The 2017 Strini Moodley Memorial Lecture Mphutlane Wa Bofelo The crisis facing South Africa and the world today has its roots in: (1) the barbarism and injustices of market supremacism, racial supremacism and patriarchy; (2) the inadequacy of liberal democracy; (3) the excesses of commandist communism and vanguardist Marxism and (4) the failure of the dominant discourse to locate racism and patriarchy as much central to the problems we face as capitalism. The crisis can only be appropriately dealt with by appealing to the radical humanism of Socialism.
Mama Sobukwe epitomises the collective experiences of many Black women throughout the Afrikan continent and diaspora whose roles and contributions in the liberation struggle remain unacknowledged, written out of popular historical narratives, biographical memory and national consciousness.
If Zimbabwe’s heroines Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi were here today, what would they have done as the country is run down by erstwhile liberators gone rogue? Fold hands and watch? Make social media jokes out of their suffering and laugh at themselves? Throw stones at those who dare rise and speak out? No! Those two were allergic to indignity, exploitation, suffering without action, disenfranchisement and subjugation.
A review of ‘Madame President: The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’ by Helene Cooper (Simon & Schuster 2017.) The book is a fascinating portrait of a deeply courageous, intelligent, shrewd and determined woman possessed, at an early age, of a sense of high destiny and a deeply patriotic commitment to serving her country – even if that meant making frankly rebarbative choices. Serleaf has been consistently pragmatic, determined to undo decades of despoliation visited upon Liberia by successive regimes, in some of which she served.
Respected humanitarian agencies collected a mountain of donations in the name of Haiti earthquake victims, they largely squandered it, and they then refused to account for it. How did they get donors to give the money? Through exaggerations, truth-twisting and outright lies. And the international press spread those lies and gave them credibility.
The new government of Lesotho has promised to tackle the scourge of corruption. But Basotho are familiar with such pledges that never translate into action. Political will is not enough to eliminate corruption where the vice is endemic, performs the basic function of maintaining political stability and is key to winning an election.
Entrepreneurship is more than just an economic term — it is a way of thinking. Creating jobs, empowering people and giving individuals access to better lives is certainly a development goal which all countries aspire to. But while South Africa has embraced the rhetoric, it has yet to create the economic ecosystem necessary for entrepreneurship to thrive.
Trump’s myopic motto, ‘America First’, is complemented by an unspoken one, ‘Africa Never.’ His refusal to take notice of Africa will be deleterious to US-Africa relations. Luckily, one of the unintended benefits of Trump’s dissing of Africa is the realization of people of African origin worldwide that they need to pursue a common agenda.
It is ironic that those who are criticizing Trump on Africa today seemed to have taken a vow of silence when Barack Obama befriended and wined and dined the most ruthless African dictators. Obama overlooked their deplorable human rights and corruption records in the name of counter-terrorism cooperation.
Peasants across Africa are intensifying their struggles against land grabs and other harmful policies that promote industrial agriculture. At a recent international conference organized by the world’s largest peasants movement, Via Campesina, African peasants had opportunities to share their experiences of struggle and to learn.
The proposed amendment of the Constitution is not only unjust; it raises questions of the democratic principle of separation of powers among the arms of government. Government (Executive) is arbitrarily seeking to overturn the decision of the Supreme Court (Judiciary) using its parliamentary majority (Legislature).
The disturbances created by the wealthy are part of the imperialists’ intervention plan in Venezuela. The disinformation campaign carried out by the mainstream media is a key component of that effort. So, no one should be surprised by the profusion of Orwellian statements and the incessant vilification of President Maduro in mainstream coverage of Venezuela.
As African and European leaders plan to meet in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, late November 2017 to assess the status of the Africa-Europe partnership, Pambazuka News is calling for a broad range of papers analysing, from various perspectives, relations between Africa and Europe and how they might evolve in the coming decades.
As a way to reach more people and to make your experience with Pambazuka News better, we have developed an android app as another tool to create a better reading experience with mobile devices. The app will have periodic updates to cater for changing readers' requirements and experiences. App download Link
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Henry Makori and Tidiane Kasse - Editors, Pambazuka News