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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
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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.
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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.

    AU MONITOR

    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.

    Emerging powers in Africa Watch

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    Russian outward FDI and its policy context

    Andrei Panibratov and Kalman Kalotay

    2009-10-17, Issue 453

    Outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) from Russia often surprises outside observers by its landmark deals. One of them was the purchase in September 2009 of a 55% stake in General Motors’ German affiliate Opel by a consortium of the Canadian car m...

    Financial crisis delaying African development goals

    Zikipediq

    2009-10-08, Issue 451

    While the global fight against poverty has made progress, Zikipediq writes in this week's Pambazuka News, the percentage of poor people in Africa has not reduced. With the global financial crisis threatening to plunge even further numbers into extreme poverty, the international community's support will remain key, along with a long-term view when it comes to supporting development goals.

    Concepts in Integrated Resource Recovery

    Justin Carter

    Global Environmental Institute

    2009-10-08, Issue 451

    This report on Integrated Resource Recovery (IRR), written by Justin Carter for the Global Environmental Institute (GEI), outlines various components of a conceptual design that attempts to integrate community and industrial processes with ecological...

    China's Foreign Aid Activities in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia

    Congressional Research Service

    2009-10-01, Issue 450

    In the past several years, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has bolstered its diplomatic presence and garnered international goodwill through its financing of infrastructure and natural resource development projects, assistance in the carrying out of such projects, and large economic investments in many developing countries. This report examines China’s economic impact in three regions — Africa, Latin America (Western Hemisphere), and Southeast Asia — with an emphasis on bilateral foreign assistance.

    Chinese mining operactions in Katanga, DRC

    Rights & Accountability in Development (RAID), September 2009

    2009-10-01, Issue 450

    This report, the first of its kind, provides a snapshot of working conditions in Katanga in Chinese-run enterprises. It synthesizes the views, experiences, concerns and recommendations of Chinese and Congolese workers interviewed. The report is based on a survey carried out in 2008 by Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) into working conditions in Chinese private mining companies in Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

    Luanda diversifies its portfolio

    Africa-Asia Confidential

    2009-09-23, Issue 449

    In this week's Emerging powers in Africa watch, a weak economy drives Angola into the arms of the IMF as Luanda's elite works more closely with their Chinese counterparts in local and regional deals.

    Chinese OFDI on the world stage

    Why, who and why now?

    Barry Van Wyk

    2009-09-17, Issue 448


    cc The China Analyst
    A substantial presence of Chinese OFDI on the world stage essentially dates from 2004 – a short yet vigorous history of barely 5 years. In this brief period, Chinese companies Going Global have become fundamental to the next stage of China’s integration with the global economy. Why is this happening Now, Who is at the forefront of this outward drive, and Where is it heading, asks Barry van Wyk.

    African markets making sense for India

    Nelly Nyagah

    2009-09-10, Issue 447

    Although India is an economic powerhouse in its own right, so much of its growth in recent years has been eclipsed by rival China’s shadow. Talk about India’s investments in Africa often steers towards 'how it seems to be playing catch up with China', writes Nelly Nyagah.

    Africa’s Freedom Railway

    'How a Chinese development project changed lives and livelihoods in Tanzania' by Jamie Monson

    Stephen Marks

    2009-09-03, Issue 446

    This week, Stephen Marks reviews Jamie Monson's book, Africa’s Freedom Railway: How a Chinese development project changed lives and livelihoods in Tanzania. The book tells the story of the TAZARA Railway - a symbol of the first heroic stage of China’s involvement in Africa and an ideologically inspired symbol of anti-imperialist solidarity, in contrast with today’s more pragmatic and market-driven Chinese engagement with the continent.

    The Macau Forum Quarterly

    Lucy Corkin

    2009-08-06, Issue 445

    In the third quarterly report on the Macau Forum, Lucy Corkin provides a roundup of the latest political and economic developments in the countries that constitute the Macau Hub. From the recent appointment of a new chief executive in Macau to the Bank of China using Macau as a platform to promote greater ties between China and the Portuguese speaking countries in Africa and Brazil, Corkin astutely explores the interconnectedness between these issues.

    China and Africa: Economic, but not governance gains

    Yves Niyiragira

    2009-07-30, Issue 444

    On the eve of the upcoming upcoming fourth Ministerial Conference on Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Yves Niyiragira argues that it is in both Africa and China’s interests that African politics and governance remain stable and predictable over long periods of time so that all the Southern powers find it attractive to invest across the continent.

    Rio case could signal shift of gear

    Stephen Marks

    2009-07-23, Issue 443

    Stephen Marks reflects on the recent detention of four Shanghai-based executives of the Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto on spying charges earlier this month. Whereas Western governments and business leaders feared the possible implications of the incident for Western firms doing business in China, Marks argues that the incident may well signal a shift of gear in China’s economic strategy.

    Preparing for the next Forum for China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)

    Sanusha Naidu and Stephen Marks

    2009-07-09, Issue 441

    With the 2009 Forum for China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit approaching, Pambazuka News's China–Africa Watch editorial team invites views and opinions on the event from readers.

    SA: Excluded as an emerging economic power?

    Francis Kornegay

    2009-07-09, Issue 441

    Francis Kornegay fears for the future of South-South co-operation, following South Africa's exclusion from June's BRIC Summit of major emerging economic powers, Brazil, Russia, India and China. South Africa may be a smallish middle-income country by comparison, says Kornegay, but it is still the strategic gateway to and dominant player in Africa's economy, which all four BRIC countries are interested in accessing. South Africa's marginalisation raises issues about how the continent is managing a ‘new scramble’ for Africa, says Kornegay, and suggests that President Zuma will have to readjust his foreign policy to focus as much attention on North-South bridging as on the global South.

    South Africa's trading environment and FTA prospects with China

    Ron Sandrey and Hannah Edinger

    2009-07-02, Issue 440


    cc _dorothy_
    With South Africa exploring the possibility of entering into a free trade agreement (FTA) with China, Ron Sandrey and Hannah Edinger consider the pros and cons. The authors also explore some of the non-tariff barriers impeding trade, and the substantial discrepancies between China's reported imports from South Africa and South Africa's reported imports to China.

    Africa-China relations: Strengthening symmetry with soft power

    Adams Bodomo

    2009-07-02, Issue 440

    Africa-China relations have gained worldwide attention, writes Adams Bodomo, and constitute the topic of much academic and diplomatic discourse. In this paper, Bodomo explores two important issues within this topic – whether the relationship between the two parts of the world is symmetrical or asymmetrical, and the exact role of soft power in this constellation. Bodomo argues that prominent economies on the African continent such as South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria have an important role to play in ensuring a symmetrical relationship with China, in which Africa can also take part in a symmetrical cultural diplomacy with China, for example through setting up African cultural institutes around the country.

    Increasing Africa's benefit from China: Developing a strategic approach

    Anthony Yaw Baah and Herbert Jauch

    2009-06-25, Issue 439


    cc colodio
    In a wide-ranging summary of China's activity on the African continent, Anthony Yaw Baah and Herbert Jauch of the African Labour Research Network (ALRN) argue that African governments must develop a more strategic approach if their countries are to truly benefit from the Asian giant. Now Africa's third largest trade partner after the US and France, China's no-strings-attached approach to aid and investment has made the country popular with many African leaders. While China's demand for raw materials has pushed up the global prices of several commodities extracted in Africa, limited processing takes place on the continent. If African countries are to avoid the role of mere material suppliers, they must look to shape relations with China more to their own advantage, Yaw Baah and Jauch contend. With serious doubts over working conditions within much of Chinese-run industry, the need for workers' collective bargaining and direct action is becoming ever greater. If governments are not to subordinate social and labour issues to economic growth for fear of losing foreign investment, Yaw Baah and Jauch conclude, they will need to develop their own agenda and positions of negotiation.

    Chinese investment: Good for Africa?

    Sanusha Naidu

    2009-06-18, Issue 438

    In light of the rapid growth of China’s investment in Africa and bi-lateral trade worth US$100 billion in just two years, Sanusha Naidu, debates whether the country is promoting development across the continent, or is driven largely by mercantilist imperatives. The questions to ask, says Naidu, are which Africans are benefiting from Chinese money, and whether China will continue its large-scale investments in Africa as the financial crisis bites. Naidu cautions that Beijing may ‘become more strategic and perhaps more prudent around which of its investment projects it wants to initiate based on overall benefits and viability’, making it unwise to bank on China’s massive foreign reserves. If Chinese investment is to promote development, Naidu argues, it must take ‘a bottom-up approach that recognises the daily social justice struggles of ordinary Africans for socio-economic survival rather than intensifying them’.

    Chinese experiences in development: Implications for Africa

    Li Anshan

    2009-06-18, Issue 438

    With reference to four key areas of 'political leadership', 'social stability', 'agricultural production' and 'initiative and aid', Li Anshan discusses China's developmental record and its potential lessons for Africa. Stressing the importance of a country's developing its own path, Li writes that foreign aid should not be permitted to become a permanent source of income or to compromise individual countries' sovereignty. If Africa is to realise its bright future and harness the considerable potential of its human and natural resources, the author argues, its governments must use their funds in ways which sincerely benefit areas most in need.

    What to make of China's growing economic power

    Saliem Fakir

    2009-06-18, Issue 438

    While China is yet to establish itself as a great power, it is certainly one in the making, writes Saliem Fakir. On the strength of global demand for its cheap goods, the Asian giant's rise has enabled it to accumulate considerable surpluses from Western capital flows. Just as this rise has somewhat dispelled the idea of no-development-without-democracy, China's willingness to regard its trading partners' policies as internal matters marks a clear contrast with the conditionalities stipulated by Western countries and institutions. Though unlikely to entirely displace the influence of the West in the immediate future, China's own prioritising of economic reform over political liberalisation is proving increasingly influential in a changing world order, Fakir observes.

    Chinese Investments in Africa – A Summary

    Africa Labour Research Network

    2009-06-19, Issue 438

    During the 1960s and 1970s, Chinese relations with African countries were driven by ideological considerations, with China presenting itself as an alternative to both the West and the Soviet Union. During that time, China’s support consisted mainly o...

    China Quarterly Update - June, 2009

    2009-06-19, Issue 438

    China’s economy has continued to feel the brunt of the global crisis. Global economic activity continued to decline in the first part of 2009, even as tentative signs of stabilization have emerged recently in several countries. However, very expansio...

    China and the Macau Forum

    Lucy Corkin

    2009-05-07, Issue 431

    In the second quarterly report on the Macau Forum, Lucy Corkin explores developments between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. From China’s burgeoning trade and investment relationship with Brazil and its continued engagement with Angola, Corkin explores Mozambique’s new strategic relationship with Beijing.

    NGOs tell dam builder to go green

    Peter Bosshard

    2009-05-07, Issue 431

    A coalition of NGOs campaigning for China’s leading dam builder to adopt international environmental standards has received a promising response from the company, writes Peter Bosshard. Sinohydro, whose investments include several dams in Africa, confirmed its commitment to global and host country regulation, including ISO 14001. The company also expressed willingness to continue dialogue with the coalition.

    Another way to build a foothold

    Stephen Marks

    2009-04-23, Issue 429

    The nature of China's investment in Africa is changing, as the global economic crisis opens up new opportunities, writes Stephen Marks. Broad packages bundle infrastructure investment with aid and commodity purchase help Chinese firms enter African markets and gain a foothold. A US$5 billion China-Africa Development Fund will focus on infrastructure and mining, and target industrial parks and commercial agriculture. The Chinese government has said however that it has ruled out outsourcing of food production by investing in overseas farmland.

    China juggles its future in Africa

    2009-04-17, Issue 428

    China isn't in Africa merely to snap up raw materials, exploit African labor, or build geopolitical influence. Rather, its goals blend a combination of all the above with a need to beta-test future global brands, open new markets, enhance its soft po...

    War Is Boring: U.S. struggles to adapt to China's economic strategy

    2009-04-17, Issue 428

    The tiny desert town of Abeche, in eastern Chad, offers a curious sight: Sandwiched between the mud huts that most people call home and the compounds belonging to international aid workers is a humble Chinese restaurant catering to Chad's growing pop...

    Quotas on imports pointless – reports

    2009-04-17, Issue 428

    As job losses mount in the clothing and textile sector, two reports have criticised quotas imposed on 31 lines of Chinese imports as pointless and probably counterproductive. The quotas ran for two years from January 2007. A request to China to allow...

    South Africa: Lame DTI can’t deal with textile realities

    2009-04-17, Issue 428

    Seardel’s decision to close Frame Textiles, with the loss of up to 1400 jobs, illustrates both the deep flaws in SA’s industrial strategy and the futility of trying to insulate the country from the global economic crisis by means of protectionist pol...

    South Africa Vs Dalai Lama - Matters Arising

    2009-04-17, Issue 428

    South Africa, the self-acclaimed rainbow nation, is in the news again and for all the wrong reasons. The authorities of that country recently barred the Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of Tibet from participating in a peace conference slated for South...

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