Issue Title

Pentagon bombing operations against the Horn of Africa state of Somalia have killed numerous people over the last several weeks under the guise of the United States “war on terrorism.”

Once again, a formidable burst of state brutality against Zimbabwe’s citizenry has left at least a dozen corpses, scores of serious injuries, mass arrests, Internet suspension and a furious citizenry. The 14-17 January nationwide protests were called by trade unions against an unprecedented fuel price hike, leading to repression reminiscent of former leader Robert Mugabe’s iron fist.

Happy New Year Pambazuka Newsworld! Hopefully, we can all keep our New Year resolutions! This time I, too, want to maintain and excel at all my resolutions, especially, to stay here, writing forever!

The author argues that the failure of the Ghanaian Left to build on the legacy of Kwame Nkrumah is giving a good opportunity to the centre-right ruling party to develop and cement its neo-liberal ideology. 

Reflecting on the 9 March 2018 handshake between Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and leader Raila Odinga, the author wonders if that reconciliatory moment ushered in a new democratic dispensation in Kenya. 

After more than six decades since the gathering of the first All-African People’s Conference (AAPC) in Accra, Ghana on 8-13 December 1958, renewal of revolutionary Pan-Africanism is needed on the continent and globally. 

To what extent has the working class been an agent of radical change? The author discusses steps, proposed in the third chapter of Can the Working Class Change the World?, that need to be taken for workers to bring about radical change.  

In this review of Can the Working Class Change the World?, the authorreflects on the question whether the working class can defeat capitalism, its chief antagonist. 

World Bank president Jim Kim is an ex-leftist who claims that in the mid-1990s he wanted to shut down the Bank. At the time, it was an entirely valid, realistic goal of the 50 Years is Enough! Campaign and especially the World Bank Bonds Boycott. Kim’s co-edited Dying for Growth (2000) book-length analysis of the Bank’s attacks on global South public health offered very useful ammunition.

In this essay, the author talks about the current limited involvement of Russia on the African continent and the need to increase it to the level of the former Soviet Union’s ties with Africa.  

Using the conceptual frameworks of “revolutionary rupture” and “contradictions”, as analytical tools to understanding the successes and failures of revolutionary movements in the world, the author argues that 2019 could be a year of “revolutionary rupture”.  

Tagged under: 880, Global South, Yash Tandon

The old guard of South Africa’s ruling party put on new clothes last year, and a new party of the working class finally made its debut.

The author argues that the Nigerian Left is the only political formation that can bring about genuine change in Nigeria, as the country’s ruling class has not been able to produce a winning alliance of parties that can offer Nigerians anything new. 

Having read the two books written by Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the recent book by the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, I have come to an un-researched conclusion that Nigerian politicians do not know how to talk politics. 

Efforts of Africa’s unity and regional integration are obstructed by continuing outside interference and destabilisation of the continent. 

Experts and researchers have observed that, since the collapse of the Soviet-era politics, an appreciable level of media cooperation has never been on the side of Russia’s public diplomacy with Africa.

According to the author, Africa must break its dependency on capitalism and instead resolve internal contradictions, which are a reflection of the on-going exploitation and oppression engendered by the post-colonial construct to benefit the West. 

This is part two of a seven-part series of the review of Can the Working Class Change the World?.

From the Democratic Republic of Congo to Sudan the need for continental solutions is apparent.

This is part one of a seven-part series introducing the review of Can the Working Class Change the World?

Estimates demonstrate that, over the last 40 years, Nigeria has been loosing billions of dollars daily to corruption and wastages of the country’s resources. 

The author argues that President Trump’s proposed new Africa strategy seeks to make geo-economics the governing and guiding principle of US foreign policy on the continent. 

A recent conference in South Africa raised issues on whether universal healthcare should be a private or state-driven endeavour.

Trade union renewal is high on the agenda in many countries, but we need to think carefully about why we want it.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turned 70 on 12 December and governments and civil society organisations around the world were commemorating the day with a range of activities.  However, the threat of illicit financial flows to the respect of human seems to have been forgotten on that day. 

Tagged under: 879, Economics, Imani Countess

On what has been hailed as a great day and a milestone for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, the plenary assembly session of the SADC parliamentary forum recently adopted the first ever SADC model law on elections.

The minimum wage law, the land question and the economics of imperialism are to shape the character of the coming electoral period in South Africa. 

This week’s hush-hush visit by International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde to Pretoria (between stops in Ghana and Angola) is mysterious. In contrast to last week’s IMF press briefing claim – “Madame Lagarde will hold meetings with the authorities, as well as fairly extensive meetings with the private sector, civil society, academia, women leaders, and of course the media” – there is a complete information void here, with no public events scheduled.

I am a young African man with four university qualifications under his belt, yet, as is the case with many of my peers, adequate employment has been a challenge to obtain on offer.

One thing supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari can’t deny is that many of those who oppose him today, almost three and half years after he was sworn in as the fourth president of the Fourth Republic, rooted for him 2015. Many of them are not politicians; they are not angry because President Buhari has blocked their illegal sources of wealth; and they are not people who have cases with anti-corruption agencies. I am one of them. 

The President of South African trade federation COSATU met with Swazi sugar cane farmers and promised to help them regain control of their land from Swaziland’s absolute monarch King Mswati III. 

The authors draw our attention to the danger of growth at all costs, especially to the environment and the livelihoods of marginalised communities, especially in Kenya and other developing countries.  

Samir Amin died on August 12, 2018. In July of 2018 he published a call for the establishment of a global fifth international that could coordinate and provide support to progressive social movements. Amin, Samir 2018 “Letter of Intent for an Inaugural Meeting of the International of Workers and Peoples” IDEAs network, July 3. 

In his review ofProtection, Patronage or Plunder?by Apollo Nelson Makubuya, Professor Yash Tandon concurs with the author that the “Buganda Question” is an issue that would not disappear from the records of Uganda’s history, and thus needed to be candidly debated and addressed. 

In this essay, the author deplores the current generation’s unwillingness to learn the “ways of life” from elders in African villages including the culture of reading and seeking for knowledge that characterised that generation of the 1950s and 1960s. 

In this essay, the author asserts that, despite the incumbent President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, appearing to be in a strong position before the 2019 general elections, the opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar would not be a “walk-over” in the contest.

The author writes about the impact the All Africa People’s Conference that was organised in December 1958 in Ghana had on liberation movements in Southern Africa, especially in Zimbabwe. 

The place of intellectualism is quite pronounced in international affairs much as is mired in defined controversies often emanating from society’s built perceptions.

Do the findings of the recent Afrobarometer survey on The Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission affirm the fact that truth and reconciliation mechanisms are snowflake mechanisms that are incapable of delivering justice for the victims of human rights violations?

Professor Horace Campbell argues that Africa needs a new alliance of traders, workers, small farmers, progressive students, cultural artists and religious leaders to create a new movement for putting in place the mechanisms for the unification and freedom of Africa and not the current reformist leaders that the continent has. 

Since March of 2015, the United States has engineered and guided a genocidal war against the people of Yemen. Daily bombing operations by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition has killed tens of thousands of people, injured and sickened hundreds of thousands more and created the worse humanitarian crisis in the world.

6 November 2018 was a day in which people across the United States and indeed the world were watching for some indications of the future political prospects for the leading capitalist state.

Thomas Jefferson should have known about Ethiopia.  That was what the late, great Pan-Africanist scholar Ali Mazrui suggested in his keynote address to a conference held at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in 2007.  I assisted Mazrui with research for that address and was honoured to travel with him to Ithaca and listen to his presentation as he reflected on Ethiopia with characteristic imagination and historical sensitivity.  

From Cape to Cairo, there is a wide-ranging call for decolonising the university curriculum and to some extent primary and secondary school programmes. This call is motivated by the inability of the current knowledge produced at African universities to transform the society, and to respond to the socio-economic needs of our continent, mother Africa.

The author writes about double marginalisation faced by Africans in the diaspora, especially those living in the United States of America. 

This is a summary of a historic week for Argentina at the heart of the current economic turmoil. 

With the election of Jair Bolsonaro – who said he would rather be called a Hitler than gay – Brazil’s electoral system has brought fascism to power. It would be hard to overstate the impact this will have on the country, the continent and the world. 

An amazing story-telling and reflection on Mauritius, written by Mateus Costa Santos, from Mozambique, who recently participated in the School of Ecology in Port Louis city, Mauritius. 

Hundreds of thousands (potentially millions) of poor and destitute ex-workers and their families have lost most of their confidence in the integrity and “reputation” of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority and its Treasury parent, to perform their functions in a just, equitable and efficient manner, to serve their interests. 

Tagged under: 877, Doctor McKinley, Economics

The author reflects on recent passing of Professor Chris Wanjala of the University of Nairobi, at the same time thinking about other prominent African intellectuals and political figures such as Samir Amin and Kofi Annan that Africa lost in 2018. 

The author analyses the implications of the on-going reforms by the reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed not only in Ethiopia, but also in the entire Eastern African region and the whole continent of Africa in general. 

The World Social Forum’s “Thematic Forum on Mining and Extractivism” convenes from 12-15 November 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa, just after the Southern Africa People’s Tribunal on Transnational Corporations. In between, at the notorious 2012 massacre site on the platinum belt to the west, there is a launch of a new book – Business as Usual after Marikana– critical not only of the mining house Lonmin but of its international financiers and buyers. 

In 1991, the globally recognised anti-West Soviet propaganda machine collapsed and disappeared. Nonetheless, Russia and Southern African Development Community member states have had long-standing and time-tested bilateral partnerships for nearly 30 years after the Soviet collapse. In this long-ranging interview, the Executive Secretary of the Community, Stergomena Lawrence Tax, discusses various aspects of economic cooperation with Russia, some strategies, challenges and future perspectives with Kester Kenn Klomegah from Moscow.

In the following interview with Bosse Kramsjo, a participant in an on-going Occupy Movement, about 20-months long, to save a hospital, narrates the movement. Bosse, now engaged with ecological farming along with his wife Maria Norgren, has authored books and articles exposing capitalist development, non-governmental organisations-trickery and micro credit businesses. To Bosse and Maria, engagement with ecological farming is part of their struggle against the profit-driven, chemical-stuffed agricultural industry owned by big companies. 

Canada’s paper of record pulled another layer off the rotting onion of propaganda obscuring the Rwandan tragedy. But, The Globe and Mailhas so far remained unwilling to challenge prominent Canadians who have crafted the fairy tale serving Africa’s most ruthless dictator.

The recent release of many Rwandan political prisoners should not stop campaigns aimed at a more open and tolerant political environment in the country. 

President Donald Trump’s comments regarding the murder of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, aptly reflect the true nature of the power brokers that he represents. Instead of the usual “Empire-speak” statements, hypocritically condemning Khashoggi’s murder, followed by a pep talk on the values of “democracy” and “freedom of speech”, Trump is basically saying, as the leader of one rogue state, to another, that was the “worst cover up ever” boys, and heads should roll. 

South Africa has just witnessed two major economic events, which spoke volumes about the prospects for global and local capitalism: an austerity-oriented budgetleaving the economy far more vulnerable to renewed world financial chaos; and a sham investment conferencefeaturing capitalists with just as strong a record of super-exploitation and deceit as those who went to Mohammed bin Salman’sin Riyadh the week before.

Ann Garrison spoke to Swiss Congolese historian and activist Bénédicte Kumbi Ndjoko about recent developments in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

On 23 October 2018, Paul Biya was elected for his 7th consecutive term in office as President of Cameroon. At 85 years old, Biya stands as the longest ruling national leader, having accumulated 43 years at the head of the Cameroonian state, first as Prime Minister (1975-1982) and subsequently as President (1982-2018). 

Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul has taken the world by storm. No murder story in recent history has claimed as much media attention as this one.  

The legacies of colonial rule, both generally and in particular categories of colony, have and still continue to affect post-colonial economic development in Africa through the extraction of resources and illicit funds. The new agency for this is the “Corporation”, which has its origins in the East India Company sanctioned by Queen Elisabeth I as a royal charter. 

In recent years, South Africa has witnessed a rapid expansion of mining in mineral-rich rural areas of the former apartheid Bantustans or homelands that are vulnerable to mining land grabs. Worryingly, there are intensive and wide-ranging “cold wars” going on in these areas that do not ordinarily get much prominent coverage by the mass media. These battles, hostilities or feuds are between the indigenous black rural folks and “lily-white owned” foreign mining companies.  In many ways the battles resemble the biblical battle between Goliath, the Philistine and David, the Israelite. 

Public discontent over evictions, foreclosures, water shut-offs and substandard wages can only be ameliorated through organised action.

This is incredible news of unprecedented magnitude: Dr. Abiy Ahmed, the reformist Prime Minister of Ethiopia has done the unimaginable and appointed 50 percent of his new cabinet as women, including the Ministry of Defence.  If this is not revolutionary, I do not know what it is.  

One of the most important issues in the city of Detroit and throughout the United States is centred on what many progressive forces call the Housing Question. This has been a major concern since the rise of industrial capitalism during the early decades of the 19th century. 

Parallel tracks of United States government policy against the Black working class in the US and on the African continent expose much more than incidental similarity, but a concerted fatal conspiracy. 

The following is a statement by an independent committee, which has sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the US federal government’s Department of Education to disclose records of the financial monitoring of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This is one step toward a public dialogue and taking back our HBCUs. The viewpoint expressed about self-reliance, commons for all, and Black pride and empowerment overcoming betrayal; and elitism at our educational institutions may be of significance to the African world.

A person who labours for the general good of all serves society and is worthy of his hire. Therefore, such bread-labour is not different from social service. What the vast mass of mankind does for self or at best for family, a social servant does for general good. – M. K. Gandhi.

For almost a year now, since I resumed writing for publication in the media, I have deliberately referred to the Nigerian Left—my primary concern in this ideological and political enterprise—as if it were a homogenous or monolithic entity. But I know that most of my readers know, as much as I do, that the Nigerian Left—described here as the aggregate of Nigerian Marxists, socialists and pro-people radical democrats—is neither homogenous nor monolithic and has never been. 

With the end of the cold war, the independence of Namibia in 1990 and the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa in 1994, the Southern African region entered an era of relative political stability and competitive multi-party politics. But the peace dividend proved unable to finance the hopes and promises, and more and more political analysts point to the “mixed bag” of democratisation processes. 

The magnificent Ramada Plaza Hotel in Tunisia’s capital city, Tunis played host to lawyers across Africa on 27-29 September 2018 for the ninth annual conference and general assembly of the Pan African Lawyers Union (PALU) whose theme was “One Continent, One People, One Economy: Developing Africa through Continental Free Trade and Movement”. 

Abolishing all exploitation, completely eliminating the division of society into classes, mercilessly crushing the resistance of the exploiters, establishing a socialist organisation of society, and achieving the victory of socialism in all countries were declared as the fundamental aim of the newly established Soviet Russia, a Republic of Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies. 

This article discusses the conceptual underpinnings of economic integration among sovereign states, countries’ motivations for seeking membership in economically integrated blocs, the necessity of economic integration, and the necessity of economic integration beyond the current and unprecedented attacks on its relevance by some countries. 

Tagged under: 876, Economics, Henry Kyambalesa

The extraordinary double standard that exists towards Africa whereby some European countries that have totally flawed and corrupted systems presume to lecture Africans on their systems and assume to take a superior stance is symptomatic of a mind-set that represents a very potent form of passive racism in Europe. 

Almost three years ago, I wrote an article titled, “Dear Academia, Take Us Black”. The article came after my first encounter with the Fees Must Fall protest action. The observation I made was that University of KwaZulu-Natal’s academic staff had shut the blinds, got into their cars and drove off to God knows where “intellectuals” run to when their safe spaces are breached. This is the anti-black nature of academia.

Making his first visit to the United States as head of state, Republic of Cuba President Miguel Diaz-Canal Bermudez addressed over 2,000 people at Riverside Church and delivered an impassioned speech before the 73rd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 26 September.

Another agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea that was signed in Jedda, Saudi Arabia on 16 September 2018 represents a new page in the shifting political alignments in this area of East Africa. Despite on-going negotiations and agreements, imperialist military forces are set to remain in the Horn of Africa region. 

These are short reflections on the “Pedagogies in Historical Studies: Theory and Practice” that was held at the University of Zimbabwe this year. 

Uganda is undergoing some serious political architectonic movements that are worth monitoring closely including the government's suspicions with the red colour, associated with opposition activist Bobi Wine. 

On 1 September of this year, at the Bugando Hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania, a nobody in particular joined his ancestors. Few – family, friends and home villagers – will note, let alone mourn, his passing. Yet, to me, Naijuka Kashiwaki was a real somebody.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke of human rights and international cooperation at the United Nations. But what will she do about the fact that two New Zealand companies are the last buyers of phosphate rock from occupied Western Sahara?

This brief input deals with the meaning of Steve Bantu Biko for young people today and whether his vision of bestowing upon South Africa “a more humane face” remains valid. Biko is without doubt one of the most important figures of Black liberation of the past century. Today, 41 years after his murder, his mission of total independence for Black people, remains unfinished.

On the surface, the Brazilian presidential election seems complex. Despite the coup and Lula da Silva’s arrest, the Partido dos Trabalhadoresseems to be the favourite political party in the week before the election, facing a fearsome creature of the dictatorship – Bolsonaro. What is in dispute in this election? Who is the candidate for large capital? What is the strategy of the bourgeoisie? And the answer from the left? I will now address these issues.

Ethiopia’s privatisation project has earned acclamation from the usual suspects including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, lenders, and foreign bargain hunters among others, but a serious conversation among Ethiopians has yet to take place. This commentary intends to draw the attention of policy makers to some of the grey areas of privatisation of state-owned enterprises in the country. 

The fundamental cause of the current flow migrants risking their lives on the way to Europe is the outrageous division of the globe into oppressor and oppressed countries where a handful of monopoly capitalist powers acquire unimaginable wealth through the exploitation of the vast majority of the world’s people. 

Liberia has been taken over by multinational corporations that are exploiting its resources at the expense of Liberians, especially the country’s working class that serves as cheap labour to these foreign companies. 

The article deplores the current situation of the civil society in Ghana where the sector seems to be silent on important national issues including the violation of women’s rights and the plight of poor people. 

The author believes that the attempt to re-write Ghana’s history, especially the role and legacy of the country’s first President Kwame Nkrumah has woken up his sleeping supporters as well as his vision of a socialist Ghana.

The recent cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has been reportedly contained while the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front government makes attempt to reposition the country’s economy.

On 15 September, Rwandan political prisoners Victoire Ingabire and Kizito Mihigo walked out of Nyarugenge Prison in Rwanda’s capital, along with nearly 2000 more Rwandan prisoners whom President Paul Kagame had granted “executive clemency.” Members of local and international media surrounded them with still and video cameras as they emerged. 

This essay explores the historical consciousness of young workers in South Africa, focusing on young black women workers. It draws on Lucaks ideas on history and class consciousness and Freirean participatory pedagogy to facilitate a critical reflection and dialogue between young Black working women on their memories and perspective of the conditions, realities and experiences of Black working women in colonial, apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa.  

The author’s essay seeks to bridge the gap between the concept of God and the worldly concepts of political economy by using a pan-African framework to conceptualise God as a global public good. 

The author discusses about Nigeria’s history of military regimes and whether some of them could be categorised as “democratic” or simply as “dictatorships”. 

A new Amnesty International report focuses on forced evictions of poor farmers in Swaziland carried out by local police. Land and forced evictions are central to Swaziland’s undemocratic system, says an activist who grew up in Swaziland’s rural areas.

The Egyptian-born social scientist and activist Samir Amin wrote extensively on political economy and the challenges for the peripheral capitalist states. He died in a Paris, France hospital on 12 August 2018 at the age of 86.

The cauldron of corruption and lies has been boiling non-stop 24 hours a day. The time has come to overturn it, for Haitians to begin to see the light of peace. Haiti is for all Haitians. – Fanmi Lavalas statement, 8 July 2018. Fanmi Lavalas is the party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haiti’s first democratically elected president, and represents Haiti’s poor majority.

The article explains how the United States of America destroyed Haiti’s domestic rice industry to the extent that farmers could no longer feed themselves. 

This work is creative non-fiction derived from what is known about the experiences of Leah Sharibu, a 15-year-old girl kidnapped alongside other schoolgirls by a faction of Boko Haram in Dapchi, in northern Nigeria.

The Zimbabwean’s own correspondent is absolutely right to warn Zimbabwe (as well as all Africa) of the dangers of China’s colonising activities. In this article, we are extending his warning to Western de facto colonialism, which still wields immense power over all Africa’s 54 nations.

Pages