By Alex de Waal
Why, 20 years into the concern, are democratic governments appearing so poorly in tackling AIDS in Africa? De Waal argues that current ways are pushed by way of pursuits and frameworks that fail to interact with African societies' resilience and creativity. Already, African groups have confounded many of the worst predictions of catastrophe. If appropriately supported, they are going to locate methods of maintaining improvement and democracy in the middle of HIV/AIDS.
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Additional resources for AIDS and Power: Why there is no Political Crisis - Yet (African Arguments)
Suffering lost its meaning. Sowetans’ spirit-scape is further imperilled by the AIDS epidemic, particularly by the number of early and ‘bad’ deaths it entails. As Ashforth notes, living to the Biblical three score years and ten is now a ‘privilege’ enjoyed by few,36 the funerals of adults who have died of AIDS are routine, and the virus and disease remain subject to many taboos. Elevation to ancestorhood is straightforward if one passes away at a ripe old age, with lifetime obligations completed, surrounded by children and grandchildren.
If this article doesn’t rouse you to anger, fury, rage, and action, gay men may have no future on this earth. 21 African AIDS activism began at the fringes also. They were angry, but not at their government – which had just come to power and brought them peace and some hope for the future. Noerine Kaleeba says that her activism was driven by anger at the discrimination and stigma experienced by her husband, and by the world’s double standards. She enjoins people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and their families,‘Don’t despair and don’t lose your anger either.
Undoubtedly both propositions are true. The end result is a political challenge to the ANC. The challenge is fundamental in the sense that it demands that the ANC return to its older philosophy of being a people’s movement for social change as well as a political party. It is less so, in that it seeks this change from within. The TAC’s accommodation to the ruling party is strategic, because the ANC is likely to be in power for a long time. It is consistent, because the TAC is still broadly sympathetic to its former comrades-in-arms.
AIDS and Power: Why there is no Political Crisis - Yet (African Arguments) by Alex de Waal