Thursday, February 23, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Pambazuka News 810: Overhaul the African Union


Pambazuka News 810: Overhaul the African Union

23  February 2017

CONTENTS: 1. Features  2. Announcements  



Not reform, overhaul the African Union

Kagame Report is enough to show the AU has lost its Pan-Africanist bearings

Henry Makori

The fundamental problem of the African Union is ideological. And no one typifies this crisis better than Paul Kagame, the terrifying tyrant and imperialist stooge of Kigali. His new report proposing remedies for reforming the Union belongs in the dustbin. The AU does not need reform. It needs a radical transformation taking it back to its Pan-Africanist roots.


Canada's role in the overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah

Yves Engler

Friday, February 24 is the anniversary of the 1966 coup against leading Pan-Africanist Kwame Nkrumah. Canada played a key role. Following the coup, the Canadian High Commissioner in Accra C.E. McGaughey, wrote that "a wonderful thing has happened for the West in Ghana and Canada has played a worthy part."


Tanzania demands reparations for German colonial atrocities

Following similar efforts by Namibians the complaint portends much for relations with Europe and the United States

Abayomi Azikiwe

Tanzania wants compensation from Germany for atrocities committed during colonialism. Colonial authorities under the direction of Karl Peters, the founder of the German East Africa Company, imposed a draconian system of land theft, forced labor, economic exploitation and unjust taxation. Some 75,000 Tanzanians were killed during the Maji Maji rebellion. The African Union should back Tanzania's demand.


Western Sahara: An albatross on the AU's conscience

Nizar Visram

Morocco is back in the African Union unconditionally while illegally occupying Western Sahara, the continent's last colony. This raises troubling questions about the Union's commitment to its own principles. Morocco has no intention of giving up its occupation. Its return to the Union is intended to eventually push Western Sahara out of the AU in connivance with friendly member states and foreign powers, thus silencing the voices of the Sahrawi people .


Lagarde trial: A business class get-out-of-jail free card

The Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debts reacts to the French Court of Justice's verdict, exempting the managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

CADTM Belgium,CADTM France

While the IMF loudly boasts "good governance" and demands the highest standards of discipline from states that it puts into debt with adjustment plans, Christine Lagarde endorses the theft of 403 million Euros of public money and emerges with a clean record, an improved image and remains at the head of one of the most powerful financial institutions in the world.

TRANSLATION: "A two-month prison sentence for a homeless who stole pasta. Cashier Vanessa is sacked because of a €5.35 mistake. Christine Lagarde, income €31,000 a month, no tax, is declared guilty for €400M present to Tapie, but exempted and FUCKS YOU".


The politics of state robbery in Nigeria

Chido Onumah

Public office in Nigeria is nothing but a feeding trough. This state robbery is not a new phenomenon. It dates back to the colonial period when the political elite who opposed British colonialism saw themselves as heirs to the throne of the departing rulers. After independence, very little was done to shake off the feeling of entitlement and bridge the gap that existed between the rulers and the ruled.


A call to action: Wake up middle- and upper-class Kenyans

Eunice Songa

Eunice Songa, a Kenyan medical doctor, died on January 27, 2017, aged 34. Shortly before her passing she had published a long blog post expressing her deepest frustrations about the miserable living conditions of most Kenyans. She attributed the situation to the political apathy of the middle and upper classes who should champion change. Will Kenyans listen to Eunice's trenchant voice and heed her impassioned call to revolutionary struggle?


'We call it the mortuary' Part 2

An Eastern Cape man exposes patients' suffering at Bizana's

Vanessa Burger

As Babsy confronted the duty nurse, he saw his neighbour, still bent, exhausted, over the stretcher on which her son lay motionless in the deadly grip of meningitis. He had not moved since he had been brought to St Patrick's. Babsy wondered if he would ever move again.


No Pravin, it was not progressive or redistributive

Shawn Hattingh

The 2017 South Africa budget is not redistributive towards the working class nor is it progressive. Rather it is a standard neoliberal budget, delivered by a state that benefits the ruling class – white and black capitalists and top state officials – and that is controlled by that very same class.


Mining and radical resistance in South Africa

Sobantu Mzwakali

Mining is a major economic activity in South Africa. But it is entangled with the atrocious legacies of apartheid. It benefits mostly elite whites to the exclusion of the black majority who suffer most from the harmful effects such as environmental degradation and poor health. Black resistance against the evils of mining has a long history. Now it needs to be strengthened.


Give peace a chance: Put SA nuclear energy plans to a vote

Gerard Boyce

South Africans who agree that government policies must enjoy popular support, who believe that peace is a desirable value which society ought to collectively and actively aspire towards and who admit the possibility that nuclear technology could be incompatible with the genuine pursuit of peace, should object to the government proceeding with its current nuclear plans without comprehensive public consultation.


A woman's determination to confront patriarchy in Somalia

Abdirashid Diriye Kalmoy

Fadumo Dayib became Somalia's first woman candidate for the presidency in the recently concluded election. Of course she did not win in the deeply patriarchal society. But her decision is courageous and inspirational. Lots of work needs to be done to disrupt firmly rooted beliefs and practices against women in Somalia.


Malcolm X and human rights in the time of Trumpism: Transcending the master's tools

Ajamu Baraka

There was something quite different with Malcolm's approach to human rights that distinguished him from mainstream civil rights activists. By grounding himself in the radical human rights approach, Malcolm articulated a position on human rights struggle that did not contain itself to just advocacy. He understood that appealing to the same powers that were responsible for the structures of oppression was a dead end.


James Baldwin (1924-87) on American "innocence"

Prakash Kona

In their blind rejection of tragedy, in their fear of that dreadful genre that tells us the truth of our failures as individuals and as a people, in that lack of knowledge that our public lives are doomed to destruction because our private lives are warped, Americans have condemned themselves to an unforgivable innocence. Nowhere is this innocence more clearly revealed than in their foreign policy in the third world.


Centre for Human Rights expresses serious concern over human rights situation in Cameroon

Centre for Human Rights,University of Pretoria

The government of Cameroon must immediately halt the on-going military operations in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon, withdraw the army, restore internet services and desist from any further actions that may worsen the human rights plight of the inhabitants of these two regions. On the longer term, it should take steps to address the underlying roots of the conflict.



AFFORD Diaspora Accelerator - Win 30K to grow your business in Africa

As part of this programme, they have a Diaspora Accelerator Competition – a business planning competition – which is providing £30,000 grant to Diaspora social enterprises and businesses, investing in Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe. Diaspora entrepreneurs must match this grant with a minimum of 20% (£7,500). The deadline for the first stage application is fast approaching – 28 February, 2017. 


Now accepting applications for the Rotary Peace Fellowship

The Rotary Foundation

Fellows earn either a master's degree or a professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies at one of the Rotary Peace Centers, located within seven leading universities around the world. The over 1000 program alumni are working in over 100 countries as leaders in national governments, NGOs, the military, law enforcement, and international organizations.


Radical transformations in Africa today: interventions from the left

An opportunity for activists and scholars to contribute to a series of three linked workshops in Africa. Each two-day meeting will debate current challenges and prospects for Left analysis and action. We are seeking both key speakers and offers of papers, with a plan to publish a selection in the Review of African Political Economy.

Deadlines for abstracts:
. Accra meeting – June 2017
. Dar es Salaam – November 2017
. Johannesburg – January 2018.


Pambazuka Android App is now on Google Play Store

As a way to reach more people and to make your experience with Pambazuka News better, we have developed an android app as another tool to create a better reading experience with mobile devices. The app will have periodic updates to cater for changing readers' requirements and cater for changing readers' requirements and experiences.
App download Link




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Thank you for your support.

Henry Makori and Tidiane Kasse - Editors, Pambazuka News

Yves Niyiragira - Executive Director, Fahamu


Pambazuka News is a publication of FAHAMU


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