Pambazuka News 800: After Trump: Defying neoliberalism and impunity

Despite his thoroughly professorial lifestyle, Sam was a lively figure who always made time for his family and a broad range of people. His immense contribution to scholarship, particularly on the thorny land question in Zimbabwe, remains outstanding. His tragic death following a road crash last year points to the fragility of life and to the need for Africa to celebrate its scholars while alive.

Between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, evidence shows clearly that it is Clinton who is the imperialist ideologist. Despite denials by the West, imperialism is an existential reality of our time. In the last three decades or so, it has existed as free trade globalization. Imperialism will persist under Trump.

In the past one-and-half years President Buhari has rolled out, on many occasions, the full strength of his country’s security forces to violently suppress the peaceful nonviolent Biafran independence movement. Now, the Buhari regime is working with foreign governments to crush pro-Biafra activism in the Diaspora.

The US electoral system shows a profound disjuncture between law and legitimacy. A system that so disenfranchises the masses of Americans is illegitimate. Democratic elections must be based on the popular vote.

Tagged under: 800, Allison Drew, Governance

The 15th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute is going at The Hague, the seat of the International Criminal Court. A network of civil society organisations in Kenya delivered the following statement to the Assembly:

Mild-mannered and almost self-effacing, the son of the renowned Nigerian environmentalist was yet the owner of a sharp intellect that was not afraid to adopt and keep positions that seemed right to him. What the rest of the world thought was not that relevant to him.

Large amounts of the money raised globally by Bill Clinton after the earthquake, and pledged by the U.S. under Hillary Clinton, simply disappeared without a trace, its whereabouts unknown. A whopping $465 million of the relief money went through the Pentagon, which spent it on deployment of 20,000 U.S. troops, many of whom never set foot on Haitian soil. What the Clintons did to Haiti was callous, selfish and indefensible.

Much of the whining about the American working class falling victim to neoliberal globalization is rooted in American exceptionalism. Everyone else has supposedly reaped a windfall from neoliberal free trade. It is a narrative with very little sympathy for, or solidarity with, the victims of globalization around the world - particularly in Africa.

The fact of the matter is that all US presidents are one and the same, irrespective of whether they are Democrats or Republicans. They follow US foreign policy hook, line and sinker. As some of their leaders said, the US has interests, not friends. To them, this world is about a fight for resources, not about benevolence.

Tagged under: 800, Global South, Sam Ditshego

Morocco this week stormed out of the Africa-Arab Summit in Equatorial Guinea to protest the presence of Western Sahara, which it has forcefully and illegally occupied for over 40 years. This incident yet again demonstrates Morocco’s hidden agenda in seeking re-admission to the African Union: to use the continental body to deny the Saharawi people their universally recognized right to self-determination.

Trump’s success means mass deportation, massive military spending,  continuation and escalation of global war, a conservative Supreme Court, a justice department and security system dedicated to growing the Bush/Obama-era surveillance state and waging war on activists; fiscal policies that will accelerate income inequality; massive cuts in social spending, and a lot more. Concrete strategies for popular organizing are needed to resist this.

The artistic rebirth of Anta Diop indicates Adé Olufeko’s attempts to pull the astute figure from the grasps of academic dialogue and fringes of mainstream journalism, and place him within the consciousness of everyday people, most of who crave objective enlightenment on African discourses.

Tax evasion merits serious attention and global efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. But there is a clear lack of willingness by the beneficiaries to support such efforts. A resolution on tax evasion and the need to return the stolen assets to the so-called "developing" countries was adopted at the UN Council of Human Rights on 24 March 2016. No European state voted in favour.

 

If it boggles the mind that a bigoted politician spewing hatred, misogyny and division could win the American Presidency, what does one make of a justice system that grants freedom to the murderers of an elderly woman who allegedly blasphemed Islam? Nigeria is busy destroying the very thin fabric that holds it together.

Pambazuka News 799: Pan-Africanism: Kenya is unfit to head AU

If, for White male supporters of Donald Trump, the body of a Black president signifies they are strangers in their own land, leading to the intensification of White racism, then the body of a White woman in the Oval Office would have the effect of making them strangers in their own home. It cannot be ruled out, therefore, that White women would have been subjected to spousal violence if Hillary Clinton had won.

From championing impunity for suspected masterminds of crimes against humanity, to frustrating total African liberation and unity by working in cahoots with Empire; from publicly supporting Israel's desire to join the African Union, to being a major conduit for illicit financial flows from Africa; Kenya is fundamentally unfit to lead the AU. Its candidate for Chair of AU Commission in the January election, Amina Mohamed, is part of a deeply entrenched kleptocracy that has ruined Kenya and actively undermined African interests for over half a century.

Minister Pravin Gordhan is a man of unshakeable will – one of the very few people within ANC family whose integrity is untouched - and sincerely believes that as a public servant he is obligated to fight for the soul of the nation.

The paralysis in South African universities following protests by students demanding free, decolonized education persists. In an impressive show of solid defiance reminiscent of the nationalist struggle against apartheid, students at Wits University have issued a raft of demands to administration, even as there are no signs that a solution to the crisis is within sight.

For more than two decades, Russia has been struggling to regain its Soviet-era economic influence, but such efforts have hit stumbling blocks which policy experts and Russian authorities themselves attribute to inadequate knowledge of investment and economic possibilities in Africa.

 

People who murder others allegedly for blasphemy in Nigeria - a secular, multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country - are never brought to justice. Yet without justice there can never be peace. And the absence of peace means there is no unity. For how long will this situation last?

The No to ProSAVANA Campaign considers the redesign and public consultation process of ProSAVANA’s Master Plan to be fraudulent.

It is deeply disheartening that a country that fought so hard and long to win independence for its people has plunged into a civil war with no end in sight. South Sudanese are suffering again, this time in the hands of the same generals who led them to victory. Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, if they have a heart in their breast, must put aside their own pride and do whatever it takes to end this senseless war.

Tagged under: 799, Human Security, Osita Ebiem

Trump’s victory is partly because of his own skills, but also partly because the world is changing. We are witnessing a civilizational shift – the slow, painful death of the Western Empire. Even in rich America millions of people go hungry and without shelter. In the new world, Africa will use its own resources and ingenuity to prosper.

Africa barely got a mention in the US presidential election. This is good. If Trump succeeds in purging the factions that advocate war, interventionism and imperialism from the US government he will have done all that he needs to do for Africa. We can ask no more than to be left alone by the world hegemon.

Tagged under: 799, Global South, MK Ngoyo

Does Ethiopia have an organized feminist movement? Yes. But its performance has been mixed. Unless deliberate, consciously sustained and strategic steps are taken at the level of institution building, resource allocation and leadership, gender equality may take another 100 years to be achieved. A strong women's movement is indispensable to catalyze change.

The most obvious example of Obama’s lack of substance was his relationship with Black Americans. His disdain and contempt for the people who loved him the most was clear to anyone who paid attention. Obama won by making himself palatable to white people while also taking advantage of undeserved Black pride.

The water towers project is being implemented without free, prior and informed consent of the community, the leaders say. The forest community, whose rights have been repeatedly violated by the Kenya Government in brutal evictions, fear there will be more violations under the current project.

Pambazuka News 798: President Donald Trump and Africa

Climate justice campaigners think the election of Donald Trump as US president is a disaster for climate and especially for the African continent. This is a moment where the rest of the world must not waver and must redouble commitments to tackle dangerous climate change.

A decolonised curriculum will not neglect other knowledge systems. Universities still have to develop graduates knowledgeable about the world and all its complexity. However, the education must be free from Western epistemological domination, Eurocentrism, epistemic violence and worldviews that were designed to degrade, exploit and subjugate Africans and other formerly colonised peoples.

Tagged under: 798, Education, Savo Heleta

The Clintons seem to believe in Haitian reconstruction and Haitian investment as long as the projects match their own private economic interests. They have steered the rebuilding of Haiti in a way that provides maximum benefit to themselves. 

Multinational corporations that are directly responsible for the destruction of food systems in Africa and globally are now purporting to provide innovative approaches to addressing the crisis – the so-called “green revolution.” Absent from these discussions are the voices of smallholder farmers who in reality feed the world. But these farmers are fighting back by establishing resistance networks to restore the power over food into their own hands.

Tagged under: 798, Food & Health, Leonida Odongo

Canada’s historical and contemporary realities are defined by a systemic anti-Blackness that goes too frequently un-named. Black people continue to experience dehumanizing treatment across institutions.

Ghana goes into a hotly contested presidential election next month. The voters expect nothing less than a free and fair poll. Key institutions such as the electoral commission, judiciary and security organs must ensure this happens. But the people themselves must also be vigilant.

An incredibly focused, dogged officer with a take-no-prisoner attitude toward corruption, Magu has played an invaluable role in the remarkable success story of President Buhari’s fight against graft. It is therefore puzzling that several months after his appointment in acting capacity as Nigeria’s anti-corruption Tzar, Magu has not been screened by the Senate for conformation at his post.

For the first time ever, a Moroccan king delivers a nationalist expansionist speech from a foreign country without any obvious reason that would explain this choice. The king is not a victim of a coup nor is his country threatened by any peril that may have explained such a choice.

Contrary to all the propaganda, Namibia’s SWAPO was a moderate Pan-Africanist party with close links to imperialism – especially the United States. This peasant-based party had a leadership that was uninterested in a determined armed struggle or the internal mobilisation of the Namibian working class. Its legacy in independent Namibia is appalling.

Who benefits from withdrawal from the International Criminal Court as a response to the double standards and asymmetrical power relations in global politics? Leaving the ICC erodes international criminal jurisdiction and thereby the protection of people further, especially on a continent where no other local, regional or continental court with a similar mandate exists.

 

A protest march organised in Nairobi last week by civil society organisations demanding action against runaway corruption in government was brutally repressed by the police. Besides a series of multi-million-dollar scandals recently unearthed in Kenya, the Auditor General’s report for 2015 says only 1% of the national budget was properly accounted for.

President Kenyatta’s supporters argue that his family is filthy rich, meaning that he has no needs that would tempt him into corruption. If true, why are his relatives scrambling for public tenders under programmes set aside for disadvantaged groups? And why is the First Lady busy mobilising the nation to raise private funds to eliminate maternal and early childhood deaths through charitable events, even as public money set aside for exactly that purpose is looted?

The paralysis in the ANC and government due to the scandals that are engulfing President Jacob Zuma, his refusal to step down willingly, and his attempts to anoint a successor of his own making, and the pushback by opponents, means that South Africa will remain rudderless until at least the 2019 national elections.

Donald Trump’s ascension to the US Presidency has stunned many across the globe due to his strange views and prejudices. The Conversation Africa business and economy editor Sibonelo Radebe asked Professor Patrick Bond to unpack implications for Africa.

In order to maintain any semblance of what is perceived as economic stability and growth, Trump’s administration must continue the existing capitalist relations of production and international relations. The failure of this phase of imperialist domination could provide renewed opportunities for world solidarity of the working class and oppressed.

Tagged under: 798, Abayomi Azikiwe, Global South

Pambazuka News 797: Identity politics: Class, ethnicity and gender in Africa

The people in Calais are not just some unfortunate exception to the rule that the world is OK. Their desperate presence tells the truth about an unacceptable world dominated by a handful of countries that have prospered at the expense of the vast majority of the planet's people, through plunder and war. That there are 63.5 million refugees and displaced people in the world is an irrefutable proof – only one of too many – that the capitalist-imperialist system does not work for humanity and the planet. 

Tagged under: 797, Human Security, Samuel Albert

Some critics who have analyzed the circumstances surrounding the well-publicized capture of Chibok schoolgirls in 2014 have concluded that it was an elaborate political web of deceit weaved by the Islamic north to wrest power from a southern Christian president.

Tagged under: 797, Human Security, Osita Ebiem

Sudan is the birthplace of the contemporary global wave of terrorism, supported by countries in the Middle East and the West. Those destabilizing Africa are aided and abetted by empire building interests in the developed world, which see Africa as a soft target ripe for re-colonization. 

Many universities have been shut down due to student protests demanding free higher education. This is the latest expression of the deep inequalities that affect the majority Black population in South Africa. The promise of a better future that underpinned the anti-Apartheid struggle remains unfulfilled. The nation’s unjust economy must be discussed.

If there was one thing Nigeria needed so much at independence, it was a selfless, visionary, and nationalistic leadership that would have helped forge a nation out of the unworkable contraption left behind the British. The crisis of nationhood now lasting more than half a century can only be resolved through genuine devolution of power, so that Nigerians wherever they are will take their destiny in their own hands.

Ethiopia is descending into possible civil war. With the recent declaration of a state of emergency, the country is in turmoil due to exploitation of the long-suffering people of Oromia, Ogaden, Gambella and other ethnic groups by the ruling TPLF elite in partnership with international enablers such as China and the United States. TPLF exploitation and widespread repression have created highly rebellious resentment among the people.

The first person to openly demand independence in Kenya was the Asian trade unionist Makhan Sigh. For that he was detained for 11 years. The firebrand Leftist political strategist Pio Gama Pinto and many other members of the Asian community made tremendous contributions to Kenya. And how many people might know that the University of Nairobi, Kenya’s premier institution of higher learning, was intended to be a memorial for Mahatma Gandhi and that the initial funding for it came from the Asian community?

Women continuing to push for change in Egypt are bearing the psychological toll of a rigid post-revolution politics and society.

President Zuma has suffered two major legal defeats: a fumbled state attack on Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan which was humiliatingly withdrawn by an incompetent prosecutor following a national outcry, and the release of the Public Protector’s report on the Zuma family’s corrupt relationships. Will enough pressures from below be mobilised to generate non-violent regime change in South Africa?

It now seems that with every passing quarter, there is a new financial scam being unearthed in Kenya. Despite this government being the most well-equipped to fight graft, it has turned out to be the most affected by corruption of all previous governments combined. Kenya is gradually becoming a graft cesspool. And the President admits on camera that there is nothing more he can do.

Speaking truth to power: Rwanda, Congo, Ethiopia and South Africa

People of goodwill throughout the world should support the Congolese people to demand that President Kabila ceases attacks against the people and respects the Congolese constitution. The world has watched the Kabila regime jail innocent youth, drive others into exile, violently repress dissent and undertake a military build up to go to war against the unarmed population as he clings to power.

Many young people from Africa are risking their lives making perilous journeys to the West in search of greener pastures. The cause of this is to be found in the failure of African governments to offer opportunities to young people to realize their dreams. Africa is not poor; its children do not need to die in international waters looking for a better life.

About two weeks ago, there were dramatic scenes of joy and relief in Nigeria when the government handed over 21 schoolgirls to their parents after their captors, the militant group Boko Haram, released them. Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu reconstructs the event in this piece of fiction.

Britain’s Labour leader has challenged the neoliberal dogma that has ruled the world ever since Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 and Ronald Reagan in America in 1981.  This has been disastrous for Africa, where it has come in the form of the so-called "Economic Structural Adjustment Programs"  aimed at restructuring African economies to conform to the demands of the imperialist countries, and not the development needs of Africa.

Tagged under: 796, Global South, Yash Tandon

With respect to the Grenadian Revolution, authoritarian means could not have given birth to the desired end, namely, the self-emancipation of the people. Effective control, initiative and power must be in the hands of the working-class in order for it to carry out the tasks associated with the development of a socialist society.

Media organisations, like most of South Africa’s formal institutions, were infused with institutional racism during the apartheid-era. In many cases this is still unchanged. There has to be a greater acknowledgement of institutional racism in organisations.

A government edict under the current state of emergency prohibits the dissemination through internet, text message, or social media any message deemed to "incite violence." Communication with "foreign elements" or watching the diaspora-based TV stations Oromo Media Network and Ethiopia Satellite Television is also prohibited.

At a time when human well-being is measured not only in terms of economic development, but also on the resilience of the environment and the society we live in, it is important to question the nature of livelihood opportunities that young people are being encouraged to pursue and their implications for the future.

Tagged under: 796, Food & Health, Grace Mwaura

The man most responsible for the death of six million Congolese – the worst genocide since World War Two – holds periodic celebrations in cities all around the world to celebrate the accomplishments of his regime. Rwandan President Paul Kagame is armed, financed and protected by the United States. When Kagame showed up in San Francisco last month, the author was there to mark the occasion.

How it is possible that a government that is led by people who, as part of the Black community, have first-hand experience of the brutality of state violence through the police, unleash the same type of state violence against their own people, and even seek to justify the use of such anti-Black violence? Every Black police officer must refuse to be used to silence their own Black sisters and brothers.

Pambazuka News 795: Celebrating dissent: Walter Rodney, Victoire Ingabire and Aisha Buhari

The frustrations of the First Lady of Nigeria and other Nigerians about the leadership of President Buhari and his many failed promises are understandable. But while her open criticism of him was ill-advised, what is more damaging to President Buhari than that is his old-fashioned and sexist response.

Ivory Coast is in crisis. The instability arising from the post-election violence of five years ago continues to deepen. The government is increasingly repressive. Many Ivorians cannot meet the cost of living. Jobs are scarce. Insecurity perpetrated by gangs of unemployed youths makes life uncertain. Yet the government of Alassane Ouattara doesn't seem concerned with any of that. His current project is a new constitution whose barely hidden agenda is to keep him in power beyond 2020.

Walter Rodney has demonstrated through thought and action that it is not inevitable for intellectuals to join the systems of oppression and use their knowledge and skills to perpetuate exploitation. They have the option of committing “class suicide.” Rodney called on the intelligentsia to use their knowledge and skills to challenge and undermine oppression.

For 22 years, the Rwandan government’s radically simplified and decontextualized history of the massacres of 1994 has been used to justify President Paul Kagame’s totalitarian rule. For 20 years it has also been used to justify the U.S.-backed invasion, occupation and plunder of the immensely resource-rich Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tagged under: 795, Ann Garrison, Governance

Although the presidential commission of inquiry completed its task and published its report, the work of justice for Walter Rodney is not yet over. His family needs justice. The political context in which Rodney was murdered remains largely intact in Guyana. And the lessons of his killing should be the basis of international solidarity against the abuse of state power to silence dissent.

Tagged under: 795, Pan-Africanism, Wazir Mohamed

President Biya does not live in Cameroon and, therefore, does not know Cameroonians. The absentee landlord spends several months in Europe with no specific agenda in mind. Once back home, he retires to his million-dollar castle to play golf and drink champagne. Biya’s inept governance has brought Cameroon to its knees. Cameroonians should rise up and replace him.

In an angry reaction to public criticism of his government by his wife, the Nigerian leader retorted that shebelongs to my kitchen and my living room and the other room”. The president’s reaction has drawn fire from civil society.

We live in a world which is faced with multiple, interconnected problems, such as climate change and significant environmental degradation, inequality, poverty and food insecurity, but we also have the unique opportunity to redesign and recreate sustainable futures. A whole generation of business education students will need to be engaged to think and act in a way that matches the scale of these challenges. 

Buhari’s outrageous outburst on his wife in Berlin at the end of his Germany visit completely overshadowed the import of whatever was the original reason for this trip. Quite clearly if ever there was an incontrovertible link between congenital misogyny and genocidist depravity, psychologists and geneticists would have at last found a case study here.

For South Africa to dismantle its colonial economic structures it will have to urgently address the knowledge and resources impasse. Through equitable distribution of wealth and resources, free decolonial education should be implemented to cater for the financially excluded Black majority now.

Instead of heeding the just calls for food, land, and food sovereignty being raised by the farmers and peoples of the world, the powers that be are responding with intensified repression.

According to one report, Black households in the US will not reach wealth parity with white households until 2241. While disillusionment between young Black Americans and American institutions is real, a growing movement has erupted to challenge forces of white supremacy and funnel dissent into powerful, disruptive change.

Pambazuka News 794: Big man fantasies: BRICS, EPAs and Bushmen

Africa has lost $1 trillion over the past five decades through illicit financial flows. International mechanisms for getting this looted wealth back exist. While some African countries have often claimed that the existence of tax havens hinders assets recovery efforts, lack of political will has been cited as the key problem.

Uncertainty hangs over the date of presidential and legislative elections, yet President Joseph Kabila’s term expires on 19 December 2016 and he is not eligible for re-election. The opposition rejects the possibility of Kabila continuing in office as elections are organized. But there is an alternative. The Congolese can forget about elections and instead imagine a different way of organizing their society away from liberal democracy.

President Khama says that Bushmen live lives “of backwardness,” “a primitive life of deprivation” and “a primeval life of a bygone era.” According to the head of state, they are innately inferior and  it was his government’s duty to “modernize” them, if necessary by force. This has meant opening up Bushmen land to diamond mines and luxury tourist lodges.

In the second and final part of this essay, the author argues that one cannot deny that democratic constitutionalism has had profound impacts in Ghana – civil society activism is flourishing and inculcation of democratic habits has become a normalcy. But the state of transacting political business among the dominant players has grave consequences for trust, solidarity and social cohesion.

Ouattara is trying to achieve in the constitution what he and his rebel allies refused when the change was proposed way back in 2004. There is no sincerity in the current push for constitutional reform. What Ouattara wants is to consolidate state power and make it difficult for anyone else wishing to be president.

Guterres has not only gathered valuable experience as head of the UN Refugee Agency for ten years until December 2015, and as prime minister of his country in critical times, but also as president of the Socialist International.

Tagged under: 794, Governance, Ramesh Jaura

This film by Nate Parker makes an important contribution to rewriting the actual history of the African people in the U.S. and consequently world studies. Without an accurate understanding of the development of America as the leading imperialist nation in the world it is impossible to design a program for transforming the present conditions of colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism.

Europe is in crisis, and yet countries in East Africa are ready to sign on a poorly understood trade agreement with the EU whose overall impact will be disastrous for years to come. EPA will favour trade in the direction of Europe and stunt African progress. Tanzania has hesitated and called for public debate. Tanzania should provide the bold leadership required in the region to reject the EPA.

Given the value of mapping, African governments need to raise funds from different sources, including from their development partners, the private sector, international foundations and other users to support not only the training of qualified cartographers and surveyors but also to procure new equipment and software to assist in the design of  quality maps.

As the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa meet this weekend for a summit in India, one consistency is observable from all the BRICS elites: A stream of anti-imperialist chatter even when the intent is to assimilate into imperialism. The BRICS’ real agenda is sub-imperialism: five countries’ feet joining those of the US and EU, firmly astride the throats of the world’s poorest people.

Tagged under: 794, BRICS, Global South, Patrick Bond

Pambazuka News 793: Butchers and peacemakers: Kagame, Gandhi and Peres

Last week, the southern African country which is consistently ranked as the least corrupt on the continent, marked its Golden Jubilee of independence. It’s envoy to Kenya says that democracy, rule of law, good governance, respect for human rights and the promotion of an open and free economy have been the main pillars of Botswana’s  success.

There is no violation of human rights worse than the violation of the right to existence. It is this abiding condition that gave rise to the Niger Delta problem. The recurring violence that holds the nation by the jugular is a manifestation of deep-rooted frustration of negligence on the part of government and multinational companies over the plight of the people in the region.

President Buhari comes across as being credible, with an admirably high level of personal integrity. But given the complex nation he heads and its challenges, his virtues and style should be enriched with a healthy dose of balancing, fairness, compassion and a common touch. Only that way will Nigerians enjoy the benefits of the much-touted change.

In confronting the historical spectre of Rhodes the youth of South Africa have revisited in a bold and vehement manner the unfinished business of deracialisation and decolonisation.  They are holding the post-apartheid state accountable. The issue now is, how is 350 years of exclusion and dispossession decisively addressed?

A second phase of the 8th Pan African Congress is set for June/July 2017, following what is considered the first phase that took place in Accra, Ghana, in March 2015. In August, Ikaweba Bunting, Deputy Secretary General (Ag) of Global Pan African Movement, published a Briefing Document on these developments. But in response, Bankie Forster Bankie raises numerous questions about that document – and the unaddressed matter of the 8th PAC held in Johannesburg in 2014.

Under U.S. pressure, the UN refuses to lift an embargo against the tiny nation of Eritrea, while ignoring constant aggressions by its huge neighbour, Ethiopia. The pretexts for the sanctions “are nonexistent,” yet “Eritrea is doubly punished since the sanctions effectively mean it is restricted in defending itself.” The UN has abrogated its responsibility to uphold international law – and, instead, coddles Washington’s military ally.

Ghana goes to elections in December. In this first installment of a two-part article, the author argues that, like in many developing countries, heightened expectations that democratisation would lead to inclusive and sustainable development have not been realised. Ghana has successfully transformed from authoritarian rule to a fledging liberal democracy, but in the midst of poverty and destitution.

Ghanaian professors have launched a campaign for the removal of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from their campus because they claim he was racist and considered Indians to be “infinitely superior” to Africans. The statue was unveiled at the University of Ghana in June by the Indian president, Pranab Mukherjee. But, this Indian lawyer argues, Gandhi’s thought had a huge influence in Africa during the struggle for liberation.

Tagged under: 793, Anil Nauriya, Pan-Africanism

Journalist Anjan Sundaram’s book on Rwanda exposes a terrifying dictatorship at the heart of Africa that few people get to hear about. Paul Kagame has tremendously succeeded – with the eager help of his western backers - to feed the world a carefully choreographed false narrative. His chilling tyranny is so pervasive and entrenched that Rwandans police themselves unbidden.

Liberation of a land dispossessed people without land is a gigantic colonial fraud. Land is the primary source of life. Food does not grow in the sky. Houses are not built in the air. Gold, platinum, diamonds, oil and all other minerals are dug from the land. Cattle, sheep, goats, horses do not graze in the air. Pastures and water are found in the land. Even the departed demand their graves not in the clouds but in the land.

A recent attempt by Somalia to ban Khat imports from Kenya sparked a row, which was resolved following discussions between the presidents of the two countries. The exports have resumed. But while Khat is a lucrative business for Kenya, Somalia does not need the drug. It is a well-known health and social hazard that frustrates Somalia’s recovery.

Tagged under: 793, Bashir Goth, Human Security

On the steps of the barracks, a girl sat holding a man with grey hair, her arm round his shoulder, rocking the corpse back and forth in her arms. His eyes were staring at her. She was keening and weeping and crying, over and over: “My father, my father.” If she is still alive I doubt if the word “peacemaker” will be crossing her lips.

Tagged under: 793, Human Security, Robert Fisk

Pambazuka News 792: Clinton, Trump and Africa

The prospect of South Africa joining the UN Security Council as a permanent member could explain President Zuma’s reported enthusiasm for the nuclear project. Being remembered as the president who gave Africa a greater voice on the global stage and secured South Africa’s role as the continent’s megaphone is probably too tantalizing for Zuma and his administration to forego.

Despite local resistance, America has set up a sophisticated military telecoms system covering more than three-quarters of the globe in the Mediterranean island of Sicily. The facility enables control of remotely piloted drones, missiles and nuclear weapons, making it the mother of all weapons of mass destruction. It affords the Pentagon eyes and ears all over Africa and the Middle East.

As special-interest associations, community-based organisations fill an institutional vacuum, providing basic services to ensure a robust response to crises of poverty. It is at this local level that people, however limited their incomes or their assets, tend to reveal their true wealth: the ingenuity that they need to solve their own problems and those of their communities.

South Africans mark Heritage Day as a public holiday on 24 September to celebrate their cultures and the diversity. In this uplifting poem, Lebohang Liepollo Pheko rejoices at her identity as an African – with roots stretching all the way from the Cape to Cairo.

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