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Thursday, May 5, 2016

CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Advocacy & campaigns 3. Jobs & announcements


“Our stomachs will make themselves heard”: What Sankara can teach us about food justice today

Amber Murrey

When it comes to food justice, environmentalism and ecological practices, Thomas Sankara was way ahead of his time. Thomas Sankara helped Burkina Faso become self-sufficient before in basic foodstuffs in just a few years before he was assassinated.


MISR strip protest: Context, performance and hermeneutics

Yusuf Serunkuma

The ruckus kicked up by Dr. Stella Nyanzi’s nude protest against Prof Mahmood Mamdani, director of Makerere Institute of Social Research, refuses to die down. Responding to an article by three fellow graduate students in support of Dr. Nyanzi published in last week’s issue of Pambazuka News, another student now offers a different take on the controversial academic and the situation at the institute.

Post-election Uganda: From polls to prayers of protest

Odomaro Mubangizi

Uganda is still restless following the election of February 18 that was controversially won by President Yoweri Museveni against the backdrop of massive irregularities. Museveni, in power for 30 years already, will be sworn in for another 5-year term on May 12. Beginning today, the opposition has announced popular protests. Uganda’s future remains uncertain.


What are they really celebrating at the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris?

Kwame Opoku

Could a museum with all the precious stolen artefacts of others and the support of the French government fail? Such celebrations are the self-congratulatory affirmations of the seemingly impregnable position certain Western cultural institutions have assumed as a result of relentless colonial exploitation and oppression of African and Asian peoples. Or how could one explain that institutions holding admittedly looted artefacts are not bothered about the illegality of their acquisitions?


Am I Kenyan or Indian?

Narissa Allibhai

A young Kenyan woman troubled by the question of her identity sets off to Indian to find her roots. She wants to determine once and for all whether she is Kenyan or Indian. Or possibly both. It turns out to be a great journey of self-discovery that even surprises her.

Challenges of partnerships: Some lessons from Africa

John O. Kakonge

Sustainable, effective and successful partnerships need to be built on mutual trust, on an explicit programme, clearly defined responsibilities, champion figures and financial resources. In this article, Dr. Kakonge outlines positive and negative factors that influence development assistance partnerships in Africa.

Some thoughts on Cuban resistance to US ideological/political war

Arnold August

Since the visit by President Obama, two scenarios are playing out in Cuba. One is the barely veiled naive perspective regarding Obama. The second is the staunch resistance to the US ideological/political war being waged against Cuba’s socialist culture. The balance of forces is in favour of the outlook that is combating the infiltration of US prejudices within Cuban society.


US foreign policy in Africa and the 2016 elections

Wars of regime-change and the domination of international finance capital will continue to strangle the continent

Abayomi Azikiwe

Whatever the outcome of the U.S. elections this year, Washington’s militarized imperialist policy towards Africa looks certain to remain unchanged. Matters are not helped by the fact that, unlike in the 1970s and 1980s, the Black leadership in America is not pushing for any policy change towards Africa.


2016 Open Letter to President Barack Hussein Obama

Norman (Otis) Richmond (aka Jalali)

President Obama in 2009 signed a proclamation establishing the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission. The commission was supposed to organize activities to mark the 100th anniversary, in 2011, of President Reagan’s birth. What about we people who are darker than blue? If a Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission is in order, what about a Black Music Month Commission?


A crooked studentship and the clap for corruption

Godwin Onyeacholem

Gone – maybe forever – are the days when thirst for knowledge to improve oneself and to contribute to a better society drove young people to seek higher education. These days university students and products of related institutions would only be able to perfectly reel off the names of rappers, footballers and DJs as well as post countless meaningless material on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and the like – with little understanding or interest in the realities of their society.


The story behind the story of Uhuru’s visit to Germany

Mickie Ojijo

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s frequent foreign travels are unprecedented in his country. His visit to Germany last month, touted at home as part of the president’s strategic engagement with the developed world, was a dismal flop. It is unlikely that anything meaningful for the people of Kenya came out of the trip.


President Kaunda, where is the book?

Munyonzwe Hamalengwa

Current leaders and the citizens can learn a lot from books authored by previous presidents. Zambia would benefit tremendously from hearing from President Kenneth Kaunda, the founding president who was in power for 27 years. How and why did he make the many momentous and not-so-momentous decisions during his time in office? He owes Zambians explanations.

2016 Commonwealth Short Story Prize: South African author is regional winner for Africa

Emma D’Costa

Commonwealth Writers has announced the regional winners for this year’s Commonwealth Short Story Prize. The five stories have risen to the top of the 4,000 entries received this year. The South African author, Faraaz Mahomed, is the regional winner for Africa for his story ‘The Pigeon’.

Advocacy & campaigns

The grand heist: A perspective from the South on the Panama Papers

Sungu Oyoo

In South Africa, over $60 million was lost through a well-orchestrated fraud from the mineworkers’ death benefits pool. 46,000 widows and orphans lost their benefits in this fraud revealed in the Panama Papers. Can you I imagine the pain of a widow  going to claim her husband’s death benefits only to find it all gone? Imagine that this widow has four children and no real source of income. We must resist!

Human rights work being criminalised in Kenya, says activist

Dan Griffin

Gacheke Gachihi of Bunge la Mwananchi (People’s Parliament) social movement says his country faces a “very serious problem of shrinking democratic space”. Kenya has witnessed the criminalisation of human rights activism, funding cuts to civil society movements and a further entrenchment of systemic corruption – “and this is getting normalised”. The situation has deteriorated since the election of Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013.

Jobs & announcements

SOTU Journalist Competition 2016

Call for Submissions

State of the Union (SOTU)

The State of the Union Coalition (SOTU) calls out for submissions of articles from journalists working in the 10 African countries SOTU has membership; Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Tunisia. The competition is open to African journalists reporting on Human Rights and Governance issues in the print and digital media. Deadline: 31st May 2016 at 11:59 (GMT +3).


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Henry Makori and Tidiane Kasse - Editors, Pambazuka News

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