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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.
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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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    Beyond the TJ Industry: Transitional justice and changing international order

    Adam Branch

    2014-11-21, Issue 703

    cc Elisa Finocchiaro
    The flashy branding of the transitional justice process as ‘TJ’ does more to keep oppressive systems in place than to bring real progress where it is needed. Transitional justice must be used as a catalyst to foment real, case-by-case systemic changes instead of as a one-size-fits-all neoliberal template.

    Transitional justice: Challenging contemporary knowledge, narratives and practice

    Steve Ouma

    2014-11-21, Issue 703

    cc DS
    Transitional Justice has rarely taken into account all forms of oppression, economic discrimination, globalized injustice and a wider understanding of dignity and freedom. African societies need to theorize on transitional justice holistically in order to create social transformation.

    Jurisprudential and political economic dimensions of transitional justice in Africa

    Odomaro Mubangizi

    2014-11-21, Issue 703

    cc TA/AP
    Sustainable and lasting peace in Africa’s conflict states would be better guaranteed if transitional justice included the rule of law, separation of powers, electoral reforms, decentralization and a democratic ethos nurtured by free media and a vibrant civil society.

    Exploring transitional (and other kinds of) justice in Zimbabwe

    Shannon Morreira

    2014-11-21, Issue 703

    cc AP
    The debate around how to deal with Zimbabwe’s violent past is currently dominated by the transitional justice model and the human rights discourse which accompanies it. But an analysis of the country’s history as well as its present moment presents different ways of considering ideas of justice and healing – ways that may be better suited to Zimbabwe’s particular circumstances.

    The transitional justice process in Kenya: Unfinished business?

    Magara Ibrahim Sakawa

    2014-11-21, Issue 703

    cc TGT
    Kenya’s transitional justice processes have been crudely politicized to protect the interests of the powerful. The country typifies the dilemma that plagues most African countries today. While most of the regimes are beginning to acknowledge that there have been atrocities, human rights abuses and various forms of injustice, they simultanesouly appear to be perplexed by the demands for peace and justice.

    Transitional justice: Whose justice?

    Prisca Kamungi

    2014-11-21, Issue 703

    cc GS
    The quest for justice for past wrongs is often hindered by restrictions on which violations to investigate and how far back to look into history. Across Africa, tjustice mechanisms tend to restrict themselves to uncontested periods and rarely probe into complex injustices.

    Somalia: Let’s just forget the past?

    Marco Zoppi

    2014-11-18, Issue 703

    cc SN
    It will be impossible to reconstruct Somalia without addressing its complex past. Yet the current definition of transitional justice appears too narrow to be beneficial, since it limits the space for local-based procedures in favour of Western concepts like the state, rule of law and democracy.

    From the comfort zones to reality

    A reflection on the Tafakari oral narrative tour

    Ouko Eunice Wambui

    2014-11-18, Issue 703

    cc FHM
    The oral history tour took transitional justice practitioners, activists and scholars out of the comfort zone into reality: To engage directly with survivors, hear their personal stories and appreciate their lived experiences as they pursue justice and reconstruction within complex social, economic and political infrastructures.

    Shifting the discourse from victimhood to reconstruction

    Kasande Sarah Kihika

    2014-11-21, Issue 703

    cc BBC
    For transitional justice to be relevant and effective it must be informed by local understandings of justice. The form of justice should be informed by local priorities as identified by victims and survivors.

    Situating transitional justice in the context of South Sudan

    Wani Mathias Jumi

    2014-11-18, Issue 703

    cc VOA
    Africa’s newest nation has been engulfed in violent conflict for a year now. It is sad that the freedom struggle that lasted so long has not translated into quality life for the majority of the citizens. The root causes of this must be addressed – and they have everything to do with failed leadership.

    The site


    2014-11-21, Issue 703

    cc PZ
    A reflective poem by a Kenyan activist who visited Mukura Massacre Memorial site in Soroti region of Uganda where on July 11, 1989, the 106th battalion of the National Resistance Army (NRA) allegedly rounded up 300 men from Mukura and other surrounding areas and incarcerated some of them in a train wagon. These men were suspected of being rebel collaborators against the NRA regime, but there is little evidence to suggest that most of them were anything other than innocent civilians.

    The Kagame-Power Lobby’s dishonest attack on BBC documentary on Rwanda

    Edward S. Herman and David Peterson

    2014-11-12, Issue 702

    cc UCLA
    Rwanda has banned the BBC for airing a documentary that reveals the Big Lie told by Paul Kagame and his cronies about what happened in Rwanda in 1994. Kagame and his RPF have for 20 years concealed their primary role in setting off the genocide – in which most victims were Hutus and not Tutsis, contrary to State propaganda amplified by international media and powerful Kagame-Power enablers. With publication of a new book, this Big Lie is being dismantled.

    Thomas Sankara and the Black Spring in Burkina Faso

    James Robb

    2014-11-12, Issue 702

    cc GI
    In overthrowing Blaise Compaoré, the people of Burkina Faso have revived the revolutionary dream of Thomas Sankara whom he killed. Their uprising was against the old ties to imperialist governments and financial institutions, the old relationships of exploitation and the abuse of public office to amass personal wealth at the expense of the people.

    Burkina Faso military leader trained by Pentagon

    Lt. Col. Yocouba Isaac Zida follows pattern of other military officers who enter politics

    Abayomi Azikiwe

    2014-11-12, Issue 702

    cc NP
    Although the events in Burkina Faso have sparked hope among African workers, farmers and youth throughout the region and beyond, it remains to be seen whether the new leader, with his American links, will deliver a political program of anti-capitalist development for the gains of the popular struggle to win concrete results

    Burkina Faso: The downfall of another tyrant in Africa

    Albert Mbiatem

    2014-11-12, Issue 702

    cc DC
    President Compaoré, like many African Heads of State, was more interested in clinging to power than in the needs of his people. Modifying the constitution to stay in power became the ultimate goal for Compaoré. But the people reisted and won.

    The idea of ‘idling vast lands in Africa’ is dangerous

    Antoine Roger Lokongo

    2014-11-13, Issue 702

    Western powers have been devastating Africa’s land, resources and populations for centuries. Africans must now throw off that legacy by first understanding it and then making the best use of their continent’s assets without the detrimental western intervention.

    Where is open democracy in South Africa today?

    Motsoko Pheko

    2014-11-12, Issue 702

    cc Bio
    In order to assess the state of open democracy in Africa, one first needs to look at the very definition of democracy. The same countries which brought slavery and colonialism to Africa are now the aggressive champions of ‘democracy’ around the world. We need to acknowledge our own pre-colonial democratic processes and focus on the issue of economic capture of party politics.

    Burkinabe masses rise up against neo-colonial rule

    Thousands hold signs and wear T-shirts honoring the revolutionary legacy of Thomas Sankara

    Abayomi Azikiwe

    2014-11-05, Issue 701

    cc TG
    The popular uprising that toppled the Compaore regime last week echoed the revolution by Sankara on August 4, 1983. In the 27 years since Sankara’s assassination, the country’s mineral wealth and other resources have benefited only a small elite and transnational corporations based in the imperialist states of the West.

    Burkina Faso: The West's armed puppets broken by the masses

    Explo Nani-Kofi

    2014-11-05, Issue 701

    cc TAE
    The uprising of the masses in Burkina Faso proves Western arms and support doesn't guranatee unrestrained tyrannical control

    Mariam Sankara: The anger of the people is justified

    Message for the anniversary of her husband’s assassination

    Mariam Sankara

    2014-11-04, Issue 701

    cc KLB
    In this short but bold message to mark 27 years since the assassination of revolutionary President Thomas Sankara on October 15, his widow outlines some of the challenges facing Burkinabes under the failed Compaore regime and urges continued resistance.

    Burkinabes say: ‘Enough is enough!’

    Andy Wynne

    2014-11-04, Issue 701

    cc RT
    President Blaise Compaore’s ouster last week by popular revolt was the culmination of the people’s opposition to his regime, starting in 2011. The regime contrasted sharply with the short-lived government of Thomas Sankara. But Compaore’s exit does not necessarily mean restoration of Sankara’s revolution.

    Sata never fulfilled promise of greater transparency

    Sue Valentine

    2014-11-05, Issue 701

    cc PG
    Zambia’s president Michael Sata who died last week was unremarkable in leadership credentials in the short period of his rule. His attitude towards media freedom and freedom of expression exposed his authoritarian streak.

    Victory to the losers: Mozambique's 2014 elections

    Fredson Guilengue

    2014-11-06, Issue 701

    cc AB
    Mozambique’s elections on 15 October were once again won by FRELIMO. When the results are put under scrutiny, however, they reveal the longstanding opposition party RENAMO to have been the real winners, bouncing back as Mozambiques strongest opposition party – a position which was seen by many to be under threat from the newer MDM.

    Why Nigeria defeated invisible Ebola but fails against visible Boko Haram

    Akong Charles Ndika

    2014-11-06, Issue 701

    cc BN
    The Nigerian government’s successful handling of Ebola contrasts sharply with its blunders in tackling Boko Haram. One factor in that disparity is whose interests were at stake in each case: Ebola had the potential to kill indiscriminately across classes, while Boko Haram has so far directly affected mostly lower classes.

    Media-meltdown emails disclose who really runs the South African show

    Patrick Bond

    2014-11-05, Issue 701

    cc Enca
    Last week SA's leading alternative to state broadcasting saw its integrity self-destruct. Personality battles are getting most attention but problems caused by structural conflicts of interests must be raised, investigated and resolved, as a leading example of malevolent state-corporate cronyism.

    Is Ethiopia’s sovereign debt sustainable?

    Seid Hassan, Minga Negash, Tesfaye T. Lemma and Abu Girma Moges

    2014-11-05, Issue 701

    cc AIIC
    Ethiopia’s sovereign debt has grown in recent years to unsustainable levels likely to create problems for the economy. The external debt especially has not been matched by a vibrant and diversified export sector.

    The danger of two-tiered justice: Lessons from the Haiti cholera case

    Brenda K. Kombo

    2014-11-05, Issue 701

    cc LW
    As the country grapples with colonial legacies, neo-colonial infringements, corruption, socio-economic hurdles and democratization challenges, the struggle of its citizens for UN accountability may carry lessons for the Africa.

    The Kissinger-Cuba-Angola-Jamaica connection

    David Cupples

    2014-11-05, Issue 701

    cc BBC
    Jamaica was in serious need of money, but PM Manley resisted Kissinger’s pressure to denounce Fidel Castro for sending troops to Angola, in exchange for US dollars. It was a principled stand in support of Angola’s liberation, which had wide ramifications for Southern Africa.

    Western Sahara: Moroccan shame at UN human rights council

    Malainin lakhal

    2014-10-29, Issue 700

    cc MWN
    The UN has over the past decades appeared to pursue a just solution to the crisis in Western Sahara, Africa’s last colony still illegally occupied by Morocco. But it now emerges that Moroccan diplomacy at the world body has employed corruption to push its agenda against Western Sahara.

    LUCHA: Youth movement in Congo demands social justice

    Marta Iñiguez de Heredia

    2014-10-30, Issue 700

    cc LR
    Marta Iñiguez de Heredia, from the University of Cambridge, interviews three members of Lutte pour le Changement (Struggle for Change, or LUCHA), which self-identifies as a citizens’ movement. Their members speak about their ideas and the trajectory of this movement since its creation in 2012.

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