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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 News Broadcasts

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.

Perspectives on Emerging Powers in Africa: December 2011 newsletter

Deborah Brautigam provides an overview and description of China's development finance to Africa. "Looking at the nature of Chinese development aid - and non-aid - to Africa provides insights into China's strategic approach to outward investment and economic diplomacy, even if exact figures and strategies are not easily ascertained", she states as she describes China's provision of grants, zero-interest loans and concessional loans. Pambazuka Press recently released a publication titled India in Africa: Changing Geographies of Power, and Oliver Stuenkel provides his review of the book.
The December edition available here.

The 2010 issues: September, October, November, December, and the 2011 issues: January, February, March , April, May , June , July , August , September, October and November issues are all available for download.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

African Writers’ Corner

RSS Feed

Mzalendo Kariuki thirty years later

Onyango Oloo

2009-03-05, Issue 422

they flung your carcass to the hyenas of ngong not knowing that a maasai mchungaji known as musaita ole tunda would retrieve your remains and expose moi's brazen canard about your mythical excursion to zambia they bombed the otc buses in...

Interview with Monica Arac de Nyeko

Shailja Patel

2009-02-26, Issue 421

Discussing her approach to writing and her family’s response to her success, Shailja Patel interviews the 2007 Caine Prize Winner Monica Arac de Nyeko. -

Interview with Valerie Tagwira

World Press Review

2009-02-18, Issue 420

In an interview with the World Press Review, the Zimbabwean author Valerie Tagwira talks about the background to and influences behind her work.

The Cut

Maryam Sheikh Abdi

2009-02-12, Issue 419

I was only six years old when they led me to the bush, to my slaughterhouse. Too young to know what it all entailed, I walked lazily towards the waiting women. Deep within me was the desire to be cut, as pain was my destiny: it is the b...

The Obama-Nation

Jalil A. Muntaqim

2009-02-12, Issue 419

Will the Obama-Nation become an abomination if it fails to stop the bombing of nations? From Gaza to Afghanistan, the American people must take a stand and tell Obama to forge a better plan to free the land of Zionist and the Taliban. To stan...

For Oscar

Sheilagh ‘Cat’ Brooks

2009-02-12, Issue 419

Oscar Grant was brutally killed by the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Police (in California, USA) in the early hours of New Year's Day 2009, an event that was captured on video and widely circulated across the internet. In a poetic response, Sheilagh ‘Cat’ Brooks reflects on the impact of this event.

Looking down from Mt. Kenya

Wangui wa Goro

2009-02-05, Issue 418

Where do you hope to join my life Flowing Not like a river But as torrents and currents of the tide Buffeted by multitudinous waters of change Going back or forth? Lapping up the high and low banks Dazzling the plains with illuminous floodings...

Interview with Lilian Masitera

Conversations with Writers

2009-02-05, Issue 418

In an interview with Conversations with Writers, the Zimbabwean author Lilian Masitera talks about the background to and influences behind her work.

Manifesto Of Beginnings

Shailja Patel

2009-01-29, Issue 417

‘Manifesto Of Beginnings’ by Shailja Patel was commissioned by the BBC World Service to mark the one-year anniversary of Kenya's stolen election. The title arose from the questions in the poet's mind, ‘How do we begin to recount all the betrayals and broken promises? And where do we begin when the roots of the post-election violence go all the way back to before Kenya's independence?’ This piece was first broadcast on 27 December 2008 on the BBC World Service on The World Today programme, and is reproduced here as an mp3 file with permission. Visit Shailja at

From Africa to Haiti to Gaza: Fidelity to humanity

Jacques Depelchin

2009-01-15, Issue 415

First, not quite, but we have to start somewhere, There were the Arawaks, the Caribs and the Amerindians Then their land became known as Hispaniola, As Saint Domingue, as the economic jewel Of French overseas possessions Thanks to Africans ...

Overheard Over S.E. Asia

Shailja Patel and Denise Levertov

2009-01-15, Issue 415

Drawing parallels with Israel’s current action in Gaza, Shailja Patel introduces the poem Overheard Over S.E. Asia by the British poet Denise Levertov. Published in her 1972 collection entitled Footprints, Levertov’s poem concerns the US’s use of white phosphorus during the Vietnam war. ...

Boundless terror

Dennis Brutus

2009-01-15, Issue 415

This is terror that surpasses words that extends the bounds of terrorism beyond inexpressible beyond unimaginable beyond inconceivable Unspeakable unutterable inexpressible That they who endured so much should, themselves, inflict so m...

African Writing Lite

Guest editorial

2009-01-10, Issue 414

African literature has, like the continent, been Balkanized. Just as the continent was fractured into 50-odd states, the literature of the continent has been sieved and funneled into French, English, Portuguese and other containers. Of course we cannot blame Berlin for all of this. Africa has two thousand home-grown languages after all. Yet, there is an altogether different stricture that surrounds the modern language blocs. Just as passports are required to negotiate our modern political borders, the modern literatures of Africa seem to grow in hermetic zones, and even with modern communications, the average African is increasingly unaware of the great literatures flowering just across his borders - especially where it is written in an ‘alien’ language. African Writing magazine, with its 'many literatures, one voice' vision, tries to redress some of this in its print and online incarnations. African Writing Magazine will try to do that little extra, in its new berth in Pambazuka, Africa's electronic brainstorm. We will serve up a literary takeaway - without for one moment suggesting that anything but a savour of literary Africana can be gleaned from here alone. To be sated, one can look forward to the hours of application at the many watering holes of African literature. In this interview conducted by Jarmo Pikkujamsa for African Writing Magazine, Mamadou N'Dongo, a Senegalese writer and filmmaker and author of Bridge Road and L’Errance de Sidiki Bâ, talks about the roots of Bridge Road in Black American struggles, the art of film in relation the craft of writing, and much more. Chuma Nwokolo, Publisher, African Writing.

"Without form there is no meaning"

Interview with Mamadou N’Dongo

Jarmo Pikkujamsa

2009-01-08, Issue 414

In this interview conducted by Jarmo Pikkujamsa for African Writing Magazine, Mamadou N'Dongo, a Senegalese writer and filmmaker and author of Bridge Road and L’Errance de Sidiki Bâ, talks about the roots of Bridge Road in Black American struggles, ...

The night gave birth to Jesus

Extracts one and two

Mamadou N'Dongo

2009-01-08, Issue 414

EXTRACT ONE CÉLIA DANIELS Lord, will you never have enough of the crying and the screaming of your people? His Calvary became ours. His chains, our chains. The night gave birth to Jesus. The son of God was black. The hair of Christ is frizzy, t...

Unfamiliar potatoes

Elizabeth Joss

2009-01-08, Issue 414

UNFAMILIAR POTATOES We used to scrub and shine those soiled potatoes until they looked alien to the earth you once called me a potato one before the scrubbing a slob rounded and out of proportion I locked myself up for days uncomfortably...

Our babies, their dogs

Natasha Shivji

2009-01-08, Issue 414

His head wrapped in bandages His face scared With blood Oozing out of the wounds His eyes shut Unconscious maybe dead His arms hig...

1926 Miles of Training

Karest Lewela

2008-12-17, Issue 413

He picked up his tenor saxophone and played from memory Coltrane’s Naima. The style was not the usual hard bop. It had an overly intense feel, filled with staccato punches as if Blakey in his prime was teaching an Art class, pure drums and no cymbal....

Interview: Whiteness and African writing

John Eppel

2008-12-03, Issue 410

In addition to writing short stories, John Eppel is also an award-winning poet and novelist. His list of achievements is impressive. His first novel, D.G.G. Berry’s The Great North Road (1992), won the M-Net Prize in South Africa. His second novel, Hatchings (1993), was short-listed for the M-Net Prize and his third novel, The Giraffe Man (1994), has been translated into French. And his first poetry collection, Spoils of War (1989), won the Ingrid Jonker Prize. Other poems have been featured in anthologies that include The Heart in Exile South African Poetry in English 1990-1995 (1996) while his short stories have appeared in anthologies that include Writing Now: More Stories from Zimbabwe (2005). In a recent interview with Conversations with Writers, John Eppel spoke about his writing.

A solution in Zimbabwe is inevitable

An interview with Ruzvidzo Stanley Mupfudza

Conversations with Writers

2008-11-26, Issue 408

A Journalist and storyteller, Ruzvidzo Stanley Mupfudza is one of the most exciting emerging voices in Zimbabwean literature. His short stories have appeared in anthologies such as A Roof to Repair ( College Press, 2000), Writing Still (Weaver Press, 2003), Writing Now (Weaver Press, 2005) and Creatures Great and Small (Mambo Press, 2006). A number of the short stories have also been published in national newspapers and magazines that include The Sunday Mail, the Sunday Mirror and Moto. In a recent interview with Conversations with Writers, Ruzvidzo Stanley Mupfudza spoke about his work.

Obama morning - yes we will

A Kenyan exile in the UK

2008-11-11, Issue 406

Yes, we can because It is written in blood In history On your hand We will because The time has come and cannot be held back by old greedy men so passé We can because we owe it to us and we are many we are bold and b...

Interview with Christopher Mlalazi

Conversations with Writers

2008-11-11, Issue 406

Christopher Mlalazi has written plays for Zimbabwean performing arts groups that include Amakhosi Theatre; Umkhathi Theatre; Sadalala Amajekete Theatre and the Khayalethu Performing Arts Project. His poems and short stories have been published in newspapers, magazine and websites that include Crossing Borders Magazine, Poetry International Web, the Sunday News and The Zimbabwean newspaper. Others have been featured in anthologies that include Short Writings From Bulawayo: Volumes I, II and III (Ama’books Publishers, 2003, 2004 and 2005), Writing Now (Weaver Press, 2005), and The Obituary Tango: Selection of Writing from the Caine Prize for African Writing 2005 (New Internationalist Publications, 2006; Jacana Media ,2006). Mlalazi spoke with Conversations with Writers about his work.

Barracking* for Obama

2008-11-13, Issue 406

It feels like it did all those years ago: close your eyes and picture the quiff and smile. Promise of Camelot, no hint of guile, until that day in November, a blow to baby boomers’ hopes for the future. Now barrack for Obama, a new dawn, a surgeon for the brave new world is born fixing gaping wounds with a suture. Country like a patient anaesthetised: a trusting smile on a slumbering face surrendering itself to healing hands; but what lurks on that table disguised waiting to ride on a needle stick trace? A virus we hope Obama withstands. * An Australian expression for supporting or rooting for. Derek Fenton was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and now lives in Australia where he teaches Mathematics and English as a Second Language. His poetry is informed by the experience of being a migrant and the difficulties of adjustment to a new country and alienation from the old. Fenton has had poems published by Les Murray in Quadrant magazine and a poem short-listed for publication in the Westerly.

Audacious hope

Wangui wa Goro

2008-11-05, Issue 405

Cast aside your fears For once, Nervously As on the day you wed, Have faith in the universe that beauty can be borne of hope, your hope and positive energy which we must radiate not on the hurts of the past or fear of ourselves but becaus...

When capitalism fails the rich

John Eppel

2008-10-29, Issue 404

When capitalism fails the rich (it always fails the poor), a jism reinvigorates the corporate bitch: let’s call it bow-wow socialism. Good ol’ Uncle Sam, he saves the big banks with tax-payers’ money, tax-payers’ sweat; Wall Street billionaires, give him thanks for winkling you fraudsters out of debt! Dogknot socialism for plutocrats, the broker-dealers’ contingency plan; ill-gotten gains made by ill-gotten brats devilling themselves in the frying pan. Where Bob’s your uncle, the Reserve Bank feeds cronyism, and the First Lady’s needs.

‘It is difficult to advise a leader who is always right’

Francis B. Nyamnjoh

2008-10-22, Issue 403

It is late into the night. Bobinga Iroko is unable to sleep. He is working on the editorial for the next issue of The Talking Drum. He has deliberately refused to carry the story on homosexuality. His priority remains the strike at the University of Mimbo, which, curiously, hasn’t attracted much coverage from the rest of the national press concentrated in Nyamandem and Sawang. He and The Talking Drum, the formidable odds against them notwithstanding, are determined to crusade along like a lone ranger, until victory day. They believe the sun must not be allowed to set on a good idea.

Strike out!

Juliet Maruru

2008-10-15, Issue 402

The street is called Mtipesa because at the head of it is an old mkanju (cashew nut tree) where the local drug dealers sit on truck tyre wheels half buried and cemented into the ground. The mabeshte, as someone decided to call them, sit here all day, selling their wares quite openly, collecting cash from their customers while the police stroll by just a few metres away, aware that they will get a cut from the collection later.

Pen Slum

Bonface Ochieng Owuor

2008-10-02, Issue 399

P eople with the voice, is what they see, Voices of the people, is what they don't heed, They chained our doors, but forgot our thoughts, Today am here, please try to adhere, To the voices of the people, don't look at the people with the voice ...

Call for papers: Africa and blackness in world literature and visual arts

African Literature Association

2008-08-26, Issue 396

35th Annual Conference April 15-19, 2009 University of Vermont Second call for panels, roundtables, and papers General Theme: Africa and Blackness in World Literature and Visual Arts The past two ALA conferences focused on various ways A...

Call for inspirational writing for Storymoja

Doreen Baingana

2008-09-16, Issue 396

Storymoja is organizing a workshop for writers of inspirational material, however broadly this can be defined. We know there are many of you with powerful, life-changing experiences to share, but may need the structure and know-how we can provide to get the story down. These stories must be presented in an attractive, informative, clear and well-edited manner so that even those with a bias against books, but are hungry for the content, can read them.

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