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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 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 527: Popular organising: The victory of dignity over fear

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. Pan-African Postcard, 6. Books & arts, 7. Letters & Opinions, 8. African Writers’ Corner, 9. Highlights French edition, 10. Cartoons, 11. Zimbabwe update, 12. Women & gender, 13. Human rights, 14. Refugees & forced migration, 15. Africa labour news, 16. Emerging powers news, 17. Elections & governance, 18. Corruption, 19. Development, 20. Health & HIV/AIDS, 21. LGBTI, 22. Racism & xenophobia, 23. Environment, 24. Land & land rights, 25. Food Justice, 26. Media & freedom of expression, 27. Social welfare, 28. News from the diaspora, 29. Conflict & emergencies, 30. Internet & technology, 31. Fundraising & useful resources, 32. Courses, seminars, & workshops

Highlights from this issue

ZIMBABWE UPDATE: Zanu-PF militia blamed for village burning
WOMEN AND GENDER: Reproductive rights violations equal to torture, says paper
HUMAN RIGHTS: Ugandan gay rights activist wins award
REFUGEES AND FORCED MIGRATION: Nato leaves migrants to die of thirst and hunger
EMERGING POWERS NEWS: Latest news about China, India and Africa
ELECTIONS AND GOVERNANCE: News from Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda
DEVELOPMENT: African FDI growth benefits few, says report
HEALTH AND HIV/AIDS: Benghazi seeks way out of health crisis
LGBTI: Organisations condemn murder of Noxolo Nogwaza in South Africa
ENVIRONMENT: ‘We cannot command nature except by obeying her’
LAND AND LAND RIGHTS: Videos available from land grabbing conference
MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION: The 10 tools of online oppressors
CONFLICT AND EMERGENCIES: News from CAR, Libya, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia
PLUS…Internet and Technology, e-newsletters and mailing lists, fundraising, courses and jobs…


'Walk to work' and lessons of Soweto and Tahrir Square

Mahmood Mamdani


cc A M F
In this presentation to the Rotary International District Conference in Munyonyo, Mahmood Mamdani links events in Tahrir Square to the 1976 Soweto uprisings in South Africa. This is a the full text of the speech.

Glimpses of the Tunisian revolution: The victory of dignity over fear

Part one

Giuseppe Caruso


cc Teolangthang
In the wake of Tunisia’s inspiring revolution, Giuseppe Caruso offers reflections on his involvement in a recent ‘solidarity caravan’ to the country.

Glimpses of the Tunisian revolution: Challenges, transformation and politics

Part two

Giuseppe Caruso


cc Magharebia
Following on from part one of his article on the Tunisian revolution, Giuseppe Caruso continues his reflections on a recent ‘solidarity caravan’ in the country.

Tunisia: Another country

Amanda Sebestyen


cc Magharebia
In Tunisia, the makers of the first Arab democratic revolution are organising for elections. It is not a passive process. Protests are called almost daily and have kept up momentum towards transforming a country rather than 'just' evicting a dictator who ruled for 23 years. On the sidelines, the old regime and its angry secret policeman are waiting; on the other side, well-financed religious parties will rise if the hopes of a generation are disappointed. Participating in a solidarity tour to Tunisia, Amanda Sebestyen finds a country of dedicated organisers, heights of suffering and generosity, and a dangerous neglect of the deprived heartlands where the uprising was born.

South Sudan: Rethinking citizenship, sovereignty and self-determination

Mahmood Mamdani


cc RFT
Reflecting on the context behind South Sudan's exercise in self-determination and the potential sources of political violence following the country’s independence, Mahmood Mamdani explores Sudan's longer-term historical experience – the role of imposed administrative identities under the colonial system, migration, religion, slavery and the emergence of a politicised Islam – and the contemporary challenges around rethinking political citizenship.

Orientalising the Egyptian uprising

Rabab El-Mahdi


cc S V
The narrative of the Egyptian revolution is being distorted by old, Western ways of seeing the Arab world. Rabab El-Mahdi suggests a different narrative.

Uprising in Burkina Faso: Why no cameras?

Tendai Marima


cc D H R
Commenting on the Western media’s preference towards coverage of particular uprisings across North Africa, Tendai Marima asks ‘what makes Burkina Faso's crisis so un-newsworthy that it is easily swept under the news pile?'

Human tsunamis and the world refugee system

Tricia Redeker Hepner


cc Sandy
The dictatorship in Eritrea results in large numbers of people feeling the country. But once they enter the international refugee system their problems are only just beginning, writes Tricia Redeker Hepner.

Posada Carriles: ‘The bin Laden of the Americas’

Horace Campbell


cc B L
‘As quiet as it is kept, international terrorism did not begin on 11 September 2001.’ Before Osama bin Laden, there was Luis Posada Carriles, writes Horace Campbell.

Bin Laden and Nakba

Mazin Qumsiyeh


cc M R
Mazin Qumsiyeh discusses the assassination of Osama Bin Laden in the light of the continued oppression of the Palestinian people.

France must now leave Côte d’Ivoire

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe


cc Wikipedia
In scenes redolent of the kidnapping of Patrice Lumumba and storming of Salvador Allende’s presidential palace, France’s recent activities in Côte d’Ivoire have been purely about establishing self-interested ‘regime change’, argues Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe.

South Africa: Not yet Uhuru

Ayanda Kota

Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM)


'We have no freedom to celebrate today. We live in a radically unjust society…Until everyone’s voice counts equally we cannot say that we are free’, the Unemployed People’s Movement writes from Grahamstown, in a statement to mark South Africa’s ‘Freedom Day’ on 27 April.

Race is skin deep, humanity is not

Neville Alexander


cc A S
In the wake of the ‘furore about the racist remarks attributed to Mr Jimmy Manyi’, Neville Alexander discusses the challenges around creating a ‘raceless society’ in post-apartheid South Africa.

GodZuma and Black Theology

Pedro Alexis Tabensky


cc A S
‘Few things are more hateful’ than the ‘deliberate manipulation of the minds of the broken and destitute in the name of liberation,’ writes Pedro Alexis Tabensky, as the ANC attempts to win support from South Africa’s poorest communities by portraying the party as ‘the representatives of God on earth’.

Osama is dead but…

Mphutlane wa Bofelo


cc Wstera2
I’m no supporter of Osama bin Laden but the assertion that his killing ‘marks the triumph against global terrorism’ is ‘laughable and absurd’, writes Mphutlane wa Bofelo. Why won’t the West recognise that it is its own disregard for the lives and worldviews of people in the Global South that fuels rage and resistance against it?

Climate finance leadership risks global bankruptcy

Patrick Bond


cc W E C
The Climate Justice lobby is already ‘furious’ about the involvement of the World Bank as an interim trustee of the UN’s Green Climate Fund. But appointing ‘South Africa’s most vocal neoliberal politician’, Trevor Manuel, as co-chair of the fund could be ‘fatal to climate change mitigation and adaptation’, warns Patrick Bond.

Patrice Lumumba the poet

Cameron Duodu


cc E K
Reflecting on discussions with the audience at the screening of a documentary about the assassination of Congo’s first prime minister Patrice Lumumba, Cameron Duodu shares a less known fact that ‘the fiery politician was also as very good poet.’


IkamvaYouth: Urgent appeal for donations and help


IkamvaYouth's head office in Makhaza, Khayelitsha was petrol-bombed on 27 April and the organisation is appealing for donations and help. IkamvaYouth is a non-partisan, non-governmental organisation that was established in 2003 in Makhaza, Khayelitsha with the objective of enabling disadvantaged youth to pull themselves out of poverty and into university and employment through peer-to-peer learning and support. The programme's success (87-100 per cent matric pass rate since 2005 and over 70 per cent of learners accessing tertiary for the past three years) has led to the model's replication in five townships in three provinces, and numerous accolades include winning the Mail and Guardian / Southern Africa Trust Drivers of Change award in 2010.

Samir Amin Award - deadline extended


Following requests from a number of individuals, the deadline for the submission of essays has been extended until Monday 9 May. If you haven't already submitted your essay, please do so now.

African Awakenings and New Visions of Solidarity


Pambazuka and the Carleton University Institute of African Studies invite you to a talk to celebrate Africa Liberation Day with Firoze Manji and Molly Kane, Pambazuka News. It takes place on Wednesday, 25 May at 6pm at the Arts Lounge, 1025 Dunton Tower, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter - May issue


Fahamu’s Refugee Programme is pleased to announce the May issue of the Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter, a monthly publication that provides a forum for providers of refugee legal aid. With a focus on the global South, it aims to serve the needs of legal aid providers as well as raise awareness of refugee concerns among the wider readership of Pambazuka News. You can also read the newsletter on our new blog and Facebook page.

Africa and the challenges of the 21st century



The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, CODESRIA, will hold its 13th General Assembly on 5-9 December 2011, in Rabat, Morocco. The triennial General Assembly is one of the most important scientific events of the African continent. It provides the African social science research community with a unique opportunity to reflect on some of the key issues facing the social sciences in particular, and Africa and the world at large. The theme of the scientific conference of the 13th CODESRIA General Assembly is ‘Africa and the challenges of the 21st century’.

Law in development: Work in progress


This workshop will provide an opportunity for postgraduate students in the broad field of law and development to reflect on its themes, progress and future.

Comment & analysis

Ethiopia: We went, we saw, we got chased out…

Alemayehu G. Mariam


cc E B
Government officials on a tour of the US failed in their attempts to build diaspora support for Ethiopia’s five-year economic programme, thanks to ‘Zenawi’s tenacious, resolute and dogged opponents’, writes Alemayehu G. Mariam. ‘The diaspora may be divided but not when it comes to Zenawi’s regime.’

Malawi democracy in a test tube

Akwete Sande


cc Wikimedia
How healthy is Malawi's leader for democracy in that country? Akwete Sande analyses the political situation in Malawi.

Using force won't build peace

Stephen Musau


cc BRQ Network
Negotiation, not military intervention, is the best solution for resolving conflict argues Stephen Musau, as the international community’s attempts to quell the unrest in Libya take their toll on innocent civilians.

We are not in Kansas anymore: The labour of our heroes present

Tunde Oyateru


cc J W
While Nigeria has always had a problem with insecurity, the recent spate of bombings in the country ‘have remained largely faceless, with no one claiming responsibility or offering an agenda’, argues Tunde Oyateru.

Who the hell do you think you are?


cc L R
Minister Louis Farrakhan warns Barack Obama about the US's intervention in Libya and CIA activity [Information Clearing House video], while Cornel West discusses the failure of the Obama administration to tackle the root causes of injustice in the US and beyond [Al Jazeera video].

Advocacy & campaigns

The Kennedy 12 return to court for part two of their trial

Abahlali baseMjondolo


‘It is one thing to be attacked by the police or securities. It is another thing to be attacked by other poor people that have been mobilised, on an ethnic basis, against an independent movement by the ruling party and given the support of the police to attack, to threaten, to demolish homes and to drive all the leading members of a movement out of a community,’ writes South African shackdwellers' movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo.

U.S. Court of Appeals affirms overturning of Mumia Abu-Jamal's death sentence

Prison Radio News


The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has again declared Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence unconstitutional, on the basis that members of the jury during his trial were given unclear sentencing instructions. The award-winning journalist has been on Pennsylvania’s death row for 29 years. His 1982 murder trial and subsequent conviction has been the subject of great debate.

UN Security Council accused of double standards in Western Sahara ‘travesty’

Western Sahara Campaign


The failure to establish a mechanism around Western Sahara to monitor human rights comes in sharp contrast to the UK and French position on human rights in other recent resolutions, such as 1970 on Libya, stress the Western Sahara Campaign.

In tribute: Noxolo Nogwaza's funeral


These are images from the funeral of Noxolo Nogwaza, the 24-year-old lesbian activist raped and murdered in Gauteng, South Africa.

Ugandan gay rights activist awarded human rights prize

Martin Ennals Award


The Jury of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA), meeting in Geneva, selects Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera as the Laureate for her work for LGBT rights and marginalised people in Uganda. Nabagesera is the founder and executive director of Freedom and Roam Uganda, a lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights organisation.

Pan-African Postcard

Keeping things in perspective

H. Nanjala Nyabola


'Bin Laden's death is perhaps the ultimate act of retribution, and no one can fault anyone for seeking that out. But there's a difference between justice and retribution,' writes H. Nanjala Nyabola.

In memoriam: Karen Harrison

H. Nanjala Nyabola


Following the death of Karen Harrison, an activist from Glasgow, Scotland, and a mature student at the University of Oxford, H. Nanjala Nyabola pays tribute to ‘one of those special people who dedicated their whole lives to fighting battles that the rest of us are relatively comfortable looking away from’.

Books & arts

Culture in political activism and resistance

Martina Keilbach


‘What are the conditions under which cultural expressions, used as a means for resistance, can become accessible to an international community?’ Martina Keilbach reflects on the work of Kenyan poet and political activist Abdilatif Abdalla.

Analysing Somalia: Past and present

Review of ‘Milk and Peace, Drought and War’

Nilani Ljunggren De Silva


In a review of ‘Milk and Peace, Drought and War: Somali Culture, Society and Politics’, edited by Markus Hoehne and Virginia Luling, Nilani Ljunggren De Silva highlights an ‘important work for all who wish to understand Somalia and its beleaguered and courageous people’.

Letters & Opinions

Kibaki and Raila leadership response to runaway commodity prices hurting poor Kenyans

George Nyongesa


‘As workers and taxpayers of this country, we were shocked and disgusted yesterday that President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga refused to attend the Uhuru Park workers' day celebrations, writes George Nyongesa, national coordinator of Kenya’s Bunge la Mwananchi (People’s Parliament).

Mamdani brings hope for change in Palestine

Rahela Mizrahi


Could the ideas in Mahmood Mamdani’s article ’The importance of research in a university’ be applied in the Arab world too, asks Rahela Mizrahi.

African Writers’ Corner

Our sacred souvenir: To Wangari Maathai

Natty Mark Samuels


There is mud under your toenails, your feet camouflaged by dust…

Highlights French edition

Pambazuka News 187: Côte d'Ivoire : De la faillite de l'ethnisme au joug de l’impérialisme



Fuel out of stock



Wonder whose fault it is this time?

Hollywood and Osama


Plans to bring bin Laden back to life?

If young Museveni ran into old Museveni



What a difference the decades make!

Mary Wambui: Public notice



Mary Wambui, the wife of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, is considered an impostor, says Gado.

Zimbabwe update

Zimbabwe: Militia burn down village in Cashel Valley


Some 21 villagers from Nyambeya in Cashel Valley have been forced to flee their village after ZANU PF militia carried out an early morning raid on Sunday (01 May) and burned down seven houses owned by MDC-T officials. Homes belonging to MDC ward chairman Moses Chemwanyisa, ward youth chairman Admire Chizikani and his mother Naomi were torched.

Zimbabwe: Mugabe among Africa’s seven worst press freedom predators


Media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has said Robert Mugabe is among the seven worst ‘press freedom predators’ on the African continent. In a statement released to mark World Press Freedom Day the group also named leaders Yahya Jammeh (Gambia), Issaias Afeworki (Eritrea), Teodoro Obiang Nguema (Equatorial Guinea), Paul Kagamé (Rwanda), King Mswati III (Swaziland) and Somalia’s Islamist militias, Al-Shabaab and Hizb-Al-Islam. Despite the formation of a coalition government in Zimbabwe, Reporters Without Borders, said because of Mugabe, 'Zimbabwe’s privately-owned print media are constantly harassed and that the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has a monopoly of radio and TV broadcasting'.

Zimbabwe: Obama advisors meet SADC over Zimbabwe


Several senior advisors to US President Barack Obama recently met a high powered delegation from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in Washington, to discuss mounting violence and arrests in Zimbabwe. Although the focus of the meeting for the US seemed to be the mounting violence and arrests in Zimbabwe, the SADC delegates focused on the removal of targeted sanctions placed on companies and individuals aligned to the Mugabe regime.

Women & gender

Global: Doubts over role of cash transfers in women's empowerment


Doubts are emerging over whether cash transfers, designed to strengthen local markets, also empower women and change gender roles in emergencies. 'Gender relations are quite complex and you cannot assume US$50 is going to change that,' Sarah Bailey, research officer at the Humanitarian Policy Group, told IRIN. 'You cannot assume targeting women necessarily leads to their empowerment or promotes gender equality.' The issue is discussed in a joint report by Oxfam Great Britain and Concern Worldwide on cash transfers and gender dynamics, released on 6 May.

Global: Reproductive rights violations equal to torture, says paper


Women and girls worldwide face a wide range of violations to their sexual and reproductive rights, such as lack of access to contraception and safe abortion, female genital mutilation (FGM), and sexual violence. Moreover, when accessing sexual and reproductive healthcare services women and girls encounter low-quality, often negligent and abusive care and treatment. These human rights violations often involve tremendous physical and psychological pain and arguably rise to the level of torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment (CIDT), states this briefing paper from the Centre for Reproductive Rights.

Kenya: Corruption drives rise in girl-child trafficking


For almost three years, Jane Ngoyoini, 39, has not seen or heard from her daughter. In 2007, Frieda Ngoyoini, 15, completely vanished during a school girl-scout jamboree program near Chelmsford, Essex, Ireland. To date no one, including the police, has given her mother, Jane Ngoyoini, any answers or clues to the whereabouts of Frieda. As one of the missing girls that left for a sponsored trip to Ireland, Frieda has never been heard from again and has never returned. This disturbing special case, which has not reached the larger media, is still unsolved. It has left many questions unanswered. Child trafficking in Kenya is a daily occurrence, but police reports and actions to solve crimes are too many times non-existent.

Nigeria: Jonathan reassures women on 35 per cent representation


President Goodluck Jonathan has again stated that his promise made on the 35 per cent representation of women in governance will be fulfilled. Jonathan said recently: 'In Nigeria, today, we have many competent and credible women who have built capacities in thousands of lives, contributed immensely to building the civil, public, and private service sectors. Women have championed debt relief, grew the stock exchange, waged war against fake drugs, ensured justice and human rights and so on. These facts made me to promise during my campaigns that the 35 per cent representation of women in governance will be fulfilled.'

South Africa: Call for quotas on female representation


Chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula has called for a quota system to improve women's representation. She said the Independent Electoral Commission was not happy with the number of women candidates in local government elections to be held on 18 May. 'The male/female split is not pleasing at all,' Tlakula told a business breakfast in Johannesburg. Out of 53,000 candidates only 37 per cent are women.

South Africa: Turn the lights on for all


Forty per cent of South Africa's 48-million people are poor and more than half of poor people are female, notes Jocelyn Newmarch, the author of an Earthlife Africa Johannesburg report 'Second Class Citizens: Gender, Energy and Climate Change in South Africa'. 'About 2,5-million households are still without any access to electricity and four million households do not use electricity for cooking. A back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that, assuming a household of five people, 20-million people still rely on polluting fuels and they are more likely to be female.'

Human rights

Kenya: Frustration over limits to ICC charges


A decision to exclude crimes committed in the western city of Kisumu and the Nairobi slum of Kibera from a case against alleged organisers of violence following Kenya’s 2007 election could undermine the International Criminal Court’s effort to combat impunity in the East African nation, civil society groups have warned. Judges ruled in March that ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo had failed to demonstrate that high-profile extrajudicial killings by police in the western city of Kisumu as well as killings, injuries and rapes carried out in the Nairobi slum of Kibera were part of a state policy involving three suspects linked to President Mwai Kibaki’s Party of National Unity.

Libya: ICC finds evidence of crimes by Libyan regime


The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) says he has unearthed 'enough evidence' to pursue up to five warrants for crimes against humanity committed by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader. Luis Moreno-Ocampo made the announcement a day before he was to brief the UN Security Council on his investigation into alleged crimes commited by Gaddafi's forces. 'We have security forces shooting civilians at demonstrations and evidence of security forces arresting people in different cities, including Tripoli, even today, because they think these people are not loyal,' the prosecutor said.

Mauritania: Arab human rights groups convene in Nouakchott


The seventh annual meeting of Arab national human rights organisations wrapped up in Nouakchott last week with an affirmation of the groups' role in protecting civil liberties. The 27-28 April conference focused on how rights organisations in the Arab world can help monitor and enforce international treaty obligations with respect to human rights. Participants concluded the event with a 'Nouakchott Declaration' that emphasised the role national human rights bodies have in implementing rights treaties and developing civil society.

South Africa: Test case may cost mines billions


Anglo American plc has offered medical treatment to 14 former miners, who have brought a test case against its South African subsidiary, but it won't accept liability for the silica dust levels in apartheid-era gold mines that the former workers say caused their debilitating respiratory tract infections. If the test case succeeds it could open the door for tens of thousands of former mine workers to claim damages from companies such as Anglo, resulting in compensation payouts worth billions of rands.

Uganda: Gay rights activist from Uganda wins award


The Jury of the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA), meeting in Geneva, selected Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera as the Laureate for her work for LGBT rights and marginalised people in Uganda. Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, a Ugandan woman, is the founder and Executive Director of Freedom and Roam Uganda, a lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights organisation. Kasha has had the courage to appear on national television in Uganda, she has issued press statements on behalf of the gay community, and spoken on several radio stations.

Refugees & forced migration

Africa: Facebook refugee game pulled from web amid claims of poor taste


A controversial Facebook game developed by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) with funding from ECHO, the European Commission’s humanitarian agency, and designed to raise awareness of Dadaab camp on the Kenyan-Somali border has been pulled from the internet just days after the launch amid claims that it is in bad taste and dehumanizes refugees. Julie Laduron, ECHO’s communications officer, confirmed that the European humanitarian body had removed the game from its Facebook page and main site. 'Of course everyone has some different sensibilities about the game so for the moment it is suspended,' she said.

Africa: Migrants rescued off Italian island


Italian coast guards and local fisherman saved all 528 refugees on a boat from Libya after their vessel hit rocks off the island of Lampedusa in an operation a rescuer described as a 'miracle'. Images of the rescue showed people jumping in panic or falling into the choppy waters as their boat heaved in the waves on Sunday. Among the refugees who had thrown themselves into the water at night were 24 pregnant women.

Burundi: Displaced women in Bujumbura risk HIV rather than hunger


Desperate and displaced, some Burundian women will do anything, including have unprotected sex for money, to escape the dreadful living conditions in the Bujumbura suburb of Sabe, where more than 480 families of internally displaced persons (IDPs) have lived for several years. Burundi has more than 100,000 IDPs as a result of several years of political turmoil; most of the families in Sabe are returnees from neighbouring countries.

Libya: 40,000 flee western mountain region


Thousands of ethnic Berbers from Libya have fled into Tunisia after a brief hiatus in their exodus last week because of fighting between Libyan government troops and opposition forces for control of a border crossing point. 'This past weekend, more than 8,000 people, most of them ethnic Berbers, arrived in Dehiba in southern Tunisia. Most are women and children,' a UNHCR spokesperson said. The latest arrivals bring the number of people to have fled fighting in Libya's Western Mountains region to almost 40,000 in the past month.

Libya: Concern over migrant situation

Statement on the situation of migrant workers and members of their families in Libya


The Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, has issued a statement saying they are 'alarmed' by the implications of the situation in Libya for migrant workers and members of their families. 'The Committee is equally concerned about the difficulties encountered by migrant workers and members of their families trying to leave Libya, either to return to their countries of origin or to seek protection from the violations and threats facing them by claiming asylum in third countries. In this context, the Committee is concerned about the dangerous interception of migrants at sea and at inland borders.'

Mozambique: Somali immigrants killed at border post


At least three Somali immigrants have been shot and killed by border guards in Mozambique. The men were among nine traveling on foot through Tanzania headed to South Africa when they were sprayed by bullets from Mozambican forces, according to a member of the group.

North Africa: Nato left 61 African migrants to die of hunger and thirst


Dozens of African migrants were left to die in the Mediterranean after a number of European and Nato military units apparently ignored their cries for help, the Guardian has learned. A boat carrying 72 passengers, including several women, young children and political refugees, ran into trouble in late March after leaving Tripoli for the Italian island of Lampedusa. Despite alarms being raised with the Italian coastguard and the boat making contact with a military helicopter and a Nato warship, no rescue effort was attempted.

Africa labour news

Global: Formation of Palestinian Trade Union Coalition


The first Palestinian trade union conference for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel (BDS) was held in Ramallah on 30 April 2011, organised by almost the entirety of the Palestinian trade union movement, including federations, professional unions, and trade union blocks representing the entire spectrum of Palestinian political parties. The conference marked a historic event: the formation of the Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS) as the largest coalition of the Palestinian trade union movement. PTUC-BDS will provide the most representative Palestinian reference for international trade unions, promoting their support for and endorsement of the BDS Call, launched by Palestinian civil society in 2005, guided by the guidelines and principles adopted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), of which PTUC-BDS has become a key component.

South Africa: Casual jobs threat to fulltime workers


The latest statistics by JSE-listed job placement company, Adcorp, show that since January 2000 permanent employment declined by 20.9 per cent while contract and other forms of employment increased by 64.1 per cent. This, says the company’s March employment index, means that only 1.9 million South Africans were employed into permanent jobs while 2.4 million were hired into temporary jobs since 2000. Samela Manene, the general secretary of the National Council of Trade Unions, said there was nothing much for workers to celebrate because inequality and unemployment had risen, despite the country’s good labour laws.

Emerging powers news

Latest Edition: Emerging Powers News Roundup


In this week's edition of the Emerging Powers News Round-Up, read a comprehensive list of news stories and opinion pieces related to China, India and other emerging powers...

Elections & governance

Congo: Opposition says election plan unworkable


Democratic Republic of Congo's plans to hold parliamentary and presidential elections in November are unconstitutional and unrealistic, the country's leading opposition parties said on Sunday. A statement noted voter registration had been completed in only two of 11 provinces and warned the poll could be delayed. The opposition said it was still determined to take part. The statement also criticised security in the build-up to the vote, repeating accusations that opposition supporters have been intimidated, attacked and killed by the authorities.

Côte d'Ivoire: Ouattara sworn in as president


Alassane Ouattara has been sworn in as Ivory Coast president in a ceremony after months of political violence in the world's leading cocoa producer followed his victory in last November's elections. Ouattara, 69, was sworn in at the presidential palace by the head of the Constitutional Council, Paul Yao N'Dre, watched by members of his government, the armed forces and the diplomatic community.

Equatorial Guinea: Opposition leaders freed


Two senior opposition figures arrested in late April in Equatorial Guinea have been released, a senior party colleague said. Vicente Nze and Juan Manuel Nguema Esono of the main opposition Convergence for Social Democracy (CPDS) party had been released late Friday (29 April), CPDS secretary general Placido Mico Abogo told AFP. Esono was detained for having put up a poster calling for a demonstration against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema on Sunday, 1 May, said a CPDS statement.

Sierra Leone: Growing pains for local councils


Sierra Leone re-introduced local government councils in 2004 after a 30-year absence; the experience of the last six years is prompting questions about how to successfully introduce effective democratic authority and responsiveness at the local level in a country where few have experience of active participation in governance. Devolution of responsibility to local councils is behind schedule, with responsibility for key services such as water and waste management and infrastructure like roads among the important areas remaining under the central government's control.

South Africa: We cannot say we are free


'The rebellion of the poor in this country is growing,' writes Ayanda Kota, the chair of the Unemployed People's Movement in the Mail and Guardian, days before South Africans vote in local elections on 18 May. 'More and more organisations are emerging. More and more people have become radicalised. More and more communities have lost their illusions after experiencing the violence of the predator state. More and more people are starting and joining discussions about the way forward for the struggle to take the country back.'

South Africa: Zuma overthrow plot fallout continues


ANC national executive committee member Billy Masetlha has become the first senior ruling party member to openly say the alleged plot to oust Jacob Zuma as ANC president next year is real. Masetlha spoke out on the same day that Tokyo Sexwale, the human settlements minister and also an NEC member, addressed a press conference in Pretoria at which he rubbished the allegations implicating him in the plot.

Tunisia: PM raises possibility of vote delay


Tunisia's prime minister suggested on Sunday (08 May) that July elections for an assembly to draw up a new constitution could be delayed, potentially fuelling unease among anti-government protesters over the path to democracy. The North African country has struggled to restore stability since a revolution in January ousted authoritarian ruler Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and inspired uprisings across the Arab world.

Tunisia: Police clash with protesters


Tunisian police have used tear gas and batons to break up protests demanding the resignation of the government in the most violent confrontation for weeks with pro-democracy demonstrators. A demonstration in central Tunis by about 200 people on Friday called for the resignation of the transitional government and 'a new revolution'. Farhat Rajhi, Tunisia's former minister of the interior, called for calm earlier on Friday after causing an outcry with his statement that a 'coup d'etat' could take place in the country.

Uganda: Angry Museveni tells off his critics, religious leaders


Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, on one of the days on which opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye was arrested, attacked academics and religious leaders at a conference that brought together key stakeholders, including senior religious and political leaders, academicians, media experts, heads of security agencies, development partners, civil society organisations and cultural leaders from around the country. Museveni was irked by what he described as lies spread by some academicians.

Uganda: Lawyers call strike over government brutality


A three-day strike beginning 4 May has been announced by the Uganda Law Society as an expression of displeasure at the government’s high-handed clampdown on the walk-to-work protests against high fuel prices. At an extra-ordinary meeting of the Law Society held in Kampala, it was also agreed that other professionals be asked to join in this show of disapproval against the excessive and disproportionate use of force by the police, army and other security agencies in breaking up peaceful protests.


North Africa: Swiss freeze $1bn in Gaddafi, Mubarak, Ben Ali assets


Switzerland says it has frozen nearly $1bn worth of assets linked to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi and the deposed leaders of Egypt and Tunisia. Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said some 830m Swiss francs (£580m; $960m) had been discovered. Of that, the largest proportion - 410m SFr - was linked to former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his circle, the minister said.


Africa: Africa failing to change harmful trade patterns, says report


Africa has little room to change the one-dimensional nature of its trade ties and use its new-found growth to create jobs and alleviate poverty, according to the 2011 Africa Progress Report. The emergence of non-European trade partners, notably China, has not changed the fact that the continent mainly exports raw materials and imports manufactured goods, it states. 'Africa’s current economic growth is not all positive. It is generally not accompanied by much-needed structural transformation and diversification,' reads the report released at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Cape Town.

Africa: Investment growth benefits few


While foreign direct investment in least developed countries (LDCs) in Africa has risen sharply over the past decade, most of it went to resource-rich economies and had little impact on employment creation.
On the eve of the fourth United Nations’ conference on LDCs, UNCTAD has launched a study on the developmental effects of foreign direct investment (FDI), adopted at the 2001 LDCs conference as one of the tools to foster development in poor countries. The study, called 'FDI in LDCs: Lessons learned from the decade 2001 – 2010', shows the results are at best mixed.

Africa: Time for new development approaches, says civil society


The dominant approaches to development have failed the world’s poorest citizens and now the paradigm must change. This is the strong message coming from over 2,000 non-governmental organisations gathered at the civil society forum for the Fourth UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) in Istanbul, Turkey. Arjun Karki, spokesperson for the forum, told the gathering that the failure to see more LDC countries graduate from this most vulnerable classification reflects a serious failure of the model of development aid advanced by leading players in the international community.

Global: Privatisation has failed to deliver water, now for a better idea


National ministers from Africa gathered with hundreds of people from United Nations agencies, development banks, public water operators, non-profit groups and trade unions from around the world to celebrate World Water Day last month in Cape Town. A priority on the agenda: responding to the growing urban water challenge. But, writes Mthandeki Nhlapo, while the right to water is akin to the right to life, many governments are reluctant to recognise this most basic reality and shoulder their responsibilities to deliver safe, affordable water.

Global: Voices from the Global Water Operator Partnership Alliance


Delegations from Reclaiming Public Water Network and Public Services International participated in the Global Water Operator Partnerships (GWOPA) Congress held on 20-21 March in Cape Town, South Africa. This video features unionists, activists as well as public water managers from Spain, Morocco, Netherlands and Uruguay who present their vision for Public Public Partnerships in the water sector. The video is a Transnational Institute/Public Services International Production and was filmed and edited by Liane Greeff of EcoDoc Africa, with music provided by Roy MacGregor.

Zambia: 'Real Changes Needed in Policy and Implementation'


Zambia has enjoyed economic growth of around six per cent per year over the past decade, says Patrick Mucheleka, but the government is failing to translate this into social and economic development for the majority of citizens. The upcoming conference on least developed countries in Turkey offers an opportunity to recalibrate the country's approach to development. Mucheleka, who heads Civil Society for Poverty Reduction, a network of more than 140 pro-poor development organisations in Zambia, says the economic growth figures have to be discounted against the growth in the country's population. Further, the sectors that have driven growth are capital-intensive, creating relatively few new jobs.

Health & HIV/AIDS

Africa: More skilled attendants needed to reduce maternal mortality


Sub-Saharan African countries have claimed nine of the ten bottom places in a ranking of maternal health around the world. 'The Mothers' Index', a new survey of motherhood by Save the Children, analyses health, education and economic conditions for women and children in 164 countries. Ironically, it is in giving birth - and multiple births for that matter - that a woman nears an approximate of the ideal of a wife,' says Kolorinda James, a traditional birth attendant (TBA) in Juba, South Sudan. 'Children are considered to be a sign of wealth. It is a case of the content being valued much more than the container - as thousands of women in this region continue to die from pregnancy related complications.'

Egypt: The price of stigma


When it comes to discussing HIV/AIDS in Egypt, most probably you’d be faced by either one of two reactions: one that is characterized by fear, shock, and discomfort or a reaction marked by denial and disdain, writes Ahmed Awadalla, an Egyptian who works in the area of reproductive and sexual health. 'A comprehensive survey of Egyptian youth revealed that only 21 per cent of them would be willing to interact with a person living with HIV, which is definitely disturbing. We all need to realise that stigmatising those groups leads to higher spread of the virus into the community, by denying those people access to health and awareness services, and not allowing them to get the care and compassion they need.'

Kenya: PMTCT could cause drug resistance in positive infants


Drug regimens used in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV are effective, but infants should be monitored for drug resistance, a new study has revealed. The study in Kisumu, western Kenya, found that the triple combination of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs given to HIV-infected mothers to prevent transmission of the virus to their infants was effective and feasible, but there were cases of possible drug resistance in HIV-positive infants.

Libya: Benghazi seeks way out of health crisis


Medical supplies are running short in Benghazi, putting overwhelmed doctors under heavy strain. To address the challenges, professionals, hospital managers and health officials gathered last week to look for solutions. 'We held this meeting in order to identify the problems facing the health sector and try to find solutions for them,' Economic Support and Assistance Commission member Jamal Jabr said. 'After that, we shall send these solutions to the economic council. Our aim is to boost competency and performance in the health sector.'

Rwanda: Rwanda launches fight against cervical cancer


Rwanda could become the first country in Africa to effectively fight cervical cancer following the launch of a comprehensive national prevention programme last week. Rwanda will be the first country in Africa to offer a national prevention programme that includes the most advanced technologies and tools to protect girls and women from the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that causes cervical cancer. HPV is a very common sexually transmitted infection among women worldwide, with more than 270,000 dying each year.


Cameroon: Man sentenced for sexual orientation


The organizations ADEFHO (association for the defense of homosexuals) and SID’ADO(teenagers against the HIV/AIDS) have been informed of a new case of sentencing on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. On April 28 2011. A young man named Roger Jean- Claude was sentenced to 36 months in prison for homosexuality.

Ghana: Gay couple wed in Kumasi


A gay couple, Akwasi Boakye and Kwame Amankwa, got married on Easter Sunday in Kumasi, Ghana. The wedding, attended by hundreds of members of LGBTI community, started at 10am on Sunday and lasted all night. The couple have been banished from the town. The couple has allegedly disappeared on a honeymoon to Accra.

South Africa: Condemnation of homophobia murder

Sonke Gender Justice Network press statement


'Sonke Gender Justice Network condemns the murder of Noxolo Nogwaza who was raped and brutally murdered in the early hours of Sunday morning over the Easter weekend in Kwa-Thema township, outside of Johannesburg. We offer our condolences to Noxolo’s family and to our comrades at EPOC and to the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL).'

South Africa: No arrests in lesbian murder case


The murder of a 24-year-old lesbian activist from Kwa-Thema township in Gauteng appears to be the latest in an epidemic of brutal homophobic attacks, Human Rights Watch has said. Noxolo Nogwaza was found murdered on 24 April 2011, in a vicious attack that seems to have been motivated by her sexual orientation. Nogwaza's face and head were completely disfigured by stoning, she was stabbed several times with broken glass.

South Africa: Statement on death of murdered lesbian


'Ekurhuleni Pride Organizing Committee (EPOC), the key LGBTI organization in the township of Kwa-Thema, Gauteng, South Africa, and the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL,) condemn the brutal rape and murder, in cold blood, of a member of EPOC. Noxola Nogwaza is believed to have been murdered in the early hours of Sunday, April 24, 2011.'

South Africa: Task team set up to deal with hate crimes


A national task team is to tackle hate crimes against lesbians and gays, the justice and constitutional development ministry said on Wednesday. The decision came in response to a 170,000-strong campaign calling for action on 'corrective rape', spokesperson Tlali Tlali said in a statement. It followed the murder of lesbian activist Noxolo Nogwaza, 24, who was stoned, stabbed with broken glass and gang-raped in KwaThema, Johannesburg, last month.

South Africa: Transgender teen raped

Transgender and Intersex Africa media release


'On the 5th May 2011, a 14 years old transman was raped in Attredgeville, Pretoria. He was left unconscious and traumatized by the perpetrators. The transman is believed to have been raped on his way to school. According to the victim’s mother, the school phoned her after one teacher realized that the victim was crying and bleeding from his genitals.'

South Africa: Union condemns homophobia

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) press release


'The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has decided to break its silence and add its lone voice amongst the progressive forces in condemning the brutal rape and stoning to death with bricks of Noxola Nogwaza, KwaThema township, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng province. As Numsa we abhor homophobia with all its manifestations since its against the noble objectives of a non sexist society as envisaged in the Freedom Charter.'

Racism & xenophobia

South Africa: ‘Liberation songs deserve own monument’


A monument should be built for liberation songs and it should have its own precinct. This is according to Wally Mongane Serote, the poet, author and former MK soldier testifying in the hate speech trial in the Johannesburg High Court against ANC Youth League President Julius Malema. Defending Malema - who was charged by Afriforum, an Afrikaner minority group, for singing certain lines of the song Dubulu ’ibhunu (Kill the Boer) - Serote said the songs were 'as important as the Voortrekker monument', kept 'as a memory even after apartheid'.


Global: 'We cannot command nature except by obeying her'


'Nature cannot be submitted to the wills of the laboratory. Science and technology are capable of everything including destroying the world itself,' said Pablo Solón, the permanent representative of Bolivia in a speech to the United Nations on 20 April. 'It is time to stop and reaffirm the precautionary principle in the face of geo-engineering and all artificial manipulation of the climate. All new technologies should be evaluated to gauge their environmental, social and economic impacts. The answer for the future lies not in scientific inventions but in our capacity to listen to nature.'

Global: Where is the World Bank’s energy sector strategy headed?


A new article from the Bank Information Centre's Paulina Garzon looks at the current status of the World Bank's energy strategy review, which has run into controversy at the Board of Directors. The article notes the politics surrounding the policy. 'The WB has spent almost two years developing the new Energy Sector Strategy (EsE),[1] expected to be approved in July 2011. The EsE will be the guiding instrument in modernizing the energy sector with two main objectives: 1) to increase access to modern and reliable energy, especially for the poor, and 2) to facilitate the transition into an energy sector that is environmentally sustainable and with low carbon emissions.'

Senegal: The Great Green Wall, a wall of misunderstanding?


The Great Green Wall project aims to plant a line of trees nearly 8,000 kilometres long and 15 kilometres wide. This green belt would pass through 11 countries in the Sahel, from Senegal to Djibouti. It hopes to stop the desert from expanding and swallowing farmland. Many are happy with what is being achieved, but others are not, reports Farm Radio Weekly. Aliou Sow is a farmer in Senegal. He complains bitterly that the authorities planted trees in his community without consultation. While farmers travel miles on foot or by donkey to fetch water for the villages of Tessekeré, Amaly and Widou, wells are being dug specifically to irrigate nurseries for the Wall.

Land & land rights

Global: Videos available from land-grabbing conference


Videos from the international conference on global land grabbing held at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex between 6-8 April 2011 are now available. The selection of videos include Olivier de Schutter, Sam Moyo and Shalmali Guttal.

Food Justice

North Africa: Maghreb addresses rising food prices


Maghreb states need to find immediate solutions to the soaring food prices, said participants at a Tunis seminar, which ended Wednesday (4 May). The three-day event, organised by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), brought together experts from the Maghreb and the European Union, as well as representatives from the UN, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Media & freedom of expression

Eritrea: Call to release journalists


The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined its African group, the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) to mark World Press Freedom Day by sending an open letter to President Issayas Afewerki of Eritrea, urging him to release all journalists detained by his government. The IFJ and FAJ say the situation of human rights and freedom of expression has been steadily deteriorating in Eritrea where it is estimated that some 30 journalists have been detained, without charges, since the Eritrean government imposed a ban on independent media in September 2001.

Ghana: Minister commits to 'uncensored and safe cyberspace'


Ghana has given the assurance that the country was committed to a 'free uncensored and safe cyberspace'. Making the announcement, deputy Information minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa condemned attempts by some countries to clamp down on internet usage through censorship. In a speech to mark the World’s Press Freedom Day, Mr Okudzeto-Ablakwa said: 'We have seen governments engage in online blocking where access to some websites is curtailed. We have observed that some governments are now mounting surveillance on cybersapce so as to track down those who publish what those governments don’t like.'

Global: Free press access at lowest point in a decade


The proportion of the world’s population that has access to a free press declined to its lowest point in over a decade during 2010, as repressive governments intensified their efforts to control traditional media and developed new techniques to limit the independence of rapidly expanding internet-based media. Among the countries to experience significant declines in press freedom were Egypt, Honduras, Hungary, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, and Ukraine, says the report 'Freedom of the Press in 2010' from Freedom House.

Global: The 10 tools of online oppressors


The world’s worst online oppressors are using an array of tactics, some reflecting astonishing levels of sophistication, others reminiscent of old-school techniques. From China’s high-level malware attacks to Syria’s brute-force imprisonments, this may be only the dawn of online oppression, says this report from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Malawi: Political science lecturer talks about blogging and academic freedom


When Malawi's Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhito summoned political science senior lecturer Dr Blessings Chinsinga over an example he gave in the lecture room, he had no idea that the incident will appear on Boniface Dulani's blog. And when it did, Malawi media picked and followed the rest of the developments which have left the University of Malawi's two main colleges closed for a month now. Global Voices author Victor Kaonga interviewed Dulani about his blogging experiences and the movement for academic freedom. You can read the interview on the Global Voices site.

Zimbabwe: Newspaper offices raided


An independent daily newspaper critical of Zimbabwe's president says thieves raided its offices and stole computer hard drives and the editor's laptop. No other items were stolen. In front page headlines last week, the paper called on President Robert Mugabe, 87, to step down.

Social welfare

Africa: Childhood blindness prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa


Every minute, somewhere in the world, a child goes blind according to the World Health Organisation. Three in five poor children who go blind are likely to die within two years of losing their sight - yet half of cases of childhood blindness are avoidable. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence of blindness in the world - 1.24 per 1,000 children, compared to 0.8 in India and 0.3 in Europe.

Mozambique: New minimum salaries approved


Mozambique is one of the world's poorest countries, with over half of its 22 million people living below the poverty line. It pays the lowest salaries in southern Africa, according to a recent report by accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Last year, violent riots against price increases left at least 14 dead, prompting the government to subsidise food and fuel.

South Africa: Judge calls Cape Town to order over open toilets


Judge Nathan Erasmus ruled recently that the DA-controlled Cape Town municipality had violated the human and constitutional rights of residents of Makhaza in Khayelitsha by installing unenclosed toilets. He also dismissed the city's and Western Cape premier Helen Zille's argument that residents were consulted and had agreed to enclose the toilets at their own cost.

Tanzania: Inflation raises prospect of food riots


The Tanzanian government plans to take urgent measures to alleviate economic hardships that the majority of the population is facing to ward off a replication of protests taking place in the East African Community. Economists and activists told The Citizen that they won’t be surprised if the Kenyan and Ugandan scenarios were to be witnessed in Tanzania since the government 'seems not to be acting to put the matters in line'.

News from the diaspora

Global: Cornel West and the fight against injustice


In this Al Jazeera video interview with Cornel West, the intellectual and author provides his analysis of Barack Obama's presidency and discusses recent global developments. The bestselling author argues that we are living in 'catastophic, catatonic, and catalytic' times, but we must face them with compassion.

Libya: Farrakhan warns Obama over CIA in Libya


Minister Louis Farrakhan, in this video interview, discusses the role of the CIA in the conflict. He points to the contradiction of Western concern over the people of Libya, while the people of Palestine and Rwanda, for example, were ignored.

Conflict & emergencies

CAR: Uncertain future for children in armed conflict


In order to advise policy-makers at a critical juncture after the re-election in January 2011 of President François Bozizé of the Central African Republic (CAR), the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (Watchlist) and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) joined forces to conduct a four-week field mission to CAR to research and report on the situation of children affected by armed conflict. Evidence was found that at least four of the six grave violations monitored under UN Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005) are still being committed against children in CAR: the abduction of children, recruitment or use of child soldiers, attacks against schools, and the denial of humanitarian access to children. This is a link to the full report.

Côte d'Ivoire: 'Dozens killed' in clashes


Dozens of people have reportedly been killed in the main city of Abidjan in fighting between Ivory Coast troops and the remnants of a militia loyal to deposed leader Laurent Gbagbo. 'We have seen many dead. We recovered 40 bodies over two hours, but we were forced to stop because he had no room left in our van,' said Franck Kodjo, an official at the International Committee of the Red Cross, adding at least five corpses were from last Tuesday's fighting. A commander for the Ivorian army, known as the FRCI, said the remaining pro-Gbagbo fighters in the Abidjan neighbourhood of Yopougon were mostly Liberian mercenaries hired in the aftermath of the November election dispute.

Libya: Heavy fighting grips Libya oil city


Libyan regime forces laying siege on Misrata intensified their assault on the lifeline port on 8 May as smoke billowed from a fuel depot bombing, attacks a rights group said may amount to an atrocity. Two loud explosions were also heard in Tripoli, where the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has its headquarters, as jets flew overhead, witnesses said.

Morocco: Bloggers react to Marrakech attack


Morocco's Tourist hub city of Marrakech was hit by a bomb blast in late April that ripped through a popular restaurant at lunchtime, the Argana, overlooking Jamaa Lefna Square. The blast, according to officials killed 16 people most of whom were foreigners. The attack occurred as the country witnesses a wave of peaceful demonstrations calling for democratic change. Bloggers and netizens have been quick to react, sending instant eyewitness accounts, as reported by Global Voices.

Sudan: Troops enter Abyei, 14 dead


A heavily armed Sudanese military convoy entered the flashpoint border district of Abyei, sparking clashes that left up to 14 people dead, its chief administrator and a UN spokesman said on Tuesday, 3 May. The fighting broke out on Sunday when a Sudanese army major insisted on entering the disputed territory after the police tried to stop his convoy of six landcruisers mounted with machine guns and more than 200 troops, administrator Deng Arop Kuol told AFP.

Tunisia: Tunisia fears Libya conflict spillover


Tunisia has denied requesting foreign military aid to confront the escalating crisis on its border with Libya. The country's 'territorial integrity is a red line that no one can touch', Deputy Tunisian Foreign Minister Radouane Nouicer said Sunday (1 May) on state television. But Libyan rebels have been chased across the border, sending at least a dozen shells onto Tunisian soil.

Internet & technology

Africa: Mobile Africa Report 2011


According to industry estimates, there are more than 500 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa now, up from 246 million in 2008. In 2000, the number of mobile phones first exceeded that of fixed telephones. The four biggest mobile phone markets in Africa are Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana.

Fundraising & useful resources

Africa Initiative Graduate Research Grant


The Africa Initiative Graduate Research Grant program supports short-term academic placements for students enrolled in a Master’s or PhD program at select African universities. The program offers grants of up to CAD$10,000 each to fifteen students per year to conduct research for up to four months at select Canadian universities.

Useful website on North Africa and Middle East


The Jadaliyya website is an independent ezine produced by ASI (Arab Studies Institute), a network of writers associated with the Arab Studies Journal ( It is motivated by the need to discuss the 'Arab World' or the 'Middle East'.

Courses, seminars, & workshops

'African Awakenings and New Visions of Solidarity'


Pambazuka and the Carleton University Institute of African Studies invite you to a talk to celebrate Africa Liberation Day with Firoze Manji and Molly Kane, Pambazuka News. It takes place on Wednesday, 25 May at 6pm at the Arts Lounge, 1025 Dunton Tower, Carleton University.

Governing migration

3 - 6 July, 2011, Kampala, Uganda

2011-05-09 ADVERT.pdf

The ‘Governing Migration’ conference will draw together approximately 350 persons working in the field of forced migration (academics, practitioners and policy makers and forced migrants themselves) to debate recent research findings, hot policy topics, and pressing concerns in the field of forced migration as they relate to the fields of Governance and Justice, and to catalyse the establishment of new research, policy and practice agendas.

Law in development: Work in progress


This workshop will provide an opportunity for postgraduate students in the broad field of law and development to reflect on its themes, progress and future.

Fahamu - Networks For Social Justice

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