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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.
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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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Pambazuka News Broadcasts

Pambazuka broadcasts feature audio and video content with cutting edge commentary and debate from social justice movements across the continent.


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

Perspectives on Emerging Powers in Africa: December 2011 newsletter

Deborah Brautigam provides an overview and description of China's development finance to Africa. "Looking at the nature of Chinese development aid - and non-aid - to Africa provides insights into China's strategic approach to outward investment and economic diplomacy, even if exact figures and strategies are not easily ascertained", she states as she describes China's provision of grants, zero-interest loans and concessional loans. Pambazuka Press recently released a publication titled India in Africa: Changing Geographies of Power, and Oliver Stuenkel provides his review of the book.
The December edition available here.

The 2010 issues: September, October, November, December, and the 2011 issues: January, February, March , April, May , June , July , August , September, October and November issues are all available for download.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Books & arts

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Obama’s Law: When Western advocacy misses the mark

Ben Radley

2014-09-23, Issue 695

Obama’s Law is a forthcoming, feature-length documentary that travels between the Congo and America to reveal the danger of the single African story – the African victim in need of a white saviour - that continues to be sold in the West. Ben Radley for Pambazuka News caught up with the film’s director, Seth Chase, to find out more.

My body and skin

Valentina Acava Mmaka

2014-09-23, Issue 695

What is your body? What is it to you, to others and to the whole world? Who makes decisions about your body and why? Here’s one woman’s deep thoughts on these fundamental questions

Euphoria of Kenyan music fading in Europe

Mickie Ojijo

2014-09-18, Issue 694

Kenya's top singers no longer attract the crowds they once did in central Europe, where in the first place, the population is scant and spread out, forcing event organisers to think twice before inviting any.

‘Corruption and Human Rights Law in Africa’: A review

A coming of age story of the anti-corruption movement

Abdul Tejan-Cole

2014-09-11, Issue 693

The new scholarly book discusses three key developments in human rights law that could unlock the blockages currently encountered in attempts to seek adequate redress for corruption: limitations on the concept of state sovereignty, expanded notions of standing of complainants, and rejection of strict rules of causation which dominate national criminal legal systems

‘Nigeria, Biafra & Boko Haram: Ending the Genocides through Multi-State Solution’: A review

Belvedere Jehosophat

2014-09-04, Issue 692

Whereas the author’s proposed multi-state solution is controversial and needs to take account of certain important practical realities, the new book is an engaging primer on Nigerian history and is worth reading for those with an interest in post-colonial studies

Representation of Africa in film: ‘White Shadow’

Amira Ali

2014-08-13, Issue 691

This film by an Israeli director about albino killings in Tanzania is replete with Western stereotypes about the African savage, without any historical or political context

Lost in the dance

A review of Sea Salt in the City, Circaidy Gregory Press, by Funmi Adewole

Sanya Osha

2014-08-07, Issue 690

Adewole’s poetry is entangled in a broad spectrum of issues encompassing private and public deliberations and, of course, spiritual concerns. The key themes are belonging, acceptance and understanding.

Imperialism’s new strategies

A review of ‘Divide and Ruin: The West’s Imperial Strategy in an Age of Crisis’, by Dan Glazebrook, published by Liberation Media, 2013

Ama Biney

2014-07-03, Issue 685

Dan Glazebrook’s volume demonstrates that the infamous imperialism of the past has not disappeared but has instead adopted new strategies to obscure its intentions, such as proxy wars and media-based indoctrination. These tactics must be exposed and imperialist resisted

Live and let live

A review essay Osita Ebiem’s ‘Nigeria, Biafra & Boko Haram: Ending the Genocides through Multi-State Solution’ [New York: Page Publishing, 2014, 222 pp, US$12.84, pbk, US$10.00, kindle ed/£9.53, pbk, £5.99, kindle ed]

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

2014-06-19, Issue 683

Ebiem’s discourse on the catastrophe that is Nigeria is an urgent reminder to the world of the responsibilities of the state in society and the dire consequences that could occur if there were any doubts or erosions on the salient features of these roles

Confessions of a Terrorist: A review

Atunga Atuti O.J.

2014-06-11, Issue 682

The novel goes beyond the prevailing narratives of terrorist behaviour and delves into the thought processes of a terrorist, giving us unique insights into the ‘mind’ of a terrorist.

What are we doing to our women and girls?

Amira Ali

2014-05-14, Issue 678

Words in a poem, in reaction to the abducted Chibok girls; there are many more such stories around the world. It is dedicated to women and girls suffering from similar or same circumstances. At the same time, I am compelled to add to this, words from Amina Mama delivered in a speech at the AU’s 50th anniversary: "Let us make it clear to the world that violence and tolerance of violence are not endemic, not an “African tradition”, nor simply what black men do to women. Rather they are the results of systemic injustices."

‘When South Africa Called, We Answered’

Danny Schechter

2014-05-14, Issue 678

New book tells how a global anti-apartheid movement helped South Africa win its freedom, and its lessons for us

A bright Africa?

A review of The Bright Continent: Breaking Rules and Making Change in Modern Africa by Dayo Olopade (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014, ISBN 9780547678313)

Kwaku O. Kushindana

2014-05-15, Issue 678

In this review, Kwaku Kushindana questions whether the book’s optimistic conclusions are grounded in a framework that is realistic for all of contemporary Africa.

Beauty is…cultural transformation and empowerment

Michelle Yaa Asantewa

2014-05-01, Issue 676

The new film looks at a range of themes and through a variety of formats examines its central question of what beauty is for the African woman

Comrade President: A review

Ama Biney

2014-05-01, Issue 676

The new film on the Mozambican leader, Samora Machel, shows a dynamic figure who rose from nurse, guerrilla fighter, military commander to president of a nation that was assailed by many enemies. He is to be remembered for his achievements and desire for peace, justice, democracy and equality for all Mozambicans

‘Stokely – A Life’ starts strong, crashes hard

Ahjamu Umi

2014-03-19, Issue 670

The new biography does a great job of demonstrating the intellect, selflessness, commitment and absolute courage that characterized Kwame Ture’s work in the US in the 1960s. But the author fails to research, analyze and critically assess the value of Ture’s work in Africa, whose influence continues to this day.

From Pidgin English to Camfranglais

Review of ‘Camfranglais, A Glossary of Common Words, Phrases and Usages’ (2013) by Jean-Paul Kouega

Peter Wuteh Vakunta

2014-02-12, Issue 665

Kouega’s seminal work, ‘Camfranglais, A Glossary of Common Words, Phrases and Usages’, is a succinct study of the emergence and structure of a new linguistic code in Cameroon—Camfranglais

Zanzibar Revolution revisited: A short review essay

Amrit Wilson (2013), The Threat of Liberation: Imperialism and Revolution in Zanzibar. Pluto Press, London. XII + 175 pp.

Abdulaziz Y. Lodhi

2014-02-12, Issue 665

With its eight chapters and more than a dozen rare photographs of Zanzibar, this book is a well-researched study by a respected author of long-standing. It outlines the dramatic history of Zanzibar and its anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggles

Tragedy of a music icon and the shame of a nation

Bashir Goth

2014-02-12, Issue 665

The great Somali musician Maxamad Saleeban Tubeec is ailing in Germany and is in dire need of money to undergo surgery. The Somali people and government should help – for this man’s contribution to the nation is immense

New book points towards a new Swaziland

Peter Kenworthy

2014-02-05, Issue 664

The new book are many more or less thinly veiled criticisms of the fictional Soshangane society - and by extension Swaziland - and the absolute monarchy that controls everything from the economy to the definition of culture

‘Long Walk’ humanises Mandela

But do we lose sight of the man who was Madiba?

Robtel Neajai Pailey

2014-01-08, Issue 660

The movie serves up a series of perfectly punctuated snapshots of the late stateman’s life. But it lacks the kind of psychological depth befitting a man who was larger than life

QUNU, a poem

Charles Mwewa

2014-01-08, Issue 660

The route to time-warmed freedom is still long And is a thousand Mandela’s resilience strong The aura of the splendid Cape Mountains Just lay few metres away from Qunu’s fountains For here, the great’s remains have been buried And here, his scepter of freedom’s is carried In these terrains of bigoted Apartheid, he walked And here, the towering figure of history has talked To a people, but all the people of his homelands For to one brother as to one sister all make bands And here forever the light of the night has risen In his long walk to freedom, injustice has fallen Mourn all nations, if not this peace we butcher For yourselves, not the dead, and your

Colonial languages

Márcio André

2013-11-28, Issue 656

Languages I wish I could talk to you in languages Touch you in Wolof Kiss your body in Lingala Love you in Bambara I wish I could talk to you in my own voices And with my music Those sounds which burn in our soul So, smiling in Chokwe Play with you in Swahili I dream of venting my being In Fula, Mandang And after that, loose myself in the between, in your Yoruba Remember in Umbundo Come in Kimbundo But, oh no, I only speak Portuguese Colonial languages And the post-colonial conditions And freedom? Which language to speak? Which chant to sing? Can silence translate it? Can space contain it? *Translated from Portuguese by Alyxandra Gomes

How NATO hijacked the uprising in Libya for its own purposes

A review of 'Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya', by Horace Campbell. Monthly Review Press. £10.50 (paperback)

Peter Arkell

2013-11-28, Issue 656

There is almost universal confusion, even ignorance, over the true nature of the NATO intervention in Libya two years ago, carried out in the name of protecting the people against their own government of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

‘The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the quest to end poverty’

Beatrice Fantoni

2013-11-21, Issue 655

Nina Munk’s ‘The Idealist’ comes with a heavy dose of discomfort. In fact, it’s almost all uncomfortable, all the time. And that’s a good thing if you like ambiguous endings.

A causal model of Chinese exceptionalism: A review of ‘Capitalism From Below’

Chambi Chachage

2013-11-21, Issue 655

Victor Nee and Sonja Opper’s (2012) book on Capitalism From Below: Markets and Institutional Change in China is an ambitious attempt at explaining, theoretically and empirically, the country’s economic miracle. It is also a bold attempt at prescribing a model for replicating such a success in other reforming countries.

The more things change…

Rosa Parks

2013-11-21, Issue 655

Jubilee, freedom, celebration Fifty years to restore, renew, rebuild Union Jack down Kenya flag up Fifty years lost to excuses To lip service not public service To me not we To kneejerk reactions not pro-action To bodyguards not public guards To greed not needs Hallow the fiftieth year Day of Atonement is nigh

Song for Celestine

Natty Mark Samuels

2013-11-14, Issue 654

To Celestine Edwards and to Tower Hamlets Council, for their Black History Walks. PART I I He looked like dignity, The day I saw him speak in Victoria Park. I was sinking in drink, Approaching the brink; The day I stepped out of the dark. Spoke against human trafficking, And enslavement by booze. Made me think again, Regenerating my brain; Like a prophet bringing good news. II Woke up that day in a Methodist Mission, Just another impatient sailor. Heard he'd been a seaman too, Sailing out from Dominica. I'd been drinking excessively again, While waiting for another ship out. Fighting with the feared killer - A yellow fever bout. Walking down Whitechapel Road, Memories of Ira Aldridge. He performed at the Pavilion, Black butterfly on thespian ridge. From whatever part of the Black world, We all had crosses to bear. Ira bore his on the world stage, In Othello, Macbeth and King Lear. III So I wandered around, What else is there to do? When not destination-bound. Past Wiltons the old music hall, Where the actors blacked up; I never sat in a Wilton stall. I meandered amongst the drifters, Africans, Jews, Russians; Chinese, Irish and Lascars. Tramped the many alleys, By West India Docks; Trodding with the ghosts of slavery. Through the streets of migrants and refugees, Choked with frustration; Constructed by poverty. I had too much time to spare, Lashed by loneliness; Trapped in alcohols' snare. IV Waking that day, Seemed like any other. A day to wait, To dissipate, Twenty fours of slow replay. Between the horse and the ass, No one hears the mule bray. We woke, ate and left. Exodus of the ex-men. En route to vomit, Some to pickpocket, Hands swift and deft. Those sagas of survival; Who will talk of the men bereft? Passed by St. Botolphs, Aldgate. Popular amongst us blacks. I should have gone in, Joined in the singing - But I was in a state. Head down I plodded on, Hoping that God would wait. Must have gone east of there - Outside the Ragged School. First schooling for many of us. Children given care, Who'd known wear and tear. God bless you Dr Barnado; Wish I had a penny to spare. Then I found myself before him, Overcome with awe. Never sobered up so quick! Life lost it's whim, Potential slim. I stepped out of the park, A new stride in my limb. PART II I I researched the man, Eager to know of him. Of how he retained dignity, Went onward with his plan. So I asked the temperance people, The abolitionists too. Asked a priest from Cheltenham, A sailor from Newcastle. Spoke with anti-lynching activists, Bought papers he edited. Heard him speak when I could; I knew his itinerary lists. So what follows is what I learnt, Snapshots of a savant. It's good to have a saviour, When you're about to get burnt. II One of nine children Born in Dominica School days in Antigua After Methodist School Stowed away at twelve Time to search and delve As well as Europe To North America Onto it's Southern neighbour And he read and read Role model par excellence For a life not making sense Spoke in Edinburgh In Sunderland as well Chimes of Celestine's bell Then south to London To reside in Bethnal Green Speaking in Glasgow and Aberdeen He continued to lecture Survived as a labourer And a penny pamphleteer III Co-wrote a life story - From Slavery to Bishopric; Life of Walter Hawkins. Evidence of his brilliance, His talents polymathic. Edited two newspapers - Lux and Fraternity. Fought lynching, Alcohol abuse, And state brutality. Preached in Plymouth and Bristol, The 'Negro Lecturer'. One summer in Liverpool, Spoke about the lives, Of Black and White America. In his early thirties, He studied for a degree. Went to Kings College, Of London University; Majoring in Theology. In his mid-thirties, He dreamed of being a doctor: But his body said no. Conquered by exhaustion, Returned home to his brother. Constant lecturing, Teaching of the Bible. The body can only take so much. His dream collapsed; The hope of London Hospital. He passed away in Dominica, Cared for by his brother. As far as I know, He left no child; Neither wife, partner or lover. I remember him as strong in body - That legendary laugh. I eulogise Celestine. Seems everyone wanted him, As a member of their staff. Self-educated man, Who loved to read and read. Man on a mission, Spreading knowledge, The scattering of seed. I put away the bottle, And took up books. I observed the great eagle, Helping others; The starlings and the rooks. Never meant to go there that day, Into Victoria Park. He held his head high, Gently reasoning; Devoid of rant and bark. Celestine, Celestine, I say your name with pride. My great conductor, Who took me on a journey; Who gave me a ticket to ride. © Natty Mark Samuels, 2013. African School.

New book to shed light on India’s Africa policy

2013-10-17, Issue 650

The book, among the few in French, details New Delhi's ambitions in the continent and seeks to make African leaders and public opinion aware of the new “Indian reality” that is currently taking shape in the continent

Exclusive institutional theory of market inclusivity: A review of ‘Why Nations Fail’

Chambi Chachage

2013-10-17, Issue 650

The authors’ bold attempt to provide a theoretical framework for explaining the great divergence in living standards between the prosperous and poor countries in the world, unfortunately, fails to take account of the historical context of uneven relations between particular societies

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