Thursday, March 30, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Pambazuka News 815: Africa's heroes and Empire's darlings


Pambazuka News 815: Africa's heroes and Empire's darlings

30  March 2017

CONTENTS: 1. Features  2. Announcements  



Ahmed Kathrada: Veteran Communist and national liberation icon in South Africa dies

Former political prisoner served time alongside Nelson Mandela and others

Abayomi Azikiwe

"Kathy", as he was popularly known, was elected to parliament in 1994  but declined to seek re-election five years later. He wrote an open letter to President Jacob Zuma, suggesting that perhaps he should step down due to widespread corruption in government. Zuma did not attend Kathrada's memorial, citing the wishes of the family of the veteran freedom fighter.


No honour at Tampere University for a dictator in Ethiopia

Alemayehu G. Mariam

A university in Finland plans to confer an honorary doctoral degree on Ethiopian ruler Hailemariam Desalegn in May. In doing so, Tampere University of Technology will have been an unwitting partner in a sophisticated public relations campaign to legitimize, glamourize, mythologize and romanticize a ruthless and brutal dictator and his regime.


Israel's African darling: Paul Kagame

An interview with Robin Philpot

Ann Garrison

In May, Paul Kagame will be feted for his outstanding friendship with the Jewish people. That friendship chiefly entails cynical use of the Rwandan genocide to advance U.S. and Israeli interests in Africa and the Arab world. Kagame was the only African head of state to support the invasion of Iraq in 2003. He has totally thrown his lot in with U.S.-led imperialism.


Concentrate on the system, not Trump

Douglas Schorr

Donald Trump is by far the most controversial president the US has ever offered the world. But behind the headline churning, attention grabbing façade, is there any difference between him and the 44 US presidents that have come before?


Reflections on the attack on Westminster

Yash Tandon

Is there really no explanation for Khalid Masood's lone attack on Westminster Palace, as Scotland Yard sleuths say? Masood could not change his "blackness", nor the reality of racism in England. He could not get over his schoolmates calling him "Black Ade". He laughed about it, and even as he grew up into manhood he behaved convivially, behaving like a "good boy", so as not to appear rude.


Anatomy of ISIL in the Middle East

Joseph Schechla

The ISIL phenomenon poses profound lessons and challenges for maintenance of international law and order. Although recent, ISIL has its roots in the deep anomalies and double standards of the global system itself. The policies of Western governments have contributed lavishly to this lawless dynamic. Without discernable effort to repair those fatal policy flaws, more ISILs may be in the offing.


Stop the US-led massive terrorist attacks in Iraq and Syria

Samuel Albert

People in every country must oppose the terror campaign the US is leading in Iraq and Syria. America seeks to maintain its intolerable political and economic domination of the region, which created the conditions for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the first place. The lives of the people of Iraq and Syria mean nothing.



World Bank declares itself above the law

Pete Dolack

The World Bank has for decades left a trail of human misery. Destruction of the environment, massive human rights abuses and mass displacement have been ignored in the name of "development" that works to intensify neoliberal inequality. In response to legal attempts to hold it to account, the World Bank has declared itself above the law.


The BRICS New Development Bank meets in Delhi: Dashing Africa's green-developmental hopes?

Patrick Bond

Will the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) bloc ever really challenge the world financial order? The BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) leadership is meeting in New Delhi from 31 March to 2 April with a degree of fanfare unmatched by accomplishments. It is a good moment to assess progress since the BRICS Summit in 2013 when rumour had it that the then host city of Durban would also be the NDB's home base. (It ended up in Shanghai, launched in 2015.)


The role of culture in Africa's development

John O. Kakonge

Africa is a vast continent with diversity of cultures. Rather than see this as an impediment to development, the continent should take advantage of this rich cultural diversity in its quest for economic development and should change the attitudes of its people towards work, interpersonal trust, time, youth and women.


The contested legacies and continued erasure of Biko and Sobukwe after 1994

Veli Mbele

The same people who did everything they could to vilify both Biko and Sobukwe while they lived – and have taken part in attempted erasure of their legacies – pretend to honour these anti-apartheid icons. Today, those who paid a painful price for associating with Biko and Sobukwe watch how others gobble up the fruit of their sacrifices, as they and their families continue to suffer in silence.


Book extract: 'South Africa's Corporatised Liberation: A critical analysis of the ANC in power'

Dale McKinley

Not only did the ANC consciously choose (before 1994) to turn its ideological and strategic back on the possibilities of organising a massive wellspring of popular power to pursue much more thoroughgoing systemic change, but it also made a conscious choice after 1994 to exercise its unparalleled political position and power (mostly through the state) in partnership with and in service to capital.


Book review: 'Nationalism and national projects in Southern Africa'

Yash Tandon

The editors have brought together a vast compendium of knowledge that challenges the Eurocentric epistemic colonisation of Africa. The book should be on the reading list for courses on the Political Economy of Africa, Development Economics, and International Relations at universities. It would also do well in the library of journalists and other analysts.



Announcement of Dale's book: SA's Corporatised Liberation

Dale T. McKinley

South Africa's democracy is in trouble. The present situation is, in objective terms, a house divided; a house that is tottering on rotten foundations. Despite the more general advances that have been made under the ANC's rule since 1994, power has not only remained in the hands of a small minority but has increasingly been exercised in service to capital. 


Call for articles: Pambazuka News Special issue on activism in Africa

What is the state of activism in Africa today? How effective is activism in bringing about the transformations that are needed to improve the lives of the African people? What should be done better? Pambazuka News invites articles exploring different perspectives on this theme.


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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Henry Makori and Tidiane Kasse - Editors, Pambazuka News

Yves Niyiragira - Executive Director, Fahamu


Pambazuka News is a publication of FAHAMU


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