DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



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Posts tagged "Joyce Banda"

WOMEN’S MONTH ICONIC PHOTOGRAPH: Incumbent Malawian president Joyce Banda before being sworn in as president of the Republic of Malawi on Saturday, 7 April, 2012.

Banda became the first woman to hold this position, and the second woman president in Africa.

AUGUST: Highlighting African Women

Al Jazeera South2North host Redi Tlhabi interviews some of Africa’s most influential and powerful women, including Malawian President Joyce Banda - Africa’s second woman president, and South Africa medical doctor, business woman, activist and politician Dr Mamphela Ramphele about their transformative and historical roles.

Powerful and interesting commentary.

Africans on TIME Magazines 2013 100 Most Influential People in the World List:

Joyce Banda, President of Malawi

Joyce Banda, Malawi’s first and Africa’s second female President, could not have come onto the stage at a better time, particularly since the African Union declared 2010 to 2020 African Women’s Decade. Together, she and I can talk about the situation in Africa and what can be done by all our countries, working together in strong partnership, to build bridges and democracies and get our institutions and economies strong again.

President Banda possesses the traits needed during this period of great challenges in Malawi’s, and Africa’s, history. Before her active career in politics, Joyce Banda established several nongovernmental and charitable foundations, all geared toward improving the lives of her compatriots, particularly women. Today Joyce and I have a collaborative program that focuses on improving the working conditions of market women. There have already been exchange visits between market women of our two countries.

President Banda is committed to using her position to improve the lives of women across the continent, not just in Malawi. She has great strength. I am delighted that I’m not alone in Africa anymore.

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Actor, singer, philanthropist

The world’s most productive English-language film industry is not Hollywood but Nollywood. The teeming Nigerian cinema grinds out some 2,500 movies a year, mostly direct-to-DVD quickies mixing melodrama, music and an evangelical Christian spin. (Think Bollywood via Tyler Perry.) Employing a million Nigerians, Nollywood enthralls millions more who come for the thrills, the uplift and the artful agitations of Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde — the Queen of Nollywood.

Called OmoSexy by her fans, she has made 300 or so features, from the 1996 Mortal Inheritance to the 2010 superproduction Ijé, shot partly on location in Los Angeles. Married to an airline pilot she wed on a flight from Lagos to Benin, Jalade-Ekeinde brings a juggler’s grace to her roles as actress, singer, reality-show star, mother of four and philanthropist (the Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme).

Success hasn’t spoiled Africa’s most renowned leading lady. Rather than going Hollywood, Omotola wants to stay Nollywood.

Moncef Marzouki, President of Tunisia

His power stems not from what he is — his office is ceremonial — but from who and where he is: a leftist liberal President appointed by an Islamist-dominated assembly in the nation where the Arab Spring first flowered. All the countries that followed Tunisia’s lead now face identical challenges. Marzouki recognizes that there are two Tunisias: one religiously conservative and anxious for socioeconomic improvement, the other secular and progressive and terrified of losing its freedoms. Marzouki’s job, he says, is to reassure both that they can coexist, by writing a new constitution that enshrines human rights while respecting Islam and ensuring that both Tunisias have a voice in the political process.

The best reassurance may be Marzouki himself: if he thrives, it will demonstrate that the Arab Spring states can build a pluralistic political environment.

Bassem Youssef, Satirist
My job is hard. I have to sift through pages of political- and media-themed satirical material from exceptional writers and figure out what amusing face I can make to accompany each jab. Then I must perform them, 22 minutes a day, four days a week, with only our caterer’s spread to sustain me. Bassem Youssef does my job in Egypt. The only real difference between him and me is that he performs his satire in a country still testing the limits of its hard-earned freedom, where those who speak out against the powerful still have much to fear. Yet even under these difficult circumstances, he manages to produce an incredible show: a hilarious blend of mimicry, confusion, outrage and bemusement, highlighting the absurdities and hypocrisies of his country’s rebirth, all wielded with the precision of a scalpel, which, by the way, he should know how to wield because he’s a former heart surgeon. Yeah. And his family is beautiful and he’s a kind and generous friend. I am an American satirist, and Bassem Youssef is my hero.

Joyce Banda is Malawi’s first female president, and only the second woman to lead an African country.

She took over when President Bingu wa Mutharika died in office in April 2012.

But even though she was vice president, there were some who challenged her right to the top job leading to a tense 48 hours, where the country teetered on the edge of violence. Her elevation was only secured when the army agreed it would back the constitution.

President Joyce Banda has said she wants Malawi to overturn its ban on homosexual acts - the first African country to do so since 1994.

Two Malawian men were sentenced to 14 years in prison in 2010 after saying they were getting married.

Several Western leaders have recently said they would cut aid to countries which did not recognise gay rights.

Mrs Banda took power last month after her predecessor, Bingu wa Mutharika, died of a heart attack.

She has since reversed several of his policies, including devaluing the currency, in a bid to get donor funding restored.

Many donors cut aid under Mr Mutharika, accusing him of economic mismanagement and political repression.

In a speech to parliament, which was broadcast live on national radio, Mrs Banda said: “The Indecency and Unnatural Acts laws shall be repealed.”

However, analysts say she may struggle to persuade parliament in the conservative country to overturn the law.

After a storm of international condemnation, Mr Mutharika did pardon the two Malawian men on “humanitarian grounds only” but said they had “committed a crime against our culture, against our religion, and against our laws”.

Homosexual acts are illegal in most African countries.

In Uganda, an MP recently introduced a bill which stipulated the death penalty could be imposed for some homosexual offences, although he has since said he now wants this changed to life in prison.

South Africa is the only African country where same-sex marriages are legal - discrimination based on sexual orientation was banned after a new constitution was introduced when white minority rule ended in 1994.

'Attempted coup'

Earlier this month, Mrs Banda said she did not want Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir to attend an African Union summit Malawi is hosting in July.

She said she feared the “economic implications” if Mr Bashir visited the country in defiance of an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court on war crimes charges over the conflict in Darfur.

Relations with donors have already improved under Mrs Banda and the UK, which had been extremely critical of Mr Mutharika, is now urging other donors to restore funding as soon as possible.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and aid used to make up a large proportion of the national budget.

Mrs Banda was elected vice-president as Mr Mutharika’s running mate in 2009 but the pair had since fallen out.

When the president died, there were reports that Mr Mutharika’s allies attempted to sidestep the constitution to prevent her succeeding him.

Mrs Banda also announced that an official inquiry would be opened into this “attempted coup” and the circumstances of Mr Mutharika’s death.

Malawi’s new President Joyce Banda says she does not want Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, accused of war crimes, to attend a summit in July.

Malawi’s new President Joyce Banda says she does not want Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, accused of war crimes, to attend a summit in July.

For 48 turbulent hours she was the victim of a conspiracy that left the future of Malawi hanging in the balance. Then Joyce Banda made a critical phone call to the head of the army, asking if she could rely on his support. He said yes. And at that moment her place in history was assured.

"You ask how I feel to be the first female president in southern Africa?” she said in an interview. “It’s heavy for me. Heavy in the sense that I feel that I’m carrying this heavy load on behalf of all women. If I fail, I will have failed all the women of the region. But for me to succeed, they all must rally around.”

Banda’s dramatic rise came when President Bingu wa Mutharika’s increasingly autocratic rule was cut short by a fatal heart attack earlier this month. As vice-president, it was her constitutional right to replace him. After overcoming resistance from Mutharika’s powerful allies, she has now set about rebuilding the country’s shattered economy and pursuing a cause close to her heart: women’s rights.

The 61-year-old first rose to prominence as a champion of female empowerment, founding organisations including a microfinancing network for thousands of women in rural areas. She says her own experiences of marriage have driven her crusade.

"I got married at 22 and remained in an abusive marriage for 10 years," she told the Guardian during a visit to Pretoria, South Africa. "I made up my mind that that was never going to happen to me again. I made a brave step to walk out in a society when you didn’t walk out of an abusive marriage.It was mental and physical abuse.

"Two years later I got married again to my husband who was a high court judge in Malawi. For the next two, three years I moved from zero to hero: I was running the largest business owned by a woman in Malawi, in industrial garment manufacturing. But when I looked back his fingerprint was all over: if I wanted training, he paid; if I wanted a loan, he came with me. Because of his status in society everything was easy for me, so I had succeeded but I had succeeded because I was privileged.

"And that’s when it began to worry me. I began to think about those that were in my situation that were not able to walk out of an abusive marriage, or maybe those that did not know where to go, that were in a single headed marriage, or widows. I was thinking what it was I could do to reach out to them."

Pointing to Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Africa’s first elected female head of state, Banda added: “Africa is changing in that regard and I hope you know that we are doing better than most countries. America is still struggling to put a woman in the White House but we have two, so we’re doing fine. This is what people did not expect us to achieve but we have.”

(cont. reading)

African Leaders and Their Hats (Part 1):

These current, or former, African heads of state are, or were, rarely seen in public without their personal choice of head wear which some of them have become well-known for.

Who you’re seeing:

(l-r, from top): 

Mobutu Sese Seko (DRC), Salva Kiir (South Sudan),  Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria), Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria), Thomas Sanakara (Burkina Faso), Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia), Joyce Banda (Malawi), Omar al-Bashir (Sudan), Amadou Toumani Toure (Mali).
First order of business: Still in the first week of her presidency, #Malawi’s new President Joyce Banda has sacked the country’s police chief Peter Mukhito, state media have reported.

First order of business: Still in the first week of her presidency, #Malawi’s new President Joyce Banda has sacked the country’s police chief Peter Mukhito, state media have reported.

Another Female President for #Africa

Following the death of #Malawian President Bingu wa Mutharika on Thursday, former Vice-President Joyce Banda has now officially been sworn in as president of the Southern African nation. Banda is the first female president in Southern Africa and is the second female head of state in Africa, after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.