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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 broadcasts feature audio and video content with cutting edge commentary and debate from social justice movements across the continent.

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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.

    Media & freedom of expression

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    Kenya: Kenyans incensed over CNN reporting gaffe

    2012-03-12, Issue 574

    Kenyans on the micro-blogging sites Twitter and Facebook on Sunday heavily criticised global television network CNN for depicting grenade blasts in Nairobi as an eruption of 'violence' in the country. The news channel was forced to pull down a video seen as misrepresenting events by depicting Saturday’s grenade attacks that killed six and injured 63 as being widespread.

    Malawi: President Mutharika warns 'disrespectful' media

    2012-03-12, Issue 574

    Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika has in an astonishing broadside at perceived opponents including the country’s media warned them to desist from insulting him or they would be 'properly dealt with by the law'. A press release signed by State House press officer Albert Mungomo said that Malawi law provides for the 'total respect and protection' of the country's leader and that the authorities would no longer stand by and watch as the President of the Republic of Malawi was ridiculed.

    Global: Committee to Protect Journalists calls for global coalition against censorship

    2012-02-28, Issue 572

    The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is calling for a global coalition against censorship at a time when repressive governments, 'militants' and criminal groups around the world are controlling information to maintain their grip on power. 'There is a collective interest in ensuring that information flows freely...An attack on an Egyptian, Pakistani, or Mexican journalist inhibits the ability of people around the world to receive the information that journalist would have provided,' CPJ executive director Joel Simon said in CPJ's annual report, Attacks on the Press, launched on 21 February.

    Uganda: Admit UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, urges HRNJ-Uganda

    2012-02-28, Issue 572

    Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is shocked by the Uganda government's rejection of recommendations made to it during the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism (UPRM) to admit the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression to visit the country and assess the human rights situation. UPRM is a brainchild of the United Nations Human Rights Council whose intention is to assess the human rights situation of its respective member countries. HRNJ-Uganda has learnt that an Inter-ministerial meeting held on 23 February 2012 in Kampala and chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected 21 recommendations out of 42 which had been reserved by the same government during the October 2011 Geneva review.

    Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe's media landscape

    2012-02-28, Issue 572

    Very few countries prevent ordinary citizens from wandering around filming or journalists from doing their jobs without the permission and control of the authorities. Zimbabwe is on a short distinguished list of nations that includes Yemen, Sudan, China, and North Korea. That's not the only abnormality in Zimbabwe's media landscape. Little about it conforms to the way things are done across the globe - or to global or African standards, reports activist group Sokwanele.

    Somalia: Radio manager gunned down outside home

    2012-02-29, Issue 572

    Reporters Without Borders says it is stunned to learn that Abukar Hassan Mohamoud, the manager of Mogadishu-based radio Somaliweyn, was shot dead 28 February outside his home in the capital’s Aargada district by men armed with pistols. The press freedom organisation condemns his cold-blooded murder, which joins a long list of crimes of violence against journalists in Somalia, and reiterates its call to the international community to do everything possible to ensure that these killings do not go unpunished.

    Tunisia: Nude picture publisher released

    2012-02-29, Issue 572

    Tunis judge Faouzi Jebali has granted Nasreddine Ben Saida, the publisher of the daily Attounissia, a provisional release and postponed his trial until 8 March. Ben Saida, who went on hunger strike, was held for more than a week for publishing a photo of a football player embracing a naked model.

    Zimbabwe: Media reform ultimatum for ZANU-PF minister

    2012-02-29, Issue 572

    Media and Information Minister Webster Shamu now has days to meet an ultimatum to implement key media reforms, which could usher in some long awaited freedom in Zimbabwe’s media space. he ZANU PF Minister has been ordered to reconstitute the boards of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe and the Mass Media Trust. Shamu was given the ultimatum after a meeting of the principals in the unity government.

    Horn of Africa: Digital media, conflict and diasporas

    2012-02-29, Issue 572

    The Horn of Africa is one of the least connected regions in the world. Nevertheless, digital media play an important social and political role in Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia (including South-Central Somalia and the northern self-declared independent Republic of Somaliland). This paper published by the Open Society Foundation shows how the development of the internet, mobile phones, and other new communication technologies have been shaped by conflict and power struggles in these countries.

    Senegal: Journalists threatened, assaulted

    2012-03-01, Issue 572

    The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Senegalese authorities to thoroughly investigate recent attacks on the media and ensure that the press is able report freely on the country's presidential election results and potential run-off. In a statement, the media rights group said it had documented at least 12 incidents of threats and physical harm against journalists reporting on the campaign, Sunday's vote, and its aftermath.

    Morocco: Authorities keep media in check and reinforce online crackdown

    2012-03-01, Issue 572

    Reporters Without Borders says it is disturbed by Morocco's recent newspaper censorship and attempts to suppress online free expression. Distribution of the leading Spanish daily El País was again banned on 26 February while two netizens have been given jail sentences in the past few weeks for criticizing the king on social networks.

    Global: Attacks on the press in 2011

    2012-02-22, Issue 571

    This Committee to Protect Journalists page looks at attacks on the press in 2011, shown on a global map and with accompanying articles on censorship, internet restrictions, sexual violence, impunity and imprisonments.

    Zambia: ‘Shutting down journalists is shutting us down’ says Zambian farmer

    2012-02-23, Issue 571

    There are more than 20 community radio stations in Zambia. Most have a coverage radius of less than 20 kilometres. Yet they are significant to both rural and urban dwellers, whose interests range from politics to agriculture. But Zambia’s progress towards meeting this new demand for information is meeting some obstacles. The country recently dropped four places on the Reporters Without Borders index of press freedom. Gagging of journalists, censorship and political interference have all negatively affected the quality of service delivery to Zambia’s listening audience.

    Zimbabwe: Community radio projects under threat

    2012-02-14, Issue 570

    The Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) has condemned what it believes is an attempt by the Mugabe regime to target community radio initiatives in the country. Speaking to SW Radio Africa’s Behind the Headlines programme Gift Mambipiri, the ZACRAS chairperson, said police officers from Gwanda visited Mvelo Zondo, a committee member of the Ntepe rural community radio station. The officers wanted to know the project’s ‘agenda and activities’. The police officers who were from the Law and Order Section told Zondo that they had been led to believe that 'Ntepe was established with the goal of disseminating information which undermines the President'.

    Kenya: Army is on Twitter, but it’s not sharing much

    2012-02-16, Issue 570

    In this East African article, Charles Onyango-Obbo, writes about the old school information sharing approach of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF). It has reduced the regular press briefings to a drip. And even when it brings the generals out to speak to the media, they give very little away. There are rarely any leaks. But a juicy leak about the KDF's approach to Kismayu did come through - revealing important implications for businessmen, tax collectors, Al Shabaab and the environment.

    The Gambia: ECOWAS Court orders Gambia to pay compensation to tortured newspaper editor

    2012-02-16, Issue 570

    The ECOWAS Community Court in Abuja, Nigeria, on 6 February 2012 ordered the Gambian government to comply with its ruling on Musa Saidykahn, a former editor-in-chief of the banned The Independent newspaper, by compensating him for violating his human rights in 2006. On 16 December 2010, the regional court confirmed that Saidykhan was tortured by President Yahya Jammeh's security agents while in detention in 2006. It also ruled that Saidykhan’s arrest and subsequent detention were illegal and violated his right to personal liberty and a fair hearing as guaranteed by Articles 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. The ECOWAS court, therefore, awarded Saidykhan damages of US$200,000.

    Ethiopia: EU backs Ethiopia into a corner over jailed Swedes

    2012-02-19, Issue 570

    Tense negotiations are underway for the release of two Swedish journalists jailed by Ethiopia on terrorism charges in September. A delegation from the European Union, of which Sweden is a member, is said to have already met with Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi. EU and Swedish officials are this week expected to outline options to further press the Horn of Africa country into releasing the journalists, including a review of aid obligations.

    DRC: Government pulls three media houses off air

    2012-02-19, Issue 570

    The DRC Government has pulled three media stations off air. The media houses, two close to opposition leader Jean-Pierre Bemba and one belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, saw their signals stopped by the ministry of Information. 'Last Friday, we just received a letter from the minister of Information urging us to refrain from broadcasting commercial advertisement allegedly because, as a private community media, we are not allowed. We do not know why exactly our signal has been stopped,' Mr Patrick Nsiala, the programme officer of the Catholic TV (RTCE) told the Africa Review. Unconfirmed reports indicated that the minister for Information, Mr Lambert Mende, had invited the affected media houses for talks.

    South Sudan: Attack on South Sudan reporter sparks critical debate

    2012-02-20, Issue 570

    February is the hottest month in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and Mading Ngor, a reporter and presenter for the Catholic-owned Bakhita FM, trudged his way through the heat to cover parliament proceedings last week - only to be thrown unceremoniously out of the assembly. 'Before I had time to argue, four security guards pinned me to the ground and dragged me across the floor, tearing up my trousers,' Ngor, a hard-hitting, critical journalist, told me. The ensuing furor included apologies, a protest, an opinion column, a committee investigation, parliamentary debate, the banning of Ngor from the assembly, and finally, a parliamentary call to revive deliberations over three media bills originally drafted five years ago.

    Somalia: Exiled journalists mark emotional event to celebrate world radio day

    2012-02-20, Issue 570

    Exiled Somali journalists based in Nairobi, Kenya celebrated the world’s radio day on 13 February 2012 at hotel Madina in East-Leigh village of Nairobi. The gathering was organised by the Somali Exiled Journalists Association (SEJASS) as UNESCO requested all countries to celebrate this Day by undertaking activities with diverse partners, such as national, regional and international broadcasting associations and organisations, non-governmental organisations, media organisations, outlets as well as the public at large.

    Egypt: Two journalists attacked, one detained

    2012-02-08, Issue 569

    The Committee to Protect Journalists on 6 February condemned official attacks on journalists covering political unrest in Egypt. 'At least two journalists were shot by security forces in the past three days, and a third journalist was assaulted in police custody, according to news reports,' said the organisation.

    South Sudan: Journalist assaulted, humiliated at parliament

    2012-02-07, Issue 569

    A renowned journalist was humiliated and beaten by security guards manning South Sudan’s National Assembly on Monday, eye witnesses told Sudan Tribune. Mading Ngor, host of the popular ’Wake Up Juba’ show on Bakhita FM, was roughed up by at least four security men and wrestled to the ground in front of other journalists. Only when a MP intervened was he let go by the security services.

    Zimbabwe: Foreign papers to be banned

    2012-02-09, Issue 569

    Zimbabwe’s independent media regulator says it has asked law enforcement agents to bar the distribution of unregistered foreign newspapers. The ban appears targeted at a weekly newspaper published by Zimbabwean journalists exiled in the UK. South African newspapers such as The Sunday Times and the Mail&Guardian had also taken advantage of the lack of independent media to launch Zimbabwean editions that proved popular.

    Somalia: Government plans 100 schools

    2012-02-09, Issue 569

    Somalia President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has announced the government's plan to establish 100 schools in the capital Mogadishu. Several countries and institutions have expressed willingness to offer development assistance to Somalia, especially after the militants of Al-Shabaab, the radical Islamist group, were largely driven out of Mogadishu.

    Nigeria: Military obstructs journalists covering unrest

    2012-02-09, Issue 569

    Nigeria’s military has harassed and obstructed journalists trying to report on unrest in recent days, according to local journalists and news reports. On Sunday in the city of Jos, in Nigeria’s north central region, soldiers detained Jeremie Drieu, a videographer with French television station TF1, and local journalist Ahmad Salkida after they sought permission to film in the area, The Associated Press reported. The Nigerian federal government has been enforcing a state of emergency in Jos following bloody clashes between Muslims and Christians that have claimed the lives of at least two journalists, according to CPJ research.

    DRC: Journalist Solange Lusiku honored for fortitude

    2012-02-09, Issue 569

    Solange Lusiku Nsimire is editor-in-chief and publisher of the independent newspaper Le Souverain in her hometown Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province in eastern Congo, one of the most troubled regions of the DRC. It is a small and crusading newspaper devoted to promotion of democracy and women in a country where abuses against democracy and against women are too often the norm. On 2 February Lusiku had been awarded a prestigious honorary doctorate degree at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), a tribute to her courage as a journalist and women's rights defender.

    Eritrea: Pleas on behalf of imprisoned journalists

    2012-02-13, Issue 569

    22 February is the third anniversary of a raid on Radio Bana in central Asmara in which about 50 journalists were arrested. Most were released but at least 11 are still held and are in solitary confinement. Reporters Without Borders is continuing to campaign for them and other journalists who are imprisoned in Eritrea, some since September 2001.

    Tunisia: Fears of return to internet censorship

    2012-02-13, Issue 569

    The January 2011 revolution in Tunisia brought an end to Internet filtering and control of online content but old habits seem to be resurfacing and Reporters Without Borders urges the Tunisian courts not to take any decision that could lead to the restoration of filtering. A court order requiring the Tunisian Internet Agency (ATI) to block access to pornographic websites, upheld by a Tunis appeal court in August 2011, revived the debate about censorship. If the order is confirmed, the ATI will be forced to censor online content in accordance with a complaint brought by a group of lawyers calling for the blocking of pornographic content that poses a threat to minors and Muslim values.

    Malawi: Plunge in press freedom rating

    2012-01-31, Issue 568

    Malawi has dropped 67 places on the 2011/2012 press freedom index as a result of the 'totalitarian tendencies' of President Bingu wa Mutharika, French based media watchdog Reporters Without Boarders (RWB) has said. Malawi is now at position 146 along...

    South Africa: Press freedom hearings to resume

    2012-01-31, Issue 568

    Several political parties, including the DA and ANC, are expected to make representations to the Press Freedom Commission (PFC), when it resumes hearings. Monday 30 January marked the start of the latest and final round of hearings on how best to reg...

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