Pambazuka News 419: Blowing the lid off Zimbabwe: the debate continues

Leaders of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) launched a yearly working programme at the first meeting of the Steering Committee in Dakar last weekend February 6th and 7th. The Steering Committee of the FAJ elected by congress in November 2008 in Nairobi, Kenya, convened in Dakar to examine the implementation of priorities and programmed activities for 2009 as agreed at the Nairobi Congress.

Xenophobic attacks in South Africa displaced 150,000 people and killed more than 60 in 2008. This year, as the country heads to the polls, researchers say local politicians may be capitalizing on the hate and fear that fuelled the attacks - this time to win votes. Immigrant lobby groups have put out a call for increased monitoring of political campaigns ahead of general elections in April.

The Kellogg Brown & Root LLC (KBR Ink) has pleaded guilty to the federal charges that the company bribed Nigerian officials to win contracts. As part of the plea agreement, KBR agreed to pay a $402 million criminal fine. The US Department of Justice accused the Houston-based engineering company of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for its participation in a decade-long scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials to obtain engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts.

The Department for International Development will announce a £1.4 million three-year project that will lay the foundations for financial services to be made available through new and emerging technology across Africa and Asia, to bring access to the poor in developing countries. International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander said the introduction of Mobile phones, text messages and fingerprint recognition could soon bring branchless banking to millions of the world's poorest people more

Facebook is not just a way to get back in touch with old classmates from school or see what your “friends” are up to. Activists around the world are taking advantage of this new virtual space to expand their reach and establish more immediate and interactive contact with individuals and organisations from an ever wider range of backgrounds. ITeM, an APC member in Uruguay, talked with APCNoticias about how it is using this web-based tool, and shared some practical advice for others who are more