Pambazuka News 504: Biopiracy, biodiversity and food sovereignty

As the World Bank pushes forward with a massive investment in North Africa’s energy sector, it is up to the institution to ensure that this program benefits those who need it most, says the Bank Information Centre. In December 2009, the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), under the leadership of the World Bank, approved a $750 million Investment Plan for Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The plan aims to invest in CSP projects in Algeria, Egypt, more

Internationally acclaimed Kenyan poet, playwright and activist Shailja Patel has launched 'Migritude' in the US. 'Part memoir, part political history, part performance tour-de-force', the project 'weaves together family history, reportage, and monologues of violence, colonisation, and love, to create an achingly beautiful portrait of lives and migrant journeys undertaken in the boot print of Empire.’

While a trade deal between the European Union (EU) and Southern African countries is close it will not be concluded before the end of this year. In the meantime, South Africa remains in pursuit of an ambitious regional integration agenda. Namibian trade minister Hage Geingob has confirmed that the December 2010 deadline for a economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the EU that Southern African states had set themselves in Gaborone, Botswana, earlier this year will not be met.


As multinational food processor Nestlé attempts to patent the well-known benefits of South Africa’s fynbos plants, Khadija Sharife explains the role tax havens play in enabling corporations to protect the value of intellectual property rights.


The African Commission for People and Human Rights (ACPHR) has declined to give observer status to the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL). Outraged LGBTI activists have described the decision as a huge setback by the highest body supposed to promote and protect human rights on the continent. This week’s blog roundup focuses on LGBTI news and issues.