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Pambazuka News

Pambazuka News Pambazuka News is produced by a pan-African community of some 2,600 citizens and organisations - academics, policy makers, social activists, women's organisations, civil society organisations, writers, artists, poets, bloggers, and commentators who together produce insightful, sharp and thoughtful analyses and make it one of the largest and most innovative and influential web forums for social justice in Africa.

The Inagural 2016 Pan African Colloquium, Barbados

Latest titles from Pambazuka Press

African Sexualities

Earth Grab A Reader
Sylvia Tamale
A groundbreaking book, accessible but scholarly, by African activists. It uses research, life stories and artistic expression to examine dominant and deviant sexualities, and investigate the intersections between sex, power, masculinities and femininities
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Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya

From Citizen to Refugee Horace Campbell
In this elegantly written and incisive account, scholar Horace Campbell investigates the political and economic crises of the early twenty-first century through the prism of NATO's intervention in Libya.
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Queer African Reader

Demystifying Aid Edited by Sokari Ekine, Hakima Abbas
A diverse collection of writing from across the continent exploring African LGBTI liberation: identity, tactics for activism, international solidarity, homophobia and global politics, religion and culture, and intersections with social justice movements. A richness of voices, a multiplicity of discourses, a quiverful of arguments. African queers writing for each other, theorising ourselves, making our ...more
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China and Angola

African Awakening A Marriage of Convenience?
Edited by Marcus Power, Ana Alves
This book focuses on the increased co-operation between Angola and China and shows that although relations with China might have bolstered regime stability and boosted the international standing of the Angolan government, China is not regarded as a long term strategic partner.
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How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

To Cook a ContinentWalter Rodney
Rodney shows how the imperial countries of Europe, and subsequently the US, bear major responsibility for impoverishing Africa. They have been joined in this exploitation by agents or unwitting accomplices both in the North and in Africa.
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Books & arts

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Magnificent and Beggar Land: A review

Stephen Marks

2015-11-24, Issue 752

The book is a concise, intimately researched and continuously readable account of how Angola’s changing domestic interactions since the end of the civil wars have affected its mode of insertion into the global system.

Sanya Osha's ‘On a sad weather-beaten couch’

Babatunde Fagbayibo

2015-11-09, Issue 750

Will love triumph and invariably bring forth the passport to prosperity? This is the question that grips the reader from the first chapter of the novel. Sanya Osha adopts a simple and clear language to systematically unfold the tempo of this impressive storyline.

The U.S. war in Africa

Review of an invaluable new book on the U.S. and Africa.

Lee Wengraf

2015-10-27, Issue 748

As unfolding events in Africa show all too clearly, the scramble for resources, markets and investments has rapidly spilled over into a frightening militarization. A militarized continent continues to leave ordinary Africans in devastated conditions,

8TH Pan African Congress legacy project

2015-10-19, Issue 747

The aim of the Legacy Project is to provide a forum and an engagement platform for issues relating to Africa to remain alive through culture, arts, youth clubs and the dissemination of books and works of leading pan Africanists.

‘Stuffed and starved': A review

Godfrey Eliseus Massay

2015-10-01, Issue 744

‘Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System’ is the must-read book for any person who cares about farmers and food. It is a book that must be read by all people who defend the rights of farmers and food sovereignty in Africa and around the globe.

Understanding the quest for a more just world

A review of ‘Interactive Democracy: The Social Roots of Global Justice’ by Carol Gould

Ronald Elly Wanda

2015-09-09, Issue 741

By recovering and uncovering the links in theory and practice between democracy, human rights, and social justice, Professor Gould’s book opens a gateway into these connections in a way that reclaims democracy by refreshing its emancipatory promises.

Engineered consent in Swaziland

Peter Kenworthy

2015-09-08, Issue 741

In Swaziland you can rarely find a company or government parastatal whose board of directors does not include a prince, princess, chief or the king’s business associate. It is an absolute monarchy where one’s opportunities and place in society are almost fully dependent on connections and willingness to comply with the decrees of King Mswati III.

‘Victims and Victimhood’ – An East African perspective

Ronald Elly Wanda

2015-09-03, Issue 740

Govier’s book does a good job of generating anxiety about the future of humanity and of victims, using serious restorative concepts which are very useful in Eastern Africa where there are consistent efforts to rethink the term ‘victim’.

South Africa’s unfinished business of apartheid

A review of ‘Getting Away With Impunity: International Criminal Law and South African Apartheid Criminals’

Austin Mwange

2015-08-05, Issue 738

cc Pz
Although apartheid is a crime against humanity under international law, no one has been prosecuted for it. That means criminals who perpetrated this evil system are still free. It is a problem that South Africa – and the world - needs to address, according to a new book.

‘Shubbak’: A window on North African & Middle Eastern art

Mounira Chaeb

2015-08-05, Issue 738

The event featured music concerts, exhibitions, poetry, talks and discussions, films and art. The aim of the organizers was to bring together artists to speak in a multitude of voices about what matters deeply to them.

Souad Massi: The true face of Islam

Mounira Chaeb

2015-07-09, Issue 734

At a time when ISIS militants have been burning musical instruments because they claim they are against Sharia Law, Massi’s latest songs pay homage to centuries-old Arab culture, and to a tolerant humanism now under siege.

Damned if we don’t: Ahjamu R. Umi’s prescient liberation literature

Michelle Renee Matisons

2015-06-24, Issue 732

Umi communicates a straightforward political message: People have the right, even the duty, to defend themselves and their communities against racist terrorist violence. And white people should not sit by idly, but instead, join this struggle.

The coming revolution in North Africa: The struggle for climate justice’

Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello

2015-06-19, Issue 731

In an interview, the editors of this new book say their goal is to counteract the dominant neoliberal discourse on climate change in Arabic, and point to the need for a revolutionary alternative grounded in justice.

Cry of the Environment: A review of Ngong’s ‘Blot on the Landscape’

Peter Wuteh Vakunta

2015-06-04, Issue 729

c c PZ
Cameroonian poet Ngong issues an effective wake up call decrying the rapidly declining state of the environment. The volume is a battle cry, urging everyone to fight back against the forces—including human nature itself—ravaging the Earth.

‘Africans in China’: A review

Kwame Opoku

2015-06-04, Issue 729

c c PZ
Prof. Bodomo has produced an excellent book that will for years to come be the standard work for scholars. “Two points I will always retain are: the African who was surprised that the Chinese do not speak English and the complaint by some Chinese that the Africans are intensely dating Chinese women. What did they expect?”

An “other” feminism

A review of Hilary Klein’s ‘Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories’

Charlotte Maria Sáenz

2015-06-04, Issue 729

The new book provides the world with the voices of indigenous Zapatista women as a new political element: one being created and theorized from their own place and history, with openness to worlds and perspectives beyond.

'We are many': A review

Hamza Hamouchene

2015-06-03, Issue 729

The film is an indictment of those people who waged an illegal and criminal war on Iraq, and succeeds in conveying the anti-war spirit of 2003 by documenting and charting a crucial moment in the left's efforts to organise in order to stop the war.

Matiba of Kenya

Philo Ikonya

2015-06-04, Issue 729

Kenneth Matiba, once a prominent politician associated with the struggle for the re-introduction of multi-party democracy in Kenya, is now an ailing old man in a wheelchair. He has sued the government for illegal detention, which caused his present illness. A tribute.

"I could have died at any moment"

New documentary profiles the political struggles of a young political activist in Swaziland

Peter Kenworthy

2015-05-21, Issue 727

The film describes the fight for democracy and socio-economic justice in the tiny sub-Saharan country through the eyes of Bheki Dlamini, a young activist and leading member of Swaziland’s largest banned political party

New Book by Nick Turse: ‘Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa’

Forthcoming book explores Washington’s escalating war on the continent

Abayomi Azikiwe

2015-05-07, Issue 725

The book examines how repeated failed counter-terrorism operations throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia have led to broader interventions and the promotion of the military and intelligence theorists who concoct these operations.

‘Trade is war: The West’s war against the world’

A new book by Yash Tandon

2015-04-30, Issue 724

Drawing on decades of on-the-ground experience as a high level negotiator in bodies such as the World Trade Organization, Tandon challenges prevailing orthodoxy, insisting that, for the vast majority of people, and especially those in the poorer regions of the world, free trade hinders development and visits relentless waves of violence and impoverishment on their lives.

Hans Zell to donate book and journal collection, online database to Kwara State University

2015-04-16, Issue 722

The donation follows an invitation to several institutions in Africa and elsewhere to express an interest in acquiring the collection, and submit a plan for the continuation and hosting of the database. After careful review of all submissions, Kwara State University Library in Malete, Ilorin, Nigeria, was chosen.

For our Chibok sisters

Hilda Twongyeirwe

2015-04-16, Issue 722

It was 'good morning' the usual way sounded just the same full of energy of life's promises nothing could be guessed on that 14th day 2014. You downed your cup of tea your piece of yam you kept some knowing tomorrow was yet to come you smiled your see-you-later smile. Evening came you did not return a day passed, days months Today 14th April 2015 makes it a year. The yam has grown moulds like the waiting in our hearts and longing in our eyes as we reach for a flicker of possibility buried under the silence that surrounds your disappearance we refuse the moulds to cover it... Today we light a candle not in memory my sisters - no we light this candle to stand with you we light this candle to keep the flicker brighter we light this candle to evoke spirits of resilience and justice. (My heart goes out to each single girl, to each single parent of these girls and their entire families.) * Hilda Twongyeirwe is Executive Director, Uganda Women Writers Association - FEMRITE.

Lost girls of Chibok

Adaobi Okwy

2015-04-16, Issue 722

They didn’t ask my creed Even though waging a war against my God. They didn’t ask my village Even though waging a war against my tongue. I have breasts That was all they asked. They didn’t ask about my dreams Even though I was taken from my school. They didn’t ask about my crush Though that would have been my grave. I am a lost girl Is anyone looking for me? We are the lost girls Will we once again be forgotten? Like those blasted into smithereens or Those butchered daily while the nation looks on. We are not some cheap disposable tissue papers Born to be tortured into submission. We are not animals For man to do with as he pleases. While you watch We are raped, brainwashed and blamed. While you watch We get passed around and tossed away. We are the lost girls Soon you’d be late and in this cave We shall soon lose hope Spawning children of the devil. And while you watch Our devil children shall return To vanquish your own children. We are the lost girls Is anyone looking for us?


Valentina A. Mmaka

2015-04-10, Issue 721

Writer and human rights activist Valentina A. Mmaka tries to put into words the utterly hearbreaking massacre of young lives – real human beings, not just numbers - at Garissa University College in Kenya last week. Irritatingly, mass murders are a part of Kenya’s history.


Shailja Patel

2015-04-10, Issue 721

Celebrated Kenyan poet Shailja Patel captures the disturbing reality of a country where violent bloodletting has become normal. Everyone is momentarily paralysed with shock; next, state terror targets the vulnerable; but soon life goes on. Yet the nation is scarred forever.

Sino Scramble for Africa

A review of ‘China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa’ (2014) by Howard W. French

Peter Wuteh Vakunta

2015-04-02, Issue 720

The book is a tale of opportunism, spoliation, misappropriation and dispossession. The arrival of Chinese in Africa in drovees lately is arguably the latest chapter in a very long narrative of empire building through emigration.

Tyranny of experts against spontaneous solutions

A review of William Easterly’s ‘Tyranny of Experts’.

Ndongo Samba Sylla

2015-04-02, Issue 720

Although it starts with a bang, bringing to light some shocking and unfortunately typical facts about capitalistic accumulation, ‘Tyranny of experts’ is a frustrating book because of the author’s black and white approach, his libertarian dogmatism, his apparent lack of awareness of the history of certain political ideas, and his method of reasoning which favours numerous anecdotes over systematic analysis.

The voice of the poor and oppressed in Swaziland

A review of ‘Phoenix Mysteries: Memoirs of a Born Oppressed’

Peter Kenworthy

2015-04-02, Issue 720

Besides giving a good general description of what it is like to grow up in a mud hut in the rural African countryside, with barely enough money to eat or to attend school, the book also describes the unique culture and political setting of Swaziland, Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

The second death of Lazarus Katiba

Humphrey Sipalla

2015-04-02, Issue 720

There is insidious fear across Kenya from rising costs of living, rampant spectacular crime, bizarre terrorist events and a sense that the future is clouded. The fear is making people angry and hateful, as depicted in this fictional account.

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