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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.

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
Buy now

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.
Buy now

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.


    South Sudan in the post-CPA era: Prospects and challenges

    Christopher Zambakari

    2011-07-28, Issue 542

    cc United Nations Photo
    As a means to reduce conflict and fulfil its citizens’ hopes, South Sudan’s key challenges revolve around the development of an inclusive, residency-based citizenship, writes Christopher Zambakari.

    South Sudan and the meaning of independence

    Horace Campbell

    2011-07-14, Issue 539

    cc ENOUGH project
    ‘The new tasks of building a society to meet the needs of the people in the South Sudan must be conducted in a manner that puts the interests and wellbeing of the ordinary people above everything else,’ says Horace Campbell.

    South Sudan: Bittersweet independence

    Dibussi Tande

    2011-07-14, Issue 539

    © IRIN
    Independence celebrations in Juba, discrimination against civil servants of southern origin by the Sudanese government, the Arab world’s troubled relationship with South Sudan, secession in the DRC and criticisms of the Caine Prize for African Writing feature in this week’s review of African blogs, compiled by Dibussi Tande.

    South Sudan: Africa’s newest state should sustain the dream

    Aloys Habimana

    2011-07-13, Issue 539

    cc ENOUGH project
    South Sudan’s independence is ‘a dream come true’ for the country’s people, but ‘to avoid turning that dream into a nightmare, the new nation’s leadership will need to adopt a line of governance that reflects greater commitment to human rights, public freedoms and justice for all,’ cautions Aloys Habimana.

    The potential balkanisation of Sudan and the role of meddlers

    Yohannes Woldemariam

    2011-06-30, Issue 537

    cc HDC
    There’s clear consensus that defining and demarcating the border between North and South Sudan is a necessary precondition for peace. But deploying Ethiopian peace-keepers to Abyei is simply a ‘band-aid’ that ‘would not help peace and may even make things worse by intensifying regional rivalry,’ writes Yohannes Woldemariam, given the Ethiopian government’s lack of neutrality in Sudan.

    Sudan: The ‘conflict is inflaming every hour’

    Sokari Ekine

    2011-06-09, Issue 534

    cc E P
    Sudan’s invasion of the town Abeyi; sexual harassment in Egypt; the impact of Egypt’s uprising on migrants; the detention of Syrian blogger Amina Arraf; Western Sahara; and the opening of the a centre for women in Eastern Congo, the City of Joy, are among the topics featured in this week’s review of African blogs, by Sokari Ekine.

    Referendum for Sudan, requiem for Africa

    Alemayehu G. Mariam

    2011-01-19, Issue 513

    cc SSDDR
    As South Sudan continues with its referendum, Alemayehu G. Mariam considers what will happen following the south’s probable independence, the longer-term consequences for Sudan and the wider significance for Africa’s direction in the 21st century.

    Sudan: Deal improbable, war possible

    Current Analyst

    2011-01-05, Issue 511

    cc UN Photo
    As Sudan approaches its historic referendum on 9 January, Current Analyst discusses the possible range of developments.

    Which way Sudan?

    A Pan-African reflection

    Horace Campbell

    2010-11-25, Issue 507

    cc UN Photo
    Is North and South Sudan’s recent agreement to establish a ‘soft border’ between the two areas ahead of a referendum on southern independence ‘another recipe for war’, asks Horace Campbell.

    Western Sahara and Morocco’s physical and symbolic violence

    Konstantina Isidoros

    2010-11-25, Issue 507

    cc Western Sahara
    With tensions coming to a head over the past two weeks, Morocco is once again under the international spotlight for its alleged illegal territorial occupation of Western Sahara. In the wake of a raid on the Sahrawi encampment of Gdeim Izik by Moroccan forces on Monday 8 November, Konstantina Isidoros argues that such ‘events shed illuminating insights into Morocco’s illegal occupation’.

    East African Common Market: Promise and pitfalls ahead

    Oduor Ong'wen

    2010-10-20, Issue 501

    cc Wikipedia
    With East Africa experiencing a new integration wave, Oduor Ong'wen looks back at the history of regionalisation across the area and at the prospects for the East African Common Market (EACM). In the face of governments' dwindling control over 'the institutional levers of sovereignty', what hope does the EACM offer for the promotion of national and sub-national interests?

    Justice for Thomas Sankara, justice for Africa

    Mariam Sankara

    2010-10-21, Issue 501

    cc Sputniktilt
    In a message commemorating the death of Thomas Sankara on 15 October 1987, Mariam Sankara calls on the people to continue the struggle not only for justice for Thomas Sankara, but also for Africa.

    Nigeria’ s Golden Jubilee: Blood, tears and recrimination

    Dibussi Tande

    2010-10-14, Issue 500

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

    Nigeria at 50: The battle for a new leader begins

    Sokari Ekine

    2010-09-30, Issue 498

    cc Wikimedia
    With Nigeria marking 50 years of independence on October 1 and campaigning for the 2011 elections already kicking into action, Sokari Ekine presents posts on the country’s controversial political scene, in this week’s round up of the African blogosphere.

    Namibian sellouts: Cashing assets in for crumbs

    Henning Melber

    2009-07-16, Issue 442

    cc A Davies
    Two decades after their country's independence, Namibians inhabit a society that remains one of the world's most unequal, writes Henning Melber. The country's common people are the victims of a rapacious, self-serving elite group which is all too happy to cooperate with foreign corporations to exploit Nambia's natural resources for mutual gain. With Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) earmarked in official thinking as the new means towards 'trickle-down' benefits for all, Melber argues that such schemes are nothing more than a strategy for allowing private capital to generate profit from public property at the wider population's expense.

    Isaias Afewerki and Eritrea: A nation’s tragedy

    Selam Kidane

    2009-07-02, Issue 440

    cc gordontour
    Since winning its de facto independence in May 1991, Eritrea has come to represent a tragedy, laments Selam Kidane. Having fought and suffered alongside one another during the country's liberation struggle, Eritreans have seen their country embroiled in conflicts with every one of its neighbours under the leadership of Isaias Afewerki. With President Isaias increasingly viewing power as 'a weapon of self-aggrandisement' and surrounding himself with a sycophantic clique of military associates, the hope of the post-independence years has tragically faded, Kidane concludes.

    They’d love to be in our shoes

    Kenyans have benefitted from opportunities countries like Haiti can only dream of

    Anne M. Khaminwa

    2009-06-04, Issue 436

    cc R Miller
    Haiti may have been the first black republic, but Anne Khaminwa is unconvinced by Kimani Waweru’s call for Kenya to learn from and emulate its history. Today Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, beset by environmental problems, violence and lawlessness says Khaminwa. Kenyans on the other hand ‘have benefited from education and development opportunities that countries like Haiti can only dream of’. Instead of remaining stuck in the colonial discourse of earlier decades, Kenyans should be fired up with ambition and vision of what we can make of the future given all the opportunities we have already had, Khaminwa argues.

    Pan-Africanism in Mwalimu Nyerere’s thought

    Being both king and philosopher

    Issa G Shivji

    2009-05-07, Issue 431

    cc Wikimedia
    Outlining the essential differences between the respective approaches of Julius Nyerere and Kwame Nkrumah, Issa G. Shivji discusses the gradualist and radical positions of two pillars of the Pan-Africanist movement. Underlining the notion of an independent African state as a ‘national liberation movement in power’ as being at the very core of the movement, Shivji stresses that genuine African nationalism can only ever be Pan-Africanism. As both a head of state and leading Pan-Africanist intellectual, Nyerere found himself supporting contradictory ideas around contesting the imposition of colonial borders while emphasising the centrality of states' sovereignty, Shivji notes. While admitting that he is without a complete answer to the question of what intellectuals' role will be in the development of a new Pan-Africanism for today, Shivji stresses that the challenge will be to push forward a 'new nationalist insurrection', one which perhaps ultimately recognises African unity as a dream rather than a vision.

    Who dropped the baton?

    Njonjo Mue

    2009-05-07, Issue 431

    cc Wikimedia
    Kenya is a country of runners, writes Njonjo Mue, but for all its athletic prowess the country has yet to prove medal-worthy in the relay race of building true nationhood. With the baton passed from race leg to race leg, the Kenyan people have seen participation in the race restricted to a select, exclusivist and often brutal few, with many who have sought to champion the right of others to be involved being severely crushed. The finishing line of true nationhood remains a distant dream, with the runners even having dropped the right baton altogether, and if Kenya is not to perish entirely, the race's next leg can only be run by all Kenyans together.

    Nyerere, liberation and unity

    Message from Issa G. Shivji, Mwalimu Nyerere Professor of Pan-African Studies

    Issa G Shivji

    2009-04-09, Issue 427

    cc Wikimedia
    With Dar es Salaam on the verge of hosting the Julius Nyerere Intellectual Festival Week from Monday 13 April, Issa G. Shivji, Mwalimu Nyerere Professor of Pan-African Studies at the city's university, offers his reflections on the pan-African struggle. Though Africa has undoubtedly suffered from the neoliberal onslaught of the past two decades, Pan-Africanism as a progressive ideology is now firmly back on the historical agenda, Shivji states, uniting in the process the continent's dual quest for unity and liberation.

    Nkrumah at 100: Lessons for African leadership

    Yao Graham

    2009-04-09, Issue 427

    © Africa Within
    While many African leaders have aspired to inherit Nkrumah’s mantle as the visionary and driver of Pan-Africanism and continental unity, writes Yao Graham, a gaping political leadership vacuum remains at the heart of the continent’s collective expression. From an age when there were a number of outstanding African leaders, among whom Nkrumah was preeminent, Graham argues that the African Union’s election of Gaddafi as its leader is a statement of a collective failure of leadership and underlines the crisis in which the Pan-African project is currently mired at the inter-state level. Where, asks Graham, are the African leaders who see opportunities for change in the current crisis, and who are ‘ready to dare and look beyond guaranteeing the sanctity of aid flows?’

    Press statement by Paul Muite on threats to his life over extrajudicial executions

    Paul Muite

    2009-04-09, Issue 427

    Having been credibly informed that his life could well be in danger, Paul Muite considers the implications of his willingness to speak out against the Kenyan government's involvement in the assassinations of Oscar Kamau King'ara and Paul Oulu. With the Kenyan authorities themselves at the forefront of extrajudicial killings and threats, Muite highlights the Kenyan citizenry's complete lack of confidence in the government or police to protect people's rights.

    Barack Obama, black agency, and the burden of history

    Pius Adesanmi

    2008-08-11, Issue 393

    The timeline of black agency has been determined to a great extent in the last six centuries by the need to overcome man-made historical impediments, notably slavery, racism, colonialism, neocolonialism – and their new forms in the present – on the o...

    Food crisis: Where is the African strategy?

    Mammo Muchie

    2008-08-05, Issue 392

    “The elevation of an agricultural people to the condition of countries at once agricultural, manufacturing and commercial, can only be accompanied under the law of free trade, when the various nations engaged at the time of manufacturing industry shall be in the same degree of progress and civilization; when they shall place no obstacle in the way of the economical development of each other, and not impede their respective progress by war or adverse commercial legislation.” - Friedrich List, in the National System of Political Economy...

    Zimbabwe and Namibia: The people betrayed

    Henning Melber

    2008-07-17, Issue 389

    In 1980 the Zimbabwean “povo” (people) celebrated a victory over settler colonialism and Western imperialism. We celebrated with them. For us, this was a step closer to Namibian sovereignty, even though the overwhelming victory of ZANU was time-wise a detour on our long road to Independence. The unexpected result had taught Western imperialism a lesson. It shattered its manic assumptions that one could orchestrate and manipulate an election, even if the people are allowed to cast a secret vote at the ballot. Without major intimidation the “povo” used the weapon of an electoral process, by voting for the cock (the symbol for Mugabe’s ZANU), and not the archbishop (Abel Muzorewa, who was considered the blue eyed boy of the West). The people knew what they wanted: a government of their own choice, which they had reasons to believe would represent their interests.

    Cuito Cuanavale

    A Tribute to Fidel Castro and the African Revolution

    Horace Campbell

    2008-06-03, Issue 377

    In March 2008, the President of the African National Congress of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, led a high level delegation of South African parliamentarians to the site of the victory of the forces of liberation at Cuito Cuanavale in Angola. This visit was linked to the numerous ceremonies in Angola to commemorate the victory Angola, Cuba and the forces of SWAPO and the ANC over the apartheid army. Thousands of youths in Southern Africa do not know what happened at Cuito Cuanavale and the linkage between the decolonization of Southern Africa and this historic battle, writes Horace Campbell.

    The committed intellectual: reviving and restoring the National Project

    Yash Tandon

    2008-05-29, Issue 376

    A man or woman with no passion has no heart; one with no power of reasoning has no mind, writes Yash Tandon. It is the combination of heart and mind that produces the balanced person who uses their mind to pursue their passion. Let us speak truth to power, but let us also speak the existential truth of our people’s world to the negotiated truth of the diplomatic world. Our collective efforts, he continues, will lead to a new vision of a better world, one that is fair, just, peaceful and bountiful to all the peoples of the world.

    African Liberation Day: the people must prevail

    Horace Campbell

    2008-05-22, Issue 374

    In this essay, Horace Campbell looks at the importance of Africa Liberation Day, its changing relevances as Africans are betrayed by the architects of first independence and how, through struggle, we can reclaim and fulfill its promise.

    Zimbabwe: Black America must not be silent

    Bill Fletcher, Jr

    2008-04-17, Issue 363

    For Bill Fletcher, speaking out against Mugabe's excesses does not make one an ally of the Bush or Gordon Brown agenda for Africa, or a supporter of the troubling MDC. In this frank article, he argues that what matters is whether "there is a political environment that advances genuine, grassroots democracy and debate in Zimbabwe." On tough issues such as on Obama or Zimbabwe, Black America has to accommodate and learn from different views and not find agents of 'imperialism' in every voice that is critical - solidarity has to accommodate difference

    Truth commissions and prosecutions: Two sides of the same coin?

    Joseph Yav Katshung

    2008-03-17, Issue 354

    Yav Katshung Joseph argues that as truth commissions multiply around the world it is important to look at their relationship to prosecutions and justice in an immediate and historical sense. Are TRCs designed to generate more truth, more justice, reparations, and genuine institutional reform? Or are they designed to the State’s and society’s legal, ethical and political obligations to their people?

    ISSN 1753-6839 Pambazuka News English Edition

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