2011-08-11, Issue 544
cc R NYash Tandon takes a deeper look at the mass killings in Norway on 22 July. The event, he writes, 'gives us a moment to comprehend the deeper meaning of human existence'.
Revolutions from Tunis to Ouagadougou
Guy Marius Sagna
2011-07-27, Issue 542
cc S RFor the past three decades, neoliberalism has insisted that ‘there is no alternative’ to semi-colonialism and the diktats of the IMF and World Bank. But, writes Senegal’s Guy Marius Sagna, our people ‘have enough common sense to understand that things have to change’.
2011-07-14, Issue 539
cc E IMatthew Newsome speaks to policy maker, professor, author and activist,Yash Tandon, about kleptocratic capitalism, African sovereignty and the challenges to creating a fair and sustainable society.
2011-02-01, Issue 515
cc SolAgriculture is back on the international agenda on Africa, but at the heart of the matter is the question of land use – and control, writes Chambi Chachage.
Firoze Manji and Molly Kane
2010-10-07, Issue 499
cc NASAProduced in collaboration with the ETC Group, this special issue presents a range of articles discussing the staggering developments in bio- and nanotechnology and the alarming implications for the African continent and the global South at large. Firoze Manji and Molly Kane outline the sheer scale of this 'technological tsunami', the immense challenges for Africa’s self-determination and the action by activists to challenge the corporate assault on bio-sovereignty.
2009-07-16, Issue 442
cc WikimediaPan-Africanism is not just a throwback to the post-colonial period, writes Zaya Yeebo, the people of Africa are still ‘united by culture, history and identity’. Africans around the continent feel each other’s pain and are bound together as a people by events, says Yeebo, whether it is the struggle for emancipation in the Niger Delta, or the crisis in the DRC. Charting a history of the Pan-African Movement from the first conference in 1900 to the present day, Yeebo calls for Pan-African solutions to African problems, with Pan-Africanism as a ‘collective understanding’ of how ‘we intend to conduct our affairs in today’s globalised world’.
2009-07-02, Issue 440
cc ChadicaChambi Chachage explores when and how ‘settlers’ or ‘natives’ become ‘citizens’, in the first of a series of three articles exploring the idea of dual citizenship with reference to Tanzania. Definitions of citizenship in modern nation-states in ‘societies other than Euro-American ones’ were influenced by how the notion developed in Euro-America and how it was ‘selectively applied in the Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America in the context(s) of colonialism, imperialism and developmentalism,’ Chachage argues. ‘It is this colouring that we need to unpack as we trace the historical and political trajectories and implications of the idea and praxis/practice of citizenship in Africa,’ says Chacage.
Interviewed by Riaz Tayob
Parminder Jeet Singh
2009-06-04, Issue 436
cc flickr.comIn an audio interview [mp3], Parminder Jeet Singh, executive director of IT for Change, discusses the history behind the US government's supervision of the Internet, the debate around sovereignty over its basic structures, and the global push for a more democratic approach to overseeing the World Wide Web.
2009-05-21, Issue 433
cc Wikimedia CommonsIn the wake of Kenya and Uganda's confrontation over the small island of Migingo in Lake Victoria, Godwin Murunga argues that the actions of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni are very much in keeping with an essentially paradoxical nature. While in broad agreement with Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem's contention that the Migingo conflict should be settled both legally and politically, Murunga stresses that the Ugandan president's default mode is invariably militaristic and rooted in a belief in 'individual destiny'. Suggesting that Museveni's essential narcissism and unerring faith in military solutions completely dominate his political approach, the author argues that it will be the extent to which the Kenyan leadership cares for Kenyans and Ugandans alike which will determine a settlement.
Dambisa Moyo's Dead Aid has caused a stir but its argument is incorrect
Ronald Elly Wanda
2009-05-21, Issue 433
cc Alessandro PucciDambisa Moyo’s argument that aid is detrimental to Africa’s development has made her a star on the literary and academic circuit, writes Ronald Elly Wanda, but it isn’t true. Moyo’s recent book Dead Aid, Wanda says, makes no ‘correlation between Africa’s development and its accompanying social and historical conditions’ nor does it explore the possibility that ‘exogenous factors have and continue to hamper development in Africa’. If Moyo’s argument that Africa’s culture of dependency is to blame for its woes was true, writes Wanda, the economies of countries which have received virtually no foreign aid – such as Eritrea, Mauritania and Somalia – should have improved notably, which is not the case. The real problem, Wanda argues, is not aid itself but the way in which it is structured and delivered.
Give us a fighting chance to live up to our potential
Ali M. Malau
2009-05-14, Issue 432
cc WikipediaIt's true that Congo is a disappointment, says Ali M. Malau, responding to There is No Congo, an article which advocates carving up the country described as ‘a collection of peoples, groups, interests, and pillagers who coexist at best’. But that’s no reason to write off its potential to succeed as a nation-state of a country that should rival rising powers like South Africa and Brazil with its wealth of natural and human resources. Malau argues that Congo’s failure is the result of a Western campaign to weaken it in order to ‘perpetuate the systematic plunder of Congo's resources’ by foreign interests. Since 1885, says Malau, the affairs of the Congo have never truly been left to the Congolese people. With a great deal of work and investment from its people, Malau believes Congo could still become a ‘powerful engine for the development, and the industrialisation of the entire continent’.
Vía Campesina and Friends of the Earth International
2009-05-14, Issue 432
cc OxfamFollowing UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter's comments at the 17th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), Vía Campesina and Friends of the Earth International give their response to the special rapporteur's comments. While highlighting the recommendations and broad understanding that they share with De Schutter, the authors' statement emphasises the centrality of 'food sovereignty', namely, the right of different communities and peoples to control their own territories. This the authors contend is a process that goes beyond producers' mere 'participation' in high-level decision-making; it is one which actively positions farmers and peasants at the centre of agricultural production and control.
2009-05-07, Issue 431
cc WikimediaIt is clear why Zimbabweans want a change of government, writes Adolf Mkenda, but it isn’t clear why the West has been more critical of Mugabe than other leaders with worse records on human rights and democracy. Mkenda argues that two key factors sparked this response: The international connections of white Zimbabweans, and Mugabe’s reneging on the IMF’s structural adjustment program in favour of nationalisation and land seizure, in contradiction with the neo-liberal thinking of the time. ‘International efforts to promote democracy and human rights must be accepted and encouraged, but these must not be allowed to be used abusively as a selective instrument of punishing governments that chart out an independent path for their own people,’ writes Mkenda.
2009-05-07, Issue 431
cc WikimediaKenya 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.
How the ICC’s “responsibility to protect” is being turned into an assertion of neocolonial domination
2008-09-17, Issue 396
On July 14, after much advance publicity and fanfare, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court applied for an arrest warrant for the president of Sudan, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, on charges that included genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Important questions of fact arise from the application as presented by the prosecutor. But even more important is the light this case sheds on the politics of the “new humanitarian order.”...
2008-08-26, Issue 394
The nexus between aid, security and development is now beyond doubt. In fact, security is a precondition for development. The often cited ‘no development without security, no security without development’ captures this interconnectivity (Dochas 2007)...
2008-07-23, Issue 390
Climate Change is accepted today even by die hard sceptics as a real crisis that must be urgently tackled for the preservation of the earth in a form that would sustain human and other life forms. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the best known body of climate scientists who accepts that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations due to human activities
Friends of the Earth Africa
2008-07-16, Issue 390
Members of FoE Africa from Ghana, Togo, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius, Tunisia and Swaziland met for five days in Accra, Ghana reviewing issues that confront the African environment. A particular focus was placed on the current food crisis and agrofuels on the continent.
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.
2008-06-18, Issue 383
A proper analysis of the food crisis is a matter that cannot be left with trade negotiators, investment experts, or agricultural engineers, writes Yash Tandon. It is essentially a matter of political economy. A crisis for some is an opportunity for others. Any analysis of the present food crisis carries with it its own prescription, and these prescriptions have the potential to bring benefits for some and losses for others.
2008-06-18, Issue 383
Eric Holt-Gimenez looks at the FAO Food Security Summit in contrast to the parallel “Terra Preta” meeting organized by social movements, Indigenous Peoples’ organizations and civil society organizations to discuss issues of food sovereignty.
Patrick Bond and Richard Kamidza
2008-06-17, Issue 381
In even the most exploitative African sites of repression and capital accumulation, sometimes corporations take a hit, and victims sometimes unite on continental lines instead of being divided-and-conquered. Turns in the class struggle might have surprised Walter Rodney, the political economist whose 1972 classic “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” provided detailed critiques of corporate looting.
2008-06-10, Issue 379
The Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness will be held this September in Accra. But is aid effectiveness a mirage? Yash Tandon dissects the Paris Declaration in relation to aid effectiveness and reaches the conclusion that "under the pretext of making aid more effective, the aid effectiveness project is a form of collective colonialism by Northern donors of those Southern countries that, through weakness, vulnerability or psychological dependency, allow themselves to be subjected to it at the Accra conference in September." But all is not lost and he also offers a way out.
A Tribute to Fidel Castro and the African Revolution
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.
2008-04-15, Issue 372
Celine Tan argues that "the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness may have the effect of circumscribing national sovereignty and country autonomy over development policies contrary to its stated principles of country ownership and mutual accountability."
2008-05-01, Issue 367
Chido Makunike looks at the various competing interests in Zimbabwe, the MDC, ZANU PF, Mugabe and the West in relation to what the Zimbabwean are hoping to get out of democracy. A month after Zimbabwe’s March 29 elections, the winner of the presidential poll remains unknown.
2008-04-01, Issue 363
This Africa Action resource provides examples of statements from African leaders from multiple regions who stand opposed to AFRICOM."The stand that many African countries have taken against the military command is one that needs to be supported and needs to be explained to the U.S...
Mariam Mayet speaks to Pambazuka News
2008-04-10, Issue 361
In this wide ranging Pambazuka News interview, Mariam Mayet, the director of the African Center Biosafety speaks about biopiracy, which she calls "the last frontier", the Alliance for a Green Revolution and its impact on Africa, and food and agriculture as social justice justice.
2008-04-08, Issue 360
Blessing-Miles Tendi argues that it is too early to rule out a Mugabe led Zimbabwe - he will find ways to remain in power. I have been following Zimbabwe's 2008 elections closely. My emotions have mutated with alacrity, checking news sites more often than I should, and receiving calls and messages
2008-03-13, Issue 356
Hillary Kundishora looks at the state of electronic and print media in Zimbabwe and argues that far from the media being the people's watchdog, it is the propaganda arm of the state machinery. With independent media harassed or banned, the promise of democracy has already been undermined