Pambazuka News 845: Real revolutionaries vs populist fakes

The Global Pan African Movement condemns the military intervention in Zimbabwe in no uncertain terms. The generals of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces have been part of the repressive government. The huge problems of Zimbabwe cannot be resolved by the same soldiers who have been partners with Mugabe in the past 37 years.

The draft protocol on the free movement of persons in Africa, once adopted by the Assembly of the Union in January 2018, will be a powerful tool in the hands of Africans to accelerate the integration process of the continent as reflected in Aspiration 2 of the African Union Agenda 2063.

Tagged under: 845, Ibrahima Kane, Pan-Africanism

Food sovereignty and peasant agroecology – which should be understood in the context of national sovereignty - are the true solutions to build resilience and resistance.

All over Africa the conditions exist for revolution. But there is urgency to clarify the ideas, organization and leadership necessary for the African Revolution. The Russian Revolution of 100 years ago provides important lessons for African Revolutionaries in their quest to dismantle oppression and build just societies today.

Deloitte says it wants to fight tax evasion, and yet they give advice on how to divert money. The audit firm has been trying to woo investors to use its services, with the promise of multiple tax advantages for their projects in Africa, thus each year depriving the poorest states of the world of hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue.

Tagged under: 845, Economics, Jérôme Duval

In the world we’re living in, it’s not enough to solve the tension between capital and work. The ongoing crisis of civilization urgently demands that we address the tension between capital and nature, which is currently compromising the existence of life in our planet.

Tagged under: 845, Global South, Jorge Falcone

Operations in Niger are part of a broader strategic plan to further dominate Africa military and economically. The Sahel is a treasure trove of valuable minerals and other natural resources. U.S. military occupations, although said to be based on cooperative efforts between the host governments and Washington, clearly represent the interests of international finance capital based on Wall Street.

The political crisis offers citizens an opportunity to examine the path Zimbabwe has traveled since independence. Zimbabwe needs to build a new democracy. Citizens must ask themselves whether they want to join the rat race towards self-enrichment of a few or work towards solutions that benefit all. That requires a new leadership that is totally accountable and dedicated to the people.

More than a hundred civil society organizations have urged Robert Mugabe to resign as president of Zimbabwe following military intervention in the country’s politics. The organizations have also asked the military to ensure restoration of the constitutional order and an inclusive process to resolve Zimbabwe’s political and socio-economic problems.

The last two weeks of October 1962, 55 years ago, was the closest the world has come so far to a widespread nuclear exchange in what has become known as the “Cuban Missile Crisis.” 

Tagged under: 845, Ike Nahem, Pan-Africanism

Pambazuka News 844: The right to self-determination

Rwandan prisoner of conscience Victoire Ingabire has appealed at the African Court. But the court faces challenges. Despite criticising the International Criminal Court, African nations have shown only lukewarm support for their own court as an alternative. Only 30 of the 54 member states of the AU recognize the African Court. And of these just eight support the hearing of cases brought by citizens.

Burundi has become the first African nation to withdraw from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, which has prosecuted Africans almost exclusively. Western powers, NGOs and media accuse Burundi of human rights abuses within its own borders but say nothing about aggression by neighbouring Rwanda. Canadian lawyer David Paul Jacobs, an expert in international law, shares his thoughts.

The World Bank, EU, OECD and IMF are institutional partners of the Global Poverty Project. Would the project’s Annual Global Citizen’s Festival in N.Y. tell Jay Z to sing his hit songs from behind the curtains because of his race and have a white performer lip-sync his hits on the festival stage? This is what the World Bank did to Dr. Yonas Biru to spare Europeans the indignities of seeing a black man in a position of power.

Tagged under: 844, E. Faye Williams, Esq., Governance

The much sought after foreign direct investment is more about political control of the developing world than economics. Playing with fire is an apt description of the risk that the developing countries take in inviting foreign investments. This is not to say that FDI should be barred by Africa, but it is to underscore the point that policy-makers must be wary of the ghosts lurking behind its mask.

Tagged under: 844, Economics, Yash Tandon

By 1965, Soviet aid to emerging countries surpassed $9 billion. This allowed these countries to carry out somewhat independent developmental policies that wouldn't have been possible under capitalism. For the first time, they could trade on more equitable terms with the Soviet Union which was not subject to the boom-and-bust cycles of the capitalist system.

Tagged under: 844, Global South, Rebeca Toledo

Somaliland’s presidential elections next week offer the self-declared Horn of Africa nation an opportunity to re-examine its foreign policy. Until now, it has sought to engage all its neighbours – except Somalia. But the nation seems keen to take sides in conflicts in the Middle East. Somaliland needs to engage, but not to create opponents in, the international system.

Tagged under: 844, Governance, Yacqub Ismail

Self-determination is becoming a potent national quest born out of the need to be free. Given the growing number of groups who are sworn to achieve self-determination, it is likely an additional 10-15 new countries will declare independence by the year 2030.

Tagged under: 844, Alon Ben Meir, Governance

Mechanisation and automation have been called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. But these are not inevitable or neutral economic realities. They are political weapons of oppression under capitalism. It is a war against the working classes to increase profits. It is no an accident that bosses choose to mechanise and automate in the context of the massive crisis of capitalism.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir seems to have failed to hold together Africa’s newest nation. The citizens are under attack by rebel groups and undisciplined government soldiers. How long will this go on? When is the government of Salva Kiir going to create an environment of peace especially for the young people to realize their dreams?

The new McCarthyism in America is being led by centrist and liberal Democrats utilizing the almost comical notion that Russia possesses the power and influence to not only impact elections but also create racial tensions. And once again, Black opposition is being cast as somehow foreign influenced and, therefore, a security threat that justifies special targeted repression.

Tagged under: 844, Ajamu Baraka, Governance

President Robert Mugabe’s firing of his deputy, accusing him of disloyalty, surprised many people. One of Zimbabwe’s liberation heroes, Manangagwa a.k.a the Crocodile was assumed to be well-placed to succeed his 93-year-old boss. But a closer look at the Crocodile reveals a man with little strategic grasp of Zimbabwe’s political chessboard controlled by the grandmaster Robert and his wife Grace.

Tagged under: 844, Governance, Moses Tofa

Business-oriented analysis of the middle class in Africa is superficial, preoccupied purely with number crunching in terms of income and expenditure. In contrast, new scholarly interest in the African middle class offers a deeper analysis of cultural factors and identities, consciousness, social positioning and relations to other groups as well as institutions and the state.

Tagged under: 844, Economics, Henning Melber

There is abundant research on the multiple forms of oppression that queer/LGBTIA+ people suffer from straight society. It’s time to acknowledge the oppression experienced within the movement itself.

“We urge the Department of Higher Education and Training to work towards improving conditions of service for educators, believing that as long as conditions of service for educators are not improved, addressing quality, just and equal education will remain a dream.”

The Young African Leaders Forum (YALF) invites interested Africans to submit research articles for publication in the second edition of its Young African Leaders Journal of Development (YALJOD). The journal is aimed at fostering the collective progress and development of the African people, and it provides the blueprint for the development mission of the leading pan-African movement, Young African Leaders Forum, as well as many other organisations.

Pambazuka News 843: Calling the African guerilla-intellectual

As the Catalans have shown, the state is not a gift from the gods. It is a transient relationship constructed by groups of human beings to pursue their aspirations and interests. Surely, the 50 million Biafrans, in their own referendum soon, will join the Catalans in the march of freedom.

Malema is threatened by the image of a Black woman who will execute everything he can only “implement” in rhetoric because he lacks her competence, qualifications and, most importantly, her courage. So in typical misogynist fashion, Malema retaliates by consistently focusing on Dlamini-Zuma’s personal life.

In January 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo takes up its seat in the UN Human Rights Council despite its widely documented abysmal human rights record. DRC’s election, despite spirited opposition by activists, elicited international criticism. Yet sanctimonious Western nations like Britain and the US have absolutely no moral standing to castigate the DRC.

British colonialists profiled the people of northern Ghana as fit only to be hewers of wood and drawers of water for their brothers in the colony. Sixty years after independence, this attitude propagated by the British persists not just in the minds of Ghanaians but also in government service delivery policies.

An official of the Trump Administration has written to the US President urging him to act swiftly to end institutionalized racism targeting black staff at the World Bank. “I write this open letter with confidence and high hopes that your administration will repeal the legalized discriminatory act and hold the Kim administration accountable.”

Tagged under: 843, Pan-Africanism, Steve Parson

China is fast growing as a leading global power, as the Euro-American-Japanese empire is on decline. The implications for Africa are huge. Ultimately, it is up to African governments to shape China’s power in ways that will benefit their people.

Tagged under: 843, Global South, Yash Tandon

The US is preparing to inflict upon Africa the levels of carnage that it has already wrought upon the Middle East, where the dead and wounded number in the millions and those driven from their homes in the tens of millions, while entire societies have been shattered.

The whole point of the America-led war on terror in Africa is to keep the continent in a state of permanent war. For not only does it force African countries, finally freeing themselves from Western dependence, into dependence on AFRICOM; it also undermines China’s blossoming relationship with Africa.

What kind of a moron appoints Robert Mugabe as goodwill ambassador for health? That is what the new Ethiopian-born Director General of the World Health Organization did – sparking global consternation. The appointment, now reversed, underlines one fact: Tedros Adhanom lacks what it takes to head even a village clinic.

A time when the armed forces in Africa were infamous for their penchant to interfere in politics, Malu distinguished himself as a professional icon. He led the 10-nation-strong force that liberated Liberia from the throes of a bloody civil war.

Tagged under: 843, Human Security, Paul Ejime

Why is it that, despite its notorious legacy of mismanaging the country and an atrocious human rights record, Zimbabwe’s ruling party ZANU-PF still wins elections? It is not only by rigging; the party knows well the character of its core support base of mostly irrational voters. The opposition should not only go into next year’s election as a united front; in addition they must craft strategies to raid ZANU-PF’s support base.

Revolutionary intellectuals led our liberation movements. They initiated and organised the left and democratic formations. Thugs and mercenaries of imperialism and their hirelings have tortured and murdered revolutionary intellectuals all over the continent. But with Thomas Sankara they continue chanting: “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”

A review of ‘Twilight of the Money Gods: Economics as a religion and how it all went wrong’ by John Rapley. London; New York; Sydney; Toronto; New Delhi:  Simon and Schuster. 2017.

Tagged under: 843, Economics, Roger Southall

An African centered critical pedagogy is required in order to create the cadre of the men and women capable of making the analysis as well as developing the policies, structures and systems for the realization of Pan African objectives. Deconstruction of the imperial power of Euro-America global white supremacy will come about only by African governments and peoples mobilizing and creating a Pan African political culture and an All African Union Government.

Qaddafi was leading a world revolution. The revolution would challenge every aspect of Eurocentric epistemology and its inherent racism. It was more than a social, political and economic revolution; it was nothing short of a spiritual and cultural revolution. This confounded not only the imperialist powers but also their reactionary Arab satraps.

Pambazuka News 842: Kenya on the brink

The 3rd People’s Triangular Conference of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan organized by the No to ProSavana campaign will take place at the Kaya-Kwanga Conference Centre in Maputo on 24 and 25 October, 2017. This conference aims to reflect the development models in Mozambique, with emphasis on the ProSavana Program, through a deep and democratic debate.

Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu, PhD, wants to see Africans unleash their suppressed creative and innovative energies by acknowledging the significance of their indigenous, authentic knowledge. In this powerful talk, she shares examples of untapped, traditional African knowledge in agriculture and policy-making, calling on Africans to make progress by validating and dignifying their reality.

Between 2006 and 2010 the deployment of US special forces troops in Africa increased by 300 per cent. From 2010 to 2017 the numbers of deployed troops exploded by nearly 2000 per cent, occupying more than 60 outposts tasked with carrying out over 100 missions at any given moment across the continent.

Tagged under: 842, Eddie Haywood, Human Security

It has been said that it is insane to do the same thing again and again and expect a different result. The present world system is not sustainable for the majority of the people or the Planet. What is urgently needed is transformation at the levels of the individual and society.

Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara (1949-1987) was assassinated 30 years ago, on 15 October 1987. He was one of the most confident and outspoken anti-imperialist leaders of the late 20th century. Sankara’s life and political praxis continue to be significant in shaping and inspiring anti-imperial and Pan-African youth activism and resistance across the African continent and beyond.

Eighty-four percent of the population of Uganda are rural subsistence farmers. They are resisting both rampant land grabbing and US ally General Yoweri Museveni’s attempt to rule for life. Ann Garrison spoke to Phil Wilmot, an American-born activist who now lives in rural Uganda.

The terrorist attack in Mozambique early this month is the first incident of violent extermism in the southern African nation. The attack appears to have been carried out by a group of local young Muslims who formed a sect in 2014  and have told their followers to stop sending their children to secular institutions such as state schools and hospitals. The group wants Sharia law applied in their area.

 

I have argued consistently for many years that trade is war contrary to Kamidza’s view that it is benign and developmental.  I do not believe there is any “developmental” potential in EU’s aid or trade policy towards Africa. Indeed, I contend that all development is resistance against imperialism.

Tagged under: 842, Economics, Yash Tandon

Washington and London’s support for Paul Kagame’s more than two-decade long control of Kigali explains the dominance of a highly simplistic account of Rwanda’s genocide. But a tertiary reason for the strength of the fairy tale is it aligns with the nationalist mythology of another G7 state: Canada.

Tagged under: 842, Human Security, Yves Engler

Less than a week to the repeat presidential poll, the country is dangerously polarized. The leading opposition candidate has withdrawn. A senior official of the electoral body quit and fled the country, saying conditions for a credible poll have not been met. The elections chief has said the same thing.

Nikanori Apita used the classroom to shape the minds of generations, weaning them out of racist ideology of Empire that cramped their mental growth. Empire’s ideology was ingrained in the colonial texts it was his duty to teach. Apita decided his task was to subvert the texts.

Tagged under: 842, John Otim, Pan-Africanism

The ruling Jubilee coalition insists repeat presidential elections must go on next Thursday. The opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) has called for a boycott and nationwide protests on that date. Unless the election is called off now, and efforts made to cool off tempers, Kenya could implode.

It will be a source of embarrassment to the United States Department of State to discover that while it is spending billions of tax-dollars in promoting democracy, human rights and the Justice Law and Order Sector in developing countries, justice, law and order are crumbling in, of all enlightened places, New York State.

Tagged under: 842, Human Security, Mary Serumaga

Ngugi wa Thiong’o holds two teaching positions at the University of California, Irvine, as Distinguished Professor in Comparative Literature and Distinguished Professor of English. He does not have an earned masters or PhD degree, only a bachelor’s degree. And he is not the only one.

Tagged under: 842, Education, Maurice N. Amutabi

Pambazuka News 841: Che and social justice today

The Che of mythology is presented as a starry-eyed utopian idealist. But the actual Ernesto Guevara was a voracious reader and highly cultured man of science, a revolutionist of action deeply grounded in theoretical study and practical experience. That is the man whose life and work still resonates with the social justice struggles of the world today, half a century after America murdered him.

Tagged under: 841, Ike Nahem, Pan-Africanism

In a letter to his five children written en route to Bolivia, Ernesto Che Guevara said: “Always be able to feel deep within your being all the injustices committed against anyone, anywhere in the world. This is the most beautiful quality a revolutionary can have.” Che’s legacy remains a doctor’s love for humanity.

Tagged under: 841, Global South, Vijay Prashad

The funny thing about the G20 Compact with Africa is that it is formulated by the same institutions that perpetuate underdevelopment in the continent. One cannot go to a doctor who repeatedly prescribes the wrong medication to his patients, worsening their illness instead of curing them. Global capitalism is the main cause of African underdevelopment. If Africa wants genuine development, it must reject advice from the so-called international community and its institutions.

Tagged under: 841, Economics, Fekadu Bekele

Canada doesn't want Guinean asylum seekers in its territory. It is not that thousands of Guineans are flocking the North American nation. Only a few applicants are seeking refuge. Yet Guinea is a mineral-rich country. In a number of ways, Canada has since the colonial days contributed to the impoverishment that drives Guineans to seek a better life elsewhere.

Tagged under: 841, Economics, Yves Engler

It is hard to make a case for continued support of the World Bank. Serving America’s national security and diplomatic interest is not persuasive for the remaining 189 member countries of the Bank. It is not even persuasive for Americans.

Tagged under: 841, Economics, Jonathan Mensah

One of the attributes of a middle income country is a rising middle class seeking the comforts of life, while the poor mass up at the fringes picking up crumbs from the table of the well to do. Ghana today is a place of unaffordable high-rise buildings, expensive restaurants, increase in domestic flights, expensive private schools - and unending political bigotry that could lead to the country’s implosion.

Tagged under: 841, Economics, Zaya Yeebo

Ethiopia would be a tough place to govern even for the most talented and well-intentioned daughters and sons of the land. It is a complex country of over 80 ethnic groups and 100 million people. After years of internal turmoil under a vicious and corrupt dictatorship, Ethiopia seems to be heading to the tipping point. Only internal structural change will save the country.

Unexpected political developments in Ethiopia clearly indicate that the 26-year-old tyranny is coming to an end. The people’s defiant resistance to the oppressors is relentless . What remains unclear is what happens after the regime crumbles. Ethiopia could plunge into chaos not so much because of the evil the regime has done, but because of the good the opposition failed to do.

Spanish unity and prosperity resulted from the global plunder and slavery that fuelled the emergence of the capitalist countries. The tonnes of gold looted from the New World by slave labour propped up the feudal aristocracy and its handmaid, the Catholic Church. Capitalism developed slowly and unevenly, and the Spanish state subordinated other territories with their own distinct history, language, culture and economy.

If the secessionist movements in English-speaking Cameroon continue to pursue the head-on collision option with the Republic of Cameroon, there will likely be many more massacres of citizens, many more toothless mealy-mouthed platitudes from the United Nations and other foreign observers, but no meaningful progress to end the current crisis.

Western bodies have long reduced African academics to native informants whose job is simply to collect data for those in New York or London who have the conceptual competence to study it. It is this native informant mentality that Prof. Mamdani is uprooting in his effort to transform Makerere Institute of Social Research from a consultancy unit into a full-fledged research institute. Such a person needs support, not slander.

Tagged under: 841, Education, Yahya Sseremba

Emergency services, disaster management, the ward councilor and his committee and other state support structures were missing in action at Glebelands hostel after #DurbanStorm. Many of the rotten, decades-old blocks are structurally unsound, yet there were no officials on site to whom the residents could turn for help. The Glebelands community, as usual, has been left to pick up the pieces themselves as best they could.

Communal land under control of traditional leaders, chiefs and kings, rather than individual owners, is one of the biggest obstacles to development, industrialization and economic growth in Africa.

Tagged under: 841, Economics, William Gumede

Pambazuka News 840: What keeps Africa down?

China sees no evil, hears no evil in Africa – precisely the kind of posture African dictators, tired of Western lectures, relish. But the problem is not China. It is African leaders who adamantly refuse to learn from their own history, which teaches that every foreign entity that goes to the continent does so to pursue its own interest.

The concept of ‘Africa rising’ poses crucial questions. How can Africans ‘rise’ when they do not possess the thing that allows them to enter the world of Beings seeking sustained economic development? How can they achieve economic growth in the global political economy when the very idea of ‘economic growth’ is counter-defined against them? How can those who are the quintessential slave within the world’s collective imagination ‘rise’?

Tagged under: 840, Frank Fanon, Global South

In 2005, Yoweri Museveni persuaded Parliament to amend Uganda’s constitution to eliminate presidential term limits, so that he could remain in power. Now, at age 73, after ruling for 31 years, he is once again asking Parliament to amend the Constitution to eliminate the age limit that would require him to step down at 75.

Marren struggled tirelessly towards the improvement of women’s participation in politics and the reduction of women’s poverty at the household level. She advocated for inclusivity and the revival of the women’s movement in Africa.

Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni is on the warpath against leaders and citizens who are resisting his attempt to rule the East African nation for life. One of those targeted is outspoken popular musician-cum-politician Kyaluganyi Ssentamu a.k.a Bobi Wine, who recounts here recent threats to his life.

Despite many efforts to falsify the history of the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania, the heroes of Black liberation have sealed that history with their blood, sacrifice and noble service. But the fundamental struggle of the PAC continues, captured in the political slogan: Izwe Lethu! The Land is Ours! Freedom without repossession of land by colonially dispossessed Africans is a gigantic colonial fraud.

Tagged under: 840, Motsoko Pheko, Pan-Africanism

Although not recognized internationally, the self-declared republic of Somaliland holds its sixth competitive elections on 13 November. Almost all Somaliland’s politicians are directly involved in clan-based politics, which is a threat to the nation’s fragile democracy.

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