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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.
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.
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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.

AU MONITOR

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.

Development

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Sudan: IMF tells Sudan to cut fuel subsidies further

2012-11-07, Issue 605

The International Monetary Fund has urged Sudan to cut fuel subsidies further, despite public anger over austerity measures meant to counter the country's economic crisis. The IMF did not offer any financial assistance, but economic help is on the horizon from another direction -South Sudan. The two countries signed a deal in September to restart South Sudanese oil exports through pipelines that run through Sudan to its Red Sea port.

Swaziland: IMF reports on government failures

2012-11-08, Issue 605

Swaziland’s government has failed to improve the economy in any appreciable way and cannot pay its bills. This means immediate public expenditure cuts are needed if the government is to meet the budget targets it set itself in February 2012. These are the latest findings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has just finished a visit to Swaziland.

Africa: Amid sanctions, Iran turns to Africa for trade

2012-11-12, Issue 605

Iran is making calculated steps to bolster trade in the continent. Due to sanctions, Iran’s economy – heavily dependent on oil revenue - has suffered and inflation has risen. Iran has been trying to use its crude oil as leverage, but trade with the West has gone down.

Egypt: Political groups, NGOs reject IMF loan as undemocratic, lacking transparency

2012-11-13, Issue 605

A group of 17 political parties, NGOs and human rights associations in Egypt have called for loan negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be ended immediately, citing a lack of transparency and the undemocratic nature of the current development. They are continuing their protests of a potential $4.8 billion IMF loan to Cairo in order to allow the Egyptian government to overcome pitfalls in spending.

Africa: Brazil heads to Africa

2012-11-13, Issue 605

In 2001 Brazil invested $69 billion in Africa. By 2009, the latest figures available, that had swelled to $214 billion. At first Brazilian firms focused their efforts on Lusophone Africa, Angola and Mozambique in particular, capitalising on linguistic and cultural affinity to gain a foothold. Now they are spreading across the continent, reports this Economist article.

Zimbabwe: Succumbing to the debt trap

2012-11-13, Issue 605

Zimbabwe's newspapers are filled with public notices for auctions as many other individuals and companies lose their property to banks and money-lenders after falling behind on loan repayments. The country's financial sector has enjoyed three years of economic growth following the adoption of multiple currencies in early 2009 and an end to a tumultuous trading period characterized by record inflation, bank closures and failures. Buoyed by phenomenal growth in deposits and a steady currency, many banks have introduced personal bank loans to attract new clients.

Zimbabwe: IMF relaxes restrictions on Zimbabwe

2012-10-31, Issue 604

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has eased technical assistance restrictions on Zimbabwe in a move seen as moving towards normalising relations with the southern African nation. This will see Zimbabwe getting technical advice to design its economic programmes and the IMF will monitor the implementation of specific projects.

Africa: Cooperatives crucial allies in fight against hunger

2012-10-31, Issue 604

One of the only chances small-scale food producers have to gain competitive access to local and global markets is by banding together in cooperatives, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva told a meeting of the World Cooperatives Congress in Manchester. The International Year of Cooperatives is being observed in 2012. 'Cooperatives follow core values and principles that are critical to doing business in an equitable manner, that seeks to empower and benefits its members and the community it is inserted in,' Graziano da Silva said in a keynote speech. 'This is especially relevant in poor rural communities, where joining forces is central to promoting sustainable local development.'

Africa: Africa takes stock of Obama's low-key embrace of region

2012-11-01, Issue 604

Four years ago Africa greeted Barack Obama's election with rapture, predicting America's first black president would smother the continent with attention. But instead of warm hand-holding, Africa got hard-headed, security-first policies. 'Obama to my mind is more engaged in Africa, but the nature of how the United States is engaging has changed. It is mostly security related,' said Jason Warner, a Harvard-based expert on African security. According to Mr Warner, President Obama has helped 'normalise' Africa policy. 'There is no other region in the world that the US engages on simply humanitarian grounds.'

Global: From water privatisation to corporatisation and the need for a counter-strategy

2012-11-01, Issue 604

This report explores the development from privatisation to corporatisation within neoliberal policy on urban water services in developing countries. The findings call for the water justice movement to update and adjust its strategy, in order to counter the neoliberal tactical shift towards corporatisation.

Africa: Aid money used to support Australian mining interests

2012-11-05, Issue 604

AID/WATCH in coordination with the Minerals Policy Institute have released a letter calling on the government to stop using Australian aid funds to support the expansion of Australian mining interests overseas. Money from the aid program is being used to fund Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs for mining companies who are members of the Australian Africa Mining Industry Group. A pilot project has been established that provides funds through the Development Assistance Program allocating $30,000 of funding for Australian mining companies to run CSR programs and promote sustainability. At least one of the companies receiving funding, Paladin, have been implicated in a range of labour and environmental abuses at their operations in Africa, and also accused of corruption.

Mauritania: Blogging week against foreign mining

2012-11-06, Issue 604

A group of Mauritanian bloggers launched a blogging campaign under the theme 'Against foreign mining companies' at the beginning of October. For the bloggers, this campaign was intended to share their opinions about the issue of foreign companies, accused of looting Mauritania's mineral wealth. This campaign was inaugurated by publishing a series of posts at the same time, and continued for a week.

Africa: Trade barriers hit food production, says World Bank

2012-10-25, Issue 603

Africa could feed itself if trade restrictions were reduced and fertile land was put to good use, according to the World Bank. Just 5% of African cereal imports come from other African countries, it said. Removing cross-border barriers would free up trade, reduce prices and generate billions of dollars for African governments, it added.

Global: Trade imbalances worsening effects of global crisis for LDCs

2012-10-29, Issue 603

Adverse imbalances in international trade were exacerbating the impacts of the global economic and financial crisis, especially for developing countries, Algeria’s representative said today, as the Second Committee took up macroeconomic policy questions. Speaking on behalf of the 'Group of 77' developing countries and China, he said the turbulence in international trade was costly and disruptive, especially for least developed countries and African States. He described international trade as a 'vital tool' for long-term sustainable growth, emphasizing that developing countries should be spared from protectionist barriers, especially agricultural subsidies, and calling for the extension of trade-related technical and capacity-building assistance to them.

Global: World Bank business rankings obscure poverty and corruption, critics argue

2012-10-30, Issue 603

The World Bank has produced its 2013 list of the best places in the world to start and run a business, ranking the UK in 7th place, below the US in 3rd and Singapore, which retained the number one spot. Germany could only manage 20th place and France secured a lowly berth at number 34 out of 183 countries ranked this week. This Guardian UK blog post notes that critics argue the World Bank rankings promote a neo-liberal agenda of privatisations, welfare cuts, limited employment rights and low wages to please and entice foreign multinationals.

Uganda: 'Oil revenues should be used to make a more humane society'

2012-10-17, Issue 602

Uganda should deploy oil revenues to create universal old age pensions and universal health insurance to make a more humane society. This would be a real investment in the future of the nation. So says Dr. Ezra Suruma, Uganda’s former Minister of Finance, in this exclusive interview with Oil in Uganda. He accepts that it will be prudent to place some of the revenues in an Investment Fund - because too much money flowing too fast into the general budget would be difficult to absorb. But, he argues, all Ugandan citizens should become individual shareholders in the Investment Fund, in order to ensure that each and every citizen benefits directly through annual dividends - and also to create citizen-shareholder pressure for transparent and corruption-free management of the funds.

Malawi: Malawi considers controversial EU trade deal

2012-10-17, Issue 602

Malawi has opened up negotiations on the economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union, which have been deadlocked since 2002. The new round of negotiations may see President Joyce Banda’s administration change the status quo and sign the free trade agreement. 'We have opened up negotiations and consultations on EPAs. We can’t ignore the issue anymore like the previous administration, and President Banda will pay attention to this,' said the country’s trade minister John Bande.

Global: Kill austerity, before it kills you

2012-10-17, Issue 602

The latest IMF World Economic Outlook is causing quite a stir, states this article. It contains a three page text box basically saying that the IMF, together with other international institutions such as the OECD and the European Commission, has heavily underestimated the impact of fiscal austerity on economic activity. By thinking that fiscal cuts would only have a relatively minor impact on economic activity, governments were given bad advice and were pushed into policies administering overdoses of austerity.

Africa: Africa's mineral wealth hardly denting poverty levels, says World Bank

2012-10-22, Issue 602

A new report by the World Bank's Africa's Pulse records that citizens in some African states are enduring greater extreme poverty than they were before - citing Angola, Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon. At the same time, it says, other countries on the continent, such as Guinea, Zambia, DR Congo, Ghana and Mali, are already accounting for a significant proportion of global mineral output. The report claims that, excluding South Africa (a notable exception, since it's historically been Africa's mining 'melting pot'), sub-Saharan growth is forecast soon to rise to 6% from 4.8%.

Mozambique: Guebuza calls for delay in EPAs

2012-10-23, Issue 602

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza has argued that implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the European Union (EU) should be delayed until 2016. Speaking to reporters in Brussels, where he was attending the Seventh European Development Days (EDD), Guebuza said 'our preference is for 2016. Everything is under negotiation and we are waiting for the results'. The EU is currently insisting that countries that do not ratify EPAs by January 2014 will lose out on the benefits of preferential access to European markets.

Global: Financial instability as a threat to sustainable development

2012-10-23, Issue 602

As seen over and again during recurrent financial crises in both developing and advanced economies, including the recent global crisis originating in the US and Europe, financial instability and boom-bust cycles undermine all three ingredients of sustainable development – economic development, social development and environmental protection. Financial bubbles generate excessive investment which remains unutilized for an extended period even after full recovery from the ensuing financial crisis, argues this South Centre policy brief.

Ghana: Ghana set to join the league of big African oil producers

2012-10-10, Issue 601

Oil and gas are likely to play an ever more prominent role in Ghana’s fast-growing economy following new discoveries both in the Jubilee field and the Tano Basin. Italian giant Eni, made a major discovery last month in the offshore Cape Three Points block, some 50 kilometres from the coast. Eni is continuing to drill other wells to confirm the feasibility of commercial development, but the production test revealed that this new well is capable of producing about 5,000 high quality barrels of oil per day (bpd).

Madagascar: Country braces for windfall from nickel and cobalt exports

2012-10-11, Issue 601

Madagascar is bracing for billion dollar revenue with its flagship Amabatovy mining project set to start exports of nickel and cobalt whose extraction is expected to last 30 years. The project will invest about $5.5 billion, the majority of which is funded by a consortium of 12 banks under the supervision of the World Bank.

Global: Bank meetings open under global economic cloud

2012-10-11, Issue 601

The annual World Bank meetings opened on 11 October in Tokyo. On the agenda: a sluggish global economic outlook marked by a Eurozone crisis and uncertainty in the US. And with the BRIC bloc failing in its reputation as motor of growth, fears grow over the fall out for Africa, says this article from Africa Report.

Global: Civil society pushes global financial tax

2012-10-11, Issue 601

On 9 October, the Institute for Policy Studies sent the newly appointed World Bank president Dr. Jim Kim a letter signed by 58 organizations from around the world urging him to champion financial transaction taxes (FTT) – a tiny tax on stocks, bonds, currency and other derivatives trades - as an innovative way to raise much-needed money to address climate change, health and other development priorities in poorer countries. The groups – including WWF, Greenpeace, Oxfam, AFL-CIO, World AIDS Campaign, United Methodist Church, and the Main Street Alliance – come from a broad cross-section of civil society and show a growing consensus that it's time for developed countries to get serious about meeting their promises on climate and development finance.

Global: IMF warns of fresh global crisis unless eurozone finds a fix

2012-10-11, Issue 601

The International Monetary Fund has urged Eurozone leaders to act swiftly in response to the debt crisis in Greece and Spain, or risk dragging down the global economy with another financial crisis. The IMF warned that the situation was grave and could escalate into a wider downturn unless national leaders ended their disputes with a long-lasting deal. As eurozone finance ministers met in Luxembourg for crisis talks and the launch of the euro's permanent rescue fund, the IMF urged Europe and the US to promote growth to help major developing economies like China, Brazil and India.

Zambia: YouTube documentary on negative impact of copper mining

2012-10-16, Issue 601

A documentary on Zambian copper mining and its negative impact on society has emerged on YouTube and has so far attracted over 6,000 hits. The clip 'Zambia: Good Copper, Bad Copper' was first reported in the blogosphere by the Zambian Economist. Global Voices reports on the reactions.

Africa: Claims for Security Council seats still in limbo

2012-10-16, Issue 601

After 20 long years of negotiations on a proposed expansion of the Security Council, African countries continue to be left out in the cold – even as African leaders complain that the international community has failed to respond to their demands for two permanent seats in the most powerful body at the United Nations.

Africa: BRICS nations thrash out World Bank alternative

2012-10-03, Issue 600

Experts from five emerging world economic powers have told how a two-day think tanks forum this week reached consensus on creating a BRICS development bank designed to complement existing global financial institutions such as the World Bank. Liu Youfa, deputy director of the China Institute of International Studies, said, 'At the previous forum before the BRICS summit meeting in March, we were still discussing whether to create this bank, but now we are talking about how to create this bank.'

Africa: Regional integration in SADC: retreating or forging ahead?

2012-10-03, Issue 600

This paper provides a status of trade integration in SADC, highlighting achievements, challenges and constraints. Understanding constraints facing this process can provide insights as to whether the region should forge ahead with its approach to economic integration or retreat and evaluate the process with a view to define what could be its immediate priorities.

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