Friday, August 4, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Pambazuka News 833: Kenya, Rwanda elections: Hopes and fears


Pambazuka News 833: Kenya, Rwanda elections: Hopes and fears

03  August 2017

CONTENTS: 1. Features  2. Announcements  



Odomaro Mubangizi

Given Kenya's generally violent politics, next week's election has raised considerable anxiety inside the country and throughout East Africa. A lot depends on whether the electoral body will deliver a free, fair and credible poll. Or Kenyans will be well advised to store up some Ugali – the national staple food – in case the post-election period stretches our before things are finally settled.
Kenyans, like other citizens elsewhere in Africa, demand and hope for "free and fair" elections. But the key issue is that Kenya is still a neo-colony. In these circumstances elections, whatever the outcome, will not fundamentally change the material conditions of life the people. The struggle against neocolonialism must continue.
Kenya's ethnic diversity is both a blessing and a curse. Whereas the diversity is a great heritage to celebrate, ethnicity has been used to create division for political ends. The country goes into elections on 8 August sharply divided along ethnic lines. Kenyan voters will do well in this election to elect leaders who are dedicated to serving the whole country, not sections of it.
Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame will stage sham elections this week to keep himself in power for another term. He has already arranged to stay in office until 2034, if he chooses. Those who challenge the vote count often wind up dead, or in prison, like Victoire Ingabire – which is fine with Washington, Kagame's major backer.


The Canadian mining giant Barrick Gold's African subsidiary, Acacia Mining, is embroiled in a major political conflict in Tanzania. With growing evidence of its failure to pay royalties and tax, Acacia has been condemned by President Magufuli, had its exports restricted and slapped with a massive tax bill. Barrick enjoys considerable government backing.


President John Magufuli of Tanzania aka the Bulldozer has embarked on a campaign to end the abusive exploitation of the country's natural resources by greedy multinational extractivists. Caught in Magufuli's cross hairs is the Canadian mining group Barrick Gold whose record globally is a litany of human, economic and environmental abuses.


Nigeria's historic problem of failed nation-building cannot be cured by merely amending the flawed constitution handed down by the military in 1999. The exercise is futile. What the country needs is a national Constituent Assembly to draw up a new constitution restructuring Nigeria, which then should be put to a referendum.

President Donald J. Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord offending the Europeans, particularly Germany, and isolating his country from the rest of the world.  Moreover his views on climate change disregard the facts this article will elaborate.


A review of Michael von der Schulenburg's 'On Building Peace: Rescuing the Nation State and Saving the United Nations.' Amsterdam University Press, 2017; 276 pages.
Schulenburg has provided a blueprint that is both original and far more attractive and coherent than any of the recommendations of the many reviews of peacekeeping authorised by the UN Secretariat for the past 15 to 20 years.


A black middle class in such a socially segregated society merits closer attention as to its definition and its further deconstruction. Which are the characteristics, the aspirations, the self-definition, but also the political orientations of such a group?




Africa-Europe relations: Towards a different future for the two neighbours?

Call for papers for a special issue of Pambazuka News

The Editors

As African and European leaders plan to meet in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, late November 2017 to assess the status of the Africa-Europe partnership, Pambazuka News is calling for a broad range of papers analysing, from various perspectives, relations between Africa and Europe and how they might evolve in the coming decades.


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 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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