Ben Laauwen

I enjoyed reading the article (Raila Odinga and his Nigerian Forty Thieves - for the use of language. I felt sad to feel that the future of South African politics looks to move into the same direction. Mr Zuma has taken over the leadership of the ANC, the majority and ruling party. Mr Zuma is most likely standing trial for corruption in August this year. His NEC (National Executive Committee) houses a number of convicted criminals. President Thabo Mbeki and some of his more prominent collea...read more

Excellent article, placing the drive to privatisation in a clear light. (http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/31759). The expected returns on FDI, related to privatised public services, to shareholders will soon replace the interest owed on debts to the World Bank and IMF. "There is no free lunch". I hope African leaders will see the trap in time.

The two articles 'The political economy of regional trade agreements in Africa' and 'Africa needs action not words' (Pambazuka News 155, could be combined in one as they address the same issues from different viewpoints. The statement 'Africa produces what it does not consume and consumes what it does not produce' lies at the core of its continued poverty. When I worked for a timber company in Holland in the sixties, we could easily import logs from Africa. When we needed Oregon pine and ...read more

Your article on the commonwealth is spot on (Pambazuka 135: Commonwealth and Human Rights: Contradictions and Weaknesses). The organisation has lost most of its historical rights and today's relevance. It seems to be held together by the UK Queen and her desire (or not) to look important, which she is not. Certainly not in Africa. The North/South issues are far more important to Africa than the desire to keep the commonwealth together. Inconsistencies in its behaviour do help to dismantle thi...read more