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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.

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African Sexualities

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Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya

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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.

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

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Swaziland: Call to ban hate speech

2012-11-08, Issue 605

One of Swaziland’s most vocal pro-democracy groups has called for a new law to ban hate speech against homosexuals. The call by the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) follows a debate in the Swazi House of Assembly in which MP Aaron Sotsha Dladla called for gays and lesbians to be outlawed in the kingdom. Dladla said a new law should be put in place to deal with ‘this mushrooming anti-social’ behaviour of gays and lesbians. He went on to make a number of disparaging comments about homosexuals.

Malawi: Scrapping Malawi sodomy laws an 'uphill battle'

2012-11-08, Issue 605

Despite the Malawi government's move to suspend a law banning same-sex relationships, activists say winning a total repeal will be an 'uphill battle' in a country where homosexuality is considered a sin. 'Malawi culture remains conservative,' Billy Mayaya, a leading rights activist, told AFP just hours after President Joyce Banda's government announced the suspension of tough anti-gay laws, pending a parliamentary debate. Despite the jubilation, Mayaya and others are far from confident that a full repeal is in the cards, and until that happens gay Malawians still face the threat of up to 14 years in jail with hard labour.

Nigeria: Lawmakers move ahead on anti-gay bill

2012-11-13, Issue 605

Lawmakers moved a step closer Tuesday 13 November to approving a bill that would harshly crack down on gay rights, including banning same-sex marriage and public displays of affection between homosexual couples. The bill which has already been approved by the Senate passed a second reading in the House of Representatives with an unanimous vote and will now see a clause-by-clause review in the chamber at an undetermined date.

Uganda: Speaker promises to revive shelved anti-gay bill

2012-10-31, Issue 604

Uganda's house speaker, Rebecca Kadaga, has promised to expedite the debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill days after she was engaged in a war of words with Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird over Uganda's anti-homosexuality record. Speaking after arriving from the Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting in Quebec, Canada, Kadanga said she will allow debate and voting on th famous anti-homosexuality bill in the East African country. 'They said I should stop the debate on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill but I assured them there is no way I can block a private members Bill,' she said, while addressing religious leaders and journalists at Entebbe International Airport.

Kenya: Gay and lesbian awards of Kenya announced

2012-10-31, Issue 604

The first ever Gay and Lesbian Awards of Kenya (GALA) have been announced by the National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (NGLHRC) to honor gay, lesbian, Trans, queer, intersex and bisexual (LGBTIQ) individuals and organizations for their contributions to Kenyan society. The awards are also to honor politicians, employers and others who are committed to advancing equality and social acceptance for LGBTIQ people in Kenya. Scheduled to be held on 15 December 2012, the awards are expected to run each year and will recognized exemplary service, courage and work on LGBTIQ issues in the country.

Malawi: Laws against homosexual relationships suspended

2012-11-06, Issue 604

Malawi has suspended laws against same-sex relationships pending a decision on whether to repeal the legislation, the justice minister has said.

Kenya: Candidate running against homophobia

2012-11-06, Issue 604

During an interview at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Nairobi, David Kuria Mbote, Kenya’s first openly homosexual candidate for public office, stresses that his campaign will not be only about gay rights.It is, he said, about tearing down the structural barriers in healthcare, education, and the economy that harm all Kenyans. 'My county Kiambu is not the poorest county in Kenya, but those who are poor in Kiambu are really, really poor, and many times they cannot escape that cycle of poverty. What we want to do is create small projects, like rabbit farming for example, to help them break that cycle. Once they can do this they will be more able to work their way to a better life.'

Cameroon: Lawyer gets threats for defending gays

2012-10-24, Issue 603

Cameroon lawyer Alice Nkom, who is known for defending gays and lesbians in a country where homosexuality is outlawed, has said that she has been receiving death threats from anonymous callers over her stance. 'Since October 18, I have become the victim of anonymous death threats,' she said, adding that she has been warned to stop defending homosexuals.

Uganda: Kadaga, Canadian minister in gay row

2012-10-25, Issue 603

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga caused a diplomatic stir on Monday on her official trip to Canada, getting involved in a spat with the host Foreign Minister, Mr John Baird, whom she accused of attacking Uganda’s human rights record in respect to sexual minorities. Mr Baird had demonised Uganda on allegations of persecuting sexual minorities.

Global: Worrying data on LGBT mental health

2012-10-10, Issue 601

Whereas there are various causes of a breakdown in mental health, LGBT persons have been known to suffer serious mental health breakdowns on account of their sexuality and identities and the expression of the same thereof. Several studies suggest that gay men, lesbians and bisexuals appear to have higher rates of some mental disorders compared with heterosexuals. Discrimination may help fuel these higher rates.

Uganda: Debate on homosexuality heats up at Pan Africa Parliament

2012-10-10, Issue 601

Uganda's hard stance on homosexuality and the possible introduction of legislation that would call for the death penalty for homosexuals led to a heated debate at the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, North of Johannesburg. The House had taken time off to pay tribute to Uganda as it celebrated 50 years of independence but as praises and congratulatory messages poured in, a remark by South African opposition MP Santosh Vinita Kalyan challenging Uganda government's hostility towards homosexuality momentarily changed the momentum of the debate.

Kenya: Kenyans have confidence in pro-gay judiciary

2012-10-04, Issue 600

The majority of Kenyans have confidence in pro gay Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga and his team of judges in the judiciary according to a poll. The survey conducted by Infotrak Research and Consulting found out that 70 per cent of those polled have confidence in Mutunga. Mutunga’s pro-gay activism began with his writings under the pen name Cabral Pinto and has recently said that he believes the Supreme Court would decide on the issue of gay rights and same sex marriage in Kenya.

Uganda: A Day In Kampala

2012-10-04, Issue 600

A trans-woman is viciously assaulted in a hate crime, the police won’t readily help, and there’s little hope for justice. This is just one story of just one day of paying the price of being LGBTI in Uganda, reports this article on the website of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

South Africa: Violent scuffles mar gay parade

2012-10-08, Issue 600

A moment of silence turned to violence during a gay parade in celebration of Joburg Pride Day. Joburg Pride board members arrived to the sight of One in Nine Campaign members holding a banner saying: 'Dying for Justice'. The latter evidently disrupted the parade to demand a moment of silence for LGBTI community members murdered due to their sexual preference.

Zimbabwe: The mean season for gays

2012-09-26, Issue 599

For Zimbabwe’s gay community, voting season is a time of dread. As political temperatures rise ahead of expected elections next year, gays and lesbians are being targeted by police in an apparent strategy to win over voters. On 11 August 2012, police raided a book launch at the headquarters of the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), an NGO based in Harare that promotes the rights of sexual minorities. The police arrested 44 people, and although none were formally charged, the incident followed a familiar pattern of harassment, beatings and threats against people who openly identify as gay.

Cameroon: Pan Africa ILGA calls for government to cease persecution of LGBT persons

2012-09-27, Issue 599

Pan Africa ILGA, a federation of 67 LGBTI organisations in Africa, has expressed deep concern over the continued human rights violations in Cameroon, particularly towards the LGBT persons. The appeal of a Cameroonian man who was sentenced to three years imprisonment in 2011 after sending a text message, has been delayed for a further two months.

Malawi: Malawi unlikely to ax anti-gay laws, says President Banda

2012-10-01, Issue 599

After assuming the presidency following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika, Joyce Banda said she had hoped Malawi's Parliament would support the repeal of the nation's indecency and unnatural acts laws. But she has told The Associated Press that national debate had shown a lack of public support so far for the change, reports Identity Kenya.

Uganda: Minister in court over gay meeting closure

2012-09-25, Issue 598

Ethics Minister Fr Simon Lokodo recently appeared before the High Court in Kampala over the closure of a gay meeting in Entebbe, but was not cross examined as earlier expected. Lokodo, along with the Attorney General, is being sued by four gay activists – Jacqueline Kasha Nabagesera, Julian Pepe Onziema, Frank Mugisha and Geoffrey Ogwaro – who accuse him of infringing on their rights when he closed their ongoing two-week meeting in February.

Cameroon: Thousands demand Cameroon drop criminal charges for gay text message

2012-09-25, Issue 598

Nearly 25,000 people have signed an AllOut.org petition asking the Cameroon President and Minister of Justice to reverse the decision to jail Roger Jean-Claude Mbédé for three years and to put a moratorium on the laws that sent him to jail in the first place. Roger was arrested last year for sending another man a text message that said, 'I'm very much in love w/u.' He was charged and convicted under Cameroon's law that criminalizes 'homosexual behavior' and sentenced to three years in prison.

Uganda: Producer charged over gay play

2012-09-16, Issue 597

The authorities in Uganda have charged a British theatre producer, David Cecil, for staging a play about the condition of gay people in the country. He appeared in court accused of 'disobeying lawful orders', because the play 'The River and the Mountain' was performed without authorisation. Mr Cecil was denied bail. He faces two years in jail if convicted.

Kenya: The 'I am Mary' documentary film

2012-09-10, Issue 597

On 5 September 2012, AFRA-Kenya officially launched a documentary film that can easily be described as the first of its kind. The screening of 'I am Mary' was done at the Inter News offices, I & M towers in Nairobi. It is the story of Mary, a lesbian woman who volunteers with one of the GALCK member groups, Minority Women in Action (MWA) and an active participant in the fight for human rights for LGBTI persons in Kenya.

Global: 'Born Free and Equal', a new publication of the Un Human Rights Office

2012-09-17, Issue 597

The UN Human Rights Office has released a new publication on sexual orientation and gender identity in international human rights law. It sets out the source and scope of some of the core legal obligations that States have to protect the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The 60-page booklet is designed as a tool for States, to help them better understand the nature of their obligations and the steps required to meet them, as well as for civil society activists, human rights defenders and others seeking to hold Governments to account for breaches of international human rights law.

Cameroon: The SMS that sent a gay Cameroonian to jail

2012-07-25, Issue 595

Roger Jean Claude Mbédé spent 16 months in prison with robbers, killers and other criminals. All he did was click the 'send' button on his mobile phone. The 33-year-old Cameroonian still can't believe what happened. On 28 April 2011, Mbédé was sentenced to 36 months in prison and fined 83,370 CFA francs (about 127 euros) for 'homosexual behaviour'. His lawyers immediately appealed the sentence and lodged an application for bail, which was rejected.

Malawi: Debate on gay rights revived

2012-07-25, Issue 595

By selling the presidential jet and getting rid of 60 limousines driven by high-ranking officials, Joyce Banda, Malawi’s new president, is making waves. But even before trimming the fat from the state budget, Ms. Banda made headlines when she announced her intention to repeal the country’s anti-gay law shortly after her April swearing-in. If she has her way, Malawi would be one of the rare African countries to do so, reports Africa Renewal Online.

Kenya: Bishop says gays are worse than terrorists

2012-07-30, Issue 595

Mombasa Anglican Church of Kenya Bishop Julius Kalu has said gays are worse than terrorists and called for Christians to be ever vigilant. It is now emerging that the Bishop had 'asked for money from different gay groups' to assist in planning for a workshop where several Anglican priests and their wives were expected to attend.

Global: Google says 'LGBT rights are human rights'

2012-07-18, Issue 594

Google is launching a new campaign, Legalize Love, to pressurize governments into recognizing and decriminalizing homosexuality. With Legalize Love, the search giant wants to ensure its staff have 'the same inclusive experience outside of the office as they do at work', and that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) communities can feel safe and accepted wherever they are. The campaign will focus on countries like Singapore (in which male homosexuality is illegal) and Poland (which doesn't recognize same-sex couples). Dot429 quotes Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, Google's head of Diversity and Inclusion, explaining how this initiative will work: 'Singapore wants to be a global financial center and world leader and we can push them on the fact that being a global center and a world leader means you have to treat all people the same, irrespective of their sexual orientation.'

Uganda: New LGBTI clinic faces fierce government criticism

2012-07-12, Issue 593

Gay rights activists have opened Uganda's first clinic for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in the capital, Kampala, where it will provide testing, counselling and treatment for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. But Richard Nduhura, Uganda's Minister for Health (General Duties), told IRIN/PlusNews the clinic was unnecessary because despite the government's anti-gay stance, 'We don't discriminate and marginalize when it comes to offering health services. When people come for treatment at our health facilities, we can't ask for their sexual orientation.'

Uganda: Anonymous punishes Uganda for persecution of LGBT community

2012-07-15, Issue 593

GSec (Grey Security), a hacking crew associated with the international hacktivist collective known as Anonymous, is claiming responsibility for hacking and defacing multiple Ugandan websites, including websites belonging to the Ugandan parliament, PayUganda.com, and pepsi-cola.co.ug. The Anonymous hacktivists claim they have access to Uganda’s official Bank, official news websites, and department of defence.

Global: Register gay groups; allow free assembly, urges Maina Kiai

2012-07-02, Issue 592

Maina Kiai, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association has said that gays should be free to assemble and associate saying ‘such rights are essential components of democracy.’ ‘It is astonishing how often States have encroached upon the right of individuals to assemble peacefully by also violating their rights to life and to be free from torture, rights which allow no limitation, Kiai said during the presentation of his annual report to the UN Human Rights Council, in which he makes a number of recommendations to establish minimum standards to protect the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association.

Uganda: Case against cabinet minister opens

2012-07-08, Issue 592

A high court judge in Uganda, Justice Eldad Mwangushya has said security agencies should 'infiltrate' gay rights groups to ascertain if children are 'recruited into homosexuality'. The judge made in Kampala at the beginning of the hearing of a case brought by gay activists against the government and Ethics and Integrity Minister for forcing the closure of a gay rights workshop in February this year.

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