11 November 2011 — Pambazuka Africa News
The authoritative electronic weekly newsletter and platform for social justice in Africa
Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839
CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Comment & analysis, 3. Advocacy & campaigns, 4. Obituaries, 5. Books & arts, 6. Letters & Opinions, 7. Blogging Africa
WHY THE ATTEMPTED REMILITARISATION OF AFRICA WILL FAIL
Lessons from the deployment of Kenyan troops into Somalia
Kenya’s foray into Somalia, led from behind by US Africa Command
(AFRICOM), ‘represents a heightened threat to peace and reconstruction
in Africa, especially East Africa’, argues Horace Campbell. AFRICOM’s
attempts at remilitarisation will not solve Africa’s problems, says
Campbell, when ‘the root cause’ of the ‘threats to stability and
security challenges’ across the continent is ‘the exploitation and
plunder’ of its resources.
ON KENYA’S WAR AGAINST AL-SHABAAB
Somalia needs international help, not another war
In light of 2012 elections, Kenya’s decision to defend its borders may
be seen as a bold statement on security to win popularity, writes
Abena Afia. But at this time of extreme famine and internal turmoil,
Somalia needs the support of the international community, not another
KENYA: PERFECT BREEDING GROUND FOR AL-SHABAAB TERRORISTS
Rasna Warah cautions that, if Kenyans cannot see the link between
government failure and the rise of home-grown terrorism, then the
military project of eliminating Al-Shabaab in the country and across
the border in Somalia will go nowhere.
ON SEEDS: CONTROLLING THE FIRST LINK IN THE FOOD-CHAIN
Thanks to the US’s 2009 Global Food Security Act, food aid policy for
the first time mandates the use of genetic modification technologies.
Nidhi Tandon looks at how this legislation helps biotechnology
companies monopolise the seed industry at the expense of farmers, and
explores some of the dubious links between these corporations, the
Gates Foundation and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.
THE LONG SHADOW OF ALGERIA ON THE ARAB AUTUMN
The political situation in North Africa remains complex even after the
events of the Arab Spring. David Porter attempts to draw lessons for
the region from Algeria’s experience two decades ago.
CHALLENGES OF TRANSITION
Egyptian election a test for Arab Spring movements
Egypt faces many challenges as it heads for elections on 28 November,
writes Atul Aneja. Will democracy endure’ Can another military coup to
bring back ‘stability’ be ruled out’ Will the country slide into a
WESTERN SAHARA KIDNAPPINGS: UNPACKING MOROCCAN PROPAGANDA
Two Spaniards and an Italian working at a refugee camp in western
Algeria were kidnapped in October. Malainin Lakhal writes about how
Morocco has used the kidnappings in their propaganda against The
LIBYA’S LIBERATION FRONT ORGANISING IN THE SAHEL
Following the fall of Tripoli and the rise of the National
Transitional Council, a rejuvenated national resistance has begun on
Libya’s borders, writes Franklin Lamb.
LIBYA: SMUGGLING WAR AS HUMAN RIGHTS’
‘Was Gaddafi the most threatening figure on the African continent’ Or
was he convenient as a pretext to push through military missions vying
to establish bases in Africa,’ asks Khadija Sharife.
THE NEED FOR THE ‘GLOBAL AFRICAN WORKER’
Bill Fletcher, Jr
Placing workers at the heart of 21st struggles for social, economic
and political emancipation is the objective of the newly launched
‘Global African Worker’. Bill Fletcher, leader of the project, sets
out the importance of building ‘real links between individuals and
social movements who are conducting similar and sometimes overlapping
struggles against racism and global capitalism.’
REBELS ON THE STREET: THE PARTY OF WALL STREET MEETS ITS NEMESIS
The Party of Wall Street has raged on for decades, writes David
Harvey, academic and renowned teacher of Karl Marx’s ‘Capital’. Now is
the time for the values of the Occupy Movement to rise up.
FINANCIAL SECRECY: WE REALLY ARE IN IT TOGETHER
Lack of transparency, resulting in inadequate regulation, underpins
the current global financial crisis, argues Charles Abugre. The
secrecy ultimately hurts the poor and erodes the social contract that
underpins government accountability to deliver to citizens.
CAPITALISM AND MEMORY: OF GOLF COURSES AND MASSAGE PARLORS IN BADAGRY, NIGERIA
In this keynote lecture delivered at the annual conference of the
Stanford Forum for African Studies in Palo Alto, California, on 29
October Pius Adesanmi explores how capitalism has organised human
history and experience in the pursuit of profit. The full lecture is
available here (
DISASTER CAPITALISM’S DOLLARS FAIL TO REBUILD HAITI
Returning to Haiti a year later, Sokari Ekine hopes to see ‘some
positive change in the lives of people’, but instead she finds a
‘continuation of the slow and aggressive violence against the 99 per
THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION
‘The right to education is a fundamental human right, inseparable from
people’s aspirations to a full and a wholly authentic democracy,’
argues Samir Amin.
THE MARANGE DIAMOND FIELDS OF ZIMBABWE: AN OVERVIEW
The controversy over Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe has received
much global attention. This new report by Sokwanele brings together a
wide-ranging overview of events, meetings, human rights abuses and
environmental degradation rampant in the mineral-rich area.
2 Comment & analysis
SWAZILAND: THE TIME TO CROSS THE RUBICON IS UPON US
Bongani Masuku believes that Swaziland has reached a point of no
return. The momentum towards democracy and a society free of
corruption and royal abuse in the name of culture is irreversible.
3 Advocacy & campaigns
IMPRISONED SWAZI POLITICAL PRISONER: DON’T MOURN OVER ME
Maxwell Dlamini, president of the Swaziland National Union of
Students, remains in prison following his detention before the April
uprising earlier this year. Dlamini is unable to stand trial thanks to
a lawyer boycott against the country’s lack of judicial independence
and rule of law, reports Peter Kenworthy for Africa Contact.
THE POPULAR CAMPAIGN TO DROP EGYPT’S DEBTS
The Popular Campaign to Drop Egypt’s Debt
‘A group of civil society organisations and individual Egyptians
concerned with the public good and with the future of social justice
in the country have decided to launch a public campaign to pressure
lending countries and institutions, both locally and internationally
to drop Egypt’s debts.’
THE RUSSELL TRIBUNAL ON PALESTINE: CAPE TOWN SESSION
Summary of Findings, 7 November 2011
Russell Tribunal on Palestine
‘Israel subjects the Palestinian people to an institutionalised regime
of domination amounting to apartheid as defined under international
law,’ a jury at the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (RToP) has found,
following a series of hearings from 5-6 November. The tribunal is
calling on Israel to dismantle the system and ‘to cease forthwith acts
of persecution against Palestinians’.
DANI WADADA NABUDERE: A GREAT SON OF AFRICA
Dani Nabudere has passed on, and with him has passed a piece of
Uganda, a piece of the continent, a part of humanity, writes Yash
DANI WADADA NABUDERE: ‘KEEPER OF TRADITIONS’
Dani Nabudere’s ‘undying commitment to practical Pan-Afrikanism on
grassroot level leaves us all with an enormous challenge in continuing
his legacy and insist that all his sacrifices and achievements must
never be in vain,’ writes Baba Buntu.
5 Books & arts
MUSIC, LANGUAGE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN CAMEROON
The voices of Elwood, Valsero and Lapiro
Peter Wuteh Vakunta
Peter Wuteh Vakunta celebrates the works of three dissident
Cameroonian musicians who are unafraid to tell President Paul Biya to
his face about the sufferings of the people under his very long rule.
STATE OF THE NATION, ACCORDING TO KUDZI CHIURAI
Charles Nhamo Rupare
Armed with a brush and a strong desire for change, exiled Zimbabwean
artist Kudzi has become something of a legend in the niche world of
pan-African urban culture, writes Charles Nhamo Rupare.
6 Letters & Opinions
ELECTED VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE AU’S ECOSOCC
Mama Koit’ Doumbia
I’m writing to inform you that I was elected vice president of the
African Union’s ECOSOCC at its fourth General Assembly, on 1 November
2011 in Nairobi.
This election is certainly an honour, but it is also a great
responsibility and I invite you all to join me to ensure the mission’s
The challenges in Africa are enormous and we need as a society to play
our part in the construction of our continent. Africa needs all her
daughters and sons!
7 Blogging Africa
AFRICA: GETTING READY FOR BUSINESS AMIDST POLITICAL UNCERTAINTY
Sub-saharan Africa’s business regulatory environment, Cameroon and
Liberia’s wasted potential, Eritrean politics and appropriate state
models for Somalia are among the topics featured in this week’s review
of African blogs, by Dibussi Tande.
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End of Pambazuka-news Digest, Vol 200, Issue 2