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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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Pambazuka News Broadcasts

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

See the list of episodes.


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

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

Back Issues

Pambazuka News 500: Celebrating 500 issues for freedom and justice

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

Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839

CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Announcements, 3. Comment & analysis, 4. Advocacy & campaigns, 5. Books & arts, 6. Letters & Opinions, 7. African Writers’ Corner, 8. Highlights French edition, 9. Cartoons, 10. Zimbabwe update, 11. Women & gender, 12. Human rights, 13. Refugees & forced migration, 14. Social movements, 15. Emerging powers news, 16. Elections & governance, 17. Corruption, 18. Development, 19. Health & HIV/AIDS, 20. Education, 21. LGBTI, 22. Racism & xenophobia, 23. Environment, 24. Land & land rights, 25. Food Justice, 26. Media & freedom of expression, 27. News from the diaspora, 28. Conflict & emergencies, 29. Internet & technology, 30. eNewsletters & mailing lists, 31. Fundraising & useful resources, 32. Courses, seminars, & workshops, 33. Publications, 34. World Cup 2010

Highlights from this issue

- ZIMBABWE UPDATE: ‘Government keeps coming up with defective constitutions’

- WOMEN & GENDER: Examining the impact of women beyond the numbers
- HUMAN RIGHTS: The rationality of revolt
- REFUGEES AND FORCED MIGRATION: Stop sending refugees back to Mogadishu, UN tells rich countries
- SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: Cape Town protest tactics sparks scrap between social movements
- EMERGING POWERS NEWS: Emerging powers to challenge elite security council
- ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE: Second elections coming up in Liberia, Talks on Sudan’s Abyei break down
- CORRUPTION: British banks complicit in Nigerian corruption, says Global Witness
- DEVELOPMENT: A review of economic diversification in five countries
- HEALTH & HIV/AIDS: Money for African health R&D fund slow to arrive
- LGBTI: Kenyan minister refuses to back down on LGBTI support 

- RACISM AND XENOPHOBIA: Russia elects first African councilman
- ENVIRONMENT: $100 billion needed so climate change doesn’t scupper MDGs
- LAND AND LAND RIGHTS: UAE has over 2,800 square kilometers of Sudan land 

- MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: African women continue to be left out of media
PLUS: Jobs, Fundraising & useful resources and publications

*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


Pambazuka News: 500 issues for freedom and justice

Firoze Manji


Pambazuka News has a 10-year track record of publishing articles that present a direct counter to the status quo. Moving beyond its 500th issue and into its second decade, the Pambazuka News community will be able to connect and share information on an unprecedented level, thanks to a forthcoming new web platform. This, believes editor Firoze Manji, makes Pambazuka News well placed to reflect a mood in Africa that is one of ‘discontent, of a search for alternatives to the ideology of looting and personal enrichment’.

Championing the transformation of African society

A future full of opportunities

Horace Campbell


‘Unity is indispensable in order for the peoples of Africa to live in peace, improve their quality of life, restore the natural environment, repair the human spirit and the earth,’ but there are challenges Pan-Africanism must overcome to achieve it. Horace Campbell looks at the role Pambazuka News has played in nurturing networks for the emancipation of the continent, and how it can champion transformation by 'strengthening popular power'.

What Pambazuka News means to the Pan-Africanist in me

Chambi Chachage


Pambazuka News has fostered debate about the 'whole spectrum of political colouring' and in so doing played a crucial role in turning ideas into pro-African action, writes Chambi Chachage.

Recovering our memory

Nnimmo Bassey


Nnimmo Bassey, environmental justice activist and winner of the Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize', pays tribute to Pambazuka News on occasion of its 500th edition. ‘Through this medium we build and equally recover lost memories for future action,’ he writes.

Next stop:

Alemayehu G. Mariam


Alemayehu Mariam keeps coming back to Pambazuka News in his search for informed analysis on African current affairs. While Western countries have think tanks to debate important issues, Africans have Pambazuka News, he writes in his letter to celebrate Pambazuka News’ 500th issue.

Towards a people's progressive movement

Continuing the struggle

Dale T. McKinley


Dale McKinley discusses how Pambazuka News has avoided eclipsing grassroots activism in Africa by adhering to a Pan-African and internationalist foundation. He also adds new directions for the platform to pursue.

Resisting hegemony: 10 years of Pambazuka News

Ama Biney


As Pambazuka celebrates its 10th year and 500th issue, Ama Biney discusses challenging ‘the negative images and stereotypes of Africa in our globalised world’.

Pambazuka News: A soap box or making soap?

Patrick Burnett


As Pambazuka News celebrates its 500th issue, Patrick Burnett discusses the publication’s history and growth and the limits of Clay Shirky’s notion of the ‘cognitive surplus’.

People creating change in Africa

Hakima Abbas


In a speech given to the Africa–Canada Forum, Hakima Abbas discusses the contemporary challenges for Africa’s self-determination and the centrality of the continent’s social movements in ‘entrenching democratic principles’.

A common loyalty to justice and equality

Henning Melber


To celebrate the newsletter’s 500th issue, Henning Melber remembers two of his favourite contributors to Pambazuka News, Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem and Dennis Brutus.

Pambazuka: A newsletter with attitude

Sokari Ekine


Sokari Ekine looks back on years of involvement in Pambazuka News.

Seeing the continent in context

Mandisi Majavu


Pambazuka News distinguishes itself by exploring the issues the continent faces ‘without reinforcing stereotypes about Africans’, writes Mandisi Majavu, challenging ‘the way we understand African politics’ and the way in which ‘African politics are presented in the mainstream media’.

Knowing better, understanding deeper

He Wenping


Pambazuka News provides ‘very much helpful’ perspectives for Chinese scholars who seldom have the chance to visit Africa, writes He Winping.

A call to reclaim history, humanity, Africa and the commons

Jacques Depelchin


Jacques Depelchin outlines the centuries-old exercise of power that has kept Haitians in a state of oppression. What is needed, he argues, is for common sense and humanity to emerge.

Land is a political question

S'bu Zikode


Land and housing are the most urgent problems in South Africa’s cities, writes S’bu Zikode, but as long as the country pretends that the issue of land is technical and not political, it will not be resolved. The real struggle, says Zikode, is to ‘put the human being at the centre of our society, starting with the most dispossessed, who are the homeless.’

Shell oil’s ‘licence to kill’?

Abena Ampofoa Asare


cc Amnesty International
Following a controversial ruling by US Judge José A. Cabranes of the Manhattan-based federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals that transnational corporations ‘cannot be held responsible for torture, genocide, war crimes and the like’, Abena Ampofoa Asare discusses the challenges for establishing responsibility and valuing human rights over profit.

Birtukan Unbound!

An October to Remember

Alemayehu G. Mariam


Alemayehu Mariam celebrates the release of Ethiopian judge and rights campaigner Birtukan Mideksa.

Africa and the climate finance controversy

Patrick Bond


cc Micky
Will Africa end up paying for technologies that commodify life, or demand reparations for ecological damage done by the North, asks Patrick Bond.

The bomb culture

Environmental pollution in the Niger Delta

Nnimmo Bassey


cc Amnesty International
Nnimmo Bassey examines how minority rights are still not protected in oil-rich regions of Nigeria. Oil companies and the national government could contribute to improving infrastructure and services for communities that are paying the environmental and social price of oil extraction, Bassey argues.

Angola: Parliament splashes over US$43 million on BMWs

Rafael Marques de Morais


cc J W
With Angola’s parliament spending over US$43 million on top-of-the-range BMWs, Rafael Marques de Morais discusses the government’s inability to properly represent its citizens and what the money might have bought if spent in the public interest.

Somalia: The untruths about piracy



cc B W
European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) justifies its presence in the Horn of Africa with claims that is has reduced piracy in the region, yet according to ECOTERRA Intl, since the launch of EU NAVFOR operations in 2008, not only has there been an increase in cases of piracy, but also an escalation in the use of violence and arms. So what purpose do multi-national naval forces in Somalian waters actually serve?

'Go into the jungle of my mind'

Paperbacks, pictures and poetry

Sokari Ekine


Inspired by the nomination of Ngugi Wa’Thiongo for this year’s Nobel Prize for literature, Sokari Ekine reviews a selection of Africa’s art, music and literary blogs.

Nigeria’ s Golden Jubilee: Blood, tears and recrimination

Dibussi Tande


cc N C
Bomb blasts killed 12 and injured 8 people in Abuja during Nigeria’s 50th anniversary celebrations on 1 October. Dibussi Tande finds the country’s bloggers ‘torn between sadness for the innocent victims, anger at the perpetrators, and outrage at the federal government for its inept handling of events before and after the blast.’


World premiere: Ousmane Aledji’s ‘Traumatism’



On October 27, 28 & 29, 2010 at 8pm AfricAvenir will present the world premiere of the theatre play ‘Traumatism’ by the Beninese director Ousmane Aledji and his company Agbo-N’Koko at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Ousmane Aledji – one of the most important directors in West Africa – and his company Agbo N’Koko will be in Berlin from October 25 to 31.

Is it possible to celebrate 50 years of African Independence? What has happened since? What has become of the Pan-African visions of Césaire, Lumumba, Nkrumah?With ‘Traumatism’ Ousmane Aledji artistically takes stock. Sarcastic, sometimes resigned, then again angry, explosive, fierce, he stages the collective memory of the ‘little people’.

Comment & analysis

Panacea or predicament?: Kenya’s constitution and land rights

Beatrice Fantoni


cc D G
With land rights under Kenya’s new constitution poorly understood by many in the country, civic education and greater pressure on parliament to draw on land expertise are needed, writes Beatrice Fantoni.

The political economy of remittances in Ethiopia

A thankless job, but somebody’s got to do it!

Alemayehu G. Mariam


cc K S
Alemayehu G. Mariam speculates on the possible benefits and drawbacks of remittances to Ethiopia from the Diaspora. Using examples from Latin America and Asia, the author suggests the cash influx to Ethiopia (estimated at over a billion US dollars per year) can either be harnessed for investment, or, more negatively, trigger ‘Dutch Disease’.

Make global water crisis a top priority issue

Martin Khor


cc Oxfam
While climate change has captured the headlines, many countries are running out of freshwater supplies, threatening human health and causing conflicts between nations. Water should be at the top of the global and national agendas, argues Martin Khor.

Towards highly qualified primary school teachers

The case of Malawi

Steve Sharra


cc KHYM54
Malawian universities should become more involved in training primary school teachers, argues Steve Sharra. As it stands, a university teaching degree is a ticket out of the classroom into higher paid jobs. ‘The best teachers are always taken out of the primary school classroom and sent to secondary schools and other administrative positions,’ Sharra writes. Teachers should be motivated to stay in the classroom via ongoing skills development programmes.

The diaspora’s gift to Africa at 50

Okello Oculi


cc D M
The diaspora has a key role to play in using the resources at their disposal to build the power of Nigeria and the rest of Africa, argues Okello Oculi.

Advocacy & campaigns

UPM to march on Jacob Zuma in Durban on 14 October 2010

Unemployed People's Movement (UPM)


The Unemployed People's Movement will March on Jacob Zuma in Durban on 14 October 2010 in support of an earlier letter of demand issued to South Africa's president.

Mandela Park’s Back-Yarders demand action at the national level

Letter to Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale

Mandela Park Backyarders Movement


Residents of Mandela Park near Cape Town, South Africa, are still waiting for decent housing. In this letter to the minister of human settlements, they explain how housing development in the area is corrupt and that the situation will only get worse.

The Gambia: Gender and human rights defenders detained

Coalition for Human Rights in the Gambia


Two prominent gender and human rights defenders, Dr Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang Sissoho were arrested and detained on Monday 11 October 2010 by Gambian security forces, kept in police custody at the Banjul Police station, and sent to jail on Tuesday 12 October 2010.

Pluto author arrested and tortured in Belgium

Pluto Press


Pluto Press has issued an alert about police brutality towards one of their authors and other activists during the 'No Border Camp' in Brussels.

African voices in opposition to the UNESCO-Obiang prize

Tutu Alicante


Tutu Alicante of EG Justice calls for support 'to cancel definitively the UNESCO-Obiang Prize'.

Attack on democratic rights in Obafemi Awolowo University

Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)


Nigeria's Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) calls for the immediate arrest of those behind attacks on students over 12–14 July.

Books & arts

Childhood mysteries: Looking at one's inner self

Review of ‘True Murder’ by Yaba Badoe

Sokari Ekine


A new addition to the African murder mystery genre, Ghanaian Yaba Badoe explores the mystery – literal and symbolic – of coming of age outside Africa.

Letters & Opinions

Continuing to 'fight the good fight'

Marion Grammer


Pambazuka platform has 'given voice to the vibrant and engaged people of Africa and its diaspora; people who are passionate about pursuing justice', writes Marion Grammer.

Information about Soviet World Youth Festival

Nick Rutter


I'm a historian at Yale University in the USA who just happened upon your online news service, and who has a special request. I'm writing a history of something called the World Youth Festival, a Soviet-sponsored event which met 13 times between 1947 and 1989. My research has taken me to Russia, Europe and across the USA. But sadly, I have not yet made it to look through African archives or interview African participants. I therefore would be especially grateful if you would put a call out to your readership in search of anyone who might be willing to speak with me about their experiences at the Festival, or who perhaps has written material (letters, diaries, memoirs) that they'd be willing to scan and share with me.

Write to Nick Rutter.

The boys who saved Nakuru: Heroes or criminals?

Isaac Newton Kinity


As the ICC prepares to prosecute perpetrators of the 2008 post-election violence in Kenya, Isaac Newton Kinity asks whether the court will view the boys who killed militia to defend the town of Nakuru – and who unwittingly prevented further bloodshed – as heroes or criminals.

African Writers’ Corner

Abdilatif Abdalla: 'My poems gave me company'

Kenyan prison literature

Kimani wa Wanjiru


Kimani wa Wanjiru interviews Professor Abdilatif Abdalla, a writer jailed by the Kenyatta regime after he questioned the direction in which it was guiding Kenya in a political pamphlet. Ironically the anthology of poems Abdalla wrote while in prison won the 1974 Jomo Kenyatta Award for Literature, which was named after the very man who incarcerated him.


Donald Molosi


in the proverbial accord of hand
and glove does the…

Highlights French edition

Pambazuka News 162: AQMI, l'insécurité au Sahel, la France et AFRICOM



What if Mugabe dies?



Gado considers reactions were Mugabe to die.

Zimbabwe update

NCA to begin mobilising for 'No Vote' campaign


The chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Dr Lovemore Madhuku, has said that from next week they will begin mobilising people to reject the constitutional draft that will be produced by the parliamentary committee. ‘The constitution that we will be campaigning against will not be different from Lancaster House. So it’s not accurate or not correct to say if you reject the constitution you are going back to Lancaster House. It won’t make a difference.’ He said it was not the NCA’s fault that government kept coming up with defective constitutions and putting them before the people to vote on.

Women & gender

Africa: $750 million needed to treat obstetric fistula until 2015


A report released by the United Nations calls for intensified investment in cost-effective interventions to address the problem of obstetric fistula. The document estimates that at least $750 million is needed to treat existing and new cases between now and 2015. Caused by prolonged, obstructed labour without timely medical intervention, the condition affects as many as 3.5 million women in the world. The report 'Supporting Efforts to End Obstetric Fistula', states: 'Obstetric fistula is one of the most devastating consequences of neglect during childbirth and a stark example of health inequity in the world. Although the condition has been eliminated in the developed world, obstetric fistula continues to afflict the most impoverished women and girls, most of whom live in rural and remote areas of the developing world.'

Africa: Examining the impact of women beyond the numbers


The African Woman and Child Feature Service (AWC), launched the 'Beyond Numbers' publication on Friday, 8 October 2010. This new publication is based on a qualitative study that was carried out in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and South Sudan. The objective was to reveal the impact of the women’s movement for participation and representation in political decision making in Eastern Africa.
The study considered the impact of a critical mass of women on such areas as institutional reform culture, service delivery, ability to challenge the status quo, change laws and policies that affect women at various levels of society.

Kenya: Mammography screening encouraged as breast cancer rises


Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer and the second cause of cancer deaths among women in Kenya, writes Mary Onyango, the vice-chair of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and also a member of the Kenya Breast Health Programme. Incidences of breast cancer are on the rise and those being diagnosed are getting younger. With this in mind breast screening and in particular mammography screening, which has saved the lives of women all over the world, is the way to go for women in Kenya, she says.

Liberia: Women find their voice with radio


'Voice for the voiceless' is the slogan adorning the walls of Liberia’s first and Africa’s second radio station for women. Situated down a bumpy, dirt track on the edge of the capital, Monrovia, the Liberia Women Democracy Radio (LWDR), claims it wants to advance women and promote change. In a country trying to rebuild itself after 14 years of civil war in which women bore the brunt of the violence, they remain the most vulnerable group in society.

Malawi: Ignoring patriarchy, female politicians rise


While in Malawi civil society is driving an effort to get female candidates into office, regardless of their political party, there still remain obstacles. This is despite the existence of the 50/50 programme: a campaign which aims to meet the Southern African Development Community Protocol on Gender and Development, which commits countries to work towards the goal of having 50 per cent women in political and decision-making positions by 2015.

South Africa: A gendered view of the MDGs


Gender equality and women's empowerment are essential to South Africa's attainment of the MDGs. Women assume multiple roles, as mothers, leaders, students, decision makers, farmers, workers, voters, carers and much more. In each of these roles, the ability to be educated and healthy, to have voice and influence, to enjoy opportunities and choices are critical to the attainment of the goals. Without gender equality and women's empowerment, women are less able to reach their full potential, live a life of dignity, and be productive citizens. In this report, the Commission for Gender Equality seeks to provide an African-based mechanism for measuring the status of women as compared to men's in the social, economic, and political spheres.

South Africa: Media shows signs of gender fatigue


Although media coverage of South Africa's 9 August women's day touched on some important topics relevant to gender empowerment, the coverage overall lacked a sense of commitment, regularity, urgency and persistence in demanding answers, and would have benefitted and had greater impact from a more in-depth, urgent, analytical and demanding approach. This is according to an analyses of media output of the event by the Media Monitoring Africa.

Sudan: Women’s votes important for the referendum


The votes of southern Sudanese women in January's self-determination referendum will be a determining factor in the outcome, says the vice president of the regional government, Riek Machar. Women in Southern Sudan constitute more than 60 per cent of the adult population in the semi-autonomous region. Hundreds of women leaders across the region launched a two-day conference on Tuesday in the parliament organised by the office of the president under the theme: 'Enhancing Women's Participation in the Referendum.'

Tunisia: Marriage, divorce and women's rights


Despite the indisputable progress on gender equality, some current Tunisian laws still contain discriminatory language. Legal reforms need to address the reality of women’s situations: It is only in a minority of families that there is joint decision-making and household tasks remain a female responsibility.

Human rights

Africa: The rationality of revolt


Professional civil society has won some important victories in post-apartheid South Africa, but has not stopped material inequality from worsening, writes Richard Pithouse. 'When a social system is not working, people have the right to challenge it directly and outside of the rules that it sets for engagement. Until and unless we reach a point where the actions of the state are beginning to turn the tide against economic and political exclusion, the state’s legal right to declare popular forms of revolt illegitimate has no moral standing.'

DRC: Human Rights Watch hails arrest of Rwandan rebel for Congo crimes


Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said the arrest on Monday of Rwandan rebel leader Callixte Mbarushimana in France for serious crimes in the Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2009 sends a strong signal to other abusive commanders that the International Criminal Court (ICC) will be persistent in its apprehensi on of suspects. French police arrested Mbarushimana Monday morning in Paris, where he has resided since 2003.

Egypt: New advocacy campaign to reject sectarianism


The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) has launched a new advocacy campaign to combat sectarianism in Egypt under the slogan, 'Reject Sectarianism'. The organisation said that the campaign is a joint movement and an appeal for collective action to eliminate sectarianism and strengthen the values of equal citizenship and shared existence.

Global: Flower workers face slave wages and pesticide poisoning, says campaign


The international campaign 'fair flowers - for human rights' has demanded living wages and sufficient protection against highly toxic pesticides for flower workers. Salaries which do not reach a living wage and lack of protection against highly toxic pesticides are still a daily reality for many flower workers in the global flower business, says the campaign. 'While consumers in Europe enjoy flowers as a symbol of love and friendship, the flower workers' human rights to adequate food and health are constantly being violated.'

Morocco: Against torture somewhere; Against torture anywhere


The story of a 37-year-old man who died after being detained by police has grabbed the attention of bloggers and online activists, says this post on Global Voices. It comes amidst a climate of decline in freedom of the press in the country and is not at isolated incident, says the post.

Nigeria: Single cell for Okah


Nigerian former militant leader Henry Okah will be kept apart from other prisoners at a Johannesburg prison until his bail application is heard next week, his attorney said on Tuesday. 'By agreement between us and the state Mr Okah will be held in a single cell at the Johannesburg Correctional Centre,' his attorney Rudi Krause told Sapa.

South Africa: The courts, accountability and participatory democracy


'Quite obviously, the first job of the courts is to enforce the Constitution and the rights which it contains. A person whose home has been destroyed and who has nowhere she can legally live, has no access to housing and is denied one of the most fundamental necessities of life. A court cannot fold its arms and say that this is bad luck, it is the consequence of apartheid, and one day things may change. The question is not whether the court should do something. Rather, it is what the court should do.' - Advocate Geoff Budlender, the Second Irene Grootboom Memorial Lecture (2010) in Salt River, 11 October 2010.

Uganda: Treason trial squashed


Dr Kizza Besigye has called for the resignation of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General after the Constitutional Court ordered that he and 10 others be discharged from any further prosecution arising from the treason charges they have been facing since 2005. All the five judges said they could not allow continued trial of the suspects when their fundamental human rights were being grossly violated by state agents.

Western Sahara: Coalition demands release of human rights activists


As part of a broad coalition, War on Want has submitted a letter to the UK government demanding the immediate release of three detained Saharawi human rights activists. One year ago, a group of prominent Saharawi human rights defenders were arrested upon their return from a humanitarian visit to Saharawi refugee camps in Algeria. Despite not having committed any crime, the activists were charged with threatening Moroccan national security.

Refugees & forced migration

Africa: Standing up for HIV-positive immigrants



A new campaign aims to beat stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive Africans in New York by urging the wider population to show solidarity with them. 'For those living outside their home turf, the vulnerability that comes with being HIV-positive really exacerbates HIV stigma,' explained Kim Nichols, co-executive director of the African Service Committee (ASC), an NGO that provides HIV and other health services to African immigrants in New York.

Ethiopia: Saudi authorities deport 725


An Ethiopian diplomatic source in Jeddah has told Gulf News that Saudi authorities had deported 725 Ethiopians who had been detained at a deportation centre of the Saudi Passport department following a riot that erupted at the facility that led to the escape of many prisoners last Wednesday. Security forces are still continuing a search for several detainees who fled the detention centre.

Global: The refugee challenge in the Middle East


The refugee and displacement problem is one of the most complex humanitarian issues facing the Middle East, aid workers say. Elizabeth Campbell, senior advocate at US NGO Refugees International, believes it is likely the Middle East hosts the highest number of refugees and asylum-seekers in the world. She underlined the need to find lasting solutions: 'Any time that people remain uprooted and have not been afforded basic rights or pathways to durable solutions, it is a humanitarian crisis. In this article from IRIN, the refugee challenges of the countries in the region are profiled.

Kenya: Socio-economic impacts of Dadaab refugee camps on host communities


Social interaction between host community members and refugees are taking place within the camps at a significant scale, according to a September 2010 study entitled 'Socio-economic and Environmental Impacts of Dadaab Refugee Camps on Host Communities'. One of the findings of the study is that refugees are seen as getting the better deal as international humanitarian standards are applied to refugees but not to host communities.

Somalia: Stop sending Somalis back to Mogadishu, says UN refugee chief


The UN refugee chief has called on countries to stop sending refugees back to the war-torn Somali capital Mogadishu and the Iraqi capital Baghdad. Antonio Guterres also said it was time rich countries shared the global refugee burden more fairly with developing countries and revealed tentative plans to set up an enlarged EU-wide resettlement programme. Some Somalis have even been deported to Mogadishu - a city under nearly continual shelling, from which more than 200,000 people have fled this year, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said.

Sudan: After Sudan floods, sleeping by the roadside


It is the rainy season in Southern Sudan. The annual floods don’t make life any easier in an area already struggling to recover from decades of civil war. But this year, the flooding was unusually severe. In mid-September, heavy rains caused rivers to break their banks and flood the lowlands of Aweil South, in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state — submerging villages, crops and grazing land for cattle. Hundreds of people who would have been taking in a harvest of sorghum and groundnuts — now ruined, along with their homes — are instead camping by the roadside.

Zimbabwe: Migrants struggle to legalise status in South Africa


Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans are attempting to legalise their status in South Africa. They have been given a deadline by South Africa of December 31 to submit documentation seeking permission to work and live in South Africa. Most illegal Zimbabweans in South Africa say they fled to survive and earn money for their families and some fled fearing political persecution from President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF Party officials.

Social movements

South Africa: Cape Town protest tactics sparks debate between social movements


Four NGOs have criticised a social movement for disrupting ordinary life in Cape Town with a protest campaign aimed at highlighting a lack of service delivery in informal settlements. But Abahlali baseMjondolo, which has launched the strike in informal settlements, have responded, saying they have never called for violence and accusing one of the NGOs, the Treatment Action Campaign, of double standards. This post contains the original statement issued by COSATU Khayelitsha, the Treatment Action Campaign the Social Justice Coalition and Equal Education, calling for a rejection of Abahlali baseMjondolo's tactics and a responding statement from Abahlali baseMjondolo.

Emerging powers news

Africa: India moves to entice EAC countries against China, Europe


A delegation of Indian political and business leaders was due in the East African Community (EAC) region this week with new incentives to increase Delhi’s presence in the region as the Asian giant moves to eat into the presence of China and Europe, the Indian government announced. Senior officials from 187 Indian companies will be participating in the ‘Namaskar Africa’ and ‘India-East Africa Business Forum’ events in Nairobi, opening on October 14. Representatives from the EAC countries will also be there for a preview of what India has to offer.

Emerging powers news roundup

Sanusha Naidu


In the latest news involving Africa's engagement with China, India and other emerging powers: Asian giants extend assistance to Ghana; No prominent African politician congratulates Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo; China keen on investing in Sudan; China urged to withdraw funding from Ethiopian dam; Exim Bank gets $150 mn to push India-Africa trade; Uganda seeks easier study visas, job permits in India; India’s total trade with COMESA rises more than three-fold; Russia's LUKOIL wants more oil from Ghana and Nigeria Approves $2.5 Billion Sale of Nitel to Dubai's Minerva.

Global: Emerging powers to challenge elite security council


When the 15-member Security Council meets next January, the United Nations will celebrate a rare political landmark: the 10 rotating non-permanent members will include some of the world's rising new players on the global stage, including India, South Africa, Germany, Brazil and Nigeria - all sitting under one roof and negotiating around the legendary horseshoe table.

Elections & governance

Liberia: Spotlight turns on second post-war elections


Liberia holds its second post-war presidential and legislative elections in October 2011. The first, held in 2005, was a landmark: it was the first free and fair elections in the country’s long history. Since then Liberia, previously wracked by bloody petty wars, has been largely stable, though very fragile. The 2011 elections will probably be just as important as the one in 2005 as their successful conduct will determine when the UN, which still maintains about 8 000 troops in the country, will finally withdraw, says this situation report from the Institute for Security Studies.

South Africa: Monitoring how political parties work


"The way political parties conduct their affairs will determine the quality and strength of South Africa’s democracy," begins this research into the internal functioning of South African political parties by Idasa’s Political Information & Monitoring Service (PIMS). "Among the aims of this PIMS research project is to provide a comprehensive assessment of existing internal interest disclosure models and practices by South African political parties and to provide a best-practice guide for use in South Africa and possibly elsewhere on the African continent."

Sudan: Talks on Abyei break down


The latest round of talks between north and south Sudan over the future of the oil-producing Abyei region has failed to reach an agreement. The issue stands as a key hurdle ahead of referendums in the country, and according to the north's National Congress party (NCP) and the south's ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), 'serious efforts and many productive discussions, [the delegations] did not succeed in reaching agreement on the eligibility criteria for voters in the Abyei Area referendum'.

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai asks EU, UN to reject Mugabe ambassadors


Zimbawe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has asked the United Nations and European Union not to recognise new ambassadors unilaterally appointed by President Robert Mugabe, his spokesman said Tuesday. 'Those appointments are supposed to be by consultation,' Tsvangirai's spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka told AFP. Under the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that created the unity government between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, the prime minister should be consulted on all appointments, Tamborinyoka said.


Malawi: While the president flies, the people queue for fuel


Fuel has become so precious in Malawi that it is now being rationed. People park their vehicles at service stations overnight, forming long queues as they wait for petrol tankers to arrive. The Council for Non-Governmental Organisations in Malawi (Congoma), an umbrella body representing non-governmental organisations, has blamed the shortage of foreign exchange on President Bingu wa Mutharika who they accuse of undertaking too many international trips that waste foreign exchange.

Nigeria: British banks complicit in Nigerian corruption, court documents reveal


British high street banks have accepted millions of pounds in deposits from corrupt Nigerian politicians, raising serious questions about their commitment to tackling financial crime, warned Global Witness in a report published today. By taking money from corrupt Nigerian governors between 1999 and 2005, Barclays, NatWest, RBS, HSBC and UBS helped to fuel corruption and entrench poverty in Nigeria, says the organisation.

Zambia: CSOs back extractive industries initiative


Civil society organisations in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region have resolved to support the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Zambia. Countries implementing EITI committed themselves to publish all payments made by oil, gas and mining companies to the government.


Africa: A review of economic diversification in five countries


The global financial and economic crises exposed one of the major weaknesses of a number of African economies: their dependence on too few export commodities and one or two sectors. Such dependence makes many countries vulnerable to fluctuations in commodity prices, demand and extreme weather events such as droughts and floods. This joint study between the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa and the NEPAD-OECD Africa Investment Initiative looks at how African governments can diversify their economies and analyses five countries' economic diversification profiles in particular.

Global: Homeless world cup builds lives


In Rio de Janeiro, soccer players concluded the Homeless World Cup in late September. Hundreds of homeless men and women from dozens countries participated in this year’s tournament, drawing crowds of thousands. But the event wasn’t just about soccer, it was about changing lives. Vusumzi Shushu is quick and agile on the soccer field. He has to be. That’s what a life on the streets will teach you. 'I spent eight years on the streets, also done some drugs and I’ve been in prison,' he says. 'And I’ve realized in three years that god gave me a gift so why don’t I use that to make a living instead of doing all the crazy things that I do.'

Global: World Bank pressured on coal loans


With new figures showing a record amount of World Bank funding for projects relying on coal power and other fossil fuels, the issue of reforming the institution's energy lending was once again a hot topic at the World Bank and IMF annual meetings, which concluded over the weekend. The figures, released by the Bank in mid-September, show it lent 3.4 billion dollars to coal projects.

Kenya: The opportunities and challenges of East African integration


The actualisation of the East African Community Common Market is arguably the most critical step in our regional integration efforts in East Africa, writes Oduor Ong’wen, the SEATINI Kenya country director. 'The steady, albeit grudging recourse towards regionalist thinking among the ruling elite in the Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda is without doubt a welcome strut in the wake of contemporary international relations.'

South Africa: On fast trains and things we don't need


Two more passenger 'fast-train' routes are being mooted, one between Johannesburg and Durban and the other from Johannesburg to the north of the country. Ordinary citizens, states Saliem Fakir, may wonder if we need to spend scarce money on new rail infrastructure. 'Is South Africa’s money not better spent on improving freight rail that could take lots of trucks off our roads by transporting goods safely and easily to and from our harbours? And what about public transport for the poor?'

Southern Africa: The impact of the global financial crisis on mining


It is projected that if the economy does not improve within the next two years, more than half a million mineworkers in the region will lose their jobs. It is estimated that more than 25 per cent of mineworkers are HIV positive. Only two countries reviewed in the study by the Southern Africa Resource Watch have sufficient reserves to deal with a long-term recession.

Health & HIV/AIDS

Africa: Money for African health R&D fund slow to arrive


Only a handful of African governments have so far pledged financial commitment to a planned US$600 million endowment fund to support the activities of the fledgling African Network for Drugs and Diagnostic Innovations (ANDI) initiative - and none have yet paid up. ANDI aims to be the first pan-African health research and development (R&D) network, tackling Africa's diseases with home-grown drugs and diagnostics.

Global: New global plan aims to wipe out TB



A new roadmap for curbing the global epidemic of tuberculosis aims to save five million lives between 2011 and 2015 and eliminate TB as a public health problem by 2050 but comes with a price tag of US$47 billion, nearly half of which must still be found.

Kenya: Elephantiasis thrives amid funding gap


Stigma has allowed a disfiguring microscopic worm to thrive in Kenya's coastal region, but with adequate funding, the spread of lymphatic filariasis (LF), also known as elephantiasis, could easily be stopped in the east African country with the help of just a couple of pills a year. Spread by mosquitoes, elephantiasis can cause severe swelling of the limbs, breasts, and scrotum as well as thickening and hardening of the skin.

Mozambique: HIV patients team up to make treatment cheaper


For HIV patients in Africa, monthly trips to refill antiretroviral (ARV) prescriptions cost time and money that may be in short supply. But a new strategy being pioneered in Mozambique is easing the burden of monthly refills for patients and the health system. Developed by health workers with the international medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the strategy centres on self-formed, community-based groups of ARV patients who work as a team to collect their drugs and monitor each other for treatment adherence and general health.

South Africa: Challenges emerge as Aids orphans reach adulthood


While improved access to anti-retroviral therapy in South Africa has enabled infected AIDS orphans to live well into adulthood, it has created new challenges as the generation emerges to take their place in the workforce.And a lack of forethought has resulted in certain challenges not being addressed, says a new study by Idasa’s Governance and AIDS Programme (GAP) on children living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.

South Africa: No place for psychiatric adolescents


A lack of space has forced psychiatrists at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital to accommodate adolescents as young as 13 in the same wards as adult psychiatric patients, often risking their safety. 'This has tremendous implications for the teenagers’ safety,' said child psychologist Wendy Duncan. 'But if the young person needs secure care, in other words, they need to be in a facility that’s closed, the door is locked, then we have no choice but to accommodate them here at Bara,' said Duncan.

Uganda: HIV-positive teens choose religion over ARVs


Ugandan health workers are concerned by the growing number of HIV-positive teens who are abandoning their HIV treatment after turning to bogus religious leaders. 'Over the years we have noticed a growing trend of adolescents and caregivers who have withdrawn from treatment with a belief of having been cured of HIV/AIDS in church,' said Cissy Ssuna, the counsellor coordinator at Baylor College of Medicine Children's Foundation Uganda, which treats more than 4,000 HIV-infected children, 750 of whom are adolescents.

Uganda: Lives at risk as Aids clinic shuts


At least 4,447 children living with HIV face intensified agony after an institution caring for them announced likely closure of its support programme due to a funding shortfall. Dr Emmanuel Luyirika, the country director for Mildmay Uganda, said they are broke and could freeze paediatric services within six months, he told a press conference.

Zambia: Doctors end strike


State doctors in Zambia have returned to work a week after going on strike, but say the government has yet to resolve the problems facing the health sector, their union announced on Monday. 'We would like to inform the general public that the work stoppage by Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ) has been suspended in the interest of our patients,' the union's acting president, Amon Ngongola, said at a news conference in the capital, Lusaka. The doctors went on strike last Monday after talks with the government broke down.

Zimbabwe: Health services need $700m


Zimbabwe's health minister says the southern African country needs $700 million to restore health services shattered by a decade of political and economic turmoil. At the launch of the nation's biggest health investment and funding appeal, Dr Henry Madzorera said the 'systematic decrease' in basic health care destroyed services once seen as among the best in the region.


Uganda: Most pupils can’t read, says new report


A majority of pupils are unable to read let alone deal with figures while those in private institutions are performing better than their colleagues in government-aided schools, a new report says. The document, dubbed 'Uwezo 2010 Assessment Learning Report', says despite government input in the education sector, children are still struggling to acquire basic literacy and numeracy competencies.


Kenya: I owe no apology, says Murugi


Special Programmes Minister Esther Murugi, who has come under sharp criticism over comments she made on homosexuality, maintains that gays and lesbians in Kenya must be involved in HIV/AIDS programmes. Murugi said on Tuesday that the gay community, which is classified under high risk HIV/AIDS populations, also had a right to healthcare like all other Kenyans and should not be stigmatised.

Malawi: Vice president calls for tolerance


Malawian vice president Joyce Banda has called for tolerance towards homosexuality, at a meeting hosted by the Inter-Faith AIDS Association (MIAA) held in Blantyre, Malawi, on 29 September this year. Banda made the call when she officially opened a Religious Leader’s Policy Advocacy Conference in Blantyre, stating that same sex practices are reality in Malawi and that religious leaders need be tolerant on such issues in order to fight HIV and AIDS.

Racism & xenophobia

Benin: Russia elects first African


Jean Gregoire Sagbo is Russia's newly elected councilman of Novozavidovo, a rural community about 65 miles north of Moscow. Russia is still entrenched in the enigma of racism and plagued with systemic violence. But among the 10,000 residents here, 48-year-old Sagbo, though an immigrant from Benin, is perceived as a Russian who cares about his adopted hometown, reports


Africa: Call for scientists to give practical advice on climate change


Scientists are failing Africa in its attempts to adapt to climate change, a conference was told this week. They spend too much time collecting data and attending conferences, and not enough time providing practical solutions that local people can implement, according to Anthony Nyong, manager of the Compliance and Safeguard Division at the African Development Bank.

Africa: Pan-African Parliament debates climate change


Africa's involvement in climate change negotiations needed to focus on giving Africa an opportunity to demand and get compensation for the damage to its economy caused by global warming while there was a need for Africa to be represented by one delegation empowered to negotiate on behalf of all member states. This is according to Abebe Haile Gabriel, acting director of the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission. He was addressing the the Third Ordinary Session of the second Pan-African Parliament.

Africa: Renewables way to go, says Greenpeace


Greenpeace urges the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Energy (IMC) to consider an energy mix which among others calls for a nuclear free energy future. This follows the approval of the release of the Executive Summary, and the Medium Term Risk Mitigation Plan (MTRM) for Electricity in South Africa - 2010 to 2016 of the draft IRP 2010 for public comment. As Greenpeace’s Nkopane Maphiri states, 'The proposed balanced scenario will do very little to foster robust investments in the renewable technologies.'

Africa: The costs of climate-resilient development


How much would it cost to ensure that the Millennium Development Goals are achieved in Africa despite climate change? This paper estimates that climate-resilient development in Africa could require international financial assistance of $100 billion a year over the period 2010-2020. This total is about 40 per cent higher than the original MDG estimate of $72 billion.

Global: Living planet report shows decline in biodiversity


New analysis shows populations of tropical species are plummeting and humanity's demands on natural resources are sky-rocketing to 50 per cent more than the earth can sustain, reveals the 2010 edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report - the leading survey of the planet’s health. The Ecological Footprint, one of the indicators used in the report, shows that our demand on natural resources has doubled since 1966 and we’re using the equivalent of 1.5 planets to support our activities. If we continue living beyond the Earth’s limits, by 2030 we'll need the equivalent of two planets' productive capacity to meet our annual demands.

Global: Making climate funding work for developing world


Climate change is already negatively affecting the lives and livelihoods of poor men and women. Yet it is estimated that less than a tenth of climate funds to date have been spent on helping people in vulnerable countries adapt to the impacts of climate change, says this Oxfam policy brief. The poor are losing out twice: they are hardest hit by climate change they didn’t cause, and they are being neglected by funds that should be helping them, says the brief.

Land & land rights

Africa: Farmers urge action against global ‘land grab’


Farmers from the developing world called on governments this week to curb a global land rush in which millions of hectares of their terrain are being taken over by foreign private investors. 'Generations in Africa have lived off family farming,' Hortense Kinkodila, a farmers’ representative from Congo Brazzaville, said on the sidelines of talks on the issue at the UN food agency FAO in Rome this week. 'We’re really angry that people come and grab our land and take away traditions that have sustained us for years,' she said.

Egypt: Seeking to grow cereals on African farmland


The Egyptian government is hoping to cultivate wheat and other cereals on fertile land in African countries to feed its growing population of over 80 million. In early September it signed a deal with the Sudanese government to give Egyptian companies access to Sudanese farmland. 'Growing essential crops like wheat in other water-rich African countries where fertile land is in abundance is an important solution,' said Ayman Farid Abu Hadid, chairman of the state-run Agricultural Research Centre, which signed the deal on behalf of the Egyptian government.

Sudan: UAE has over 2,800 sq km in Sudan farms


The UAE controls more than 2,800 square kilometers in farms in Sudan as a result of its decision to invest in agricultural projects in fertile Arab nations to slash its soaring food import bill, according to a Sudanese official. The farms, scattered over Khartoum, Jazeera, Nile and other arable provinces in the East African Arab country, are more than triple the area of Bahrain and account for nearly 3.5 per cent of the UAE’s total area.

Food Justice

Global: Feeding the world through family farm agriculture


With a plenary session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) of the United Nations starting in Rome, La Via Campesina, the international peasant movement, has reiterated that sustainable peasant and family farm agriculture can feed the world. 'With the number of hungry people in the world at almost one billion, it is clear that the current food system blatantly fails in providing healthy and adequate food for all. The recent increase in land grabbing is an integral part of the dominant corporate agribusiness model with large-scale industrial monocultures. This system has caused climate change and allows speculation on food for the benefit of a small minority.'

Global: The right to food and nutrition publication


The second issue of the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch is a powerful tool to put pressure on policymakers at the national and international level to take the human right to food and nutrition into account. The Right to Food and Nutrition Watch provides a platform for human rights experts, civil society activists, social movements, the media, and scholars to exchange experiences on how best to carry out right to food and nutrition work, including lobbying and advocacy. The 2010 version notes the unacceptable number of 925 million people suffering chronic hunger in a world that has enough food for all and the dramatic increase of land grabbing.

Media & freedom of expression

Africa: Time for journalists to join the party


The launch of the Decade of the African Woman from 2010-2020 happens this week in Nairobi as delegates at another women's event in Johannesburg have noted that African women continue to be left out of the media. At the first day of the Fourth Annual Gender Links Gender and Media Summit in Johannesburg, the results of the Gender and Media Progress Study (GMPS) were highlighted and the lack of progress since the 2003 Baseline Study was widely discussed.

South Africa: Reporting on HIV/AIDS in South Africa


The International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) is offering 10 fellowships to enhance news media coverage of complex issues surrounding HIV and AIDS in South Africa. The IWMF will partner with media organisations in South Africa to identify eligible senior reporters working on HIV/AIDS.

South Africa: Request for ‘public’ spy report blocked


State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele has refused to supply a report on 'information peddling' - despite the information being revealed in an open parliamentary committee meeting with media present. His refusal is seen as a foretaste of a new era of state secrecy, following Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s refusal to release President Jacob Zuma’s flight details.

Tunisia: Call for release of Tunisian journalist


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed its grave concern over the well-being of Tunisian journalist Fahem Boukaddous and urged his immediate release. Boukaddous, whose health has sharply deteriorated in prison, is serving a four year jail term following his conviction in March for 'forming a criminal association liable to attack persons'. 'We are very concerned about Boukaddous who needs urgent medical treatment unavailable to him in prison,' said Aidan White, IFJ general secretary. 'Boukaddous has already been denied his freedom as punishment for his independent journalism. Without immediate action his long term health is under threat.'

News from the diaspora

March on Washington scheduled for November

Press release


The Black is Back Coalition has announced a march and rally on the White House to take place November 13, 2010 beginning in Washington, DC’s historic Malcolm X Park. This will mark the second year in a row that this black coalition will be protesting at the White House while Barack Obama, the first black US President, occupies it.

Morocco: Expats returning home in greater numbers


Faced with the woes of the global economic crisis, an increasing number of Moroccan expatriates are coming back home. Meanwhile, the government is intensifying effort to aid the community abroad as well as help them maintain ties with their home country. The number of Moroccans living abroad (MRE) that have decided to return home is up 8 per cent year over year.

USA: Black community activist faces possible 10 years in prison


Diop Olugbala (aka Wali Rahman) will be sentenced on Wednesday, 13 October to a possible 10 years in prison for speaking out on behalf of the rights of the black community. A press conference and demonstration will be held prior to Olugbala’s sentencing hearing. Endorsing and participating in Wednesday’s press conference and demonstration will be the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, African Socialist International, Pan Africa of International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, Black and Nobel Bookstore, Pastor Donna Jones of Cookman Methodist Church, Top Dollar CEO of the Dollar Boys and Alison Hoehne of the African People’s Solidarity Committee.

Conflict & emergencies

Algeria: Bomb explosion kills five


Five people were killed on Tuesday in Algeria when a remote control bomb exploded on a construction site in the town of Tlidjen near the Algeria-Tunisia border. Security officials said the bomb had targeted public works officials who were inspecting the construction site of new homes. Those killed were three local public works officials and two entrepreneurs, AFP said.

Somalia: Pirates free Puntland minister


A minister kidnapped by pirates in Somalia's semi-autonomous region of Puntland has been freed. Ports Minister Said Mohamed Rageh was ambushed last Friday and held in the remote pirate stronghold of Jariban. His release came after negotiations between the pirates and Somali elders.

Sudan: Abyei shooting a 'pretext for war'


Shooting on Monday night by northern Sudan soldiers was an attempt to start clashes in the oil-rich region of Abyei, southern former rebels say. SPLM spokesman Kuol Deim Kuol said four soldiers went into Abyei town's market and fired at random, wounding a trader. He told the BBC it was a pretext to start trouble, as UN-mediated talks on Abyei's referendum ended in failure.

Sudan: Oil, war and the role of big companies


A recent report confirmed that the Lundin Oil Consortium led by the Swedish Oil Company Lundin Oil AB had caused enormous loss of human lives and destruction of property in Sudan, says this article on The Current Analyst. 'The start of oil exploration by Lundin in 1997 set of a vicious war in the area. The case of Lundin in Sudan could be taken as the most telling and convincing testimony of the link between oil and destructive civil wars in Africa.'

Uganda: Still no resolution to Nile controversy


Contrary to the controversy it has engendered, the Nile river agreement should allow for more equitable water use and minimize potential conflicts between the riparian states, says an analyst. 'The problem with the River Nile is lack of cooperation in water management,' Debay Tadesse, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Addis Ababa, said. 'There is enough [water] for all the riparian states and this agreement opens the way for more equitable management.' The 14 May Nile River Basin Cooperative Framework was signed by Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, but was left open for a year. It followed a meeting of water ministers in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, where Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda agreed to it.

Internet & technology

Rwanda: Training and mobile health technology in Rwanda


In August 2009, Rwanda's health ministry launched an mHealth (M-Ubuzima) initiative to support community health workers in maternal and child health interventions by utilizing mobile technology. Community health workers, who are responsible for maternal health in the Musanze district, were given mobile phones equipped with Rapid SMS tools. These mobiles allow health workers to report difficult cases, complications or emergencies to the nearest clinic or hospital, and improve maternal health information tracking by capturing data about pre-natal health, delivery, and birth outcomes.

Zambia: Internet threat dropped


Zambia's communications authority on Wednesday reversed its decision to shut down five main Internet service providers, saying they would be allowed another chance to renew their licences. The firms were ordered on Tuesday to shut down by the end of the week, after regulators said they had not renewed their operating licences. But the order raised fears that Zambia could be cut off from the Internet.

eNewsletters & mailing lists

Latest edition of Africa Update available

Coalition for the International Criminal Court


The latest edition of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court is available. It contains the latest relevant news, interviews and schedule of events.

Fundraising & useful resources

Acumen Fund fellows program


The Acumen Fund Fellows Program is a one year program that gives an opportunity for Fellows to undertake world-class leadership training, field work with social enterprises on the front lines and a community of changemakers and thoughtleaders.

Applications are now open for the 2011 STARS Impact Awards


The 2011 STARS Impact awards recognise outstanding organisations working in children's health, education and protection. Organisations working with children in Africa, the Middle East, Asia or Pacific are invited to apply. Each Award carries US$100,000 of unrestricted funding.

Casual workers of the world unite

An Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) film screening


Ever wanted to know and share ideas on how we as contract or casual workers can organise and bash the boss? Then come and see this movie.

Venue: Cape Town Democracy Centre, 6 Spin Street, Cape Town

Date: Saturday 16 October, Time: 2pm

For more information, Contact Sheina at [email protected]

International entries sought for the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy


The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy are seeking entries from inspirational and innovative local sustainable energy programmes from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Entry is free, and up to six winners will receive £20,000 each in prize money for programme development, with one overall Energy Champion awarded £40,000.

Courses, seminars, & workshops

Fourth European conference on African studies


The fourth European conference on African Studies (ECAS) will be convened in Uppsala on 15-18 June 2011. Professor Issa Shivji (Dept. of Law, University of Dar es Salaam) and Professor Oyeronke Oyewumi (Dept. of Sociology, Stony Brook University, USA) have been announced as the keynote speakers for the conference.

Telling simple stories about complex water issues in the SADC region


Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa will be hosting a media workshop to improve the knowledge of reporters and provide additional skills on covering water issues in southern Africa. The training will be conducted alongside the SADC Multi-stakeholder Water Dialogue, scheduled from 12-13 October in Maun, Botswana. Participants include print and radio journalists from SADC countries.


Awaaz Magazine: Pan-Africanism and the East African community



4 articles:
- Panafricanism and the Challenge of East African Community Integration by Issa Shivji
- Building a struggle based, people centred Pan African Movement by Firoze Manji
- The dangers and difficulties of the EAC- EU Economic Partnership agreement with Europe by Yash Tandon
- East African Common Market: Promise and Pitfalls Ahead by Oduor Ong’wen

Regular Column: Alternative Angle: Living in Constitutional Times by John Sibi-Okumu

JUSTICE SAEED RAHMAN COCKAR - 1926-2008: Written by Shafique Cockar
From Super Sportsman to Super Judge - All Rounder Extraordinaire

Regular Column: London Calling: MY LAST MURDER CASE, REVISITED By Ramnik Shah



- BIRTH OF A NATION by Gerard Loughran. Reviewed by Warris Vianni
- MY JOURNEY WITH JARAMOGI ...memoirs of a close confidant by Odinge Odera. Reviewed by John Sibi-Okumu
- SONATA for FOUR HANDS by Amarjit Chandan
- HOW TO EUTHANISE A CACTUS by Stephen Derwent Partington
- SOUTH ASIAN PARTITION FICTION IN ENGLISH: From Khushwant Singh to Amitav Ghosh by Rituparna Roy
- THE OBSURE LOGIC of the HEART by Priya Basil
- WHO ARE WE and Should it Matter in the 21st Century Century? by Gary Younge
- OSHWALS IN KENYA 1899-1998 by Arun Amritlal

- RAAVAN Review by Amil Shivji




AwaaZ Magazine
P O Box 32843 - 00600
Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: Orange Wireless:020 2063405, 020 2431554,
Mobiles:0722 344900, 0733 741085
skpye: zahid.rajan
Email: [email protected]
The four cover stories of the latest Awaaz Magazine include 'Panafricanism and the Challenge of East African Community Integration' by Issa Shivji; 'Building a struggle based, people centred Pan African Movement' by Firoze Manji; 'The dangers and difficulties of the EAC - EU Economic Partnership agreement with Europe' by Yash Tandon and 'East African Common Market: Promise and Pitfalls Ahead' by Oduor Ong’wen.

Popular Politics and Resistance Movements in South Africa

Wits University Press


This volume explores some of the key features of popular politics and resistance before and after 1994. It looks at continuities and changes in the forms of struggle and ideologies involved, as well as the significance of post-apartheid grassroots politics. Is this a new form of politics or does it stand as a direct descendent of the insurrectionary impulses of the late apartheid era?

World Cup 2010

South Africa: 'Surprising' cost of running Cape Town stadium


Ratepayers could end up paying for Cape Town stadium's operating costs after Sail Stadefrance walked out on a 30-year lease to manage the property. The city will take over management of the R4,4-billion stadium. Sail Stadefrance said it had projected 'substantial losses' if it took up the project.

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