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 Del.icio.us page, where you can view the various websites that we visit to keep our fingers on the pulse of Africa! Visit http://del.icio.us/pambazuka_news
Pambazuka News: 500 issues for freedom and justice
Championing the transformation of African society
A future full of opportunities
What Pambazuka News means to the Pan-Africanist in me
Recovering our memory
Next stop: pambazuka.org
Alemayehu G. Mariam
Towards a people's progressive movement
Continuing the struggle
Dale T. McKinley
Resisting hegemony: 10 years of Pambazuka News
Pambazuka News: A soap box or making soap?
People creating change in Africa
A common loyalty to justice and equality
Pambazuka: A newsletter with attitude
Seeing the continent in context
Knowing better, understanding deeper
A call to reclaim history, humanity, Africa and the commons
Land is a political question
Shell oil’s ‘licence to kill’?
Abena Ampofoa Asare
An October to Remember
Alemayehu G. Mariam
Africa and the climate finance controversy
The bomb culture
Environmental pollution in the Niger Delta
Angola: Parliament splashes over US$43 million on BMWs
Rafael Marques de Morais
Somalia: The untruths about piracy
'Go into the jungle of my mind'
Paperbacks, pictures and poetry
Nigeria’ s Golden Jubilee: Blood, tears and recrimination
World premiere: Ousmane Aledji’s ‘Traumatism’
Panacea or predicament?: Kenya’s constitution and land rights
The political economy of remittances in Ethiopia
A thankless job, but somebody’s got to do it!
Alemayehu G. Mariam
Make global water crisis a top priority issue
Towards highly qualified primary school teachers
The case of Malawi
The diaspora’s gift to Africa at 50
UPM to march on Jacob Zuma in Durban on 14 October 2010
Unemployed People's Movement (UPM)
Mandela Park’s Back-Yarders demand action at the national level
Letter to Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale
Mandela Park Backyarders Movement
The Gambia: Gender and human rights defenders detained
Coalition for Human Rights in the Gambia
Pluto author arrested and tortured in Belgium
African voices in opposition to the UNESCO-Obiang prize
Attack on democratic rights in Obafemi Awolowo University
Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM)
Childhood mysteries: Looking at one's inner self
Review of ‘True Murder’ by Yaba Badoe
Continuing to 'fight the good fight'
Information about Soviet World Youth Festival
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
Abdilatif Abdalla: 'My poems gave me company'
Kenyan prison literature
Kimani wa Wanjiru
Pambazuka News 162: AQMI, l'insécurité au Sahel, la France et AFRICOM
What if Mugabe dies?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 www.worldpress.org/
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.
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.
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.
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.'
March on Washington scheduled for November
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
COVER STORY: PANAFRICANISM AND THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY
- 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
Launch of the THE KENYAN ASIAN FORUM (KAF)
BOOK LAUNCH: MANILAL AMBALAL DESAI - THE STORMY PETREL by Zarina Patel
- 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
PROF HARI SHARMA 1934-2010
BATS & BALLS – Mama Kibiriti: MARIA JOANA PINTO
P O Box 32843 - 00600
Tel: Orange Wireless:020 2063405, 020 2431554,
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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?
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.
Fahamu - Networks For Social Justice
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