Saturday, December 22, 2007

What Really Matters

Q. There's a conservative critique of the Bush foreign policy that rejects the so-called neoconservative view that we should be actively spreading democracy in the world, that thinks our foreign policy has been too interventionist, that thinks there's a domestic price you pay for creating this big infrastructure policing the world. Where do you place yourself in that debate?

Answer from Republican candidate Mike Huckabee: I don't think the U.S. government is essentially a missionary organization designed to convert every nation on Earth to democracy. Hopefully, the best way to convert them is to create a wonderful version of it ourselves and create the appetite and hunger, and when countries and their people want it, then do what we can reasonably do to assist them but not do it for them. So I'm not one who believes democracy is an exportable product that we put forth, that we say, "Oh, here's a country over here that's being run in a way that we don't particularly care for. Let's go in and change those good people." I'm not sure that's our goal.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Nollywood star Nkem owoh speaks on fiasco with holland police

from allincluded and

By Justin Akpovi-Esade

The Guardian (Nigera)

BARELY two months after the local media lambasted comedian Bright Okpocha a.k.a Basket Mouth for trying to fan the embers of hate between Nigeria and Austria with his alleged accusation of the former as racists in their land, Nollywood actor Nkem Owoh popularly called Osoufia, may have reaped the 'gains' of that seemingly careless joke.

Osoufia at a press briefing in Lagos last week alleged he was a victim of racist attack in faraway Holland where he went for a show with fellow comic Maleke. A celebrity magazine had reported that the comedy actor was deported back to the country in chains after The Netherlands police invaded the Grand Cafe venue of the show at about midnight, midway into the sold out event. "I am here to clarify some reports in the newspapers that have made the rounds recently. Some of the reports either got it all wrong or had some of the facts, but the reason for this gathering is to let the world know what I went through in Holland. Some said I was arrested, that is not correct," the actor began.

He told of how the owner of Grand Cafe, a spot he described as the hangout "of Nigerians, Africans and lovers of Africa in Amsterdam," got in touch with him to come over to do a show which eventually was eventually slated for June 15. All was well, the venue filled to capacity and the show was well on the way "when at about midnight, I was on stage when the police invaded the place. They came in large numbers, over 150 of them. They ordered the show stopped and asked all of us to move to a corner of the hall. I came down from the stage and told the officer that I was the main performer and if there was a problem we could talk about; I was shoved violently to the corner and ordered to leave the hall to the other side of the street. Before then, the officers had distributed leaflets which claimed that Grand Cafe was being used for criminal activities and they were there to fish out the criminals." The actor who addressed the press in company of his legal adviser said he had no objection with police trying to do their duties such as finding a criminal, but "I believe they should go about it in a dignified manner without trampling on the rights of others. My papers were in perfect order, same for Maleke who I contracted for the show. But the way and manner The Netherlands police went about the whole charade that day smacked of racism. The were so unfriendly, they were pushing and shoving people, including a diplomat from Zambia who came for the show. It was pure racism in action."

At first, the comedian thought his controversial song entitled I Go Chop Your Dollar, which many believed glorified Advance Fee Fraud otherwise called 419, was responsible for his ordeal. The song has gained world popularity especially in the United States and Europe where it is often use as signature tunes for talk shows on 419 as allegedly being perpetrated by Nigerians. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the nation's anti graft agency, was reportedly not comfortable with the actor's debut album. Rumours had it that the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC placed a Not To Be Broadcast seal on it. So, naturally, Owoh felt it was the same song that "has made the The Netherlands police feel that the King of 419 in Africa is in Amsterdam. But it was not to be, they (police) just needed an excuse to invade the Grand Cafe."

From across the street, the actor watched as Nigerians and others of African descent, about 500, were being frisked and sniffed at by giant police dogs, and were later loaded in trucks and driven away to various detention centres. "What got me mad was the way they manhandled Maleke. I felt bad and helpless as I watched from across the street the way they wrestled Maleke to the floor, cuffed his hands and took him a away like a common criminal simply because he sought for an explanation for the police action."

Osoufia became convinced it was a racist attack when "they started letting go the whites among the crowd. A woman who is from The Netherlands challenged them but she was just ignored and asked to just go. She was really mad from the way she was speaking."

The task of looking for Maleke fell on Osoufia who was further impeded by his lack of knowledge of the language and terrain. "It was a big ordeal to find Maleke as every police precinct we went to, there was no record of his arrest. I could not speak the language and I just must find Maleke because I took him to Amsterdam. It was later in the afternoon that he managed to get a telephone and called my number. He described his location and told us he was simply taken on a ride and abandoned in the middle of nowhere. You see what I mean that the raid was just planned to harass Nigerians and Africans leaving in Amsterdam?"

He immediately lodged a complaint with the Nigerian Consulate General at the Hague, who according to him was not too happy with the development and promised to take it up officially with The Netherlands government. Nkem Owoh had instituted a legal action against the Amsterdam police for what he described as a "gross infringement on his rights". Legal moves are on to free the over 300 people still being held in various detention centres in the city, he said. "The Nigerian community felt really insulted by the affront. They told me that the police there are fond of harassing Nigerians after the claim that former president Olusegun Obasanjo said during one of his visits that the authorities should send Nigerians home as he had jobs for them. I don't know if actually Chief Obasanjo made that statement, I would not want to believe that he did said that anyway. It was after television stations started condemning the action of the police that they started releasing some of the detained people. We also staged peaceful demonstrations on the streets of Amsterdam, which the television stations widely reported, the newspapers too. But there are still about 300 of them in detention as I speak with you who the police said they would deport, for which reason I do not know. It is a pathetic situation.

" The Nollywood actor, after his experience, has started a pet project aimed at laundering the image of Nigerians especially in the Diaspora. "The fact that I played I Go Chop Your Dollars does not mean that I support fraud in any way. That song was the sound track of a movie I did. Entitled, The Masters where I outlined the evils of fraud, it was so revealing that I started getting threat letters from fraudsters who claimed I revealed their trade secrets. I am caught in the middle, people are hounding me that I glorified 419 and the fraudsters on their part are angry with me! We are starting a project both here and in Amsterdam that would bring to the fore Nigerians doing great things in various fields of human endeavours worldwide, so that the world would see that Nigerians are good people who are doing great in other fields aside the one the world believes that we are only good at."

President Musa Yar' Adua would soon get the proposal from the actor on how to use Nollywood to launder the image of the country. "We are sending the proposal to the president and other relevant agencies. It is now time to tell the world that Nigerians are not all fraudsters, yes, there are some bad people just like you would find in every society, but the idea of saying that we are all bad, should stop. That is my present mission," he submitted.

Monday, December 3, 2007

u moet zich voorstellen...

Je ziet de beleidsmankers, experts, politici, publicisten, opiniemakers en anderen voorbijkomen bij buitenhof. En wat mij de laatste tijd opvalt is dat er een nieuw stopwoord in zwang is. Als er door de journalist gevraagd wordt naar de achtergrond van een bepaalde beslissing of beleidswijziging dan wordt steevast geantwoord met "u moet zich voorstellen dat....". Doet me denken aan het ombuigen van Lubbers. Wie heeft voorbeelden van dergelijke mode zinnen uit het verleden. Ik kan me namelijk van alles voorstellen, maar de realiteit wordt vaak zo ongelooflijk simplistisch voorgeschoteld. Welke cursusleider heeft dit begrip oorspronkelijk geïntroduceerd?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Internationale Migrantendag

On the fifht of december we will join a workshop of the radio 1812 project in Brussels.

Two of the participants of last year's project from the Radio stations and Migrant Groups will explain how they work and how and why they found the project interesting, they will be Francesco Diasio (Amisnet - Italy) and Adla Shashati (Greek Forum of Migrants). There will be also another session of the current project with Jan Hoozee from Urgent Radio in Gent and also Donn Flynn (Migrants Rights etwork) and also a session with plenty of participation from the audience.

Also two speakers from an EU network dealing with migrant issues (based in Brussels) will speak on undocumented children and their situation in Europe and the EU Blue Card initiative. There will be a round of questions and answers to the speakers that work on lobby and advocacy organisations on the question of migration in Europe. The invited networks are PICUM (Platform on International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants) and Caritas (tbc).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Migrants as ambassadors for democratic development

Political institutions in the Netherlands have a distinctly national character. The Dutch parliament represents the Dutch people on Dutch territory. But how well defined are these boundaries nowadays? Among citizens, a form of spontaneous internationalization is taking place: people travel, do business, attend meetings, communicate across borders, and maintain interests and networks in various countries. That applies to citizens of developing countries to an equal extent. Due to migration among other things, citizens in developing countries are increasingly better acquainted with democratic ideals. They are now also demanding a voice in politics and administration, even though economic conditions are far from favorable for enduring democracy.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the role migrants are playing in development cooperation. Migrants apparently afford a positive contribution to both economic and social, as well as technological development. Therefore on various levels, both regional as well as international, an attempt is being made to formulate a coherent policy in order to exploit this potential as well as possible. In this light, a positive role could be inferred for migrants in the support and advance of democracy in developing countries.

The importance attached to democratization in the field of international cooperation has increased enormously in past years. Democratization and development are now seen as two sides of the same medal. The correlation of democratization, development and security forms the new challenge of our time. The report “Forces in Islamic Activism” by the WRR (Scientific Council for Governmental Policy) illustrates this. There is a strong relation between democratization on the one hand and the war against international terrorism on the other. With that in mind it is of eminent importance to involve migrants and migrant organizations from developing countries in democratization.

However, the participation of migrants from developing countries in Dutch politics remains distressingly insignificant. That is demonstrated by the number of migrants standing candidate for local elections, as well as the meager percentage of voters from this group. It is demonstrated likewise by the number of migrants belonging to a political party. It is therefore expedient that political parties make determined work of involving migrants within their organizations. Hence it would be advantageous for the government to invite political parties to develop initiatives together with migrant organizations with the goal of encouraging participation in Dutch politics.

The Third Chamber requests the Government:

- to investigate how migrants and migrant organizations in the Netherlands can support processes of democratization within their countries of origin.

- to advance the participation of migrants within the Dutch multi-party democracy by means of a stimulation fund.

In conjunction with the objectives of the Third Chamber, migrants could thus allow the voice of developing countries to be heard in Dutch politics. Consequently this policy would link with endogenous forces among migrants. In addition, these initiatives would be an important supplement to the government action program aimed at increasing immunity of young people to radicalization.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The therapeutic experience of migrants in development

If you want to know something about the life of immigrants in the Netherlands you should read the free newspaper “the African Bulletin”. It’s published every month and has all kind of interesting information that mainstream dutch newspapers don’t bother to publish. I get it at a local afroshop in my hometown Leeuwarden. Even here, all the way up north in Friesland, we have an african community. This month my eye caught the announcement of a policy Seminar on Migration and Development: october 24th. Allthough my tomtom (car navigator) had just died and The Hague is more then two hours drive i decided i would go anyway. I sent in my application and informed my fellow Third Chamber member Miesse Samafu that this is a seminar for us. I had a hard time finding a parking place near the Institute of Social Studies. I missed the introduction by Dr. Awil Mohammed, director of the African Diaspora Center. But I managed to get in half way the speech of Marieke van Renssen, spokesperson for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Jennifer Brinkerhoff, Associate Professor Public Administration & International Affairs at George Washington University, stressed that migrants have a much larger contribution to the development of their countries of origin then just remittance. Leila Rispens, program director of Oxfam Novib, on the other hand stressed the importance of remittance. Joseph Seh elaborated on the question: if and how migrants can contribute to Development and if migrants should have their own capacity building organisation next to the mainstream development organisations. At lunch and in the break participants could exchange cards and meet each other in the restaurant of the ISS. After lunch there were workshops on experiences of diaspora organisations as agents for development. A poultry project in Ghana. A coffee project in Ethiopia. A flower farm in Ethiopia and a war victim project in Uganda. Great examples of how migrants can be transnational bridge builders. Mulugeta Asmellash expressed how he felt about the project by saying that it had a therapeutic effect on his relation to both his country of origin and the Netherlands of which he is a citizen now. Joseph Seh asked what the added value might be of a development project initiated by migrants compared to a project done by a mainstream development organisation. A participant from Burundi answered that projects developed by migrants could well be more sustainable because the relationship with the project isn’t based on money alone.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

John Scofield Trio Slovenia

John Scofield Trio Steve Swallow Bill Stewart Ljubiana, Slovenia 1999.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Migranten sturen meer geld naar herkomstland

LUXEMBURG (ANP-AFX) - Migranten in Europa hebben vorig jaar 26 miljard euro overgeboekt naar hun herkomstland. Dat is 3 miljard meer dan het jaar ervoor, meldde Europees statistisch bureau Eurostat dinsdag.

Het geld gaat onder meer naar Turkije en Marokko. Daarnaast sturen migranten in Spanje veel geld naar Colombia en Ecuador, terwijl vanuit Duitsland ook veel geld vloeit naar Servië en Polen.
Migranten in Nederland hebben vorig jaar 800 miljoen euro overgeboekt naar hun herkomstland. Twee jaar eerder was dat nog 900 miljoen: hiervan ging 220 miljoen naar landen in Noord-Afrika, zoals Marokko.
De cijfers gaan alleen over officiële bankoverboekingen. Geld dat op andere manieren wordt gestuurd is niet meegeteld.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sunday, September 2, 2007

op zoek naar de stilte

Uitzending over sporen van het slavernijverleden in leeuwarden. Gast is archivaris Klaas Zandberg van HCL.

Hoe zichtbaar zijn de sporen van het Nederlandse slavernijverleden? Zijn er nog verborgen verwijzingen die aan onze vluchtige waarneming ontsnappen? Vier onderzoekers gingen daarnaar op zoek. Ze doorzochten niet alleen de collecties van erfgoedinstellingen te Amsterdam en Middelburg, maar richtten zich ook op minder traditionele vindplaatsen.

Zo vervolgden ze hun zoektocht buiten de bekende steden van slavenhandel: in Leeuwarden waar ze onverwachts een boeiend slavernijverleden aantroffen.

Stille getuigen vonden ze verder in bankinstellingen, aan de muren of gevels van gebouwen, op begraafplaatsen en thuis in privé-collecties. Erfgoed blijkt ook een mentale dimensie te hebben. Het zit in de hoofden van Surinamers, Antillianen en autochtone Nederlanders. Gesprekken met hen leverden openhartige getuigenissen op van hun persoonlijke erfenis van het slavernijverleden.

Op zoek naar de stilte is een onmisbare aanvulling op bestaande publicaties over het Nederlandse slavernijverleden. Het is de eerste inventarisatie van niet-conventionele vindplaatsen van slavernij-erfgoed. De poging om via interviews mentaal erfgoed te duiden, is vernieuwend. Het resultaat is boeiend, soms onverwacht en toegankelijk geschreven.

In opdracht van Cultureel Erfgoed Minderheden werd dit onderzoek verricht door de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (EUR) en het Museum Suriname in Amsterdam. De auteurs houden zich professioneel bezig met het slavernijverleden. Alex van Stipriaan Luïscius is hoogleraar geschiedenis aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en conservator bij het KIT Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam. Waldo Heilbron is voorzitter van de Stichting Museum Suriname en oud-wetenschappelijk medewerker van de Universiteit Amsterdam. Aspha Bijnaar is wetenschappelijk onderzoeker bij het Nationaal instituut Nederlands slavernijverleden en erfenis (NiNsee). Valika Smeulders is promotie onderzoeker aan de EUR.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Solo naar Sudan

Solo vertelt over zijn reis met plannederland naar Sudan. Hozny vertelt over zijn release party op 23 november in ludiek in Sneek.Dinsdagavond om zeven uur in de uitzending van Kleurrijk Leeuwarden op Solo is student aan de pop akademie, opgegroeid in Jerevan, en zet zich samen met PlanNederland in voor de vluchtelingen in Darfur. Info op en luister elke dinsdag van 7 tot 8 via

Monday, July 9, 2007

Migration and development

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect
wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather
teach them to long for the endless immennsity of the sea.”

Ms. Leila Rispens-Noel presently working as Programme Officer with Oxfam Novib attended the Civil Society Day of the Global Forum on Migration & Development along with among others Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

foreign partners

De documentaire (in het Engels) over de buitenlandse partners van Nederlanders is over twee weken voltooid, vertelde ons de onafhankelijke filmmaakster Reese Lee. Op YouTube staat al ... een trailer
Meer info over buitenlandsepartners op

Friday, June 1, 2007

Friday, May 25, 2007

Basile Maneka

Komende dinsdagavond vanaf 7 uur in de uitzending op
Project voor straatkinderen in Kinshasa. De Pardonregeling. De muziek. Info op en luister elke dinsdag van 7 tot 8 via

Sunday, April 15, 2007

So-Lo & StenniZ

Dinsdagavond om zeven uur in de uitzending van Kleurrijk Leeuwarden op Solo is student aan de pop akademie, opgegroeid in Jerevan, en zet zich samen met PlanNederland in voor de vluchtelingen in Darfur. Info op en luister elke dinsdag van 7 tot 8 via

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Kleurrijk Leeuwarden

Bob en Vincent presenteren vanaf april regelmatig het radio programma Kleurrijk Leeuwarden op dinsdag van zeven tot acht uur 's avonds. De uitzending is ook via internet te volgen op

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Third Chamber

Interview in Dutch about The Third Chamber & the Millennium Development Goals. For more information about The Third Chamber, go to:

Monday, February 5, 2007

Burgers hebben het recht de wereld te ontmoeten!

“De aanwezigheid van migranten uit ontwikkelingslanden hier in Nederland, medeburgers, heeft ontwikkelingssamenwerking dichter bij huis gebracht.”

In het weekend van 9 en 10 februari aanstaande vindt de installatie van De Derde Kamer plaats in Wageningen. Eén van de 150 leden van dit schaduwparlement voor Ontwikkelingssamenwerking is Vincent Harris uit Leeuwarden. “Ik verwacht dat het thema democratisering centraal zal staan in de komende zittingsperiode. Door de kennis die de individuele leden opdoen te koppelen aan lokale activiteiten en campagnes zal De Derde Kamer een steeds belangrijker factor vormen in het nationale politieke debat over ontwikkelingssamenwerking en internationale kwesties.”