Wednesday, December 12, 2007

[Guinean news] Crackdown on academic corruption

The IRIN news service reports on an unprecedented crackdown on academic corruption in Guinea.

It notes that for the first time in the country's history, professors have been suspended on charges of corruption and students have been fined or jailed for cheating in exams.

Higher Education Minister Ousmane Souaré, who was once part of a teachers' union, told IRIN, "Up to now these practices have been accepted. It was a system of utter disarray and carelessness and this had to be stopped."

During exams this year the common practices of buying crib sheets, accessing tips by mobile phone or having a friend take a test did not work: Many students wrote frantic notes to the education minister on their exam papers, or simply left them blank.

The minister instituted new procedures, such as banning cell phones and allowing only test takers to be on campus during exams.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

[African news] How Guinea-Bissau is becoming a narco-state

The BBC World Service has a troubling documentary explaining how Guinea-Bissau has become the central transit point for South American drugs traffickers ferrying cocaine to Europe.

The Council on Foreign Relations has information on it as well.

While this may not affect Guinea directly right now, the prospect of having a failed state run by drugs smugglers on Guinea's northwestern border is not a tantalizing one. Given the failed or barely recovering states on Guinea's southern and eastern borders and given the increasingly dysfunctional nature of Guinea's own institutions, Guinea could do without this further destabilizing influence.

Monday, December 03, 2007

[RPCV news] Documentary produced by Guinea RPCV on Liberia's government to be shown in NYC this week

Director and Guinea RPCV Micah Schaffer reports the following:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This week there will be three New York screenings of
“Iron Ladies of Liberia,” a PBS/BBC documentary that I

Monday, December 3rd at 6pm at Teachers College,
Columbia University located at 525 West 120th St.

Tuesday, December 4th at 6:30pm at Anthology Film
Archives located at 32 Second Ave. and 2nd and

Thursday, December 6th at 1:50pm at Clearview 62nd
Street at 62nd Street & Broadway St. in Manhattan.

“Iron Ladies of Liberia” follows the first year in
office of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Africa’s first female

Hailed as the most positive story to come out of
Africa since the end of apartheid, Ellen and her
powerful team of female ministers give a glimpse of
what can happen when women lead.

Our production team gained an unprecedented degree of
access to this remarkable woman at a remarkable period
in history.

Tickets at the door or go to: