World Of Freedom #2 : Awards for work for freedom

By Marek Tatała, Vice President, Civil Development Forum (Poland)Translation: Sylwia Szymańska It is important to appreciate outstanding liberty organizations and the people who participate in these important activities. One of the ways to show this appreciation is by means of the prizes awarded by, among others, Atlas Network and America’s Future Foundation, prizes that you can read about in the latest episode of the “World of Freedom” series. At this time, we are going to visit some places including India, Greece, Serbia and the African continent, places from which we will begin reviewing the most interesting actions of liberty organizations that we could hear and read about in May. The Center for African Prosperity, founded by The Atlas Network is good news for the people in African countries. It is a good a new initiative that aims to promote economic freedom, property rights, the rule of law and entrepreneurship. The organization was headed by a respected entrepreneur from Senegal, Magatte Wade. This liberty-oriented center’s purpose is launching processes in African countries that will allow for permanent poverty recovery and raising the life standard of living of the continent’s inhabitants. Moving to Europe, in Athens, the annual Europe Liberty Forum conference took place. It was a chance for both deepening knowledge and exchanging experiences, above all in the field of work of the liberty-oriented NGOs. During the Forum, we could hear some inspiring performances and learn about tools that are used by organizations from Europe and other parts of the world. I myself had the pleasure to participate in a discussion about the threats to liberalism in Europe. I described the attacks on the rule of law in Poland carried out by the ruling party and the means which we use to defend ourselves against these attacks. Moreover, the heads of …

Morocco Liberty Camp 2019

by Andy Eyschen The 3rd Morocco Liberty Camp, jointly organized by Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), Language of Liberty Institute (LLI), and Chantier de Citoyennete (CDC) took place from 22 to 25 April 2019 at the same place as the first two in the beach resort town of Bouznika, half-way between the capital Rabat and the largest city Casablanca. The number of students this year was lower than usual at 16 due to exam times, 15 were from Morocco and one was from Congo Brazzaville, doing an Entrepreneurship course at a Moroccan University. The program this year focused mainly on “Liberal Values” and the political spectrum, plus Free Market Economics. FNF was represented by its Program Director for Senegal, Daouda Seck and its local coordinator Chaimae Bourjij. Country Manager Olaf Kellerhoff dropped by for a brief visit. LLI was represented by Andy Eyschen and CDC by Oussama Benhmida. The movie John Q, starring Denzel Washington, was screened to prompt a discussion on universal health care and how it should be financed.Most of the lectures were presented in French with the exception of the 4 LLI lectures done in English. A joint presentation on the political spectrum was done by Andy and Daouda and students were asked to identify the political values of various well-known political parties and pin them on a chart from extreme right to extreme left on the spectrum.  While the majority of students had not been previously exposed to classical liberalism, they all appreciated the idea of personal, political and economic freedoms and were highly skeptical of those exercising political power in Morocco today, making the link between power and corruption, not even excluding royalty, a controversial and potentially dangerous opinion to have in a country like Morocco. The quality of the students was above average despite the …

In Final Plea, Economists Implore South Africa to Abandon Expropriation Plan

By Martin van Staden It is now well-known that South Africa’s parliament intends to amend the Constitution to allow the government to expropriate (forcibly seize) private property without being required to pay compensation. On November 15, 2018, the parliamentary Constitutional Review Committee finally officialized this intention by formally recommending that the Constitution be changed. Less than a week later, on November 20 and 21, my employer, the Free Market Foundation (FMF), hosted a conference in Johannesburg that brought together 23 participants from around the world. Where governments have been allowed to seize property arbitrarily, economies have been left in ruins. The goal of the “Conference on Security of Property Rights” was to allow experts from Africa, Venezuela, India, and the United States to share with South Africa the invariably detrimental experiences that other countries have had with similar policies of expropriation without compensation. Of the 22 speakers, two were from Venezuela (via video), one from India, one from the US, five from Africa— representing Nigeria, Kenya, Burundi, and Ghana—and 14 from South Africa. All the speakers had the same story to tell: where governments have been allowed to seize property arbitrarily and without the necessary checks and balances (like being required to pay compensation), economies have been left in ruins. FMF director Temba Nolutshungu neatly summarized the conference in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGvaBiRv1Eo Below are all the other presentations: Leon Louw (Free Market Foundation, South Africa) Leon Louw, the Executive Director of the Free Market Foundation, criticized the basis of the expropriation narrative in South Africa, which came in the form of several “land audits” conducted by the government and by civil society organizations. These audits paint a picture of a small number of wealthy white landowners hogging up the vast majority of South Africa’s land. Louw questions the very premise upon …

Adventures in Uganda

By Marina Brierley Last February I had the privilege of attending a Liberty and Entrepreneurship camp in Uganda. Such an inspirational event – to meet so many ambitious, thoughtful young people interested and hungry for the ideas of Liberty. Many were from the University of Kisubi, near Kampala, where the event was held, but some from other Universities and a few even came from Kenya. Mugabi John Socrates (from ALED – Action for Liberty and Economic Development) and Adedayo Thomas were our dedicated hosts and organisers.   The Vice Chancellor welcomed us warmly, sympathetic to the ideas of freedom and prosperity that seemed to be popular in this successful private university. The theme of the ‘camp’ was “Free Enterprise and Morality” – so vital to show that there is an inherent link between both concepts. Talks by Andy on ‘Why freedom? Principles of the Free market’, ‘10 technologies that will change the world’ and ‘Essentials of Entrepreneurship’ were enthusiastically received. Adedayo spoke on ‘The Foundations of Africa’s Economy and political freedom’ with considerable passion and flair. I contributed with a talk on ‘Education in the developing world’ which led to some discussion on the situation in Uganda and concluded with a talk on ‘Human Progress’ showing the amazing achievements that have been accomplished in the world where-ever and whenever free trade and entrepreneurship were allowed to flourish.   Travelling around the country in the days prior to the camp (through Kampala and to Northern Uganda for a safari I could not resist) I had observed the land and its people. A congenial climate, fertile soil, in parts lush natural habitat but above all, a young, aspiring population eager to make their mark in the world. So much raw potential! Through discussion with new friends I learned that many had long since …

Minimum wage is an idea of megalomaniacal and uninformed politicians

BE AFRAID, be very afraid. SA has tumbled down the Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) index to its lowest level to date. During apartheid, black people were denied economic freedom. Now, everyone is. Do not let the fact that everything gets worse with declining economic freedom scare you. The problem is not that less freedom implies lower living standards, higher unemployment, widespread destitution, political instability, capital and skills flight, crime and corruption, and protests and unrest. These, fortunately, are easily reversed. All the government has to do is stop causing the problem. The frightening part is that they are unlikely to do so because of political madness and greed. When faced with crises, governments tend to panic and do more of what causes crises, instead of less. They feel a need to “do something” even though the problem is that they are doing too much. Instead of lifting us towards the world’s winning nations at the top of the index, they are driving us towards losers at the bottom. Our government is bigger, more intrusive and more expensive than ever. Yet it promises a greater role for government and spews regulatory diarrhoea. Our late lamented economic freedom has been the subject of so much media anguish during the past few days that repetition of only a few core facts is required. We fell from the top third (42nd out of 159 indexed countries) to the bottom third (105th) in 15 years. We used to have the freest African economy, now we are 13th. Our economic freedom declined while Africa’s, and the rest of the world’s, increased. Temba Nolutshungu of the Free Market Foundation points out that “according to research in peer-reviewed academic journals, people in countries with high levels of economic freedom enjoy greater prosperity, more political and civil …

Morocco Conference May 25 to May 28

This message from Li Schoolland gives the latest information about the upcoming conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, which is organized by the Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies. The conference is not organized by Liberty International, but we fully support their efforts. We are very eager to see you at the conference in Marrakesh from the evening of May 25 to May 28, an excellent and purposeful program “Peace Through Entrepreneurship,” hosted by the Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies. In addition to a line up of international speakers the Arab Center will be bringing 15 MENA (Middle East & North Africa) civic leaders and 50 participants from Morocco. As so much is being packed into the program, much of the benefit is from a community of minds in building personal and intellectual relationships that we think can change the world at this crucial time. A draft of the program with speakers and topics is available on the website of the Arab Center:http://arab-csr.org/2016/01/14/peace-through-entrepreneurship-conference/ The venue is Marrakesh, listed by Trip Advisor as the number one destination for travelers, so there is much to experience in Morocco. Accommodations are at the 5-star Les Jardins de l’Agdal. http://les-jardins-de-lagdal-hotel-spa.hotelinmarrakech.net/fr/  You are urged to register soon at: http://tftevents.com/morocco-event/, before the end of April so that a room can be reserved for you at the conference venue. Your early registration helps immensely in finalizing the program with Nouh el Harmouzi and his team at the Arab Center. If you are coming from a country that requires a visa, urgency is essential. For all of your questions please contact Nouh el Harmouzi as soon as possible: [email protected]

Morocco May 26 – 28: Peace Through Entrepreneurship Conference

TFTEvents and the Arab Center for Scientific Research and Humane Studies presents the Peace Through Entrepreneurship Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco.  The conference runs from May 26th – 28 and features many speakers from David Friedman, Tom Palmer, Dan Mitchell, Christpher Lingle, Ken Schoolland, and many more. Please note that the conference is not organized by the International Society for Individual Liberty.  But we champion the work of one of our valued members, Li Schoolland, organizer of TFTEvents, and of the conference in Morocco. To register for the conference, please click here.  

Sierra Leone Crisis Group Revisited

In a follow up on the tragic story of “The Ebola Tsunami in Sierra Leone: It Doesn’t Get Any Worse Than This,”  the saga continues in these reports of desperation and assistance. MUSTAPHA COLE “My name is Mustapha Cole. I am a Sierra Leonean by nationality and I am giving a report about the present situation in my country. Presently my sweet Sierra Leone is in a critical condition as many poor people are dying of this deadly virus called Ebola. Because of the problems here now, everyday people are dying from different diseases and sicknesses as well. We are looking for support to stop this virus. People are dying like flies every day while we sleep and when we are awake. “No school or college is going on. Children are now staying at home for 8 months now and we have many children who are now orphans as mothers and fathers become victims of this disease. Now there are 1300 children and more every day. The Ministry of Education has come up with a radio program to teach the children, but that most of the poor children cannot benefit from this because there are so few radios in the homes, especially in the rural areas. “So we need more radios for these children and we are going to pay the school fees when they open again. We are taking food to these people in quarantine villages every day. They cannot go to work or to the market so they are suffering without food and medicine. And we have a plan to take in children who have lost their parents and have no one to bring them up. We are in a serious condition and have no hope. “I did not know her well. We just go and drop food …

Free State farmers’ historic land reform plan to lift workers from generational poverty

An historic meeting took place at Weiveld Boerevereniging, Parys, on Friday 17 October 2014, when twenty four farmers agreed to pay R750,000 to a land reform project, that will assist their employees to become homeowners for the first time and see 406 houses converted to freehold. The ‘Khaya Lam’ land reform project has the backing of Free State Premier Ace Magashule and the support of all political parties in Ngwathe. Driven by the Free Market Foundation (FMF) and initiated and led by Parys farmer and entrepreneur Perry Feldman, this project means that hundreds of poor and deprived families and individuals will get their first step towards true economic freedom and economic prosperity. Educating the new homeowners on how to manage their new asset is a vital part of the plan. Land reform is a highly emotive and increasingly political divisive issue, yet these Free State farmers, without political motive or public fanfare, are quietly helping local black citizens to get access to freehold title of the homes they currently occupy under Apartheid era regulations. This is a first in South Africa and stands as a prime example of what can be achieved if all parties involved are committed to the principle and ideal of full title for homeowners. Khaya Lam is a tangible and practical example of real ownership restoration in action. It is a blueprint which can be readily taken up and adopted throughout the country where poor families live in generational poverty, never having the means to access credit, finance and opportunities. A title deed is a profound game changer for millions of this country’s poorest citizens: it is a tangible asset against which they can borrow money, earn rental income and begin to change their family’s socioeconomic circumstances. It is a simple but profoundly effective plan. Feldman …

Ebola Tsunami in Sierra Leone: It doesn’t get any worse than this.

Meet Mustapha Cole of Sierra Leone. Four members of his family have just died of Ebola in the last couple weeks–his aunts, sister, and uncle. He buried three on October 5 and his uncle passed away just yesterday. His father, a sister, and one other relative remain with him in a small house that is short of food—very short of food. Everyone stays indoors as much as possible to avoid contact with others who may carry the Ebola virus—yet the pangs of hunger keep driving people to find nourishment that can make them strong enough to withstand illness. One family of 8 ventured from their home in desperation, but the food they found was spoiled and all of them died of poisoning. Mustapha is now living in a village of 20,000 people who are in a panic because 100 die every day. It isn’t just Ebola, but now people are increasingly vulnerable to malaria and cholera as well. The dead have been left in homes for three or four days so far—people are too afraid to touch them. This morning Mustapha found the body of Ibrahim, a truck pusher who earned $5 a day. He had been suffering for days from what he thought were cold symptoms and went to the hospital to be checked. He didn’t have enough money for treatment, but even if he did the remaining hospital staff were too afraid of Ebola to examine him. So many doctors and nurses have died that there are few left to look after the sick. Mustapha reports that the government has lost all credibility. The government stopped paying the staff so they went on strike. “People are dying like flies in the country. Many citizens lost all hope and trust. They are afraid to go to the hospitals. They …