Courtesy of TRF/Kagondu Njagi
Girls relax during a break from school in northern Kenya.

Growth in Kenya; religious diversity in Cameroon; military might in Syria; workingwomen in Bangladesh; Americans and their guns

A round-up of global commentary from the Oct. 26, 2015 weekly magazine.

Standard Digital / Nairobi, Kenya
Growth in Kenya should lift everyone
“[T]he latest World Bank report projects that Kenya will be the fastest growing economy in Sub-Saharan Africa with a steady 6.2 per cent annual growth rate...,” states an editorial. “We must however take cognisance of the fact that Kenya will need foreign investors to partner with the Government to realise greater growth. With this in mind, the Government must create a conducive environment for investors in the country.... Whereas projections for Kenya’s economy show improvement, the average citizen remains steeped in poverty.... As the Government seeks to address inequalities, it must [also] improve the quality of life of its citizens.”

Mail & Guardian / Johannesburg, South Africa
Work toward religious diversity in Cameroon
“While Cameroon has no history of religious violence, the growing popularity of radical movements is now putting the climate of religious tolerance at risk – with likely violent consequences...,” writes Hans de Marie Heungoup, an analyst for Crisis Group. “Distracted by the brutality of Boko Haram’s campaign, Cameroon’s political and religious authorities underestimate the polarising effect of these underlying religious changes.... The government should immediately improve its monitoring of fundamentalist proselytisation, reform the country’s Muslim Koranic schools and create representative bodies for revivalist churches and Muslim communities. It should also ... promote interreligious dialogue, and improve communities’ understanding of how to stop religious differences [from] turning violent.”

Les Echos / Paris
To win against Islamic State, more boots on the ground
“After two world wars, the construction of a peaceful European coexistence and the United Nations’ system, pacifism itself has become second nature for most Westerners. The idea of a ‘just war,’ which used to be all too common, now seems strange, unreal or even obscene...,” writes Roger-Pol Droit, a French academic and philosopher. “After some time, we surely understand that to eradicate savagery, it was necessary to take up arms. But we’ve failed to grasp the direct connection with the present. Until now, at least.... [G]iven the nature of [Islamic State], of how it acts and what it can become, it seems now as if a war on the ground is the only solution that remains. Of course, it’s also the worst solution. Except, maybe, for all the others.”

The Daily Star / Dhaka, Bangladesh
Workingwomen improve society overall
“At 36 percent, Bangladesh has fared better than most South Asian countries in terms of women’s participation in the workforce and the World Bank has rightly hailed the country as a model to emphasise the need for investing more [in] women...,” states an editorial. “Ample research shows that investing in women will bring benefits to our collective future, leading to stronger local economies as women save more than men and a higher savings rate translates into a higher tax base. Several studies also show that women spend more of their earnings on food, healthcare, home improvement and schooling for children, thus bringing about wellbeing of society in general.”

New Zealand Herald / Auckland, New Zealand
Americans love their guns
“Days after another mass killing, this time at an Oregon community college, [Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton] unveiled an ambitious new set of controls on the selling of firearms.... If she is elected, Mrs Clinton will face no easier a task than Mr Obama. First, there is the shameful opposition to reform by the Republican Party, which controls Congress...,” states an editorial. “But, most fundamentally, she will have to change the mindset of many Americans. They value freedom and liberty, as enshrined in the US Constitution, above all else.... This dates from a time when militias were maintained, and has no relevance today.... And as common as mass shootings have become, many, astoundingly, still see no reason to surrender that right” to bear arms.

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