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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.
Buy now

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.

Media & freedom of expression

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Cameroon: Journalists arrested for covering secessionist gathering

2012-11-12, Issue 605

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Cameroonian officials to drop criminal charges against a journalist arrested last month in the southwestern town of Buea for covering a secessionist gathering. The journalist is free on bail but faces a fine and up to six months in jail. Baature Edua Mvochou, a Nigerian national and editor of African Drum magazine published [in] Jos, Nigeria, still faces a charge of unlawful assembly.

Global: Launch of first global network in support of artistic free expression

2012-11-12, Issue 605

In this blog entry, Julia Farrington, Head of Arts at Index on Censorship, reports on the launch of Arstfex, the first international civil society network dedicated to promoting free expression for artists. 'There are clearly parallels between investigative journalists and artists who reveal uncomfortable truths. But when controversy breaks, artists are much more exposed because they use their own personal language to tell the story, and bring their own experience and imagination into the narrative.'

Burundi: Court urged to quash conviction as journalist testifies

2012-11-12, Issue 605

Reporters Without Borders says it is relieved to learn that radio reporter Hassan Ruvakuki was finally allowed to testify to the court in the central city of Gitega that is hearing his appeal against his terrorism conviction, for which he was given a life sentence last June. Prosecutor-general Emmanuel Nyandwi thinks that the mere fact the Ruvakuki entered Tanzania clandestinely, and without getting permission from his employer, shows that he was linked to the 'terrorist' group.

Swaziland: MPs banned from radio

2012-11-13, Issue 605

Swaziland Members of Parliament say they are being banned from the radio airwaves by the government. They say it is because of a policy made by the Swazi Cabinet. A row erupted in the House of Assembly when MPs accused Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini of keeping them off the airwaves. In Swaziland broadcasting is state controlled and the PM is editor-in-chief of the SBIS radio stations and the Swazi TV Channel.

Africa: US military behind Africa news websites

2012-11-13, Issue 605

The website's headlines trumpet al-Shabab's imminent demise and describe an American jihadist fretting over insurgent infighting. At first glance it appears to be a sleek, Horn of Africa news site. But the site - sabahionline.com - is run by the US military. The site, and another one like it that centers on northwest Africa, is part of a propaganda effort by the US military's Africa Command aimed at countering extremists in two of Africa's most dangerous regions - Somalia and the Maghreb.

South Africa: ANC agrees to Cwele's changes on secrecy bill

2012-11-13, Issue 605

The ANC agreed on Tuesday 13 November to some of State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele's hawkish proposals on the Protection of State Information Bill. Cwele notably appeared to have persuaded the ruling party to re-introduce a maximum five-year prison sentence for the disclosure of classified information, and to re-introduce a clause that would have the new law trump any other legislation dealing with such information. Without explicitly naming the Promotion of Access to Information Act, the new official secrets act would therefore trump it – as Cwele has asked for, and commentators have cautioned could render the bill unconstitutional.

Tunisia: Anti-Islamist blogger fined for 'indecency'

2012-10-31, Issue 604

A Tunisian court ordered blogger and anti-Islamist activist Sofiane Chourabi to pay a 104 dinar (52 euro/$67) fine for drunkenness and indecency during Ramadan, he said. Chourabi has accused the Islamist-led government of orchestrating the case against him and, denying any wrongdoing, said he would appeal the decision.

Uganda: Media Council bans State of the Nation play

2012-10-31, Issue 604

Uganda's authorities have banned a play that criticises President Yoweri Museveni's government, the play's co-director John Ssegawa has said. He said the Media Council had ordered performances of State of the Nation to be halted until a review was held. The play highlights alleged corruption and poor governance in Uganda, ruled by Mr Museveni since 1986.

Global: A guide to reporting on corporate governance

2012-11-01, Issue 604

This media guide aims at helping business journalists report on corporate governance and raise public awareness of the impact it has on businesses, shareholders, and the broader community of stakeholders. It will help journalists develop clear and compelling stories that examine how a company is governed. It was produced by IFC’s Global Corporate Governance Forum in partnership with the International Center for Journalists, a an organization that advances quality journalism worldwide.

The Gambia: Exposing the good, the bad and the lack of media freedom

2012-11-05, Issue 604

Pansy Tlakula, the African Union’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, has done her best to address the continued harassment of journalists in the Gambia. In her role as commissioner of the African Commission on Human Peoples’ Rights, she has appealed many times to the government of the West African nation to respect people’s right to freedom of expression. But it has not been enough to prevent the Gambian government’s crackdown on the media.

Burkina Faso: Court sentences two journalists to 12 months imprisonment

2012-11-05, Issue 604

A Magistrates’ Court in Ouagadougou, the capital, on October 29, 2012 sentenced Roland Ouédraogo and Issa Lohé Konaté, both editors of privately-owned L’Ouragan newspaper to 12 months in prison on charges of defaming Placide Nikieme, the State Prosecutor. According to the Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA) correspondent the sentence followed a complaint lodged by Nikiema at the Court accusing the newspaper and its editors of defaming him in a published article, which cited corrupt practices in the State Prosecutor’s office.

Somalia: Another journalist gunned down

2012-10-24, Issue 603

Reporters Without Borders says it is saddened to learn that Ahmed Saakin Farah Ilyas, a young TV journalist based in Las Anod, in the breakaway northwestern territory of Somaliland, was gunned down as he returned home yesterday (23 October). Employed by privately-owned Universal Television, Ahmed Saakin Farah Ilyas was shot several times in the head by gunmen who have yet to be identified. He was the 16th journalist to be killed this year in Somalia.

Gambia: Charges against journos dropped

2012-10-24, Issue 603

Gambian authorities have dropped charges of conspiracy and incitement to violence against two journalists who were arrested on 10 September, the country's press union said. Baboucarr Ceesay, vice president of the Gambia Press Union and Abubacarr Saidykhan, a freelance journalist, were arrested and held for nearly four days after seeking permission to hold a peaceful protest against the recent execution of nine death row prisoners.

Kenya: Political SMSs to be vetted

2012-10-25, Issue 603

Politicians will be required to submit their campaign text messages for vetting at least 48 hours before they are sent. And the SMSs must only be sent to mobile phone users who have subscribed for them. These are some of the measures put in place by the Communications Commission of Kenya to curb the spread of hate messages via SMS.

South Africa: Zuma drops lawsuit over 'rape' cartoon

2012-10-29, Issue 603

South African President Jacob Zuma has dropped a four-year-old lawsuit claiming nearly $600,000 in damages from a cartoonist who depicted him poised to rape "Lady Justice", his office said. The Sunday Times, named as a defendant in the case, also said on Sunday it had reached agreement with Zuma's lawyers for the suit and all claims to be ended.

Angola: Bonfire for censored Angolan newspaper

2012-10-29, Issue 603

This weekend’s edition of the weekly newspaper Semanário Angolense ended up in a bonfire. Last Saturday morning, Media Investe, the company that owns the Angolan weekly Semanário Angolense, decided to censor the edition, of October 27, because it included an almost full version of the speech of the National Union’s for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) leader, Isaías Samakuva, on the State of the Nation.

Gambia: Two journalists threatened with death in hostile emails

2012-10-30, Issue 603

Reporters Without Borders says it is deeply concerned by death threats received in e-mails by the journalists Baboucarr Ceesay and Abubaccar Saidykhan, against whom charges of conspiracy and inciting violence were dropped earlier this week. 'The conditions that journalists face in Gambia have deteriorated to alarming extent,' Reporters Without Borders said. 'Since August this year, Yahya Jammeh, a predator of freedom of information, has been increasing judicial and administrative pressure on journalists working for independent news organizations.'

Eritrea: Imprisoned journalist case referred to African Commission

2012-10-30, Issue 603

Three European jurists referred the case of the imprisoned Swedish-Eritrean journalist Dawit Isaac to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on 27 October, his 48th birthday and the 12th in succession that he has spent in an Eritrean jail. In an earlier case before the African Commission the Eritrean Government has stated that its own court system is independent and could handle the case of Dawit Isaac and others.

Global: How governments police the Internet

2012-10-30, Issue 603

The more we live our lives online, the greater the temptation for governments and private companies to spy on us. News Editor Padraig Reidy highlights the dark side of our increasing dependence on digital communications. While the internet offers opportunities for mass communication and social interaction unprecedented in human history, the chances for governments to monitor and control how we communicate are also ample.

Somalia: Comedian who poked fun at Islamists shot dead

2012-10-30, Issue 603

Gunmen assassinated a well-known comedian and musician who poked fun at Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents in the Somali capital, police and colleagues said Tuesday, the latest in a string of attacks against media and cultural figures. Warsame Shire Awale, a famous composer who had worked with Somalia's national army band before joining Radio Kulmiye as a drama producer and comedian, was attacked by two gunmen late on Monday.

Tunisia: Journalists strike over govt 'interference'

2012-10-17, Issue 602

Tunisian journalists went on strike on Wednesday, after months of rising tensions with the Islamist-led government, which is accused of curbing press freedom and seeking to control public media groups. The strike was widely observed at those press groups at the heart of the controversy that has gripped Tunisia since the summer, with staff accusing the ruling coalition of manipulating editorial content by appointing loyal directors.

Uganda: Court summons author of book on Museveni

2012-10-17, Issue 602

The author of the controversial book on President Museveni titled 'The Correct Line? Uganda under Museveni', has been summoned by the High Court in Kampala, and ordered to file her defence in response to a defamation suit filed against her by a UPDF officer Lt. Col. Atwooki Ndahura. In the summons dated October 15, 2012, issued by registrar Festo Nsenga, Dr Olive Kobusingye has been ordered to file her defence within 15 days, lest judgement is passed in her absence. 'Should you fail to file a defence, the plaintiff shall proceed in the suit and judgement entered in your absence,' the order states.

Djibouti: ARTICLE 19's submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review

2012-10-17, Issue 602

In this submission, ARTICLE 19 outlines its concerns that, over the last four years, there has been an escalation in violations of the right to freedom of expression and information, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly in Djibouti.

Somalia: Puntland radio station still shut and its news website blocked

2012-10-18, Issue 602

A week and a half after the station was first shut down, the International Press Institute reiterated its call for the Puntland authorities to allow Horseed FM radio to resume operations, and further called for the Puntland authorities to stop ordering the blocking of Horseed FM’s website. The executive director of Horseed Media, Mahad Mussa, told IPI from the organisation’s offices in the Netherlands that Horseed’s FM station is still off air, more than a week after its Bosaso headquarters were shut down.

Liberia: Journalist arrested for photographing police director

2012-10-18, Issue 602

Journalist George Borteh, the Acting Vice President of the Judicial Reporters Association of Liberia (JURAL) and a reporter for The New Republic newspaper, was thrown in prison on 12 October, 2012, after taking a photo of Police Director Chris Massaquoi at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia. Borteh was detained for more than three hours. Massaquoi was offended by the action of the journalist. He questioned Borteh as to why he took his photo and the journalist replied by saying: 'You are a public figure on public grounds and I am taking [a] picture for record['s] sake.'

Zimbabwe: Wave of harassment of independent journalists

2012-10-18, Issue 602

Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by a recent wave of arrests of journalists in Zimbabwe and urges the authorities to stop trying to intimidate independent privately-owned media and to take measures against those responsible for physical attacks on reporters. 'This sudden wave of lawsuits and incidents involving the police does not bode well for the coming months,' Reporters Without Borders said. 'Journalists must be guaranteed the freedom to cover political stories without fear of abusive criminal prosecutions. We are very worried about the judicial harassment of independent journalists and media in the past few weeks.'

Sudan: Journalists warn Sudan’s press is under attack

2012-10-22, Issue 602

With newspapers forced to close, journalists banned and reporters persecuted, Sudanese media professionals say that their nation’s press is in a worse state than ever. Sudan’s press has a turbulent history, with periods of rapid development interspersed with stints of harsh official repression. But, according to media professionals, the sector is currently in a dismal state, with rampant censorship and readers who have lost faith in journalists.

Somalia: Journalist injured in shooting

2012-10-22, Issue 602

Reporters Without Borders has said it is deeply shocked by yesterday (21 October) evening’s attempt to murder Radio Shabelle journalist Mohamed Mohamud Turyare, who was shot four times in the chest and abdomen by two gunmen as he left a Mogadishu mosque. He was rushed to the capital’s Madina Hospital, where he underwent immediate surgery. Doctors said after the operation that his injuries no longer posed a threat to his life.

Zambia: Ministers Caught Browsing ‘Zambia's WikiLeaks'

2012-10-23, Issue 602

On October 2 2012, Zambia's Finance Deputy Minister Miles Sampa and Minister in Charge of Chiefs Nkandu Luo were caught on camera during a Lusaka Council meeting browsing the online news website Zambian Watchdog. The online publication, known for its investigative reporting, was this month threatened with de-registration by the Registrar of Societies. In this post, Global Voices reports on how the Zambian blogosphere has responded.

Egypt: TV host gets jail term for insulting Morsi

2012-10-23, Issue 602

An Egyptian talk-show host faces a four-month jail term after a court convicted him of insulting President Mohammed Morsi, state media reported on Monday. Tawfiq Okasha, whose show appears on his own channel, can appeal the sentence after paying 100 Egyptian pounds ($16.39) bail, a source in the court in southern Egypt said. The substance of the offending insult was not immediately available from court sources.

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