Daily Archives: September 2, 2013

Sir Shridath Ramphal is a ‘Special Person’

Lawyer, politician and international statesman…Sir Shridath Ramphal is a ‘Special Person’

SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 | BY  | By Leonard Gildarie

While attending primary school at Grove, East Bank Demerara, in the late 1980s, my Common Entrance teacher, June Appiah, during the months leading up to the exams, was intent on ensuring we were well aware who the President and his ministers were. She was short in stature but was a giant with her “wild cane”.

Sir Shridath Ramphal

Sir Shridath Ramphal

Being one of the smallest, too, in terms of size, in the class, I was in constant terror because of the cane… Not that I fell victim too often. I avoided it at all cost. But somehow I still managed to always mix up the names of the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). That was when I first heard the name of Shridath Ramphal.  Continue reading

Martin Luther King Jr., Walter Rodney and Guyanese East Indians

This article mentions an article by Moses Bhagwan.  Here it is:   Being Indian in Guyana- The challenges – Moses Bhagwan   < click

Martin Luther King Jr., Walter Rodney and Guyanese East Indians

SEPTEMBER 1, 2013 | BY  | FREDDIE KISSOON 

The week just gone has marked the 50th anniversary of the famous speech of Martin Luther King Jr. that has been given the title, “I Have a Dream.” The world got to see the video as the US celebrated the 50th anniversary of the march and speech. What was clear for all eyes to see was the multi-racial attendance when King spoke. There were lots of white folks in attendance.

Part of the problem Martin Luther King Jr. had with the Black Panther Party was over that same issue. He never gave up hope that white folks would come around one day to accepting that there was white racism in America and the US must confront it as a united people. In multi-racial nations, groups discriminated against run the risk of alienating large sections of the population if they succumb to the dogma that it is their struggle and their struggle is best left for them to see it through.    Continue reading

Why does Kenya lead the world in mobile money? – The Economist

Why does Kenya lead the world in mobile money?

PAYING for a taxi ride using your mobile phone is easier in Nairobi than it is in New York, thanks to Kenya’s world-leading mobile-money system, M-PESA. Launched in 2007 by Safaricom, the country’s largest mobile-network operator, it is now used by over 17m Kenyans, equivalent to more than two-thirds of the adult population; around 25% of the country’s gross national product flows through it. M-PESA lets people transfer cash using their phones, and is by far the most successful scheme of its type on earth. Why does Kenya lead the world in mobile money?

M-PESA was originally designed as a system to allow microfinance-loan repayments to be made by phone, reducing the costs associated with handling cash and thus making possible lower interest rates. But after pilot testing it was broadened to become a general money-transfer scheme. Once you have signed up, you pay money into the system by handing cash to one of Safaricom’s 40,000 agents (typically in a corner shop selling airtime), who credits the money to your M-PESA account.  Continue reading

Labour markets – On “bullshit jobs” – The Economist

Labour markets

On “bullshit jobs”

ANTHROPOLOGIST David Graeber has written an amusing essay  <click here to read iton the nature of work in a modern economy, which seems to involve lots of people doing meaningless tasks they hate:

In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that, by century’s end, technology would have advanced sufficiently that countries like Great Britain or the United States would have achieved a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshalled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more. In order to achieve this, jobs have had to be created that are, effectively, pointless. Huge swathes of people, in Europe and North America in particular, spend their entire working lives performing tasks they secretly believe do not really need to be performed. The moral and spiritual damage that comes from this situation is profound. It is a scar across our collective soul. Yet virtually no one talks about it.    Continue reading

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