Saturday, April 29, 2006

[NPCA news] Advocacy news and links from the National Peace Corps Association

From the NPCA's advocacy website:

-Many RPCVs will be participating Save Darfur rallies in many cities tommorrow Sunday April 30. Click here for more information on the marches. Click here for more information on the genocide in Darfur, Western Sudan or here for info on the broader humanitarian crisis in the region.

-The NPCA profiled many RPCVs who are working for cleaner energy or on climate change issues.

-The NPCA continues to work with Oxfam America on the Trade Justice campaign.

-The organization has also joined the One Campaign (also known by the slogan Make Poverty History).

-The site also featured a nice profile on Jamaica Corker, a Guinea RPCV and FOG member for the excellent activism work she has done.. According to the site, Jamaica has been an active participant in the NPCA’s Trade Justice Campaign, participating last fall in an advocacy day on Capitol Hill, and later volunteering in the NPCA office. More recently, Jamaica was hired as a consultant by Oxfam America to help coordinate the recently completed “Week of Action on Trade Justice”. This included accompanying and interpreting for Mali agriculture activist Seydou Coulibaly during speaking programs through Kentucky and Virginia. Bravo Jamaica!

Friday, April 28, 2006

[Peace Corps news] PC director to leave organization

According to the independent website Peace Corps Online, Peace Corps (Washington) director Gaddi Vasquez is leaving the organiation. It cites a White House press release that Vasquez has been nominated to represent the US at the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

[Announcement] PCV and RPCV blogs (reprise)

I would like to compile a list for publication here of all Peace Corps Guinea related blogs. If you are a PCV or RPCV and you maintain a blog that might be of general interest to FOG members (it doesn't necessarily have to focus entirely on Guinea or the Peace Corps), please leave your name, years of service and link in the comment field here or you can email me. I have a couple collected already but I'd like more.

Additionally, if you have any interesting stories from your time in Guinea that you'd like to share or short fiction with Guinea or Africa as a setting, please email it (don't leave it in the comments) to:

-Brian Farenell, FOG Communications Director
(Beindou 1995-97)

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

[NPCA news] Trade Justice event in DC

RPCV Jamaica Corker announces the following event and campaign for trade justice being sponsored by the NPCA and Oxfam America.

The National Peace Corps Association and Oxfam America are hosting a speaking tour from April 16-23 for West African cotton farmers and agricultural experts to talk about how U.S. farm policy reform has the potential to help bring people out of poverty in developing countries. The three speakers from Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso will also talk about efforts by West African countries to change the rules of international trade.

Everyone in DC is invited to a reception at the Senegalese Ambassador’s residence on April 17! For those of you in Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia or Vermont, click on the link at the end of the invitation for information on more advocacy events with the West African speakers in your area.

Please join us to hear about important efforts to reform trade policy that can have an impact on lives of people across West Africa – and in Guinea!

Jamaica Corker
Dionfo, Labe (2001-2003)

The National Peace Corps Association, Oxfam America and His Excellency Ambassador Amadou Lamine Ba request the pleasure of your company for a reception and discussion on Trade Justice featuring:

·His Excellency Amadou Lamine Ba, PhD, Ambassador of Senegal to the United States

·Thiendou Niang, PhD, Director of the Agricultural Policy Expertise Network in Senegal

·Seydou Ouedraogo, Dep. Secretary General of National Union of Cotton Growers of Burkina Faso

·Seydou Coulibaly, General Secretary of the Professional Peasants’ Association of Koulikoro, Mali

Monday, April 17, 2006

5:30 – 7:30 pm

at the

Residence of the Ambassador of Senegal

4500 Linnean Ave NW

Washington, DC 20008

(Van Ness Metro, Red Line - 10 minute walk)


Citizens from around the world will unite the week of April 16 – 23 to take action for Trade Justice.

Speakers from West Africa are traveling to the U.S. ahead of key World Trade Organization meetings to speak firsthand about the impacts of U.S. agricultural policies on their lives.

Join them in speaking with one voice for trade reform that can help lift millions out of poverty.

Join us for an evening of Senegalese refreshments, music, lively discussion, and celebration.

Please feel free to share this announcement with others.

Please RSVP to jcorker @

Visit for other Trade Justice events nationwide.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

[Guinean news] Political situation remains uncertain

The political situation in Guinea remains in flux. The sacking of reformist prime minister Cellou Dalien Diallo appears to be merely the start of what could become a prolonged succession crisis. The fact that the prime minister was given increased powers via a presidential decree only hours before he was fired was described as an unprecedented failure of the control that has characterised [Gen. Lansana Conté's] rule by Reuters.

"One expects the unexpected in Guinea, but we have never before seen such inconsistency in a short space of time," said Richard Reeve, West Africa specialist at London-based think-tank Chatham House.

"What happened was surprising in terms of information chaos ... (and) remarkable because it sidestepped the people assumed to have political power."

An International Crisis Group report notes that while Guinean civil society and the political parties have taken the first step toward setting a new national agenda, average citizens still suffer under the combined weight of hunger, lack of electricity and water, decrepit communications infrastructure and lack of health and education services.

A successful general strike last month over low wages and high prices marked the first serious union agitation in Guinea in four decades. Despite this, the unions deplored Diallo's sacking as 'incomprehensible, indescribable and worrying.'

An All Africa column wondered 'Guinea: Is There a Captain Onboard?'

There is widespread fear that the nation is being held hostage by an unidentified group of individuals motivated by personal gain.

In addition, there is rising concern that the political imbroglio unfolding in this nation, once regarded as an oasis of calm against the civil wars in neighboring countries, could lead to uncertain and dangerous scenarios.

Jean-Marie Doré, leader of the opposition UPG party, has called for Conté's removal as head of state and for him to be replaced by his constitutional successor, the head of the National Assembly.

Monday, April 10, 2006

[FOG news] Board meeting

Friends of Guinea's quarterly board meeting will be held on Sunday April 16 at 7:00 PM Eastern Time. The meeting will be held via phone conferencing. Members are welcome to participate. Please contact me at communications @ if you are interested.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

[Guinean news] Guinean prime minister sacked amidst signs of a power struggle

Signs of an apparent power struggle have broken out in Guinea, according to the UN's IRIN news service. On Tuesday evening, state radio twice reported on a decree by head of state Gen. Lansana Conté that would've significantly increased the powers of the prime minister Cellou Dalien Diallo.

But on Wednesday morning, state radio announced that the decree had been voided and that the government was 'maintained as it was before 4th April.'

Later, it announced that the prime minister had been fired 'for serious misconduct.'

Diallo had been in Conté's cabinet for a decade and was held in high regard by international institutions. But speculation persisted that Conté's inner circle did not appreciate Diallo's reformist tendencies.

His predecessor, François Fall, resigned claiming that his reforms were being undermined political meddling and corruption around Conté.

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

[Guinea RPCV news] 1987-89 TEFL group reunion

The 1987-89 RPCV TEFL group is having a 20th reunion over Memorial Day weekend 2006 in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. Six TEFL Guinea Volunteers out of eight will be reuniting from all over the U.S., with one Forestry 1986 Volunteer and Tafsir Thiam in attendance also. We have speakers, food, fun, reminiscing and catching up to do over the three-day weekend. There will be an opportunity to promote and get donations for current Peace Corps projects in Guinea. Looking forward it!

Edward van Luinen