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News about our programmes 30, Sept. 2014

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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
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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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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.

Comment & analysis

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They don't teach it in law school: White privilege and Oscar Pistorius

Mandisi Majavu

2014-11-13, Issue 702

How did Oscar Pistorius get away with a slap on the wrist for killing another human being? The answer lies in the fact that Pistorius killed a white woman and subsequently, in his defence, appealed to white angst about crime, using mental images of the proverbial "native bogeyman".

Kenya is sliding back to authoritarianism

John Githongo

2014-11-12, Issue 702

The current government has often made it clear that some of the rights Kenyans enjoy are at best an inconvenience and at worst a risk to national security. The regime’s reactionaries seem determined to create a militarized authoritarian state wrapped in the national flag and all the rituals and propagandised narratives of virulent nationalism.

The potency of secret diplomacy

Is the Nigerian government right to engage with Boko Haram?

Ifesinachi Okafor-Yarwood

2014-11-13, Issue 702

The militant sect has continued its violent campaign against the Nigerian people and state, amidst reports of secret negotiations with the government to end the carnage. Despite many criticisms, the government should intensify the negotiations to save lives.

Zinduka is a call to East Africans to wake up

Tom Odhiambo

2014-11-13, Issue 702

A recent festival of arts, culture and conversations sought to move debates about East Africa’s integration away from elite spaces to the grassroots. It was an insightful experience whose basic message was that without active involvement of the region’s peoples the East African Community remains an elite dream.

Oiling our economy the Norway way

Chambi Chachage

2014-11-12, Issue 702

Neither the state nor the corporate sector, let alone civil society, is monolithic. There comes a time when various sections of these entities come in unison on matters of national interest. This is Tanzanians ought to learn from Norway.

Gendering peasant movements, gendering food sovereignty

Beverly Bell

2014-11-12, Issue 702

A problem peasant women face is invisibility in the feminist and women’s movements. A second problem is the weakness with which the food sovereignty concept has dealt with the challenges of feminism.

Ali A. Mazrui: Classifying the Master-Classifier

Seifudein Adem

2014-11-05, Issue 701

Mazrui’s scholarship is vast thematically and theoretically, but above all, challenges positivist conceptions of hegemonic, universal and objective truths. His early work revealed the political, social and cultural function and limitations in established knowledge; later, Mazrui actively challenged and undermined constructed truths.

The Ebola crisis and capitalism

Shaheed Mahomed

2014-11-05, Issue 701

The worsening Ebola crisis in West Africa exposes the extent of capitalist plunder of the continent. The natural wealth of the affected countries has over the years been looted by foreign corporations, with puppet governments investing little in health care. The people ought to organise and severe links with the imperialist centres

Ebola scourge: Wake up call for Africa

Brian Sedze

2014-11-06, Issue 701

Africa’s handling of the Ebola crisis reveals its collapsed institutions and failed leadership. What is more, the epidemic underlines the need to work harder for a really united Africa.

Sierra Leone: How to unpatriotically rule a country

Sankara Kamara

2014-11-06, Issue 701

Sierra Leone under President Ernest Bai Koroma is a country in disarray. The country is chaotic because it is controlled by a political class that is opposed to the strengthening of democratic institutions. Ignorant and ultimately short-sighted, Ernest Koroma sees the presidency as a business enterprise that can break the law without fear of prosecution.

South Sudan’s National Security Service under the spotlight

Flora McCrone

2014-11-06, Issue 701

The proposed law, an almost exact replica of Sudan’s security laws, would grant the already dreaded agency entirely unfettered power to spy on private communications, to search and seize property without a warrant, to arrest and detain innocent people without explanation, and to use physical force – in other words torture.

Why limiting NGO funding is not just about the ICC cases

Patrick Gathara

2014-11-06, Issue 701

There are renewed efforts by the Jubilee Coalition government in Kenya to silence all critical voices. The latest initiative targets the country’s vocal civil society. This must be resisted.

East African Community is the right of the citizens

Tom Odhiambo

2014-11-05, Issue 701

The revived regional integration process is on course. But it is largely a project of politicians and bureaucrats. There is scant involvement of the people. For the community to integrate meaningfully, the process needs to be grounded in the aspirations, needs and futures of the citizens.

Of the class struggle and the things we eat

Esther Vivas

2014-11-06, Issue 701

Why would anyone want to make profit from something as basic to human life as food? The capitalist system transforms human needs into commodities, rights into privileges. The present agricultural model must be fought in favour of an alternative that places at its core people’s needs and respect for the land

For a moment, world embraces the Cuba model – and slaps Empire

Glen Ford

2014-10-30, Issue 700

Cuba’s exemplary conduct in the world has made the yearly UN vote on the U.S. embargo a singular opportunity for all the world body’s members, except Israel, to chastise the superpower that seeks full domination of the planet. It is the rarest of occasions, a time of virtual global unanimity on an evil in which the Empire is engaged.

The great Ethiopian famine of 1984 remembered

There is famine in Ethiopia in 2014, but it is known by other fancy names

Alemayehu G. Mariam

2014-10-29, Issue 700

With the connivance of the ‘international community’ and a phalanx of aid people, successive Ethiopian regimes have succeeded to hide the reality of famine facing millions of its people every year. The regimes have also prevented critical interrogation of the political dimensions of these recurrent food crises.

30 years on: Ethiopia and the business of hunger

Nick Dearden

2014-10-29, Issue 700

30 years after images of Ethiopian famine haunted British TV screens, they still shape how we see Africa - and ensure we fail to understand.

ANC and SACP are behind attempts to split Cosatu

Shaheed Mahomed

2014-10-30, Issue 700

Under the guise of ‘mediation’ the ANC is seeking to split Cosatu and weaken the workers’ movement. For the ANC and the SACP, the prospect of Numsa and its radical proposals gaining dominance in Cosatu is an intolerable threat to imperial capitalism and the electoral dominance of the alliance itself.

Lindiwe Sisulu and the new denialism

Richard Pithouse

2014-10-30, Issue 700

The assertion that people under 40 have lost nothing to apartheid is one of the most extraordinary statements from the mouth of a cabinet minister since 1994. The pretense that apartheid’s consequences came to an end in 1994 is sheer denialism that is so out of touch with reality.

Contextualising Nyerere’s Ujamaa as a liberating political philosophy

Elly Wanda

2014-10-30, Issue 700

In his role as a philosopher, intellectual, political figure and teacher, Nyerere’s philosophy was centered on humanity and unity of the African people to achieve liberation and build African societies. His legacy remains highly relevant in today’s struggles for unity, justice and peace.

Somalia’s future befouled by failed initiatives

Mohamud M Uluso

2014-10-30, Issue 700

Nearly two decades of foreign interventions have failed to build peace or a viable state. International engagement has served to deepen the humanitarian and political crisis in Somalia.

Ebola: A shocker to Kenya's tourism

Mickie Ojijo

2014-10-30, Issue 700

No case of Ebola has been reported in Kenya, despite several scares. But that is not how tourists see it. The numbers of arrivals are going down.

South Sudan peace talks: Possibility of re-locating to South Sudan?

Josephine Chandiru Drama

2014-10-23, Issue 699

The South Sudan peace talks which are currently taking place in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are inadequate and badly suited to the task at hand. Citizens are completely absent from the process, warring groups feel no pressure to halt the violence and huge sums of money are being wasted. The peace process should be taken back home.

Libya war continues three years after Gaddafi assassination

Abayomi Azikiwe

2014-10-23, Issue 699

Libya is still in turmoil. The present situation is the direct result of the war of regime-change led by the CIA, the Pentagon and NATO during 2011. U.S. policy is designed to overthrow all of the sovereign and anti-imperialist governments throughout Africa and the Middle East.

Deductions from a BBC documentary

Probably only 5 percent of the human skulls at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre are Tutsi. The rest are Hutu and Congolese

Antoine Roger Lokongo

2014-10-23, Issue 699

A new BBC documentary has sparked international debate about the facts of the Rwandan genocide. This week legislators in Kigali voted to ban the BBC in Rwanda, outraged by the documentary, which deconstructs the official narrative. But the documentary actually tells the truth the Kagame regime suppresses.

Deadly economic violence of the big banks

Vanessa Burger

2014-10-23, Issue 699

Parasitic banks, unscrupulous credit providers and their leech-like attorneys, spawned by an obscenely bloated capitalist system, suck the life-blood from increasingly impoverished lower classes in South Africa with utter impunity. Some 11 million over-indebted people are victims of this economic violence

The (Socialist) Malala Yousafzai the US media doesn’t quote

Ben Norton

2014-10-22, Issue 699

The Pakistani teenage girl won the Nobel Peace Prize this year. US corporate media is engaged in a sinister plot to deliberately silence her in the way it doesn’t report her criticism of US. Even more insidious is the media’s complete disregard for her clearly socialist politics.

The naked class politics of Ebola

James Robb

2014-10-23, Issue 699

Imperialist responses to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa have featured high rhetoric and fear-mongering. It is these same forces that are responsible for the plunder of Africa that exposes the continent to epidemics. In contrast, Cuba has shown outstanding internationalist solidarity.

Tourism, white privilege and colonial mentality in East Africa

Samira Sawlani

2014-10-22, Issue 699

White persons are revered in East Africa. Local black people go to ridiculous lengths to please whites, thereby promoting the baseless concept of white supremacy. It is a practice deeply rooted in colonialism.

The pain - and surprising triumphs - of being transgender in Africa: A moving Kenyan story

Audrey Mbugua

2014-10-23, Issue 699

Early this month, a young Kenyan man who has been fighting for the right to be a woman, won an important victory. A court ordered the national examinations council to issue her with a new certificate with a female name and without a male gender marker. Here is her incredible story, in her own words:

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