At this point in modern life, we touch plastic more than we touch our loved ones. Plastic is everywhere: it is in our air, our water, and in our soils. It is the vehicle for globalization, and the epitome of unregulated late-stage capitalism—a system that externalizes costs to people and the environment for the sake of profit. Even for the conscious citizen, plastic is almost unavoidable, and living plastic-free requires a certain amount of access and privilege enjoyed by very few in the world. We are only just beginning to understand the effects of our global reliance on this material. We need urgent and drastic reductions in plastic production, consumption and regulation at the local, national and global levels that tackle plastic pollution.
Africa is often seen as a continent of mass displacement and migration caused by poverty and violent conflict. Influenced by media images of massive refugee flows and ‘boat migration’, and alarmist rhetoric of politicians suggesting an impending immigrant invasion, the portrayal of Africa as a ‘continent on the move’ is linked to stereotypical ideas of Africa as a continent of poverty and conflict. In recent years, irregular migration from Africa to Europe has received extensive attention. Sensationalist media reportage and popular discourses give rise to an image of an ‘exodus’ of desperate Africans fleeing poverty at home in search of the European ‘El Dorado’. Millions of Africans are believed to be waiting to cross to Europe at the first opportunity. Yet, African migration remains overwhelmingly intra-continental. Contradicting conventional interpretations of African migration being essentially driven by poverty, violence and underdevelopment, increasing migration out of Africa seems rather to be driven by processes of development and social transformation which have increased Africans’ capabilities and aspirations to migrate, a trend which is likely to continue in the future.
Cost of Tax Havens
Tax havens collectively cost governments between $500 billion and $600 billion a year in lost corporate tax revenue, through legal and not-so-legal means. Of that lost revenue, low-income economies account for some $200 billion—a larger hit as a percentage of GDP than advanced economies and more than the $150 billion or so they receive each year in foreign development assistance. Financial flows seeking secrecy or fleeing corporate taxes seem likely to be exactly the kind that exacerbates the finance curse, worsening inequality, increasing vulnerability to crises, and dealing unquantifiable political damage as secrecy-shrouded capital infiltrates Western political systems. And as financial capital flows from poorer countries to rich-world tax havens, labour migration will follow, and these countries are left economically and politically weak to exercise their sovereignty.
Kenya Election 2022
The Constitution of Kenya requires a general election to be held on the second Tuesday in August in every fifth year, which means the next general election is scheduled for 9 August 2022. The Constitution requires that a presidential election take place at the same time as the general election. Voters will also elect members of the National Assembly, Governors, MCA’s and Senate. This edition will explore and highlight the events, the actors, possibilities and the outcomes of the 2022 elections.
Horn of Africa Election Series
Elections are the most visible tenets of liberal democracy. They play a crucial role in the democratisation process of a country’s political system. In the period between November 2020 and July 2021, several countries in East Africa and the Horn have either held presidential and parliamentary elections or are scheduled to hold them. While the political landscape varies in each, there are a number of cross-cutting issues which manifest with varying impact across the region. These impact the credibility of the elections, participation by the electorate and their effectiveness as a tool for holding the powerful to account. This series examines these cross-cutting issues that will affect elections scheduled to be held in Eastern Africa, including the Horn, in the first half of 2021.