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Pambazuka News Pambazuka News is produced by a pan-African community of some 2,600 citizens and organisations - academics, policy makers, social activists, women's organisations, civil society organisations, writers, artists, poets, bloggers, and commentators who together produce insightful, sharp and thoughtful analyses and make it one of the largest and most innovative and influential web forums for social justice in Africa.

Latest titles from Pambazuka Press

African Sexualities

Earth Grab A Reader
Sylvia Tamale
A groundbreaking book, accessible but scholarly, by African activists. It uses research, life stories and artistic expression to examine dominant and deviant sexualities, and investigate the intersections between sex, power, masculinities and femininities
Buy now

Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya

From Citizen to Refugee Horace Campbell
In this elegantly written and incisive account, scholar Horace Campbell investigates the political and economic crises of the early twenty-first century through the prism of NATO's intervention in Libya.
Buy now

Queer African Reader

Demystifying Aid Edited by Sokari Ekine, Hakima Abbas
A diverse collection of writing from across the continent exploring African LGBTI liberation: identity, tactics for activism, international solidarity, homophobia and global politics, religion and culture, and intersections with social justice movements. A richness of voices, a multiplicity of discourses, a quiverful of arguments. African queers writing for each other, theorising ourselves, making our ...more
Buy now

China and Angola

African Awakening A Marriage of Convenience?
Edited by Marcus Power, Ana Alves
This book focuses on the increased co-operation between Angola and China and shows that although relations with China might have bolstered regime stability and boosted the international standing of the Angolan government, China is not regarded as a long term strategic partner.
Buy now

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa

To Cook a ContinentWalter Rodney
Rodney shows how the imperial countries of Europe, and subsequently the US, bear major responsibility for impoverishing Africa. They have been joined in this exploitation by agents or unwitting accomplices both in the North and in Africa.
Buy now

Pambazuka News Broadcasts

Pambazuka broadcasts feature audio and video content with cutting edge commentary and debate from social justice movements across the continent.

See the list of episodes.

AU MONITOR

This site has been established by Fahamu to provide regular feedback to African civil society organisations on what is happening with the African Union.

Perspectives on Emerging Powers in Africa: December 2011 newsletter

Deborah Brautigam provides an overview and description of China's development finance to Africa. "Looking at the nature of Chinese development aid - and non-aid - to Africa provides insights into China's strategic approach to outward investment and economic diplomacy, even if exact figures and strategies are not easily ascertained", she states as she describes China's provision of grants, zero-interest loans and concessional loans. Pambazuka Press recently released a publication titled India in Africa: Changing Geographies of Power, and Oliver Stuenkel provides his review of the book.
The December edition available here.

The 2010 issues: September, October, November, December, and the 2011 issues: January, February, March , April, May , June , July , August , September, October and November issues are all available for download.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

culture

Revisiting Ethiopiawinet!

Mammo Muchie

2011-05-12, Issue 529

Ethiopia should build on its long and proud history as a nation rather than allowing itself to be fragmented by ethnic divisions, argues Mammo Muchie, in a reflection on the country’s past and future.

The Dar es Salaam Renaissance

Chambi Chachage

2011-03-01, Issue 519


cc K Z
‘Dar es Salaam is abuzz. It’s giving birth to a novel artistic landscape,’ says Chambi Chachage. ‘Well, at least new in scope.’

LGBT: Transgender rights not simply gay rights

Audrey Mbugua

2011-02-10, Issue 516


cc Wikimedia
In the aim of strengthening their cause, gay rights activism often compromises the identity and struggle of transgender people by lumping the two communities’ issues together, writes Audrey Mbugua.

The invention of the indigène

Mahmood Mamdani

2011-01-13, Issue 512


cc J H
‘The violence in Congo may seem unintelligible but its roots lie in institutional practices introduced under colonialism, which 50 years of independence have only exacerbated,' writes Mahmood Mamdani.

Rising up: Looking for Bob Marley and Fela Kuti

Alemayehu G. Mariam

2011-01-12, Issue 512


cc Coca-Cola SA
From African-American gospel music to the soul of James Brown, the reggae of Bob Marley and the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti, Alemayehu G. Mariam charts the rich history of protest music and the need for new battle songs to rally around.

Education and racism: Defending Brazil’s candace girls

Andréia Lisboa de Sousa

2011-01-06, Issue 511


cc P A R
While edicts around the need for non-discrimination and racial equality within Brazil’s education system have changed, the attitudes of figures in positions of educational authority have not, writes Andréia Lisboa de Sousa.

Kenya’s new port: The end of Lamu's cultural heritage?

Zahra Moloo

2010-12-16, Issue 510


cc K R G
As the Kenyan government continues its plans for multi-billion dollar port, oil and transport project, Zahra Moloo considers the socio-economic and environmental effects on Lamu and the absence of news coverage on the topic.

The battle against biopiracy

Khadija Sharife

2010-11-11, Issue 504


cc MLB
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.

Fractals and Benoit Mandelbrot: Lessons for society

Horace Campbell

2010-10-21, Issue 501


cc Z H
Following the passing of Benoit Mandelbrot this week, Horace Campbell writes of the mathematician’s groundbreaking academic work on fractals and the concept’s historical centrality in African knowledge systems.

Seeing the continent in context

Mandisi Majavu

2010-10-14, Issue 500

Pambazuka News distinguishes itself by exploring the issues the continent faces ‘without reinforcing stereotypes about Africans’, writes Mandisi Majavu, challenging ‘the way we understand African politics’ and the way in which ‘African politics are presented in the mainstream media’.

A call to reclaim history, humanity, Africa and the commons

Jacques Depelchin

2010-10-13, Issue 500

Jacques Depelchin outlines the centuries-old exercise of power that has kept Haitians in a state of oppression. What is needed, he argues, is for common sense and humanity to emerge.

Tanzania: Private game park threatens pastoralist livelihoods

Susanna Nordlund

2010-09-30, Issue 498


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For hundreds of years, pastoralists in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro District have lived off cattle, managing grazing land communally. But this way of life is under threat, as business interests trump traditional land rights, with the blessing of the government. Susanna Nordlund has written a blog about her visit to Loliondo to explore reports of conflict between local Masaai communities and a foreign-owned safari company, in which she raises a number of allegations. We reproduce her post in the hope that this might stimulate a serious investigation of these events.

Pan-Africanism in our time

Zaya Yeebo

2009-07-16, Issue 442


cc Wikimedia
Pan-Africanism is not just a throwback to the post-colonial period, writes Zaya Yeebo, the people of Africa are still ‘united by culture, history and identity’. Africans around the continent feel each other’s pain and are bound together as a people by events, says Yeebo, whether it is the struggle for emancipation in the Niger Delta, or the crisis in the DRC. Charting a history of the Pan-African Movement from the first conference in 1900 to the present day, Yeebo calls for Pan-African solutions to African problems, with Pan-Africanism as a ‘collective understanding’ of how ‘we intend to conduct our affairs in today’s globalised world’.

Denied the right to a dignified life

The forgotten women of Africa

Anushka Sehmi

2009-06-25, Issue 439


cc United Nations Photo
Traditionally African culture dictated that elderly citizens be treated with respect, writes Anushka Sehmi, but as economic constraints erode the extended family system and fuel rural-urban migration, many old people languish in villages with no-one to care for them. With a quarter of African women left widowed by mounting conflict, disease and poverty, Sehmi explores abuse of and discrimination against elderly women in the light of cultural practices such as widow-inheritance and land ownership. Noting that ‘there is almost no legal or policy framework’ that safeguards the rights of elderly women in Africa, Sehmi calls for states to ratify and implement treaties that protect them, such as the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and for marginalised groups to ‘be engaged and educated regarding their civic and political rights’. It is up to us to lobby and push our governments to perform this task, says Sehmi, or ‘these forgotten women will forever be denied the right to a dignified life’.

The fallacies of identity politics

Audrey Mbugua

2009-05-21, Issue 433


cc Liz Henry
Deeply concerned about the profound discrimination experienced by Kenya's transgender community, Audrey Mbugua berates Kenyan society for its unjust treatment of a marginalised group. Rather than creating 'transgender rights' per se, Mbugua calls upon the country to view transgender people as human beings like any other group. Deeply scathing of Kenya's entrenched 'trans-phobia' and the divisive nature of different groups' competing for recognition, the author implores those marginalised to see themselves as part of a wider struggle for justice that transcends identity politics.

Beyond mere 'brotherhood' and 'sisterhood'

Godwin Murunga

2009-05-14, Issue 432


cc J Francis
In a response to 'Kenyan men should zip up and grow up' in last week's Pambazuka, Godwin Murunga charges that Wandia Njoya's letter smacks of intellectual laziness. Suggesting that Njoya's argument ignores entirely the attitudinal gains in gender relations made over previous years, Murunga emphasises that it is highly misleading to cast all men as equal recipients of 'patriarchal dividends'. Stressing that the problem of 'flawed masculinity' is in some respects actively fuelled by women themselves, Murunga underlines the inherent destructiveness of short-sighted generalisations.

Food sovereignty: A new model for a human right

Vía Campesina and Friends of the Earth International

2009-05-14, Issue 432


cc Oxfam
Following UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter's comments at the 17th session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), Vía Campesina and Friends of the Earth International give their response to the special rapporteur's comments. While highlighting the recommendations and broad understanding that they share with De Schutter, the authors' statement emphasises the centrality of 'food sovereignty', namely, the right of different communities and peoples to control their own territories. This the authors contend is a process that goes beyond producers' mere 'participation' in high-level decision-making; it is one which actively positions farmers and peasants at the centre of agricultural production and control.

The political economy of ethnic identities in Kenya

Part 1: Tribalism as shorthand for political problems

Onyango Oloo

2008-09-10, Issue 395

The question of ethnic identities in Kenya is intricately tied up with the country's politics and influences to a greater or lesser degree the class cleavages in ways which often defy orthodox analyses from the right or the left. ...

Censorship in Nigeria

Interview with Hausa novelist Sa’adatu Baba

Amina Koki Gizo

2008-09-10, Issue 395

While formal publishing companies in Nigeria languished through the economic crises that accompanied the structural adjustment programmes of the late 1980s and early 1990s, young Hausa writers began writing about their lives and contemporary problems they faced. Bypassing formal publishers, they self-published their novels, often with the help of a writers' cooperative....

Ending Impunity for Sexual and Gender Based Violence conference Communiqué

SGBV Conference

2008-07-31, Issue 392

Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is a scourge on Africa; a pandemic that has undermined women and girls’ rights to autonomy, bodily integrity, human dignity, sexuality, security and tranquillity. SGBV has, and continues to be a major hindrance to rights and justice. It is prevalent in all our societies across the continent, including non-conflict situations. It is repeatedly used as a weapon against girls and women in conflict/crisis situations. SGBV, including intimate partner violence, is a leading factor in the increasing "feminisation" of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. ...

An African perspective: Is cyber democracy possible?

Clayton Peel

2008-07-30, Issue 391

Wole Soyinka was addressing a conference on the issue of the ‘brain drain’ from African countries. He remarked on how many of the speakers before him had lamented the flight of millions of Africans to the West and how apparently desperate were these ...

Africa and the fate of MDGs

Mildred K Barya

2008-07-30, Issue 391

When I was young and impressionable I had this grand vision of saving the world. It was so easy to dream up a free and fair world where sanity, justice and good health prevailed. It was even easier to engage in activities that could quicken the comin...

Binyavanga Wainaina: The writer in a time of crisis

Aurelie Journo

2008-07-09, Issue 386

Aurelie Journo (PhD Literature student) talks to Binyavanga Wainaina, the founder of Kwani? about this year's Kwani? Litfest that will take place in Nairobi and Lamu from the 1st to the 15th of August. As the discussion went on, they found themselves broaching several subjects ranging from the state of the media in Kenya, to the role of the writer in times of crisis, with digressions on post-colonial theories and ideology.

Gender perspective on water and sanitation

Roselynn Musa

2008-06-10, Issue 379

What does gender have to do with issues of sanitation and water? Roselyenn Musa gives us a multi-faceted gender perspectives that consider the role of African governments, gender awareness and water privatization amongst others. The upcoming mid-year African Union (AU) summit of heads of state and government

Zimbabwe: I refuse to be silent

Maxwell V Madzikanga

2008-05-04, Issue 368

In this plea, Maxwell V Madzikanga argues that Zimbabwe belongs to the many 'courageous daughters and sons of Zimbabwe who in their prime paid the ultimate price in the inaugural Chinhoyi battle, in Tanzania, Nyadzonya, Chimoio and Tembwe, and across the breadth of Zimbabwe during the war for liberation.'

AGRA and African knowledge systems

Regassa Feyissa speaks to Pambazuka News

Regassa Feyissa

2008-04-10, Issue 361

Regassa Feyissa in this interview talks about AGRA, the fallacy of food aid, knowledge systems in relation to traditional versus scientific and the need to create alternatives to AGRA

On the Lower Congo (Luozi and Nseke Banza) massacres in D R Congo

March 5, 2008

Kodya dia Moyo Study Group

2008-03-11, Issue 352

We, Daughters and Sons from the Kongo assembled in the Kodya dia Moyo Study Group, are hereby denouncing the events which took place in Lower Congo, more precisely, in Luozi and Nseke Banza....

Tradition at the Heart of Violence Against Women and Girls in Africa

Linda Osarenren

2008-03-06, Issue 351

Linda Osarenren writes a hard hitting essay on the ways and means African cultures perpetuate sexism, patriarchy and violence against women

Youth Shout: An Agenda for the Youth or Youth Agenda?

Charles Otieno-Hongo

2007-12-17, Issue 333

Charles Otieno-Hongo argues that a youth agenda should be about giving young people the space to participate in decision making with respect to issues that concern their intellectual development, social identity and economic empowerment.

The routes and possibilities of a South - South subversive globalization: Africa and Brazil

Jacques Depelchin

2007-12-11, Issue 332

Jacques Depelchin reflects on the growing economic, political and cultural relationship between Brazil and the Africa and urges for a solidarity from below that is cognizant of black revolutionary history.

ISSN 1753-6839 Pambazuka News English Edition http://www.pambazuka.org/en/

ISSN 1753-6847 Pambazuka News en Français http://www.pambazuka.org/fr/

ISSN 1757-6504 Pambazuka News em Português http://www.pambazuka.org/pt/

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