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Pambazuka News

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.

The Inagural 2016 Pan African Colloquium, Barbados

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
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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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Back Issues

Pambazuka News 465: French nuclear energy: Powered by Niger / Haiti in crisis

The authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in Africa

Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839

CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Comment & analysis, 3. Advocacy & campaigns, 4. Pan-African Postcard, 5. Obituaries, 6. Letters & Opinions, 7. Blogging Africa, 8. Emerging powers in Africa Watch, 9. Highlights French edition, 10. Zimbabwe update, 11. Women & gender, 12. Human rights, 13. Refugees & forced migration, 14. Emerging powers news, 15. Elections & governance, 16. Development, 17. Health & HIV/AIDS, 18. Education, 19. LGBTI, 20. Environment, 21. Land & land rights, 22. Media & freedom of expression, 23. Conflict & emergencies, 24. Internet & technology, 25. Fundraising & useful resources, 26. Courses, seminars, & workshops, 27. Publications

Help Pambazuka News become independent. Become a supporting subscriber by taking out a paid subscription. Donate $30 a year.

Highlights from this issue

- Jacques Depelchin on Haiti's continuing struggle following Tuesday's earthquake
- Khadija Sharife reveals how French nuclear power is fed by uranium from Niger
- Sylvia Tamale highlights the human rights impact of Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill
- Alemayehu G. Mariam on Ethiopia's creeping famine
- Dale McKinley looks at what the new decade holds for South Africa
+ more

- Annar Cassam on Italy's uneasy relationship with immigrant labourers
- Waheeda Amien on Muslim marriage in the South African legal system

- Media gagging in Kenya's constitution review process
- Attacks on Namibia's judges must be condemned
+ more

- Bill Sutherland, Pan-African Pacifist

- Chris Zambelis on China's inroads into North Africa
+ moreZIMBABWE UPDATE: SADC Troika meets in Maputo
WOMEN & GENDER: Clash over abortion rights in new constitution
CONFLICT AND EMERGENCIES: Keeping dialogue alive in CAR
HUMAN RIGHTS: Kenya police fire on Muslim protesters
REFUGEES AND FORCED MIGRATION: Congolese refugees not ready to return home
EMERGING POWERS NEWS: Emerging powers news roundup
ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE: Ivorian election under threat again
HEALTH & HIV/AIDS: New campaign to boost condom use in Rwanda
EDUCATION: Algeria fines parents to curb dropout rate
DEVELOPMENT: Malawi Green Belt initiative takes shape
LGBTI: Swaziland lesbian murder condemned
ENVIRONMENT: Fighting climate change with grasslands
LAND & LAND RIGHTS: Ethiopia offers land dirt cheap to farming giants
MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: Court lifts sanctions on Chad weekly
INTERNET & TECHNOLOGY: Tanzania to track malaria drug supply via sms
PLUS: jobs, fundraising & useful resources, publications, courses, seminars and workshops

*Pambazuka News now has a page, where you can view the various websites that we visit to keep our fingers on the pulse of Africa! Visit


Let Haiti be Haiti

Jacques Depelchin


cc Wikimedia
‘Our deepest sympathies to the entire Haitian population’, writes Jacques Depelchin, ’and in particular to those who, prior to the earthquake were already suffering too much, simply because they were continuing a struggle started more than two centuries ago.’

Global responses to the Haiti earthquake

Rebecca Zausmer


Haiti is caught in tragedy once again. The country has been hit by its strongest earthquake for two centuries. While world leaders, institutions, NGOs, and individuals make their pledges, thousands are trapped beneath the rubble and unknown death tolls mount. The struggle to save lives is hampered by an obliterated infrastructure.

French nuclear power fed by uranium from Niger

Khadija Sharife


cc Topato
Niger exports enough uranium to France to generate 50 per cent of the latter’s electricity supply, writes Khadija Sharife. But ordinary Nigeriens reap little benefit from France’s control of their country’s uranium resources, with over three-fifths of the population living below the poverty line and reports of radioactive contamination of water, air and soil by multinational mining operations.

Human rights impact assessment of Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill

Sylvia Tamale


cc V J H
Challenging Ugandan MP David Bahati’s assertion that homosexuality poses a grave threat to the ‘traditional African family’, Sylvia Tamale looks at the social meaning and legal implications of the country’s proposed anti-homosexuality bill.

Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill is inherently discriminatory

Amnesty International


cc Scroniser
Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill would, if enacted into law, violate international human rights law and lead to further human rights violations, a report from Amnesty International has said. This extract from the report offers a human rights analysis of the bill.

Ethiopia’s 'silently' creeping famine

Alemayehu G. Mariam


cc Oxfam
As famine and hunger envelop Ethiopia, Alemayehu G. Mariam asks why the alarm is not being sounded. Instead, with Ethiopia’s leaders flatly denying the existence of famine and the international community hiding behind the jargon of ‘food insecurity’, Mariam sees a predictable pattern to Ethiopia’s history of responses over the last four decades: ‘Always too little, too late’.

2010: South Africa's upside down world

Dale T. McKinley


cc M Sill
Dale McKinley looks at what the new decade holds for South Africa, as politicians, corporate mandarins and the media attempt to gloss over the “dirty” realities of the country's ‘grinding poverty, homelessness and mass inequality’ ahead of the World Cup.

How to turn black education around

William Gumede


cc S F L
‘If we want to turn around black education in South Africa, we must start by changing prevailing anti-learning attitudes’, argues William Gumede. ‘Anti-learning attitudes’, says Gumede, are compounded by a ‘lack of political will from leaders to do something beyond mouthing off rhetoric, wrong official priorities and absentee black parents’.

Senegal: Casamance women call for peace


cc T S
Since the onset of violence in Casamance back in 1982, the Senegalese government and the Movement of Democratic Forces in the Casamance (MFDC) have not been able to negotiate a lasting peace. Periods of relative calm have been regularly punctuated by violent flare-ups that lead to fresh negotiations. In recent months, the region has once again been plunged into violent conflict. The women of Casamance make this call for an immediate end to the violence.

Comment & analysis

Blood oranges from Italy

Annar Cassam


cc P Keller
A recent outbreak of violence between migrant workers from Africa and the townspeople of Rosarno in southern Italy higlights the country's uneasy relationship with illegal immigrants, many of whom are trafficked into Italy by the mafia to provide cheap labour during the fruit-picking season, writes Annar Cassam.

South Africa’s courts and Muslim marriages

Waheeda Amien


cc Hammer
Muslim marriages have no legal recognition in South Africa, writes Waheeda Amien, but the use of written marriage contracts – the terms of which are enforceable in a secular court – offers a form of protection for parties, both within marriage and upon divorce.

Who sent the assassin?

John Otim


cc D M P
Ugandan-born lecturer John Otim recounts his experience of an attempt to assassinate him at his home on the campus of Nigeria’s Ahmadu Bello University in December.

Advocacy & campaigns

Media gagging and constitution review process

Release Political Prisoners Trust


Some elements within the Kenyan government are not sincere on the constitutional review process and are using the media gagging law, and some politicians, to scuttle the just released Harmonised Draft Constitution. The Release Political Prisoners (RPP) castigates such a move and implores upon the two principals (His Excellency Mwai Kibaki and the Honourable Raila Odinga) to show leadership on the constitutional review process.

Namibia: Attacks on judges must be condemned

Namibia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR)


Namibia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) is gravely appalled by what appears to be an escalating spate of misguided and, sometimes, punitive attacks on the independence of judges in the country.

Namibia: When some people are more equal than others

Namibia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR)


The Namibian Police and or the Office of Prosecutor General as well as the Lower Criminal Division of the Namibian Judiciary are making themselves vulnerable to charges of discrimination and political bias, owing to the inconsistency with which they are handling certain criminal cases.

Zimbabwe: Call for real schools with real teachers for a real education

Women and Men of Zimbabwe


Over 800 members of Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise took to the streets of Bulawayo on 13 January to peacefully protest about the state of education in Zimbabwe. Five groups started separately and converged on Mhlahlandlela Government complex to hand over the WOZA report on the education system in Zimbabwe entitled 'Looking Back to look Forward'.

Pan-African Postcard

Tales from a post-conflict zone

L. Muthoni Wanyeki


L. Muthoni Wanyeki shares anecdotes from a friend working for a UN mission in a post-conflict African country. While the stories are amusing, says Wanyeki, what they really show is how hard it is ‘to re-construct even a semblance of normalcy following a war’.


Bill Sutherland, Pan-African pacifist


Esi Sutherland-Addy, Ralph Sutherland, Amowi Sutherland Phillips and Matt Meyer


Bill Sutherland, unofficial ambassador between the peoples of Africa and the Americas for over fifty years, died peacefully on the evening of 2 January 2010. He was 91.

Letters & Opinions

No transparency in Kenya’s examination board

Isaac Newton Kinity


Isaac Newton Kinity asks if a ‘political, secret shadow examination board’ is ‘still alive in Kenya’.

Blogging Africa

Bullets, bombs and blogs

Sokari Ekine


The ‘Nigerian bomber’, the attacks on the Togolese football team, LGBTI politics in Africa, the mafia and migrant workers in Italy and a murder in London are among the topics in Sokari Ekine’s roundup of the African blogosphere.

Emerging powers in Africa Watch

China’s inroads into North Africa: An assessment of Sino-Algerian relations

Chris Zambelis


The geopolitics of African countries such as Algeria, a country in North Africa that has traditionally enjoyed strong relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) and whose strategic importance and regional profile have increased markedly of late, is key to grasping the dynamics that shape contemporary Sino-Algerian ties and China’s Africa strategy overall, writes Chris Zambelis.

The international expansion of Chinese dam builders

Jacqui Dixon


China is now the world's largest producer of, hydropower, with Chinese firms now building 19 of the 24 largest hydropower plants currently under construction worldwide, and roughly half of all the world's large dams are within its borders, writes Jacqui Dixon.

Highlights French edition

Pambazuka News 129: Sénégal: Les femmes au front pour la paix en Casamance


Zimbabwe update

SADC Troika meets in Maputo to discuss Zimbabwe


The SADC Troika on Politics, Defence and Security held a summit in Maputo on Thursday to consider, among other issues, reports on developments in Zimbabwe’s inclusive government.

Women & gender

Gambia: Police declare zero tolerance for gender-based violence


Gambia's Assistant Superintendent of Police Yahya Fadera has declared there will be zero tolerance for gender-based violence, in particular rape and sexual assault against women and girls, warning that perpetrators will have no place to hide.

Kenya: Clash over abortion rights in new constitution


A harmonised draft constitution has now been handed over to Kenya's Parliamentary Select Committee. Influential Christian leaders are warning that the question of abortion could derail the constitutional review process.

Zimbabwe: Electing to rape: Sexual terror in Mugabe's Zimbabwe


In the weeks immediately following the June 2008 presidential elections in Zimbabwe, AIDS-Free World received an urgent call from a Harare-based organization working on behalf of women and girls. They believed that hundreds and possibly thousands of women had been raped by members of President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party as a strategy to influence the election, and sought help from AIDS-Free World in documenting these crimes.

Human rights

Botswana: Global advertising campaign exposes malice of government


Survival has launched an ad campaign exposing the Botswana government’s malicious treatment of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen, the country’s oldest inhabitants. An advertisement depicting an inverted Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), the Bushmen’s ancestral home, has appeared in a series of popular magazines, including Condé Nast Traveller, The World of Interiors, and Red Bulletin which is distributed with the UK’s Independent newspaper.

DRC: Warlord Nkunda seeks trial or exile: lawyer


Former Congolese warlord Laurent Nkunda is ready to face trial for alleged war crimes or go into exile to end his detention without charge in Rwanda, his lawyer said.

Kenya: Police, people clash with Muslim protesters


Kenyan security forces shot in the air and fired tear gas at hundreds of people protesting in the capital on Friday against the detention of Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal. The protesters, chanting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) and some holding the flag of Somali rebel group al Shabaab, were blocked by police with dogs as they tried to march through the heart of Nairobi after prayers at the downtown mosque.

Sudan: Government hangs six over 2005 refugee riot in Khartoum


Six Sudanese men have been executed for their part in a riot at a refugee camp in Khartoum in 2005. The men were held responsible for killing 13 policemen during the riots in which five civilians also died.

Zambia: Police breaking the law to prevent crime


Detaining someone without cause is against the law in Zambia. But the country’s police continue to do this, specifically targeting the female relatives of a suspect, in an attempt to gather information or force the suspect out into the open.

Zimbabwe: The invisible suffering of commercial farm workers


This report presents the findings of preliminary quantitative and qualitative surveys of workers on commercial farms in the wake of the catastrophic "Land Reform" policy in Zimbabwe. Whilst the companion reports produced from this series of projects have received some attention, this report is the first to deal solely with data gathered from the farm workers themselves.

Refugees & forced migration

CAR: Refugees not ready to return


Assurances from authorities in Kinshasa that peace had been restored to their home areas in northwestern Democratic Republic of Congo carry little weight with thousands of refugees across the Ubangi River in the Central African Republic (CAR): they are in no hurry to return home.

DRC: Massive refugee influx straining neighbours’ resources – UN


A massive influx of 125,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) into neighbouring Republic of Congo (ROC) and Central African Republic (CAR) after deadly ethnic clashes is severely stretching the meagre resources of the impoverished region, the United Nations refugee agency has reported.

DRC: Over 100, 000 refugees flee


More than 107,000 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have fled to the Republic of Congo since early November of last year. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, another 17,000 refugees have crossed into the Central African Republic (CAR).

Global: UN-backed microfinance project to benefit thousands of refugees


Tens of thousands of displaced people around the world will get micro-loans to set up their own businesses and become self-sufficient thanks to a new agreement between the UN refugee agency and a microfinance services organisation set up by Bangladeshi Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus.

Kenya: Corruption keeps resettlement funds from IDPs


Kenya’s government faces internal wrangling over the allocation of 1.4 billion shillings ($19 million) to buy land for IDPs. The Standard newspaper has reported that government officials have taken millions of shillings meant for resettling IDPs and then claimed that they had been disbursed to beneficiaries.

Somalia: Insecurity causes new displacement and suspension of food aid


Fighting between pro-government militias and the Al-Shabaab rebel group has caused continuing death and displacement in central Somalia. Clashes concentrated in the areas of Wabho, Warhole, and Beladweyne killed 27 civilians and displaced some 250 pastoralist families, according to rights groups in Somalia cited by Reuters on 12 January.

Somalia: Surge in fighting uproots more Somalis


The United Nations refugee agency has warned that many parts of central Somalia are witnessing a surge in fighting, sparking growing displacement and worsening the plight of an already beleaguered population.

Emerging powers news

China's Foreign Minister completes African trip

Stephen Marks


In this week's roundup of emerging powers news Stephen Marks looks at China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's just-concluded six-nation tour of Africa.

Elections & governance

Côte d'Ivoire: Elections under threat again


Preparations for presidential elections scheduled for the end of February or the beginning of March - elections which have already been postponed numerous times since 2005 - have again reached an impasse in Côte d'Ivoire.

Cote d'Ivoire: Government to probe allegations of voters roll fraud


Cote d'Ivoire's government has ordered an investigation into allegations of fraud by the electoral commission. Last weekend, President Laurent Gbagbo accused the commission of trying to register hundreds of thousands of ineligible people.

Guinea: Camara demands home return


Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, Guinea’s wounded junta leader, feels he was tricked into taking a flight to Burkina Faso instead of going back to Guinea and is determined to get home, officials have said.

Madagascar: SADC throws out Rajoelina


Leaders from the southern African region have urged the international community to reject plans by Madagascar's military-backed Andry Rajoelina to ignore power-sharing talks and hold an election.

Nigeria: VP 'can act as president'


A Nigerian court has ruled that Goodluck Jonathan, the vice-president, can take over the duties of the president, who has been sick, without a formal transfer of power.

Southern Africa: Angola to endorse new constitution


Angolan legislators are expected to endorse the new constitution that will strengthen the three decades-long rule of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos. The vote comes earlier than expected as the nation reels from a deadly rebel attack last week. The vote was expected in March.

Sudan: SPLM leader Salva Kiir snubs national election


South Sudan leader Salva Kiir is to seek re-election in that post rather than tackling Omar al-Bashir for the national presidency, his party says. The SPLM will instead field a northern Muslim, Yassir Arman, in the national elections due in April.

Tunisia: President reshuffles cabinet


Two months after being re-elected for a fifth five-year term, president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has reshuffled his cabinet with the departure of several known figures.


Africa: Ethiopia inaugurates first ever no-dam hydropower plant


Ethiopia's first and biggest hydroelectric power generating plant that does not have its own dam was inaugurated by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and a senior official from the project financier, Italy. The 281 million euro (US$ 407 million) plant, Gilgel-Gibe II (GII), uses water from another dam constructed more than 26 kilometres from GII for an earlier comm i ssioned power plant, called Gilgel-Gibe I (GI), has an installed capacity of 420

Africa: Rising electricity demand boosts the wind turbine market - study


A study on African Large-Scale Wind Turbine Market, has found that the market earned revenues of over $148.4 million in 2008 and estimates this to reach $424.3 million in 2015, according to a new analysis from Frost & Sullivan.

Africa: Seychelles agrees to swap $283 million in debt


Seychelles has said it had agreed with creditors to swap old debt worth $283 million, representing 89 percent of the debt it sought to restructure in an exchange offer.

DRC: Egyptian experts to undertake projects in Kinshasa


Egyptian experts have completed a mission in Kinshas a aimed at evaluating the construction of an ultra-modern hospital and hydro-electric power in DR Congo by Egypt.These projects are efforts to contribute to the accessibility of quality care and provision of electric power supply in DR Congo.

Malawi: Green belt initiative taking shape


Let the rains fail, even for several successive seasons, and Malawi should still be able to produce enough to feed itself.
 This is the motivation for the country's green belt concept. It is strengthened by painful memories of the severe drought beginning early 2002 which triggered three years of hunger.

Mauritius: ‘Doing Business 2010 in Africa’ conference opens


Mauritian Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam, speaking at the opening of a three-day conference on “Doing Business 2010 in Africa: Sharing Reform Experiences” in Balaclava, Mauritius, has said that Africa is poised for what may be the most buoyant years in its economic history, provided it facilitates doing business despite the worst global economic recession in decades.

Health & HIV/AIDS

Africa: Unicef child-death campaign in Africa 'failed'


A UN programme to combat child deaths from disease in West Africa has failed, a Johns Hopkins University study says. Unicef spent $27m (£17m) rolling out vaccinations, vitamin A pills and bed nets to protect against malaria from 2001 to 2005 in areas of 11 countries.

Kenya: New strategy targets most at-risk populations


Kenya has launched an ambitious strategy to fight HIV/AIDS that aims to reduce new infections by at least 50 percent over the next four years and focus more on most at-risk populations (MARPs).

Rwanda: New campaign to boost condom use


A campaign by the Rwandan government aims to significantly increase the use of both male and female condoms in the country, where it is estimated that sexually active people use an average of just three condoms per year.

South Africa: Foreigners fare better on HIV treatment than citizens


A study finding that foreigners are about half as likely to fail antiretroviral (ARV) treatment as South African citizens attending the same Johannesburg clinic has challenged widely held assumptions about migrants' ability to adhere to HIV/AIDS drug regimens.

West Africa: Learning how to stop children dying


The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) “accelerated child survival programme” in 11 West African countries did not save significantly more lives than in areas that were not targeted, says an evaluation published in The Lancet this week - but analysts say this does not mean UNICEF was doing the wrong things.


North Africa: Algeria fines parents to curb drop-out rate


Algeria's Ministry of Education, faced with a worrisome drop-out rate, has begun fining parents who do not send their children to school.

Zimbabwe: Police arrest 25 students over Bindura University demo


Twenty-five students were arrested at Bindura University on Thursday, after a demonstration over exorbitant tuition fees which have resulted in at least 40 percent of students being denied access to write their exams.


Malawi: Drop charges against same-sex couple


Malawi's government should drop all criminal charges against a same-sex couple who are facing up to 14 years in prison, Human Rights Watch has said in a letter to high-level justice and home affairs officials.

North Africa: Egypt jails two journalists over homosexuality claims


An Egyptian court has sentenced two journalists to one year in prison after finding them guilty of printing a report in their newspaper about the alleged homosexuality of three celebrities.

Swaziland: Lesbian murder condemned


The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has accused the media and the public of ‘trying and convicting’ Thulani Rudd, accused of murdering the woman she was engaged to, before the investigation has even been completed.

Uganda: Pastor plans "million-man" anti-gay march


A Ugandan preacher with close ties to U.S. evangelicals and President Yoweri Museveni's family said on Friday he planned to organise a "million-man" march in February to support a proposed anti-gay law in parliament.

Uganda: President Museveni wary of anti-gay bill


Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has distanced himself from a bill proposing execution for some gay people. He stressed that the MP who proposed the bill, who is a member of the ruling party, did so as an individual and was not following government policy.


Africa: Fighting climate change with grasslands


Grasslands have vast untapped potential to mitigate climate change by absorbing and storing Carbon Dioxide (CO2), according to a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Global: Copenhagen accord makes sham of global environmental justice


The controversial Copenhagen Accord, secretly drafted by countries of the Global North with the approval of a few handpicked emerging economies, including South Africa, is green washed capitalism with thinly veiled energy security at its heart, writes Michael Pressend.

Global: South Africa and partners to tackle climate deal


Four of the world’s largest and fastest-growing carbon emitters will meet in New Delhi this month ahead of a January 31 deadline for countries to submit their action plans to combat climate change.

Kenya: President, Prime Minister clash over conservation


Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga appeared headed for a fresh round of wrangling after the President pulled out of a tree-planting exercise in Mau Forest.

Land & land rights

Africa: Agri-Vie eyes $300 million for farm projects


Sub-Saharan focused private equity fund Agri-Vie will reach its $100 million target for investment in agricultural projects by March, and could triple this amount in a second fund, a top official has said. Agri-Vie funds food and agricultural projects in Africa seeking to make equity investments across the agribusiness spectrum, including processing and product distribution.

Africa: Ethiopia offers land dirt cheap to farming giants


Addis Ababa is selling vast fertile swaths to international companies in effort to introduce large-scale commercial agriculture.

Media & freedom of expression

Chad: Court lifts sanctions against weekly La Voix


A court in the capital N’Djamena has found the privately owned weekly La Voix “not guilty” of charges against it and lifted a provisional order for automatic seizure of all copies of the paper made on 3 December 2009. An appeal will be heard on 13 January

Eritrea: UN asked to investigate the fate of journalists imprisoned


Reporters Without Borders has written, on the third anniversary of Eritrean journalist Fessehaye “Joshua” Yohannes’ death in detention, to Manfred Nowak, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, asking him to do everything possible to obtain an improvement in the conditions of journalists imprisoned in Eritrea.

Mauritania: IFJ condemns arbitrary detention of journalist


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the unlawful, arbitrary and unjustified detention of Hannevy Ould Dehah, Director of Taqadoumy website in Dar Nahim prison in Nouakchott, after he had served his term.

Namibia: Public broadcaster DG quits over political interference


Namibia's national broadcaster's Director-General (DG) Mathew Gowaseb has quit his job, becoming the third DG to leave the public broadcaster in one year. Media reports said that Gowaseb, who was appointed in acting capacity at the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) last year, had thrown in the towel citing political interference.

North Africa: Morocco launches first Amazigh TV channel


An Amazigh-language TV channel first proposed three years ago finally hit Moroccan airwaves on January 6th, satisfying a long-awaited demand by a significant percentage of the country’s citizens.

Zambia: FAJ condemns moves to undermine media self regulation


The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the African regional organisation of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), is calling on the Zambian authorities to immediately end attacks on Zambian media as they work to establish self-regulatory mechanism.

Conflict & emergencies

CAR: Keeping the dialogue alive


This latest policy briefing from the International Crisis Group, examines the impact of the Inclusive Political Dialogue and the current challenges to a state that has lacked meaningful institutional capacity for some three decades. I

Haiti: Desperate Haitians await foreign disaster relief


Thousands of people injured in Haiti's massive earthquake spent a third night twisted in pain, lying on sidewalks and waiting for help as their despair turned to anger.

Somalia: Clashes kill 138 in two weeks: rights group


Fighting in central Somalia has killed at least 138 people and displaced 63,000 others in the last two weeks, a rights group said on Friday. Hizbul Islam and its rival, al Shabaab -- branded by Washington as an al Qaeda proxy in the region -- want to impose a strict version of Islamic sharia law in the Horn of Africa nation that has had no functional central government since 1991.

Sudan: Critical year for to secure peace


There is only one year left for Sudanese parties to salvage a 2005 peace agreement that ended more than 20 years of war and requires a pivotal referendum next January on unity or secession for Southern Sudan.

Internet & technology

East Africa: Tanzania to track supply of malaria drugs via SMS


A pilot drugs supply management project called "SMS for Life" has Tanzania authorities excited over its potential. The project, which brings together IBM, Novartis, Vodafone and the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, taps into a combination of smart technologies to track and manage the supply of anti-malarial drugs.

Fundraising & useful resources

Africa: Music Crossroads International

Call for applications Mali/Senegal/Cape Vert


The Music Crossroads program was initiated in 1995 by Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI), the world's largest youth-music network. Music Crossroads is going to lead a research on the creative sector as well as a feasibility study/search for partnership for Music Crossroads International in Mali, Senegal, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Cape Vert.

ERNWACA Research Grants Programme

Call for proposals


This call for proposals set out the conditions for accessing the sixth edition (2010) of ERNWACA Research Grants Programme.

North Africa: New Human Rights guide, localized for MENA


This manual is designed to help NGOs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) who may be interested in the field of Human Rights but feel that they do not know enough about it or where to start.

The Current Analyist


The Current Analyist is an authoritative analytical web site which assesses, analyzes and documents conflict situations so as to keep up Africa regional issues in focus internationally. It's goals are to improve overall availability of political, security and defense related information in policy circles and the public domain through research, analysis and development of policy options.

Courses, seminars, & workshops

CFP - 7th Iberian Congress of African Studies

"50 years of african independencies: challenges to modernity" (Lisbon, 9-11 Sep 2010)


The Center for African Studies (ISCTE / Lisbon University Institute) and the Center for African Studies of the University of Porto are organizing the 7th Iberian Congress of African Studies which will be hosted by ISCTE / Lisbon University Institute between 9 and 11 September 2010.

China's increasing engagement in Africa in the aftermath of the financial crisis


The seminar is aimed at generating policy-oriented research on the impact of the rising strategic and economic role of China on Africa's development prospects and its economic and political governance. The seminar will be held in Tunis, Tunisia, on 25-26 March 2010.

South Africa: 3rd edition of Talent Campus Durban

23 - 27 July 2010


The 31st Durban International Film Festival (22 July - 2 August 2010) is proud to announce the 3rd edition of Talent Campus Durban from 23 - 27 July 2010, an intensive 5-day programme of workshops and seminars delivered by film professionals to enhance both theoretical and practical approaches to filmmaking.

Vacancy for a Ph.D. position, January 2010

Mobile Africa revisited


In this research programme an interpretation will be offered of the relationship between the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), social space, mobility and marginality in Sub-Saharan Africa. In six case-studies (Central Chad, West-Cameroon, Central Mali, Senegal, North Angola and South-East Angola), the programme seeks to arrive at an interdisciplinary analysis of the dynamics of mobility, social relations and communication technologies.

Zimbabwe: Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA)

Call for artists


The Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) began in 1999 and has received an enthusiastic response from Zimbabwean audiences, participating artists as well as local/regional and international media. The event celebrates the finest Zimbabwean and international music, theatre, spoken word, dance and visual and applied arts.


Mobile phones : the new talking drums of everyday Africa


'We cannot imagine life now without a mobile phone' is a frequent comment when Africans are asked about mobile phones. They have become part and parcel of the communication landscape in many urban and rural areas of Africa and the growth of mobile telephony is amazing: from 1 in 50 people being users in 2000 to 1 in 3 in 2008. Such growth is impressive but it does not even begin to tell us about the many ways in which mobile phones are being appropriated by Africans and how they are transforming or are being transformed by society in Africa. This volume ventures into such appropriation and mutual shaping.

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