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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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    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.

    Comment & analysis

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    Battling impunity

    What next after the AU undermines the jurisdiction of its own court?

    Obote-Odora Alex

    2014-07-17, Issue 687

    Leaders who fail to follow the law must be accountable for their actions before courts of law. But the Protocol adopted by African leaders on 4 July turned this basic legal principle on its head.

    When will Africa overcome the pitfalls of foreign investment growth?

    People want genuine development, as demonstrations, strikes spread across continent

    Abayomi Azikiwe

    2014-07-17, Issue 687

    With Africa firmly integrated into the international financial order, there is almost no potential within the existing political arrangements for substantial advancements in the socio-economic status of workers, farmers and youth.

    Africa, climate change and low-carbon economies: Is there room?

    Gussai H. Sheikheldin

    2014-07-17, Issue 687

    Thinking about the problem of climate change in Africa from the angle of low-carbon economy can be useful as it addresses environmental, economic and technological matters of development all at the same time

    Ethiopia: The crime of extraordinary rendition

    Alemayehu G. Mariam

    2014-07-17, Issue 687

    Extraordinary rendition violates every rule in the human rights book. The process invariably involves forceful abduction, detained incommunicado for an extended period, interrogation and torture

    Sobukwe: A leader who walked the political talk to the finish

    Motsoko Pheko

    2014-07-17, Issue 687

    cc PZ
    Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe is not as well known as he should. The founding president of the radical Pan African Congress, Sobukwe was the single most potent threat to apartheid. Without the fire in his breast and the unshakable conviction of his mind, it is unlikely that apartheid would have collapsed when it did.

    Rwanda: Acquitted but still not free

    Beth S. Lyons

    2014-07-10, Issue 686

    Rwanda gets plenty of applause for putting the genocide behind and creating a reconciled society focused on marching forward to a prosperous future. But is that so? In this article, we learn that former high-ranking officials who were acquitted of genocide charges by the international crimes tribunal in Arusha, or who served their sentences, are not welcome back home.

    Rwanda: July 4 and the empty slogans of 'independence', liberation' and 'never again'

    Theogene Rudasingwa

    2014-07-10, Issue 686

    In the 20 years since genocide, Rwanda’s government has fostered the appearance of national progress while focusing its machinations on concentrating power along ethnic lines. Rwanda has not reached reconciliation, healing, or equality, increasing its risk of another round of national upheaval.

    When the President breaks the Constitution: What then?

    Yash Pal Ghai

    2014-07-10, Issue 686

    What are the citizens supposed to do when the president blatantly violates the constitution he was elected under and which he swore to uphold, protect and defend? That is the questions Kenyans are grappling with

    In South Sudan, it will be back to business as usual

    Maker Mayek Riak

    2014-07-10, Issue 686

    The feeling of hope after the independence of South Sudan was short-lived for many South Sudanese and has now been replaced by cynicism and suspicion. In this light, a new agreement to end war in South Sudan gives only little hope that it will set a different path for the Africa’s youngest nation.

    The riches of nature vs. private property

    An interview with Gerardo Cerdas

    Beverly Bell

    2014-07-10, Issue 686

    True strength does not come from capitalist economic power. True strength is found in life, in nature. It comes from realizing that we are part of the natural world. We are not just struggling to earn more money. The struggle is about the defense of life in all its forms.

    African Union 23rd Summit: Renaissance or continuing dependency?

    Meeting in Malabo exemplifies the contradictions in continental affairs

    Abayomi Azikiwe

    2014-07-10, Issue 686

    This year’s African Union summit was marked by calls for economic and political independence from the West. Mutually beneficial relations between the AU and China as well as internal security are critical to the discussion around Africa’s sovereignty and the ways in which the continent may seize its rightful place in international affairs.

    Dreaming of a golden era

    Can we do more to better Zambia?

    Charles Mwewa

    2014-07-10, Issue 686

    In a few months, Zambia will turn 50. A sober assessment of how the country has fared since independence would show that some notable progress has been achieved. But serious challenges still persist. Zambia now needs new blood, new formulae and new commitment to drive its economic and political agenda

    White supremacy and the Central Park 5

    Glen Ford

    2014-07-09, Issue 686

    Although New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has OK’d a $40 million settlement with the Central Park 5, who were wrongfully imprisoned for brutal rape, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg insists the police acted in “good faith.” In a sane, non-racist society, the fact that five innocent children had been made to confess to a horrible crime that they did not commit would be viewed as a prima facie case of police misconduct.

    Aid and its implications for governance

    Khumbo Bonzoe Soko

    2014-07-03, Issue 685

    Malawi marks 50 years of independence next Monday. But the country is hardly independent in any meaningful sense. It heavily relies on donor support and international NGOs. It is these foreigners, not the citizens, who are in charge of the country’s governance

    Biafra, June 12, Boko Haram and the future of Nigeria

    Chido Onumah

    2014-07-03, Issue 685

    As a nation, Nigeria doesn’t work. The many crises of the past and current ones provide the evidence. The national conference called to discuss the way forward is yet another failed opportunity. The future of Africa’s giant looks pretty grim

    Somalia: IGAD, UN, and EU demoted President Hassan

    Mohamud M Uluso

    2014-07-03, Issue 685

    Who actually rules Somalia? The simple answer is, foreigners with vested interests. And as long as these external actors continue their meddling, regardless of the rhetoric, the Somali state-building project will stagnate

    #SinoAfrica relations: Who benefits

    Edwin Rwigi

    2014-07-03, Issue 685

    China-Africa relations was the subject of a recent debate on Twitter with US-based Kenyan scholar Calestous Juma. Prof Juma blames Africa for its development problems, saying nothing about the West’s imperialist looting and destabilization of African nations, particularly in panic reaction to China’s growing presence.

    Why are farmers poor if agriculture is Kenya’s golden-egg layer?

    Trade justice for small-scale farmers

    Nduta Kweheria

    2014-07-02, Issue 685

    Kenya’s farmers produce enormous wealth for the country yet are largely poor. They must reject the farming model that keeps them perpetually poor, indebted, frustrated into alcoholism, domestic violence and seek trade justice

    Creating the 'Cuba of Africa': The life and work of Mohamed Babu

    Benjamin Woods

    2014-07-03, Issue 685

    Babu’s ideas and organising skills were behind the Zanzibar revolution of 50 years ago. A great pan-Africanist and socialist, his life is an inspiration to all people who dare to resist oppression and imperialism.

    The conundrum of South African democracy and justice

    All political prisoners must be released in South Africa

    Motsoko Pheko

    2014-07-02, Issue 685

    Few are aware that the rainbow nation of South Africa continues to imprison freedom fighters who fought against apartheid. Many have languished in South Africa’s jails for years and have been sacrificed on an altar of reconciliation in a so-called “new South Africa.” They should be immediately released

    Memo to the Chief Justice: Democratic freedoms are indivisible

    Dale T. McKinley

    2014-07-03, Issue 685

    In a democracy worthy the name, no specific belief, conscience, thought, opinion or religion has special legal or societal status.

    Bush, Blair, Obama and the blood of the innocents

    The human rights crisis in Iraq

    Ajamu Baraka

    2014-07-03, Issue 685

    The people of Iraq are once again on the receiving end of a ‘humanitarian’ war to save them from a situation that the U.S. created with the invasion in 2003 and the ill-fated attempt to dislodge al-Assad from power in Syria.

    Nigeria: Buccaneers as statesmen

    Chido Onumah

    2014-06-18, Issue 683

    In Nigeria, as in other parts of Africa, politicians seem to think that public office is an opportunity to pamper themselves, their families and cronies at public expense. The people must rise up against these predators.

    What constitutional review processes in West Africa tell us

    Eleanor Thompson

    2014-06-18, Issue 683

    Several countries in West Africa are currently undergoing constitutional review processes. As these processes progress, taking different forms in each country, all involved must remain mindful that the true purpose of a constitution is to uphold the will and the rights of the country’s citizens.

    Is limiting presidential mandates democratic?

    Mathias Hounkpe

    2014-06-19, Issue 683

    Africa has long endured the elitist rule of the ‘president for life’, under whose leadership governments have grown grossly unaccountable and corrupt. For the continent to realise effective democracies, presidential term limits must be imposed to ensure the political class is accountable to the citizens.

    The way forward for Somalia

    After all, an own thing could help fix the Horn of Africa

    Abdul Ghelleh

    2014-06-18, Issue 683

    There have been numerous failed attempts to restore collapsed Somalia over the past two decades. A nation-building model that takes into account the society’s nomadic culture and the deeply embedded historical narratives that shape the people’s worldviews stands a chance.

    Question of leadership after the end of South Sudan crisis

    James Okuk

    2014-06-19, Issue 683

    South Sudan could have a transitional phase following the current crisis. Elections are set for next year, but they could be postponed for three years of transition. Various proposals on the leadership structure during the interim period have been made and are presented here

    Maya Angelou, sex worker

    The celebrated author felt no shame at being a prostitute, why do we?

    Renugan Raidoo

    2014-06-19, Issue 683

    The selective eulogising of the late Maya Angelou has dealt a blow to the fight for prostitutes' rights.

    Pan-Afrikanism and the quest for Black power today

    Has Afrika achieved the kind of liberation that the founders of the OAU envisioned?


    2014-06-12, Issue 682

    Afrika today stands plagued by Western imperialism and neo-colonialism, with her wealth routinely plundered and her countries politically and socially divided. Black people globally must unite and resist this, putting aside their petty cultural, political and ideological differences.

    Defining the leadership paradigm for a new Africa

    Lecture delivered by Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, former Secretary General of the OAU and Chairperson of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Foundation. Annual Thabo Mbeki Foundation Africa Day Lecture, UNISA, Tshwane, South Africa, 23rd May 2014

    Salim Ahmed Salim

    2014-06-11, Issue 682

    African independence has not resulted in better quality of life for the majority of the continent’s people. Lots of opportunities have been lost to address the problems that are already well known. A new mindset among the leadership class is necessary

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