Archive for July, 2009|Monthly archive page

Niger Delta: No amnesty, no surrender

In The Politics of Politics on July 31, 2009 at 11:21 am

by Sabella Ogbobode Abidde, Pambazuka

‘I hate victims who respect their executioners.’ (Jean-Paul Sartre).

No one can guarantee the Nigerian people and the Nigerian state peace, security and stability insofar as the Niger Delta crisis is concerned. No one! Not even the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). MEND’s strength, relevance, and audacity derive primarily from government’s inanity. The Nigerian government is the only entity that is fully capable of transforming the region. Once that is done – or once the transformation is taking place – peace, security and stability will become the order of the day. Read the rest of this entry »


Bamako: Arguments for Africa

In Art on July 27, 2009 at 12:34 pm

by Kishore Budha, Critical Stew, 27 July 2009

Abderrahmane Sissako’s Bamako is an audacious film. It encourages us to ponder over the conceit of rational argumentation and the irrationality of rations for the world’s poorest. The film presents a trial of the IMF and World Bank, set in the courtyard of a multi-family dwelling in the capital of Mali with the African civil society acting as plaintiff. Though Bamako runs the risk of being labelled a “festival film” due to the subject and treatment, the film’s modest juxtaposition of modernist argumentation in a courtyard filled with the banal, the sick and the low-brow lays bare the futility of discussions about ethics in the African public sphere. Read the rest of this entry »

Swazis claim their democratic space

In The Politics of Politics on July 26, 2009 at 2:01 pm

by Jan Sithole, Pambazuka, 16 July 2009

Ask most people around the world who are not from Swaziland what they know about the country, the most likely response will be a blank stare. Those who have heard of Swaziland are mired in stereotypes about an exotic mountain kingdom.

As a Swazi citizen who was born, brought up and lives in Swaziland, these conjured images bring weary smiles every time I am confronted with them, especially when I am abroad on an assignment representing the trade union movement. Read the rest of this entry »

The Mission to Light Up Nigeria

In Cities on July 26, 2009 at 1:48 pm

by Nigerian Curiosity, 20 July, 2009

When current President Yar’Adua came to power in May 2007, he declared a state of emergency due to the nation’s failed power sector and he soon issued an 18 month ultimatum on power. This declaration spurred probes by both sections of the National Assembly which revealed much corruption and ineptitude to the tune of $10-16 billion. Yar’Adua went on to promise that by December 2009, power generation would increase to 6000MW. Despite the money spent, and a March 2009 promise by the Minister of Power that the 6000MW goal was “feasible and realistic“, Nigerians continue to go for days and sometimes, weeks, without power Read the rest of this entry »

Kenya’s Mau Mau war: veterans demand justice from Britain

In The Courts on July 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm

by Ken Olende, Socialist Worker, 18 July 2009

Five veterans from the Mau Mau war in Kenya arrived in Britain last month to sue the British government for their imprisonment and torture 60 years ago. In the 1950s, Britain was desperately trying to hold on to its colonial empire and it crushed a nationalist rebellion in Kenya in a shockingly brutal manner.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) is bringing the case. George Morara from their legal team told Socialist Worker, “After the horrors of the Nazi era, Britain was central to establishing an international legal system to defend human rights. Read the rest of this entry »

“How do we organise our movements?’: First reply to Ngwane’s opening essay

In The Politics of Politics on July 24, 2009 at 3:54 pm

In reply to: Ngwane: Things Have To Change

by Mandisi Majavu, Z-Net, 24 July 2009

Trevor Ngwane is right, for most people life under the capitalist system is frustrating, bleak, short, brutal and nasty. I agree with Ngwane that the point is not merely to be philosophical about the social ills facing us in the 21st century, but to overhaul the entire socio-economic structure, replacing it with an economic system consistent with our values. Ngwane is of the view that communism is the future. He refers to such a system as a ‘working class rule’.

However, a question arises: ‘how do we get there from here?’ Read the rest of this entry »

ANC administration sows seeds of racial discord

In Tearing Ourselves Apart on July 24, 2009 at 3:41 pm

July 22, 2009 Edition 1

Trevor Ngwane, The Mercury

SHOUTS of “Hamba khaya! Hamba uye eBombay!” (Go home! Go to Bombay!) rang out, seemingly crystallising the mood of some of those at the public meeting called by the Durban city fathers at the ICC on July 10. The meeting concerned the impending closure of the Early Morning Market, which is hotly contested by traders of all races.

Later that afternoon I returned to my Chatsworth flat a troubled person. Most of my neighbours are of Indian descent, and since I moved here a few months ago from Soweto, they have treated me like one of their own. Read the rest of this entry »

Why is South Africa still helping apartheid Israel?

In Tearing Ourselves Apart on July 22, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Sayed Dhansay, The Electronic Intifada, 21 July 2009

“Due to their support of South Africans struggling against apartheid, Palestinians likewise expect the same level of support from the now free and democratic South Africa.” (Tess Scheflan/ActiveStills)

A few weeks ago I departed from South Africa for the Gaza Strip in order to take up a short-term voluntary post with a humanitarian organization there. As the Rafah border crossing with Egypt is effectively the only passage in and out of the besieged territory, flying to Cairo was my only option in gaining access to Gaza. Read the rest of this entry »

African Cities Reader

In Cities on July 18, 2009 at 9:20 am

The Launch Issue of the African Cities Reader [a creation of the African Centre for Cities & Chimurenga Magazine] explores “Pan-African Practices.”
Inside Chris Abani goes on a pilgrimage in notations through Lagos; Nuruddin Farah looks for truth in Tamarind Market of Mogadiscio; Rustum Kozain chases pipe dreams; artist Jean-Christophe Lanquetin on SAPE; Akin Adesokan on Ibadan, Soutin (Stars) and the Puzzle of Bower’s Tower; Karen Press creates an open-source book for urban planners; José Eduardo Agualusa uncovers a map of seductions, stratified assumptions and political intrigue; James Yuma reads the Holy Bible as postcolonial technology for reconfiguring the national narrative of the DRC; Ashraf Jamal navigates the space between hopelessness and hope; Dominique Malaquais reclaims the city as an intelligent and moving form; Sparck/Mowoso Collective on the missing link between the mountain gorilla and Chewbacca; Annie Paul on Ritual Death and Burial in Postcolonial Jamaica and much more.

Download the reader here.

Africa and the end of hunger

In Food on July 17, 2009 at 8:53 am

by Eric Holt-Gimenez and Raj Patel, Pambazuka

Africa is central to any lasting solution to hunger on the planet. When poverty and hunger are eliminated in Africa, all of the world’s poor will be better off. Whatever happens in Africa—or doesn’t happen—will have a profound effect on the world’s food systems.

What is happening in Africa to address the food crisis is in many ways emblematic of global events. Successes or failures in Africa reflect the potential or the limitations of the global food systems to serve the interests of the world’s poor majorities. If the system doesn’t work in Africa, then it doesn’t work for the world. Read the rest of this entry »