2011-05-12, Issue 529
Ethiopia should build on its long and proud history as a nation rather than allowing itself to be fragmented by ethnic divisions, argues Mammo Muchie, in a reflection on the country’s past and future.
2011-03-01, Issue 519
cc K Z‘Dar es Salaam is abuzz. It’s giving birth to a novel artistic landscape,’ says Chambi Chachage. ‘Well, at least new in scope.’
2011-02-10, Issue 516
cc WikimediaIn the aim of strengthening their cause, gay rights activism often compromises the identity and struggle of transgender people by lumping the two communities’ issues together, writes Audrey Mbugua.
2011-01-13, Issue 512
cc J H‘The violence in Congo may seem unintelligible but its roots lie in institutional practices introduced under colonialism, which 50 years of independence have only exacerbated,' writes Mahmood Mamdani.
Alemayehu G. Mariam
2011-01-12, Issue 512
cc Coca-Cola SAFrom African-American gospel music to the soul of James Brown, the reggae of Bob Marley and the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti, Alemayehu G. Mariam charts the rich history of protest music and the need for new battle songs to rally around.
Andréia Lisboa de Sousa
2011-01-06, Issue 511
cc P A RWhile edicts around the need for non-discrimination and racial equality within Brazil’s education system have changed, the attitudes of figures in positions of educational authority have not, writes Andréia Lisboa de Sousa.
2010-12-16, Issue 510
cc K R GAs the Kenyan government continues its plans for multi-billion dollar port, oil and transport project, Zahra Moloo considers the socio-economic and environmental effects on Lamu and the absence of news coverage on the topic.
2010-11-11, Issue 504
cc MLBAs multinational food processor Nestlé attempts to patent the well-known benefits of South Africa’s fynbos plants, Khadija Sharife explains the role tax havens play in enabling corporations to protect the value of intellectual property rights.
2010-10-21, Issue 501
cc Z HFollowing the passing of Benoit Mandelbrot this week, Horace Campbell writes of the mathematician’s groundbreaking academic work on fractals and the concept’s historical centrality in African knowledge systems.
2010-10-14, Issue 500
Pambazuka News distinguishes itself by exploring the issues the continent faces ‘without reinforcing stereotypes about Africans’, writes Mandisi Majavu, challenging ‘the way we understand African politics’ and the way in which ‘African politics are presented in the mainstream media’.
2010-10-13, Issue 500
Jacques Depelchin outlines the centuries-old exercise of power that has kept Haitians in a state of oppression. What is needed, he argues, is for common sense and humanity to emerge.
2010-09-30, Issue 498
cc P SFor hundreds of years, pastoralists in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro District have lived off cattle, managing grazing land communally. But this way of life is under threat, as business interests trump traditional land rights, with the blessing of the government. Susanna Nordlund has written a blog about her visit to Loliondo to explore reports of conflict between local Masaai communities and a foreign-owned safari company, in which she raises a number of allegations. We reproduce her post in the hope that this might stimulate a serious investigation of these events.
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’.
The forgotten women of Africa
2009-06-25, Issue 439
cc United Nations PhotoTraditionally African culture dictated that elderly citizens be treated with respect, writes Anushka Sehmi, but as economic constraints erode the extended family system and fuel rural-urban migration, many old people languish in villages with no-one to care for them. With a quarter of African women left widowed by mounting conflict, disease and poverty, Sehmi explores abuse of and discrimination against elderly women in the light of cultural practices such as widow-inheritance and land ownership. Noting that ‘there is almost no legal or policy framework’ that safeguards the rights of elderly women in Africa, Sehmi calls for states to ratify and implement treaties that protect them, such as the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and for marginalised groups to ‘be engaged and educated regarding their civic and political rights’. It is up to us to lobby and push our governments to perform this task, says Sehmi, or ‘these forgotten women will forever be denied the right to a dignified life’.
2009-05-21, Issue 433
cc Liz HenryDeeply concerned about the profound discrimination experienced by Kenya's transgender community, Audrey Mbugua berates Kenyan society for its unjust treatment of a marginalised group. Rather than creating 'transgender rights' per se, Mbugua calls upon the country to view transgender people as human beings like any other group. Deeply scathing of Kenya's entrenched 'trans-phobia' and the divisive nature of different groups' competing for recognition, the author implores those marginalised to see themselves as part of a wider struggle for justice that transcends identity politics.
2009-05-14, Issue 432
cc J FrancisIn a response to 'Kenyan men should zip up and grow up' in last week's Pambazuka, Godwin Murunga charges that Wandia Njoya's letter smacks of intellectual laziness. Suggesting that Njoya's argument ignores entirely the attitudinal gains in gender relations made over previous years, Murunga emphasises that it is highly misleading to cast all men as equal recipients of 'patriarchal dividends'. Stressing that the problem of 'flawed masculinity' is in some respects actively fuelled by women themselves, Murunga underlines the inherent destructiveness of short-sighted generalisations.
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.
Part 1: Tribalism as shorthand for political problems
2008-09-10, Issue 395
The question of ethnic identities in Kenya is intricately tied up with the country's politics and influences to a greater or lesser degree the class cleavages in ways which often defy orthodox analyses from the right or the left. ...
Interview with Hausa novelist Sa’adatu Baba
Amina Koki Gizo
2008-09-10, Issue 395
While formal publishing companies in Nigeria languished through the economic crises that accompanied the structural adjustment programmes of the late 1980s and early 1990s, young Hausa writers began writing about their lives and contemporary problems they faced. Bypassing formal publishers, they self-published their novels, often with the help of a writers' cooperative....
2008-07-31, Issue 392
Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is a scourge on Africa; a pandemic that has undermined women and girls’ rights to autonomy, bodily integrity, human dignity, sexuality, security and tranquillity. SGBV has, and continues to be a major hindrance to rights and justice. It is prevalent in all our societies across the continent, including non-conflict situations. It is repeatedly used as a weapon against girls and women in conflict/crisis situations. SGBV, including intimate partner violence, is a leading factor in the increasing "feminisation" of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. ...
2008-07-30, Issue 391
Wole Soyinka was addressing a conference on the issue of the ‘brain drain’ from African countries. He remarked on how many of the speakers before him had lamented the flight of millions of Africans to the West and how apparently desperate were these ...
Mildred K Barya
2008-07-30, Issue 391
When I was young and impressionable I had this grand vision of saving the world. It was so easy to dream up a free and fair world where sanity, justice and good health prevailed. It was even easier to engage in activities that could quicken the comin...
2008-07-09, Issue 386
Aurelie Journo (PhD Literature student) talks to Binyavanga Wainaina, the founder of Kwani? about this year's Kwani? Litfest that will take place in Nairobi and Lamu from the 1st to the 15th of August. As the discussion went on, they found themselves broaching several subjects ranging from the state of the media in Kenya, to the role of the writer in times of crisis, with digressions on post-colonial theories and ideology.
2008-06-10, Issue 379
What does gender have to do with issues of sanitation and water? Roselyenn Musa gives us a multi-faceted gender perspectives that consider the role of African governments, gender awareness and water privatization amongst others. The upcoming mid-year African Union (AU) summit of heads of state and government
Maxwell V Madzikanga
2008-05-04, Issue 368
In this plea, Maxwell V Madzikanga argues that Zimbabwe belongs to the many 'courageous daughters and sons of Zimbabwe who in their prime paid the ultimate price in the inaugural Chinhoyi battle, in Tanzania, Nyadzonya, Chimoio and Tembwe, and across the breadth of Zimbabwe during the war for liberation.'
Regassa Feyissa speaks to Pambazuka News
2008-04-10, Issue 361
Regassa Feyissa in this interview talks about AGRA, the fallacy of food aid, knowledge systems in relation to traditional versus scientific and the need to create alternatives to AGRA
March 5, 2008
Kodya dia Moyo Study Group
2008-03-11, Issue 352
We, Daughters and Sons from the Kongo assembled in the Kodya dia Moyo Study Group, are hereby denouncing the events which took place in Lower Congo, more precisely, in Luozi and Nseke Banza....
2008-03-06, Issue 351
Linda Osarenren writes a hard hitting essay on the ways and means African cultures perpetuate sexism, patriarchy and violence against women
2007-12-17, Issue 333
Charles Otieno-Hongo argues that a youth agenda should be about giving young people the space to participate in decision making with respect to issues that concern their intellectual development, social identity and economic empowerment.
2007-12-11, Issue 332
Jacques Depelchin reflects on the growing economic, political and cultural relationship between Brazil and the Africa and urges for a solidarity from below that is cognizant of black revolutionary history.