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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.

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
Buy now

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.
Buy now

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
Buy now

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.
Buy now

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.
Buy now

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    This site has been established by Fahamu to provide regular feedback to African civil society organisations on what is happening with the African Union.

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    Books & arts

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    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.

    Book review: ‘Compendium of Conflicts in Uganda’

    Kara Blackmore

    2015-03-26, Issue 719

    A timely release documenting the voices of those people affected by the numerous and complicated conflicts in this eastern Africa nation, the book gives the reader a chance to see the state of a nation in transition, from the perspective of the masses.

    Bangui: Let the dust of the boots drown in Ubangi

    Grandmaster Masese

    2015-03-19, Issue 718

    Bangui, Who could remember to smile when those guns fed us lead In Bangui our hearts bled Crying for sanity Bangui, Who remember's Stanley's fatal whip on our backs Chopped arms, now firearms in Bangui Lighting Ubangi with flowing dead blood Bangui never dies Determined to silence the ghosts of Brazza Leopold, Bozize and Bokassa I stand bold with African pride I have died many times before Made to kiss the aroma of mother Congo And still I germinate Bangui, I am a seed I will never die I will never wither I will gyrate in the rhythms of Cavacha, Rhumba and Samba Let the dust of the boots drown in Ubangi Bangui

    Existential maxims: A review of Lamnyam’s ‘Strive to be Happy’

    Peter Wuteh Vakunta

    2015-03-05, Issue 716

    'Strive to be Happy' is an inspirational work replete with didactic messages. Throughout this book Lamnyam’s voice sounds like that of a quiet peace-maker calling for non-resistance as a modus operandi needed to ward off the pangs of pain occasioned by social injustice, exploitation and disenfranchisement.

    Using literary fiction as a voice for African/Black liberation

    Ahjamu Umi

    2015-02-19, Issue 714

    Progressive literary fiction has not always been highly regarded within African literature. Ahjamu Umi makes the case for its consciousness-developing and educational properties, and argues for its wider acceptance in African societies.

    Freedom of expression is forbidden here

    Foday Samateh

    2015-02-11, Issue 713

    The Gambia, ruled for the last 20 years by an eratic and brutal tyrant, is one of the worst places on earth to work as a journalist. One prominent journalist who lived under the Yahya Jammeh regime has placed on record his own harrowing experiences and those of others – plus insights into media history and operations in the tiny West African nation.

    Nigeria's publishing industry: Telling our own stories

    Ana Zoria

    2015-02-05, Issue 712

    cc MVC
    Nigeria is not lacking in literary talent, yet there still aren't many Nigerian books freely available in the country, and they aren't quite as easy to find as foreign books. However, all is far from lost: There is a movement that is breathing new life into Nigerian storytelling.

    A review: 'The Implosion of Contemporary Capitalism' and ‘Three Essays on Marx’s Value Theory’

    Published by Monthly Review Press, 2013

    Seth Sandronsky

    2014-12-18, Issue 707

    Want political economy that soberly unpacks power and wealth? Read two recent books by Samir Amin who defines the system’s current stage as “generalized-monopoly capitalism.” His study of it reveals what standard economics conceals and distorts.

    Introducing the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature

    Mukoma Wa Ngugi and Lizzy Attree

    2014-12-18, Issue 707

    The new $15,000 literary prize will be awarded to the best Kiswahili unpublished manuscripts or books published within two years of the award year across the categories of fiction/short fiction collection, poetry and memoir and graphic novels.

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