Sunday, June 29, 2008

Why 'Peak Oil' is not a problem

I would like to thank Jessie for alerting me to an important consequence of high oil prices.

In Kigali a litre of petrol retails at 892 Francs per litre. A bottle of Primus beer retails at 450 Francs for 0.72 litres, making it cost 625 Francs per litre.


A 0.65 litre bottle of M├╝tzig (my preferred Rwandese beer) unfortunately still costs the equivalent of 1077 Francs per litre. Therefore, I expect the fuel price to rise a little further.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ethiopia

It is with growing disgust that I read articles on recent developments in Ethiopia, whether it is regarding the famine, the war in Somalia or national politics.

A recent article by IPS comments on the recently rigged "elections" in the country. It describes elections dominated by fraud, intimidation and even killings.

Nonetheless the country receives huge amounts of military and financial support from the US in its war in Somalia (source: BBC). The justification is the war against Islamists. The result is that Ethiopia has overthrown the first government in decades that had a chance of stabilising the country. Famine, violence and civil war have followed. The country continues to meddle in a country in which it is hated and held responsible for many wars and deaths.

But the greatest tragedy is that Ethiopia, a regional military and economic power, is once again letting its people starve in a famine that could easily have been averted. And their reponse to the famine: is to ask the West to solve it.

The West finances Ethiopia's wars, support her dictatorship and feeds her people. Alas, its a well known story in Africa. Some things never change.

And because humour is the only way to stay sane in our age, I have added a poll on this issue to the top of the right column of this blog.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Opinion polls in Rwanda

Today, on the Rwandan daily newspaper "New Times" homepage there is a poll on the education sector:

Poll
How do you rate Rwanda’s education sector?
Excellent
Fair
Doing well
Don’t know

We in Rwanda welcome constructive criticism.