Me and Wangari Maathai"Who?" you ask. Wangari Maathai, this years Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
BBC's Talking Point conducted a live online interview with her on December 16 that I stumbled across when I should have been sleeping. There was an opportunity to post questions, which I did. Prof Maathai has endured a bit of controversy, quoted, only a day after winning the prize, as saying AIDS is a scientifically engineered biological agent; that is, a weapon of mass destruction. Knowing she had won the prize for her contributions to sustainable development, democracy and peace, and knowing she may be prone to say things she probably shouldn't, I was hoping to get an honest opinion of what she thinks of the actions of the Sudanese and Zimbabwean governments. Not that I wanted to hear her condemn them and agree with me, but I honestly would like to know what Africans think of their actions, and if she would voice that. Instead of asking outright I tried to couch it in good governance. However, at 3am I was not as articulate as I would have liked, and asked:
Do you think Western development and aid focuses too much on good governance, and do you think governments in places like Zimbabwe and the Sudan should be held to these "Western" ideals?Not that I think good governance, democracy or development are Western constructs in and of themselves, just wondering if the way they are applied by Westerners is seen as such... yeah? So anyway, I was feeling proud. I asked the Nobel Peace Prize laureate a question, and while her answer didn't mention Zimbabwe or the Sudan once, I was pleased with myself. That live interview will be broadcast on the BBC World Service and BBC World TV on Sunday, 26 December 14:06 GMT. My brush with fame comes in the final 15 minutes of the program. Watch in awe. In awe I say! Or listen to the audio. Or don't do either, because it's actually quite boring.
I fly out to the US in 13 hours. 23 hours of transit, 13,650 kilometres (8480 miles ) and a 47°Celsius polar swing later and I'll be in Omaha. Total time elapsed? 8 hours by the clock.
the earley edition - Posted by Dave @ 12/26/2004 01:12:00 am || ||