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

Feminist thought and the Pan-African struggle: From Anna J. Cooper to Addie W. Hunton

by Abayomi Azikiwe

Pambazuka News | 12 March, 2017

By the 1880s the post-slavery institutionalization of national oppression and economic exploitation of people of African descent was well underway in the United States.

Although a series of presidential orders, constitutional amendments and legislative measures enacted during 1862-1875 sought to breakdown the legal basis for the enslavement of African people, these actions were restricted by the entrenched interests of both the militarily defeated Southern planters and the emerging Northern industrialists, the two factions of the American ruling class which fought bitterly between 1861-65 for dominance over the economic system which would determine the future of society for the remaining decades of the 19th century.Read More »

Imperialist Wars And Interventions Fuel Refugee Crisis In Africa

by | 09 March, 2017


Large numbers of persons fleeing war and famine in sub-Saharan Africa are transiting through Libya in a desperate effort to reach Europe, UNICEF reported last week.

An estimated 80,000 refugees, including 25,000 children, left Libyan ports in an effort to cross the Mediterranean Sea and enter southern Europe last year, with 4,000 of them dying during the crossing.

Another 320 refugees died attempting the crossing during the first two months of 2017 alone, a 300 percent increase from the same period in 2016. Some 16,000 African refugees have crossed from Libya to Italy so far this year, nearly double last year’s figure for the same period. Twenty-two refugees from sub-Saharan Africa were killed and 100 wounded during clashes between smugglers along Libya’s Mediterranean coastline on Tuesday.Read More »

Mozambique: IMF, austerity and inequality 4

by Joseph Hanlon

Pambazuka News | 02 March, 2017

Getty Images

For four years, IMF head Christine Lagarde has taken a lead in stressing that inequality reduces economic growth, most recently speaking at Davos in January. This triggered articles such as “The IMF is showing some hypocrisy on inequality” by Christopher Sheil and Frank Stilwell, who argue that “IMF leaders should practise what they preach when it comes to inequality.” One response is an IMF blog by Prakash Loungani and Jonathan D. Ostry, entitled appropriately “Bridging Research and Reality”.Read More »

Doctors’ strike: Kenya government is killing poor people 54

by Henry Makori

Pambazuka News | 16 February, 2017

Photo: Boniface Okendo

“I’m admitted in St. Mary’s Hospital, Langata, Ward 1, Female Medical Ward. Unfortunately, it appears that I took one of the last available beds, if not the last one. The doctors’ strike means that most public hospitals are not admitting patients … Those who will come after the last bed is taken will be turned away. A few lucky ones will get into another hospital. The majority will go back home to wait for the strike to end. Some will survive; some will die.

“What are healthy Kenyans doing to help their fellow Kenyans who need healthcare services now? Or, perhaps, you’re sitting on the sidelines watching the horror show for entertainment and political incitement? Good. Do nothing; after all, this sort of thing – illness – happens to someone else. I, too, once was in that comfort zone.”

Kenyan social justice activist Wangui Mbatia wrote these words on her Facebook page on 10 January 2017. She died of cancer exactly a month later, on 10 February. (A tribute to her appears elsewhere in this issue.)

Perhaps Wangui’s life could have been saved. Perhaps not.

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