Stop EU from hijacking Africa’s clean energy future

by Mohamed Adow

Pambazuka News | May 18, 2017

The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) was one of the greatest achievements to emerge from the COP 21 climate summit in Paris in 2015 and, as an African and climate activist, my proudest moment. It made headlines around the world. Attracting pledges totalling $10 billion of public support from the G7, EU, Netherlands and Sweden, the scheme has ushered an exciting dawn of African leadership on climate change to see the continent harness it’s huge clean energy potential.

However, that vision is now in tatters after attempts by the EC to control and divert Africa’s renewable energy initiative to its own ends. It is imposing itself on the AREI Board and the initiative’s Independent Delivery Unit (IDU) and, together with France, forced through undue approval of a host of 19 energy projects, bypassing the AREI’s transparent procedures. Read More »

Western Sahara: Seizure of a cargo of phosphate rock destined for New Zealand

POLISARIO Front | May 04, 2017

Australia Western Sahara Association

The Saharawi people and their representative organizations, including the democratically elected SADR government, have long protested the illegal mining and export of high quality phosphate rock from an area of Western Sahara which has been under armed occupation by Morocco since 1975.  The trade has continued despite the commitment of the United Nations in 1991 to ensure for the people of Western Sahara a self-determination process, something otherwise achieved throughout Africa.

Bir Lehlu, Western Sahara (4 May 2017). The government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (the SADR) and the Saharawi national liberation movement, the Polisario Front, announced that they have secured through legal means in South Africa the interception and detention of a shipment of phosphate mineral rock exported from Western Sahara which had been destined for a New Zealand importer.

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Report: World Bank fuels land grabs in Africa

Pambazuka News | May 04, 2017

Source: Food Ingredients First

The report, Unjust Enrichment: How the IFC Profits from Land Grabbing in Africa, was released today by Inclusive Development International, Bank Information Center, Accountability Counsel, Urgewald and the Oakland Institute.

“Pouring money into commercial banks that are driven only by profit motivations is not the way to foster sustainable development,” said Marc Ona Essangui, Executive Director of Brainforest and winner of the Goldman environmental prize in 2009.  “In Gabon, this development model has instead enabled a massive expansion of industrial palm oil, which threatens our food security and the ecological balance of Congo Basin’s ancient rainforests.”

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Some aspects of imperialist influences on the contemporary African crisis

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Africa in the 21st century: Legacy of imperialism and development prospects

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The benefits and misfortunes of capitalism and racism: An integral part of the South African history

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

by Patrick Bond

Pambazuka News | 30 March, 2017

BRICS leaders often state their vision of establishing alternatives to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Indeed the NDB leadership began with environmentally-oriented loans last year, and in 2017 wants to add $3 billion in new credits.

But looked at from South Africa, questions immediately arise about key personnel, as well as the willingness of the only local NDB borrower so far – the electricity parastatal Eskom – to support renewable energy, and perhaps most importantly whether the country and the continent can afford more expensive hard-currency loans.Read More »

The role of culture in Africa’s development

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The long shadow of the De Klerk regime

by Oupa Lehulere

Pambazuka News | 23 March, 2017

F. W. de Klerk. Source: Internet

February 1990 stands out as the most important month in South Africa’s history. This month divides South Africa’s history into two parts. The first, 1652 to 1989, represents the period of institutionalised racism and political oppression of black and indigenous people. The second period, 1990 to the present, represents a period of political freedom and self-determination of black people in South Africa. Now, 27 years into the new era, large sections of the black population are asking questions about the real meaning of the freedom that was ushered in in February 1990.

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Somalia: A country devastated by drought, famine and conflict