the lead singer”.

Fjiri “is seen as a way of expressing the bond between the Bahraini people and the sea,” UNESCO said.

Tbourida, also known as “fantasia”, is even older.

It dates from the 16th century and “simulates a succession of military parades, reconstituted according to ancestral Arab-Amazigh conventions and rituals”, specifies UNESCO.

The performances end with a burst of gunfire.

“The customs and costumes of the riders represent their tribe or region, and are passed down from generation to generation within families, through oral traditions and observation.

Bahrain and Morocco were also among the 16 Muslim-majority countries that nominated Arabic calligraphy, a tradition in the Arab and Islamic worlds, which was previously added to the heritage list at this week’s meeting.

Also on Wednesday featured “the art of Palestinian embroidery”.

In its recognition, the UN agency said the intricate sewing crafts began in the villages, where women wear long dresses, pants, jacket, headdress and veil, each adorned with embroidery. .

“Originally made and worn in rural areas, the practice is now common throughout Palestine and among members of the diaspora,” the UN agency wrote.

The list of intangible heritage now includes nearly 500 inscriptions.

strawberry / lg

Nippon Sayko: How Japanese Pop Culture Got Into The Heart Of Riyadh Season https://libyamazigh.org/nippon-sayko-how-japanese-pop-culture-got-into-the-heart-of-riyadh-season/ Tue, 16 Nov 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/nippon-sayko-how-japanese-pop-culture-got-into-the-heart-of-riyadh-season/

“A rug is a work of art,” says FBMI director on project that supports Afghan weavers

DUBAI: Four months ago the world saw how the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan after 20 years.

“It was unimaginable that such a thing would happen overnight,” Farshied Jabarkhyl, whose parents fled Afghanistan in 1979-80 after the Soviet invasion, told Arab News. Jabarkhyl was born in London and has lived in the United Arab Emirates for 15 years.

“I am really grateful to have the opportunity to be abroad,” he told Arab News. “I think it’s more difficult for the Afghans there, and that’s why I personally want to get involved to try to support them.”

Jabarkhyl is the director of the Fatima bint Mohamed Bin Zayed Initiative, which enables women artisans in rural areas of Afghanistan to achieve economic independence by producing the country’s most famous export: carpets.

Since its inception in 2010, the IMF has employed more than 8,000 multi-ethnic Afghans, providing them with essential social services ranging from health checks to free schooling for their children.

“Being a part of this project is close to my heart,” said Jabarkhyl. Some of the women concerned are disabled, others are widows and sole breadwinners. “Women have faced many challenges. It has been 40 years of continuous warfare, ”he noted, adding that women’s progress in media, politics and journalism over the past 20 years has now been lost almost instantly.

Carpet weaving has been part of Afghan culture for centuries; a form of craftsmanship passed down from generation to generation. It is most common in the northwestern part of Afghanistan, bordering the weaving epicenters of Iran and Uzbekistan. It takes focus, dexterity and attention to detail.

“It’s not as easy as it sounds,” Jabarkhyl explained. “It’s something women should be proud of, and it’s what we try to show the world – the value of rugs, the effort that goes into them and the history behind them, that many unfortunately people tend to be lacking. A rug takes months to weave, it’s lovingly made in a house by people with a very strong history behind them. It’s a work of art that I think needs to be. more appreciated.

It is also apparently considered a culturally acceptable occupation for Afghan women, who do not have the same labor rights as their male counterparts.

“Afghan women unfortunately cannot get to the workplace, especially in the villages,” Jabarkhyl said. “We have chosen a form of employment where we give women the looms and materials in their homes, and the men work outside.” The social process, in which two or three women work together on the same carpet, begins with the collection of sheep wool from nomads and shepherds. The wool is hand spun into yarn, which is dyed with natural pigments derived from fruits and vegetables. The colored material is then distributed to the weavers, who create the hand-woven rugs using the looms provided.

The final product is shipped from FBMI’s Afghan processing centers in Dubai – to the showroom (and social enterprise) of the organization’s Dubai Design District, Zuleya (meaning ‘carpet’ in the Emirati dialect), thus following the Zuleya concept: “From sheep to store”. At an auction held with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a selection of the weavers’ unique rugs – intricately woven floral and geometric patterns in a plethora of colors and shapes – was on display at the Downtown Design of This year.

The IMF team hopes to shed light on Afghanistan’s national treasure amid a prolonged period of political uncertainty. “The problem with Afghan culture is that it has never imposed itself in a positive way,” Jabarkhyl said. “People tend to associate Afghanistan with Iran or Pakistan. But the national language is different and there are different tribes; Afghanistan has a very strong heritage and culture stretching back thousands of years. When people hear “Afghanistan” they think of war, but it has a very rich identity.

The big question, however, is whether the recent change of government will hamper IMF operations and other initiatives in Afghanistan. Jabarkhyl admitted the transition has not been smooth as flights between the UAE and Afghanistan have been cut off, forcing alternative routes to import the rugs to be found. People on the ground in Afghanistan, on the other hand, are understandably more focused on the safety of women than on sustaining production.

“It has been difficult,” Jabarkhyl said. “But our work continues. We must continue. “

Amplifying the missing voices in the fight for climate justice https://libyamazigh.org/amplifying-the-missing-voices-in-the-fight-for-climate-justice/ Thu, 11 Nov 2021 12:53:49 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/amplifying-the-missing-voices-in-the-fight-for-climate-justice/

In depth: The COP26 Coalition hosted an alternative summit to amplify the voices, ideas and solutions that it believes are largely missing from the COP – including the new global green deal, polluter accountability and indigenous ecological knowledge .

The annual Glasgow climate conference may be getting a lot of attention this year, but its publicity is not at all good.

Waves of protests around the event amplified the message that world leaders are not doing enough, despite big promises, and demanding more ambition in national commitments and strategies. One side of this message is a civil society movement called the COP26 Coalition.

The movement is hosting an alternative summit that amplifies the voices, ideas and solutions that it says are largely absent from the COP, including the new global green deal, polluter accountability, indigenous ecological knowledge and the zero gap. net emission and real zero emission. .

The United Nations climate conference, known as COP26 this year, brings together officials from nearly 200 countries to discuss how best to tackle global warming. It has been held annually since 1995 and also serves to review the progress and implementation of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement, which saw a global commitment to keep warming between 1.5 ° C and 2 ° C. Alok Sharma from the UK government is chairing COP26, which runs from October 31 to November 13, which has been delayed for a year due to the pandemic.

“Numerous protests around the event amplified the message that world leaders are not doing enough, despite big promises.”

After more than a week of talks, agreements were reached to phase out coal over the next 30 years, reduce deforestation and reduce methane. While some have hailed these initiatives, others are calling them “bogus solutions” and “greenwashing”, notably famous young activist Greta Thunberg who has led protests calling for an end to “empty promises” and climate commitments. ” full of gaps “.

“Every day is a disappointment,” says Sapna Agarwal, a volunteer with the COP26 Coalition. “Every day we hear more and more about how the process itself is increasingly liberalized.”

The Kyoto Protocol concluded binding legal agreements while the Paris Agreement was defined by commitments due to be revised this year. She says some of them have gone in the wrong direction with no accountability built into the system.

“It seems the greater the urgency, the less action there is,” she said.

The People‘s Summit started on November 7 and ended on November 10, 2021. It involved around 235 events and workshops held online or in person at the Scotland site.

Sessions ranged from general actions, such as implementing zero waste, local and sustainable solutions, climate justice as racial justice and uprooting the drivers of deforestation, to direct actions such as prosecution. big oil companies like Shell or the management of confrontations like the police. .

Specific issues are also addressed, such as the role of surveillance in climate change and the revolution of social ecology in Kurdistan. And the focus is on global perspectives, including those of the Middle East and North Africa.

“The grassroots movement can move the Overton window and change the conversations that take place in higher places. It is therefore worth it ”

South London-based Choked Up, run by black and brown teenagers, is one of the groups that ran a workshop at the People’s Summit. Their “hacked road signs” highlighting air pollution received national media coverage this year as part of a campaign to repeat that “people of color are disproportionately exposed to air. toxic and poisoned “.

Co-founders Anjali Raman-Middleton, 18, and Nyeleti Brauer-Maxaeia, 17, said The New Arabic that the workshop, organized as part of the social justice training group Advocacy Academy, discusses their Choked Up campaign, the broader issues surrounding climate change and how to get involved in activism.

Artists paint a mural on a wall next to the Clydeside Expressway, near the Scottish Events Center (SEC), which hosted the UN’s COP26 climate summit. [Getty]

The campaign, which they launched after air pollution was recognized as a contributing factor in the death of teenager Ella Adoo-Kissi Debrah, sparked a conversation about air pollution at the London municipal elections are approaching, Raman-Middleton said.

“As a result of this action, we were also able to ask questions, in particular about clean air and air quality during some of the town hall debates, and organize electoral campaigns, in particular by making people talk. people about their clean air policies, which they wouldn’t do otherwise. were toasted, ”she says.

The main goal of the People’s Summit was for grassroots activists and people with conversations about climate justice to have those conversations outside of their existing circle, Agarwal said. The process facilitated the exchange of information on each other’s struggles, experiences gained and genuine solutions of early adopters to the climate crisis.

“The grassroots movement can move the Overton window and change the conversations that take place in higher places. So it’s worth it,” she said. The New Arabic.

“Critics said this year, the conference’s structural set-up has excluded large and vulnerable communities more than any other year.”

“It has been really interesting to be here, to be involved in more of the field campaigns, and to see the number of people showing up and just the feeling of disconnect between what seem to be closed-door conversations and not. not really recognize the people who are really here and what we demand is action now, ”Brauer-Maxaeia said.

Civil society groups often attend the main annual climate conference with space for events and exhibits set up in the green zone, open to the general public, and the blue zone for UN accredited parties.

However, critics said this year, the conference’s structural set-up excluded large and vulnerable communities more than any other year. This exclusion occurred due to “global vaccine apartheid” as richer countries had better access to the Covid-19 vaccine, a barrier to travel from some countries. High travel and accommodation costs are also a factor, as is the difficult UK visa application process that many activists attribute to UK harsh environment policy.

“All of this combined has prevented thousands of activists and key organizations from all over the world, including North Africa, from coming,” said Hamza Hamouchene, an Algerian researcher and activist who spoke at the event. a session of the People’s Summit entitled ‘Reflections on the just transition (s) in North Africa’.

Hamouchene, who has participated in several climate conferences, is very critical of current statements and argues that there must be a drastic reduction in CO2 emissions by stopping the expansion of extraction and production. of fossil fuels, namely oil and gas.

“Some of the region’s fossil fuel economies, such as Algeria and Libya, will be hit hard if Europe drastically reduces its fossil fuel imports from the region over the next decades. Therefore, serious discussion and public debate must take place to reflect on the necessary transition. to renewable energies while phasing out fossil fuels, ”he said, adding that this cannot be disconnected from issues of democratization and popular sovereignty over land, water and other natural resources.

“In kleptocratic military dictatorships like Algeria and Egypt, how can people decide and shape their future without first demilitarizing and democratizing their countries and societies? he asks.

Hamouchene cites various examples in North Africa, where, according to him, undemocratic and exclusive governance of the transition to renewable energies persists.

The Ouarzazate solar power plant in Morocco launched in 2016, for example, did not justify the appropriation of land by Amazigh agro-pastoral communities to install the facility of more than 3,000 hectares, he said. In addition, funding by various international institutions is also supported by guarantees from the Moroccan government which increase the country’s already burdened public debt and the thermal energy source (CSP) of the project requires intensive use of water to cool and clean the panels.

“In a semi-arid region like Ouarzazate, diverting the use of water from consumption and agriculture is simply outrageous,” says Hamouchene.

Similar harmful projects are taking place elsewhere which he calls “green grabbing”, but asserts that renewable projects in the occupied territories of Western Sahara can be qualified as “green colonialism” because they are carried out in spite of the Sahrawis.

“In kleptocratic military dictatorships like Algeria and Egypt, how can people decide and shape their future without first demilitarizing and democratizing their countries and societies?

One of the big topics of discussion this year was also the issue of climate finance and how to help less wealthy countries develop their green economies while suffering the adverse effects of climate change caused by large economies.

The activists demanded reparations and “took this account completely away from this idea of ​​foreign aid,” Agarwal explains.

Hamouchene also cautions against the corporatist nature of buying industry-touted solutions.

“Carbon trading gives many people the impression that climate change could be addressed without structural change,” he says. “We must recognize that market mechanisms will not sufficiently reduce global emissions.”

Sophia Akram is a researcher and communications professional with a particular interest in human rights, particularly in the Middle East.

Follow her on Twitter: @mssophiaakram

Kabylia facing the Algerian colonial regime https://libyamazigh.org/kabylia-facing-the-algerian-colonial-regime/ Sun, 07 Nov 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/kabylia-facing-the-algerian-colonial-regime/

Kabylia is inhabited by a people of peace who aspire to free themselves from any form of colonialism, they fight peacefully for their freedoms and their autonomy in order to build a modern and free nation.

Kabyle activists are subject to arbitrary arrests and detentions on a daily basis. Their freedom of movement is restricted and the militants are forced to live in hiding and exile, the Kabyle Christians are also prosecuted and their churches closed.

The Kabyle people want human rights NGOs to take due account of their political aspirations, and to support them in the progressive development of their free political institutions, according to the specific circumstances of the Kabyle territories.

The scorched earth policy, gigantic, very destructive and murderous, is still applied every summer season in Kabylia. The appalling resurgence of forest fires which devastated, in August 2021 in a few days, hundreds of hectares, including families died and others totally ruined, sowing panic in several Kabyle villages.

The Algerian political context, where it is again in the grip of destructive lightning, means that not all fires are fought in Kabylia: some of them are listed under the heading “INA”, that is to say non-intervention authorized.

The identification of the immediate causes, they are likely to remain of little weight vis-a-vis the underlying factors which are the political problems, even if it is close to Algiers, Kabylia is indeed the only region where the Berber culture, in particular the Kabyle language has been maintained, despite the policy of Arabization and Islamization carried out by the government since the independence of Algeria in 1962, without forgetting the abuses, the usurpation and the destruction of Kabyle values.

On the basis of United Nations resolution 1514 adopted unanimously in December 1960, the Kabyle people have the legitimate right to assert their self-determination, to choose their own political status and to free themselves from any forced domination.

The making of President Dbeibah | Habib Lassoued https://libyamazigh.org/the-making-of-president-dbeibah-habib-lassoued/ https://libyamazigh.org/the-making-of-president-dbeibah-habib-lassoued/#respond Tue, 02 Nov 2021 10:32:17 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/the-making-of-president-dbeibah-habib-lassoued/

In recent months, Abdulhamid Dbeibah has become the center of a well-oiled operation aimed at shaping his image as a popular leader. Libyan and foreign specialists participated in the exercise, which was managed by a central operating room in Turkey working with public relations firms in the United States and the United Kingdom. Huge contracts would have been signed and teams mobilized to restore the image of Dbeibah and present him to the people as the man of the future.

There is a determination to ensure that Dbeibah and his team remain at the helm of the rich country for at least another decade. There are even those who speak of absolute control of the country by a government that will remain in the hands of a specific region and a particular group of the population.

This means that Dbeibah’s accession to the post of Prime Minister was not a coincidence and that the spending of at least $ 20 million to buy votes in the sessions of the Political Dialogue Forum in Tunis and Geneva was not was not an act of random bribery. It was just as calculated as the dismissal of the results of the international investigation into corruption charges at the Political Dialogue Forum. With wealth and money, the doors open on their own. The international community in the final analysis is not a charitable organization working for the general good on one side or the other. Decision makers are not angels. They are human beings who have interests in and have ties to transnational corporations, including oil and gas companies and construction companies. Senior Western officials are not immune to corruption, which they practice outside their country. They get big privileges, gifts and offers. Moreover, Libya is a wealthy country and it is currently ruled by a successful businessman who has surrounded himself with a team of rich people, traders, traders and credit barons. The governor of the Central Bank is part of the picture. Its role is actually indicative of the nature of the current scene.

Anyone who follows the course of events will realize that Dbeibah followed a plan that was meticulously prepared by regional and international actors. They sought to consolidate a political leadership based on hostility towards the leaders of the Libyan National Army (LNA), the marginalization of Cyrenaica and Fezzan, by keeping aloof from the Council of the presidency, by welcoming militias and mercenaries and by striving to gain popular support by promising the public that it will benefit from the immense wealth of the country, a dream cherished by Libyans for many decades.

The international community has allowed Dbeibah to take advantage of his political position and executive authority. The governor of the Central Bank has been asked to accompany the Prime Minister in all his requests. What matters in the end is how to successfully present Dbeibah as the face of the future with the traits of a liberal and democratic businessman who goes with his time and is ready to make transactional deals.

It is only natural that conspiracy theorists are followed. Forces supporting Dbeibah have reportedly called on the United Nations to intervene to ensure the adoption of the amendments proposed by the Independent National High Electoral Commission to the law on presidential elections promulgated by the House of Representatives on September 9. The UN mission clearly called for the removal of “restrictions on participation in elections to allow Libyans in public office to suspend their official activities from the moment they apply for the presidency, as proposed by the High National Electoral Commission. . “

The issue here relates to Article 12 of the Law on Presidential Elections promulgated by the House of Representatives. This stipulates that “all citizens, whether civilian or military, are deemed to have ceased to work and exercise their functions (for three months before the date of the elections); and if he is not elected, he will return to his previous post.

The first to react was Marshal Khalifa Haftar when he decided on September 22 to devote himself to the presidential election by temporarily ceding his duties as Commander-in-Chief of the LNA to Chief of Staff Abdulrazak al-Nazhuri.

Libyan Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibah arrives at Martyrs Square in the capital Tripoli to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2011 revolution on February 17, 2021 (AFP)

And because the international community insisted on holding the elections on time, contrary to what some parties were striving to achieve, it was suggested that the Election Commission amend this article to state that “every citizen, be it civilian or military, is deemed to have ceased to work and exercise his functions (on the date of the announcement by the Commission of the start of the electoral process) ”.

This means that potential candidates can stop working on the day they apply, as long as the position they held is managed by their assistants who can continue to promote their reputation and ensure that they are in the right position for the job. to be the most prominent candidate for the post of head of state.

Libya now faces two main options. Either change the law and allow Dbeibah to run in the presidential elections, or postpone the elections to allow him to prepare for the poll and relinquish his post three months before the new date.

The objective is therefore to allow Dbeibah to run for the presidency and to be the next president of Libya and thus to cut the grass from under the feet of Haftar, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Fathi Bashagha and all the other controversial personalities. that are supposed to work.

He is undoubtedly capable of this after the tremendous work accomplished by the loyal press and public relations agencies made up of the most eminent specialists in the image industry and also by taking advantage of his position as Prime Minister to allow money to be spent. colossal for many social groups.

Dbeibah also tried from the beginning to take advantage of regional and tribal sensitivities, starting from the calculation that Tripoli is the largest demographic base and electoral reservoir and that the voices of Misrata, Tripoli, Zawiya, Amazigh (Berber) areas and a few other areas are sufficient to give him the lead.

It is natural that the international community finds itself among the accused, as it has practiced all forms of lies, hypocrisy and deception regarding the Libyan crisis since its outbreak in February.

He always leads with the same approach and when Dbeibah spoke a few days ago about his country’s frozen funds abroad, he knew what he was saying. He hinted that in the next step, each party will receive the reward it deserves.

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Porsches for teachers? Entrepreneurship debates continue https://libyamazigh.org/porsches-for-teachers-entrepreneurship-debates-continue/ https://libyamazigh.org/porsches-for-teachers-entrepreneurship-debates-continue/#respond Thu, 21 Oct 2021 13:38:13 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/porsches-for-teachers-entrepreneurship-debates-continue/


Over the past decade or so, the debate that takes place mainly within business schools as to whether entrepreneurs are ‘born’ or ‘created’ has been overtaken by the idea that all students from all faculties and from all over the world. all universities can and should benefit from exposure to some form of entrepreneurship education.

The belief is that by giving students the skills and / or the ‘mindset’ (again an area of ​​debate) to become economically active, universities can help cope with the youth unemployment crisis and stagnant economic growth.

In 2006, fresh off a job in a venture capital fund, Anita Nel told a professor at Stellenbosch University that the motto she intended to apply to her new position at the The university’s technology transfer office, Innovus, was “Porsche for professors”.

“I was partly guided by my sense of humor, but he was incredibly upset… What was clear was that, in the hallowed halls of the university, the words ‘money’ and ‘academic research’ , when spoken in the same breath, bordered on blasphemy, ”she told attendees of the fifth Lekgotla of the Education Development Higher Education (EDHE) program, held last week on the Future campus Africa from the University of Pretoria, in a session to discuss how supervisors can help their students benefit from their research. for economic benefit.

Five years later, however, that same professor called Nel to his office at Innovus and said, “Anita, do you remember our discussion? I want my Porsche ”, an opening that Nel interpreted as confirmation of a change, of a growing openness of academics to the notion of commercialization and entrepreneurship.

A change of mentality …

The fact that such a change is taking place is partly reflected in the number of technology transfer offices that have sprung up at universities in South Africa.

This is also reflected in the efforts of the National Department of Higher Education and Training, which has established the EDHE partnership with Universities South Africa (USAf) to ensure that students become more economically active, during and after graduation. .

USAf CEO Professor Ahmed Bawa called EDHE an “exciting intellectual adventure” that has the potential to have significant social and economic impacts on students and the economy in general.

Raising the ante even higher, Professor Thorsten Kliewe, chairman of the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Committed Universities headquartered in Germany, told the opening session of the second day of Lekgotla that universities that focus more on the third mission (entrepreneurship and engagement) would be the flagship universities in 10 years.

However, despite these lofty aspirations, controversy around the concept of entrepreneurship among academics persists.

As Nel notes, this is in part due to the age-old tension between academic freedom on the one hand and the pressure (especially in the face of dwindling research funding) to rely on industry as a source of support. financial.

There is also an ongoing dispute between the idea of ​​a university as an accrediting authority and its responsibility to produce critical thinkers; or whether academics should be motivated by publications in reputable journals or by solving real world problems.

Fundamental questions

These questions raise fundamental questions about the (evolving) role of the university in a (rapidly changing) society.

Having survived the opprobrium of traditional Stellenbosch faculty, Nel is now Chief Director of Innovation and Business Development at Stellenbosch University and CEO of US Enterprises (Pty) Ltd, the trading company of the university.

According to the university’s website, she made Innovus one of the leading university technology transfer offices in Africa, established the university’s LaunchLab business incubator, and was instrumental in the Start-up of the University Technology Fund (UTF) which provides funding for new technology startups in South African universities.

Last year, Innovus launched five new technology companies and seven of its companies are now funded by UTF.

Despite these successes, Nel hinted that it was actually more difficult to commercialize the research than people thought – although that was no reason not to try.

One of these challenges is that an academic proof of concept can answer a research question in an academic setting, but rarely presented as a tangible real-world product or prototype with a clear path to an established market. .

Putting this into perspective, Nel told Lekgotla that only 16% of technology transfer offices in the United States, where research commercialization is much more entrenched in the university system, have broken even or made a profit. .

“Often it’s an activity that costs universities money,” she said.

So why do it?

For Nel, the importance lies in “making innovation count”.

“Make innovation important”

“We recognize that research results with commercial value add relevance to a university and its research groups. It is positive for the reputation of the university and potentially brings results where it can benefit society and affect lives.

“Although we don’t always make money, often jobs are created, products are brought to market… sometimes we see huge successes and income can be generated, although it is not always easy. . “

Nel suggested that economic or commercialization results should be built into research designs from the start. To this end, Stellenbosch is experimenting with a “Translation Fellowship Program”, which aims to target postgraduate students at the start of their research journey, to “bring them closer” to the technology transfer office and to teach them how to put a product in the market.

“We want to get them to talk to industry representatives, ask them what the problem this industry is facing and if the student’s idea or solution would appropriately resolve it. “

In this way, the student could not only get a degree, but also too create something with use value, she says.

The idea of ​​commercialization or entrepreneurship as a “complement” to basic or basic research may offer a useful way to better sell the concept to skeptical academics.

But the appreciation of a parallel approach was not evident in the views of Dr Amazigh Dib, private sector coordinator and business manager at the Pan-African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences. (PAUWES) in Algeria, which concluded a presentation reflecting high levels of confidence in entrepreneurship as a means of solving graduate unemployment and a seemingly pervasive mismatch between industry and academic skills, with the following: “This that university students should understand is not knowledge, but applied knowledge. “

Innovate to have an impact

As the only session participant whose day-to-day work does not focus on facilitating or promoting entrepreneurship or commercialization, it was left to Prof. Nithaya Chetty, Dean of Science at the University of the Witwatersrand ( Wits) to remind everyone of the continuing importance of basic research in a university.

Choosing his words carefully (innovation rather than commercialization – and they are not interchangeable), Chetty said he favored an approach that saw all university faculties pursue basic research programs “unfettered” (by an industrial agenda). or other) and essentially in the sense of open criticism. demand.

However, Chetty conceded that universities can and perhaps even should run “parallel programs” so that all students are exposed to innovative ideas and are challenged to think about ways in which their work could have more impact. impact on society.

Partly in response to Tandokazi Nquma-Moyo, business development manager at the Technology Innovation Agency, who kicked off the session earlier by stating that students should be offered research topics based on industry needs, Chetty said it was “difficult” to force researchers and students in a particular direction, but recognized that it was necessary to make them “understand the importance of innovating in terms of research and of having more ‘impact in society’.

Chetty admitted to worrying about the extent to which researchers in post-apartheid South Africa had been pushed towards applied research and the impact of this policy on academic research.

“I’m worried about this. If the focus is entirely on the application [research] and U.S [all] take inspiration from the industry, we [all] essentially become service universities. I wouldn’t.

He said, while applied research carried out in universities of technology should be valued, “if all universities become centers of applied research, we will ruin our universities”.

Insisting that all research should have a commercial value rather than a social impact risked “driving chasms” and “creating more difficulties,” he said.

Increasingly, there was a need to distinguish between research-led innovation and researcher-led innovation. “I think the greatest attention for us in universities has to be mainly on our doctoral students and to connect basic research in a more innovative way; it is research-driven innovation.

“A big concern that I have as dean is the output of our doctoral students. Last year, we produced 100 doctorates in the faculty of science and across the country universities are driven by a strong impulse to develop more doctoral students. The understanding implicit here… although the connection is not made correctly, is that these graduates will continue to contribute positively to society.

“This bridge [between PhDs and benefits to society] must be stronger and innovation is a key part of this bridge.

By setting their own research agendas [as opposed to relying solely on industry needs], universities were able to foster and support innovation among researchers who were trying to understand problems relevant to society in a very fundamental way – “and in doing so, fund solutions to those problems … That’s what” is innovation ”.

It is clear that further debate on these complex issues is needed – especially since a pilot study commissioned by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Advancing Entrepreneurial Universities in Africa, involving three diverse South African universities, suggested that there is no common definition of an entrepreneurial university in South Africa.

As the study now enters its second phase led by Professor Cecile Nieuwenhuizen, Chair of Entrepreneurship Education of the South African Research Chairs Initiative at the University of Johannesburg, and seeks to involve all stakeholders. remaining public universities, debates on entrepreneurship education and its place in South African universities are likely to intensify.

More information on the 5th Lekgotla 2021 of the Higher Education Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDHE) can be found here.

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