MAY 2015 NEWSLETTER
In this newsletter I am going to focus on the energy and inspiration of the increasing number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa who understand that freedom is the only solution for poverty, repression and lack of opportunity. Young people, who despite the considerable challenges and in some instances real dangers involved, are focussed on exploring and explaining the principles and foundations of a free society to their peers in the expectation of changing the climate of opinion in their countries in favour of freedom.
Network for a Free Society supports them with the help of our generous donors who we want to thank most sincerely and we hope they will feel we have invested their money wisely as they read this newsletter.
Gidele Dutheuil of the Audace Institute Afrique
has a dream to reinvent property rights in Cote D’Ivoire and ran an essay contest re property rights which has culminated in a two year project using satellite imaging to map plots. She also runs a busy student outreach program including a debating contest for students and the formation of an active new branch of Students for Liberty. They ran a debating contest for students this year to interest them in different aspects of free societies.
The Chevauchee Foundation
started an ambitious reading program for secondary schools last year for which they printed 6000 copies of four different titles that explain and explore the principles of a free society. They will continue the program this next academic year and expect 3000 students to take part. Most of the books they used last year have come back and this year they will print and use 1500 copies of Common Sense Economics. Atlas Network was the main supporter of this program.
Nathan Tjirimuje says that this year they will also start a weekly radio program and they are working with an entrepreneur who will roll out free wifi for low income communities whilst providing consumer goods companies with access to a market channel to connect to consumers. All of it being done ‘for profit’ demonstrating that the market can supply these things if the state keeps out of the way.
East Africa Policy Centre
headed by Mike Rotich and Alex Ndungu take a keen interest in student outreach and ran an Ideas Competition focussed on the causes of youth unemployment which is very high there. They also published an important report by Mike called Struggling With Formal and Informal Trade Barriers
which highlights the extremely detrimental effect of barriers to trade which plagues Kenya and most African countries.
Mike Rotich presenting the prize to Team Victorious Secrets from Moi University who emerged winners
Moronfolu Adeniyi who recently graduated from the University of Agriculture in Abeokuta and is now with African Students for Liberty
, thinks that we “should catch them young for Liberty. We need a firm foundation for a better and Freer Africa”. Here he is teaching a class of attentive high school students in Nigeria.
Let's Catch Them young for Liberty. We need a firm foundation for a better and Freer Africa.
The highlight of the last few months has been the completion of the CD ‘Idees pour une Societe Libre
’ and the enthusiasm with which it has been welcomed in Francophone Africa where there are large Muslim populations. These ideas are much needed and the texts were rarely available before. It was produced by Marc Lassort of the Institute Coppet. It
is of course being used in France as well. Each CD is an educational mini-library of texts in French that explore and explain the principles and values of a free society. Downloading is mostly too slow and too expensive for access on the Internet in these countries, even where copyrights permit.
TEAM (The Teachings of Entrepreneurship on Antipoverty Movement) have been running a Freedom School for students and young professionals who want to understand and promote the ideas of classical liberal philosophy. Also they have been influential in the growth of Students for liberty there. In addition they have a publishing program into Oromo and Amharic. Everyone at their events receives a copy of the CD ‘Ideas for a Free Society’ as there is no access to these texts in the universities which is why we have been supporting further translation and publishing there. They say "the CDs of the ideas of liberty are the most important resources in countries which are hostile to liberty and because they are easy to carry and handle, we have distributed it even in very challenging times. The CD continues to spread the ideas of a free society across the nation’s young university students. Thanks to the support of Networks for a Free Society, we are also finalizing the publication of the translation of the Amharic edition of Foundations of a Free Society book of Eamonn Butler of IEA. It will help us to raise the effectiveness of our activities and provide the solid foundations of our free market movement by filling the gap of the language barriers."
Latyr Tine of Students for Liberty, Senegal has to be thanked and congratulated for his determination to make texts that explore the principles and foundations of a free society available to Senegalese students. Thanks also to Emeka Ezeugo for his support. The process of getting the French mini-libraries on CD out of customs took 8 long weeks!! The prevarication was about tariffs, or perhaps they were bribes, and it demonstrates so well one of the main challenges to Africans imposed by their governments. Too many regulations and restrictions especially where trade is concerned. Imagine how much better African economies would work if there was free trade. Imagine how much cheaper goods would be, how much more competitive African industries would become if there was free trade without any restrictions on goods crossing borders.
The Uhuru Initiative for Policy and Education was started very recently by Isack Danford its Chief Executive. They have already run a 2015 Economic Freedom of Tanzania Conference that highlighted the plight of the port of Dar es Salaam which should be capable of transforming the country if it was transformed itself. Also they are working on student out reaches for which we have given them copies of the CD and funds to translate and publish Eamonn Butler’s IEA publication “Foundations of a Free Society”. So they are off to a great start.
The fifth year of the Sub Saharan Essay Competition.
Last year the competition had 600 entries and as in previous years encouraged people to learn about ideas of which they previously had no knowledge some of whom were successful and have since become advocates of the ideas themselves. The topic is “Government regulations and controls are the biggest threat to jobs in Africa today. Discuss”
We very much hope that this contest identifies some more future freedom champions.
So a huge thank you to our wonderful donors, our inspirational partners and other friends for all they have done to enable so many young people to learn about the benefits of individual freedom and limited government during 2014.
Please support this important work in 2015 - there are still millions of people world wide who would be so pleased to learn that a free society provides the way to prosperity and opportunity.
If you believe in the creative power of freedom and want many more people to benefit from it, in the future, we hope you will be inspired by this work and support it in 2015. With a simple click, you can donate, and/or forward to a friend . (You can also unsubscribe from this list if you prefer not to receive these updates.)