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Pambazuka News Pambazuka News is produced by a pan-African community of some 2,600 citizens and organisations - academics, policy makers, social activists, women's organisations, civil society organisations, writers, artists, poets, bloggers, and commentators who together produce insightful, sharp and thoughtful analyses and make it one of the largest and most innovative and influential web forums for social justice in Africa.

The Inagural 2016 Pan African Colloquium, Barbados

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Back Issues

Pambazuka News 580: Challenges to globalisation from the South

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

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Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839

CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Comment & analysis, 3. Advocacy & campaigns, 4. Obituaries, 5. Books & arts, 6. Letters & Opinions, 7. African Writers’ Corner

Highlights from this issue

Dear Subscribers

We are taking a break next week to recharge our batteries. So, there will be no Pambazuka News on Thursday 12 April 2012. We hope you don't suffer to many withdrawal symptoms. We assure you we will be back on 19 April 2012.



Tuareg Rebels in Mali Declare Independence: Part of an African Awakening for Self-Determination?

Interviewed by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

Firoze Manji


cc Magharebia
The president of Mali, Amadou Toumani Touré, has formally resigned after soldiers ousted him in a coup in March, with power set to be transferred to Mali’s National Assembly after elections later this month. The soldiers say they seized power because of Touré’s alleged mishandling of a rebellion of ethnic Tuareg rebels, who have succeeded in capturing several key northern cities, declaring their independence and now calling for international recognition. Officials claim the rebels are a mix of Tuareg separatists and Islamists with links to al-Qaeda. We speak with Firoze Manji, editor-in-chief of Pambazuka News, a pan-African social justice website. He was formerly the Africa director for Amnesty International. Manji recently co-edited a book called "African Awakening: The Emerging Revolutions." Manji argues the political unrest in Mali, Senegal, and beyond is "driven by the fact that over the last 30 years our people have lost all the gains of independence," due in large part to what he calls neoliberal policies imposed on many African countries by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. "People feel that their governments are more accountable to the banks and to the international multinational corporations than they are to their citizens," Manji says.

The South challenges globalization

Samir Amin


cc B d P
The increased strength of emerging countries of the South confronts the challenges of contemporary globalization.

Aid, resistance and Queer power

Hakima Abbas


cc Wikimedia
If aid is not in the interests of African peoples’, why would aid conditionality be a tool for African social justice?

UNCTAD shows signs of spunk again

Five challengers of the neoliberal jackboot

Vijay Prashad


cc Wikimedia
Slowly, the South has tried to revive UNCTAD, whose policy framers have become a bit more aggressive in their defence of an alternative to neo-liberalism.

Senegal and Mali: two coups, two reactions

Lessons for West Africa’s new democracies

Dayo Olaide


cc T C

cc E P
The AU and ECOWAS need to act consistently and decisively to protect and uphold democracy when it is threatened by either military or civilian coups.

Mali and the French indecency

Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France


cc Wikimedia
How can these westerners be so cynical to oblige people they formerly colonised to use their democratic paradigm whilst their countries are grappling with the same model that hides xenophobia, unbridled racism, injustice and misery?

Macky Sall’s election restores hope to Senegal

Amy Niang


cc S D
The most salient outcome of the presidential elections in Senegal is a heightened, irreversible sense of empowerment; the notion that ordinary people constitute the first and most important institution in a democracy.

Egypt's looming economic shock doctrine

Sharif Abdel Kouddous


cc N N
The Egyptian economy will need of some kind of financial aid within the next few months to avoid a severe downturn.

Zimbabwe: Diamonds could undermine justice, democracy and development

Centre for Research and Development, Mutare, Zimbabwe


cc C G
The continued theft of large quantities of diamonds by dealers and cartels is a threat to national security and may undermine the work of the inclusive government in Zimbabwe.

One hundred years of African intellectual activism

Naledi Pandor


cc Julen
Address by the South African Minister of Science and Technology at the Archie Mafeye memorial lecture.

Nigeria: A Bill of Rights for road, marine and rail users needed

Fidelis Allen


cc M B
A bill of rights that protects Nigerians from insecurity and violence on the roads is also needed alongside the coming bill of rights for air travellers.

‘Freedom never rests’

An interview with James Kilgore by Andre Marais

James Kilgore


cc J & M K
The novel exposes the bitter betrayals and collusion between a new, deeply flawed political elite and multinationals, and tells the story of a rebirth of grassroots activism.

Why Africa's biggest football club will give up the beautiful game

Simon Allison


cc B S K
Al Ahly are very bitter because no justice has been done after scores of their number were killed in the worst incident of violence inside a stadium since Roman gladiators massacred slaves in arenas.

Birthing Justice: Women in Peace-Building

Peace amidst war for resource control

Beverly Bell


cc Amnesty Int'l
The fight for resource control has led to the eruption and escalation of all manner of conflict and violence in the Niger Delta. It’s all about power and control in light of the oil revenue.

Renewed contradictions for Ronnie Kasrils

The leftist spy who came in from cold Pretoria

Patrick Bond


cc R T P
After a chilly period as a genuine revolutionary trying to find a way forward within a blatantly corrupt version of ‘post’-colonial neoliberal nationalism, Kasrils should be warmly welcomed for any initiative he pursues.

Conversations with my stream of consciousness (4)

Remembering Generals Ankrah and Mobutu

Cameron Duodu


cc T L
'I must say I was more than happy when Ankrah was removed from office in April 1968 and General Akwasi Afrifa, a far more polished and liberal officer, became head of state.'

Trayvon and the fugitive slave mentality

Robert Gooding-Williams


cc W C W
It appears that whites may hunt down blacks with immunity from arrest so long as they leave behind no clue that they were not acting to defend themselves.

Comment & analysis

As a Ugandan citizen, I demand justice or death

Vincent Nuwagaba


cc J G
A personal account of human rights abuse in Uganda raises questions about the role of mainstream human rights organisations supported by international donors.

A promising future for the country.....

An inspiring future for the girls

Nubian Club


The involvement of several Sudanese sects, groups, and institutions in the campaigns and events for women is our desired success as an organization working to support women's rights.

Advocacy & campaigns

Guide to Using the Protocol on Rights of Women

A guide to using the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa


Equality Now and the Movement for Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) recently produced “A Guide to Using the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa for Legal Action.” The Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa is renowned for its strong and comprehensive provisions on women’s rights. The how-to guide aims to equip activists with strong tools to protect and advance women’s rights at the local, national, and regional levels.

The guide is on the SOAWR website.

To learn more about Equality Now and its work promoting the rights of women, please see its website (in English, French, and Arabic).

On a related note, on March 9, 2012, Cote d’Ivoire ratified the Protocol. For a map of African countries that have signed and ratified the Protocol, please see the SOAWR website.

Angola: Violent crackdown on critics

Human Rights Watch


Increasing violence and threats raise concerns about 2012 elections.

Call for April 17: International Day of Peasant Struggle

La Via Campesina


(Jakarta, 2 March 2012) April 17 is the International Day of Peasant Struggle, commemorating the massacre of 19 peasants struggling for land and justice in Brazil in 1996. Every year on that day actions take place around the world in defence of peasants and small-scale farmers struggling for their rights.

Actions planned for 17 April 2012

Initiated by the small-scale farmers'Alliance ‘Stop land grabbing’

La Via Campesina


The first objective is to make the hands-on struggle led by small-scale farmers’ organisations and/or local groups, supported by other organisations, partners, allies, visible.

Launch of Greenwash Gold 2012 Campaign

London Mining Network


Monday 16 April, 7 - 9pm, Amnesty International UK Human Rights Action Centre, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA.


Remembering Adrienne Rich

Benjamin Doherty


She is one of the most influential poets of the late 20th century.

Mama’s song

Akwasi Aidoo


March 29 was a sad day... We lost Adrienne Rich, one of the most inspiring poets we were blessed with. She gave our dreams a soul called social justice.

Books & arts

China and Angola: A marriage of convenience?

Marcus Power and Ana Cristina Alves (eds)


© Pambazuka Press
The first book to focus on China’s involvement in Angola presents perspectives from both countries.

Podcast on 'African Awakenings' book launch


This is a podcast prepared by Mbonisi Zikhali based on the launch of the African Awakenings book that we held last night in Ottawa hosted by Octopus Books, Inter Pares, Carlton University and Friends of Pambazuka.

Letters & Opinions

South Africa: On Hellen Zille’s comments

Statement by the Mandela Park Backyarders


Zille's comments brought back memories of the Afro-phobic attacks of 2008; but this time, invoking such phobia between people already living in South Africa.

Letter to the editors of Amandla!

John S. Saul


The real question worth arguing about soberly is: Does the ANC (or the SACP for that matter) have the capacity to right itself and become a real instrument of genuine liberation of the South African people in the post-apartheid period?

Re: A fresh look at Malcolm X

Mboya Ogutu


I suppose, there is no time even an excellent work will please all "stake-holders".

For someone with the stature of Malcom X, time and space will continue unfurling a myriad intepretations on his life.

He is, as Marable says a part of the Black Aesthetic in America.

To us in the Motherland, Malcom X represents our hope and idea of freedom and dignity for the diaspora Africans.

What Marable has revealed is an extremely complex, protean and fearless African with a special love for his people.He was a man always learning.

Although some aspects of Malcom's life, as revealed in the book are somewhat disconcerting, one is left with a humbling thought that Marable points out:

His fiery and incisive oratory and telling truth to power was a marvel and extremely important during his time.

I find Marable's coverage of Malcom objectively respectful without subservience or sheer myth-making. Malcom X still comes out as an awe-inspiring Afrikan man. Period

Let’s not joke with the emotive land question.

Cheruiyot Collins


The key issues around past historical injustices and gender perspectives must be at the center of the land question for it to make meaning in Kenya’s national development discourse.

African Writers’ Corner

We are watching you

Benedict Wachira


We were not there when you enslaved our forefathers
We were not there when you showed us your brutality through colonisation
We were not there when you forcefully stole our resources

We know what you did to Kimathi, Kwame, Lumumba, Modibo, Barka, Samora,
Sankara, Hani and all those who opposed your interests on our continent
But that was in the past

Today we were born, we have grown and we are watching you
We are watching you as you continue plundering the Congo
We are watching you as you steal our minerals through force when corruption
We are watching you as you put up your AFRICOM bases in Djibouti, and your
Lilly-pads all over
We are watching you as you dump nuclear waste on Somali coast, and as you
support their terrorists from behind the scenes
We are watching you as you suppress our economies every time they threaten
your hegemony
We are watching you as you continue to corrupt and to compromise the
leaders that your system imposes on us
We are watching you as you succeed in brainwashing some of us with your
powerful global media

We were painfully watching you, as you negated the rule of law in Ivory
Coast, through the gun
We were painfully watching you, as you murdered our Brother leader, through
the gun
We were painfully watching you, as you took Zimbabwe’s economy to its knees

Today, your killing instincts are leading you into CAR, in the guise of
following some Kony fellow
Today, your killing instincts are taking you into Mali, in the guise of
restoring ‘democracy’
Today maybe, Niger, Nigeria or Algeria will be where you will sent your
religious crap heads and divisive empty heads

But what you may not know is that
Today we were born, we have grown and we are watching you

The Sankaras are in their thousands
The Kimathis are in their thousands
The Kwames are in their thousands
The Samoras are in their thousands
The Hanis are in their thousands
The Gaddafis are in their hundreds of thousands

Maybe you cannot see us
Because the only avenues we have are the demonstrations, the blogs and the
never aired press conferences
Continue thinking that we are asleep, or that we are some ‘lazy
intellectual African scums’
Yes, we are few in numbers, but what we lack in numbers, we compliment with
our energy and zeal

Our forefathers foresaw this age
An age where you would view us as some backward people
An age when some of us would view us as a lesser people
That was why they left for us the magnificent Pyramids all along the Nile
Pyramids that you once claimed were built by you, Pyramids that you today
claim were not built by humans
That is why they left for us the Great Zimbabwe
So developed they were, that you once claimed that the builders came from
That is why the left for us the complicated underground structures all over
Structures that make a child’s play of your subways and skyscrapers
That is why they left for us the arts and cultures
With rhythms that you cannot understand

All these are a reminder, So that when we see them, we may hold our heads
up high, we may be proud of what we achieved, and we may remind ourselves
that we need to regain our lost glory, and bring humanity back into the

Just like the phoenix, our continent is burning, and the heat is preparing
us, preparing us to rise
Just like the lion, we will soon roar, and we will care for nothing, but
our freedom and dignity

We have studied your ways
You use your military superiority to rule on us
You take advantage of our goodness to splash your wrath on us

You may not hear our voices, neither do we care
We are organizing
We have learnt from our past
But most importantly
We are learning from your past and present

And when we rise
And when the fire starts to burn
You will realize that the generation has arrived
And we shall not forgive, we shall have no mercy, we shall keep our Utu
We shall use your methods to instill humanity into you
A worse fate will meet your local stooges and puppets
For we have seen that love can’t work for you

And we shall end all this
Once and for all
Because we are tired of watching you

1st April 2012

Fahamu - Networks For Social Justice

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With around 2,600 contributors and an estimated 600,000 readers, Pambazuka News is the authoritative pan-African electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in Africa providing cutting edge commentary and in-depth analysis on politics and current affairs, development, human rights, refugees, gender issues and culture in Africa.

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