TheBlackList Pub

For All Points-Of-The-View.

Who I am for Africa and Africans?

Information

Who I am for Africa and Africans?

State Reports on the State of Africans around the world.

Website: http://theblacklist.net
Members: 132
Latest Activity: on Monday


Discussion Forum

Institute of the Black World Applauds CARICOM on Venezuela Stance

Started by TheBlackList News on Monday. 0 Replies

The Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) applauds…Continue

Could an African passport bring to life the dreams of Nkrumah, Senghor and Touré?

Started by SendMeYourNews Jul 6. 0 Replies

Crossing borders have always been tough for Africans. Peter Andrews/ReutersUchenna Okeja,…Continue

What does the burning alive of Afro-Venezuelan Orlando Figuera really mean?

Started by TBL_Promoter. Last reply by KWASI Akyeampong Jun 29. 4 Replies

PHOTO of 21 year old Orlando Figuera being burned to death in Venezuela.…Continue

Pan African institute tackles academic decolonisation

Started by TheBlackList-Publisher Jun 24. 0 Replies

The University of Johannesburg in South Africa continues to play a leading role in what is increasingly being viewed as a national imperative to decolonise higher education, as one of its institutes…Continue

Back apology for Namibia genocide with reparations

Started by SendMeYourNews. Last reply by Zhana May 30. 1 Reply

If Germany paid billions of dollars to survivors of the Jewish holocaust, then there is an existing precedent for reparations, and it would be nothing short of racist to deny the Herero and Nama…Continue

Time for reparations for the slave trade?

Started by TheBlackList-Publisher. Last reply by Wes Barnard May 28. 1 Reply

Continue

Border Control from Hell:How the EU's migration partnership legitimizes Sudan's "militia state" | The Enough Project

Started by TBL_Promoter May 11. 0 Replies

Eric Reeves: Border Control from Hell: How the EU's migration partnership legitimizes Sudan's "militia state"Today, the Enough Project released a new report, "Border Control from Hell: How the EU's…Continue

Former USVI senator presents arguments for Danish reparations and apology

Started by SendMeYourNews Apr 30. 0 Replies

1884 oil on canvas painting by Danish artist Th. Jessen of the harbor of Christiansted, St Croix (Private collection of Wayne James)By Wayne JamesST CROIX, USVI -- League for league, square mile for…Continue

Pambazuka News

Canadian media misleads public about country’s role abroad

The dominant media almost exclusively covers stories that portray this country positively while ignoring or downplaying information that contradicts this narrative. The result? Canadians are ignorant and confused about their country’s role in the world.

In a recent example of the ‘benevolent Canada’ bias, the Globe and Mail reported uncritically about a trip International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau made to the Congo. In a story last week headlined “Canada commits $97-million to Congo under feminist foreign-aid policy”, the Globe reported that “Canada has committed nearly $100-million to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to support women’s economic empowerment, protect street children and provide humanitarian assistance.”

A week earlier Canada’s ‘paper of record’ decided a relatively insignificant Canadian project to help miners in eastern Congo was front-page news. “New gold standard emerges for Congo’s miners, Canada’s jewellery buyers”, detailed an Ottawa-funded initiative to promote legal exports and to standardize the price paid to miners.

While Partnership Africa Canada’s ‘fair trade’ gold initiative is an interesting project and the International Development Minister’s announcement was newsworthy, the narrowness of the two articles gives readers the impression Canada helps improve the lives of people who live in a country where 87% live on less than $1.25 a day. But, an abundance of evidence suggests Canada has actually impoverished the central African nation.

What follows is a brief outline of the context within which the “good news” about Canada’s role in the Congo should be seen:

Over a century ago Royal-Military-College-of-Canada-trained officer William Grant Stairs participated in two controversial expeditions to expand European influence over the Congo. In 1887, Stairs was one of ten white officers in the first-ever European expedition to cross the interior of the continent, which left a trail of death, disease and destruction. A few years later the Halifax native led a 1,950-person mission to conquer the resource-rich Katanga region of the Congo on behalf of Belgium's King Leopold II. Today Stairs is honoured with a street, island and multiple plaques, even though he was openly racist and barbarous and added 150,000 square kilometres to the Belgium’s King’s monstrous colony.

During this period Hamilton, Ontario’s William Henry Faulknor was one of the first white missionaries to establish a mission station in eastern Congo. Between 1887 and 1891 Faulknor worked under the ruler of the Yeke kingdom, Mwenda Msiri, who would later meet his death at the hand of Stairs. Faulknor’s Plymouth Brethren explicitly called for European rule (either Belgian or British) over Katanga and like almost all missionaries sought to undermine local ways.

Following Faulknor, Toronto-born Henry Grattan Guinness II established the Congo Balolo Mission in 1889. Congo Balolo missions were located in remote areas of the colony, where King Leopold’s Anglo-Belgian Rubber Company obligated individuals and communities to gather rubber latex and chopped off the hands of thousands of individuals who failed to fulfill their quotas.

Faced with the violent disruption of their lives, the Lulonga, Lopori, Maringa, Juapa and Burisa were increasingly receptive to the Christian activists who became “the interpreter of the new way of life”, writes Ruth Slade in English-Speaking Missions in the Congo Independent State. Not wanting to jeopardize their standing with Leopold’s representatives, the Congo Balolo Mission repeatedly refused British-based solidarity campaigners’ appeals to publicly expose the abuses they witnessed.

In the 1920s the Canadian trade commissioner in South Africa, G.R. Stevens, traveled to the Congo and reported on the Katanga region’s immense resources. In de-facto support of Belgian rule, a Canadian trade commission was opened in the colony in 1946. In response to a series of anti-colonial demonstrations in 1959, Canadian Trade Commissioner K. Nyenhuis reported to External Affairs that “savagery is still very near the surface in most of the natives.”

Ottawa backed Brussels militarily as it sought to maintain control of its massive colony. Hundreds of Belgian pilots were trained in Canada during and after World War II and through the 1950s Belgium received tens of millions of dollars in Canadian NATO Mutual Aid. Canadian Mutual Aid weaponry was likely employed by Belgian troops in suppressing the anti-colonial struggle in the Congo.

Immediately after independence Canada played an important role in the UN mission that facilitated the murder of anticolonial Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba in 1961. Canadian Colonel Jean Berthiaume assisted Lumumba’s political enemies by helping recapture the popular independence leader. Lumumba was handed over to soldiers under military commander Joseph Mobutu.

Canada had a hand in Mobutu’s rise and Ottawa mostly supported his brutal three-decade rule. Then, Canada also helped get rid of Mobutu.

Ottawa supported Rwanda and Uganda’s invasion, which ultimately drove Mobutu from power. In 1996, Canada led a short-lived UN force into eastern Zaire (Congo) designed to dissipate French pressure and ensure pro-Mobutu Paris didn’t take command of a force that could impede the Rwandan-led invasion. As Rwanda has unleashed mayhem in the Congo over the past two decades, Ottawa has backed Kigali.

In 2002 a series of Canadian companies were implicated in a UN report titled “Report on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and other Forms of Wealth in the Congo”. Ottawa responded to the report by defending the Canadian companies cited for complicity in Congolese human rights violations.

At the G8 in 2010, the Canadian government pushed for an entire declaration to the final communiqué criticizing the Congo for attempting to gain a greater share of its vast mineral wealth. Earlier that year Ottawa obstructed international efforts to reschedule the country’s foreign debt, which was mostly accrued during Mobutu’s dictatorship and the subsequent wars. Canadian officials “have a problem with what's happened with a Canadian company,” Congolese Information Minister Lambert Mende said, referring to the government's move to revoke a mining concession that First Quantum acquired under dubious circumstances during the 1998-2003 war.

With about $4.5 billion invested in the Congo, Canadian mining companies have been responsible for numerous abuses. After a half-dozen members of the little-known Mouvement revolutionnaire pour la liberation du Katanga occupied Anvil Mining’s Kilwa concession in October 2004 the Canada-Australian company transported government troops who killed 100 people. Most of the victims were unarmed civilians.

In recent months a number of individuals have been killed at Banro’s mines in eastern Congo. Over the past two decades the secretive Toronto-based company has been accused of fuelling conflict in a region that's seen incredible violence.

Of course one cannot expect a detailed history of Canada’s role in impoverishing Congo in a story about a government ‘aid’ announcement or a 1,300-word article about an initiative to standardize pay for some of the world’s most vulnerable miners’. But, the Globe’s failure to even mention the broader story reflects its bias and helps to explain why Canadians are so confused about their country’s role in the world.

* YVES ENGLER author of, Canada in Africa: 300 years of aid and exploitation.

* THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM

* BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS

* Please do not take Pambazuka for granted! Become a Friend of Pambazuka and make a donation NOW to help keep Pambazuka FREE and INDEPENDENT!

* Please send comments to [email=editor@pambazuka.org]editor[at]pambazuka[dot]org[/email] or comment online at Pambazuka News.

Issue Number: 
Article Image Caption | Source: 
Global Affairs Canada

The 4th July parliamentary coup in Nigeria

In reviewing the farcical coup—orchestrated by the President of the Nigerian senate, Bukola Saraki—that took place on Tuesday, 4 July 2017, we were reminded of the French coup of 1851 by Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte and the analysis by Karl Marx.

Since the French constitution prohibited an incumbent president from seeking re-election, Louis Bonaparte (Napoleon Bonaparte's nephew) who was elected president in 1848 was due to leave office in 1852. On 2 December 1851, President Louis Bonaparte staged a self-coup as his followers broke up the French Legislative Assembly and established a dictatorship. A year later, he proclaimed himself Emperor Napoleon III.

In The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, Marx, referencing the coup of 18 Brumaire, November 9, 1799, that brought General Napoleon Bonaparte, the uncle, to power, described how the class struggle (political crisis) in France “created circumstances and relationships that made it possible for a grotesque mediocrity (Louis-Napoleon, the nephew) to play a hero’s part.”

The political crisis in Nigeria is creating circumstances in which swindlers in the corridors of power and scoundrels posing as lawmakers are playing the part of heroes. And so, it came to pass that Nigeria’s senate president, Bukola Saraki, whose rap sheet is long enough to sew prison uniforms for every member of our notorious National Assembly, prevented himself from being sworn in as acting president of the country on July 4, 2017, and thus saving our fledgling democracy.

In the preface to the third German edition of The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon in 1885, Engels concluded that “Marx came out with a concise, epigrammatic exposition that laid bare the whole course of French history…and in so doing did not even need to treat the hero of the coup d‘état otherwise than with the contempt he so well deserved.” The “hero” of the parliamentary coup of 4 July in Nigeria deserves all the contempt we can muster!

On a day that will perpetually live in infamy, Bukola Saraki, using his sidekicks, Eyinnaya Abaribe and Kabiru Marafa, and much to the approval of other senators toadying to their emperor, otherwise known as senate president, sought to undermine the constitution and illegally overthrow the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of which he is a highly placed member—the third in the hierarchy. The details of that coup, orchestrated by anti-democratic forces, would have been laughable if not that they are tragic.

After two weeks of vacation, Saraki and his colleagues resumed in their severely desecrated chamber and the main order of business, amid the political tension and excruciating economic conditions, was a scheme to overthrow the acting president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

Saraki had hardly finished reading a letter from the acting president requesting the senate’s confirmation of the appointment of Lanre Gbajabiamila as the Director General, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, when the senate’s unrepentant paedophile, Ahmed Sani Yerima, raised a point of order to initiate discussion on the acting president’s position on the confirmation of nominees.

In a voyage of crass mischief and pathetic misunderstanding of the acting president’s stance on the power of the senate to confirm nominees from the executive branch, Yerima guided his colleagues to adopt the erroneous position that since the acting president believes the senate lacks the power of confirmation, there was no point entertaining letters from the executive branch asking for confirmation of nominees.

But Nigerians know that this mischief was aimed at undermining the acting president by twisting his position on the senate’s power to confirm executive nominees. His position was strictly in respect of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and others in that category. What he said after the senate’s refusal to confirm Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of EFCC following two appearances was that the presidency ought not to have sent Magu’s name for confirmation because the nominee did not belong in the category of appointments that the constitution empowers the senate to confirm.

This position was what these malefactors pretending to be lawmakers twisted to suit the grand plot they have long nurtured to subvert democracy. With Prof Osinbajo now head of government, in acting capacity, they must have reasoned that it would be much easier to finally undo the presidency and launch a process of floating an ultra-ambitious Saraki—a man who already sees himself as the putative leader of Nigeria—as the acting president and ultimately the president. Saraki knows there is no other way to the presidency for him except through this despicable and farcical route.

In acting out the plot, our senators, whose mendacity knows no bounds, took the first step by discussing Yerima’s point of order and resolving not to take any more requests for confirmation of nominees from the presidency until Ibrahim Magu is removed from office. Enter Dino Melaye, Saraki’s lapdog, who is battling furiously to stave off an imminent recall from the senate by his constituents.

Not to be outdone on this occasion, this minion of a senator tried to impugn Magu’s qualification for the job of EFCC chair. For an unabashed liar and a man with the putrid air of certificate forgeries—including claims of degrees from Harvard University and London School of Economics that have been refuted by both institutions—still hanging thickly around him, Melaye must have balls the size of a football to question anybody about his or her qualification for public office. Saraki and his dissolute co-travellers made it clear that if Ibrahim Magu is not sacked there would be severe consequences, including impeachment, even if not expressly stated. But as far as most Nigerians can tell, impeachment is what these senators have in mind.

Bent on undermining the laws of the land, our idle senators veered from Ibrahim Magu to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Ike Ekweremadu, a lawyer, and the deputy senate president, took the floor and told the world that the issue of the recall of Dino Melaye was “dead on arrival” and that INEC had to seek the senate’s ratification before it could conclude the recall process. To impress his team of approving nitwits, the addle-headed senator emphasized with overt disdain and arrogance that the electoral body, even by doing their job as stipulated in the constitution, was “wasting their time” with respect to the matter.

When a man of the status of Ekweremadu, touted to be specialized in the workings of the constitution as a lawyer, pronounces in so scandalously expedient manner that an agency of government performing its duties as mandated by the constitution is engaging in a futile exercise, one can conveniently say there is no hope for Nigeria.

Such lawlessness and disregard for due process is the hallmark of the 8th senate, constituted by the worst group of senators since the return of democracy in 1999. When one of their own, Ali Ndume, called on Saraki and Melaye to clear themselves on the issue of non-payment of the requisite import duty for a bulletproof Range Rover SUV imported by the senate president and allegations of certificate forgery respectively, like the pack of debauched gangsters that they are, they descended on him and suspended him for six months.

So desperate has this senate become in their subversive agenda that it would make nothing of frustrating the executive—and grounding the country in the process—in virtually all matters, including the national budget which they have turned into a cash cow. They have ingloriously padded the national budget, arrogated to themselves the power to alter the budget, illegally removed planned national projects and shamelessly and criminally inserted so-called community projects, a euphemism for grand theft.

Now, to their ultimate goal. They can deny it as much as they like and their leader can feign disinterest, but the very irresponsible and disgraceful contribution of Eyinnaya Abaribe, pointing sinisterly to a non-existent vacuum in the leadership of the country and calling on Bukola Saraki, the senate president, to assume the position of acting president because in Abaribe’s warped logic, and contrary to the provisions of the constitution, the president and acting president were out of the country, has all the elements of a coup d'état.

For the record, the acting president went to Ethiopia to represent Nigeria at the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union on Monday, July 3, 2017, and returned to Nigeria the same day. Not that it really mattered because, whether in or out of the country, the leader of any nation remains so, unless, in the case of Nigeria, he or she notifies the National Assembly of their inability to perform that role. The fact that our senators knew that no letter was transmitted by the acting president to the National Assembly did not stop Abaribe’s odious submission from receiving a raucous applause by our law-making cheerleaders.

It stands to reason that if the acting president was not in the country when Abaribe moved his criminally audacious and absurd motion, the Nigerian military would have been justified in taking over to “save the country”. We think Saraki and his cohorts have fired the first salvo. Despite their failed coup, they are not giving up and they will stop at nothing until they achieve their aim or drag the whole country down with them.

The masses who bear the brunt of the evil machinations of the Nigerian senate would have to find a way to get rid of these lawless lawmakers who have weighed down the country’s democratic process by their inordinate ambition, greed and corruption. Our senators have repeatedly trampled on the constitution, so looking toward the constitution for guidance is not an option. Recall is clearly not an option.     

By their coup of 4 July, Saraki and his gang of pseudo-democrats are inviting a coup. Except that this time, the coup will be by the mass of our people, a popular revolutionary uprising. And the consequences are better imagined!

* CHIDO ONUMAH can be reached on Twitter through @conumah while GODWIN ONYEACHOLEM tweets at @GOnyeacholem

* THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM

* BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS

* Please do not take Pambazuka for granted! Become a Friend of Pambazuka and make a donation NOW to help keep Pambazuka FREE and INDEPENDENT!

* Please send comments to [email=editor@pambazuka.org]editor[at]pambazuka[dot]org[/email] or comment online at Pambazuka News.

 

Issue Number: 
Article Image Caption | Source: 
Lawyard.ng

How markets undermine African development

Global market rules are either in favour of, or are frequently bent to benefit industrial countries. Or, to put it differently, more restrictive market rules are often applied to African countries while industrial countries are accorded leeway to implement these in ways that benefit their companies, labour and economies.

The first of these is that industrial countries have more power to determine the rules of the market than African and other developing countries.

Many industrial countries following the 2007/2008 global and Eurozone financial crises nationalized failing banks, but if African countries try to do so, they will face restriction and criticism from markets, global media and financial institutions.

Many industrial countries, for example, can come up with monetary policies to ostensibly improve their export competitiveness, such as artificially keeping the value of their currencies and interest rates low. The US, the EU and Japan have been doing this for years.

In the aftermath of the 2007/2008 global and Eurozone financial crises the US, because interest rates there were already close to zero, introduced quantitative easing (QE), the strategy of injecting money directly into the country’s financial system. EQ is printing new money electronically and buying government bonds, which increases the circulation of money, in order to boost consumer and business spending.

Such unilateral monetary policies have undermined the competitiveness of African countries by causing seesawing capital flows, currency volatility and destabilization of financial markets.

African countries do not have the economic power to introduce their own quantitative easing – and even if they had, there are likely to be market, investor and industrialized-country backlashes against them.

Industrialized countries argue for free trade, but most have high tariff barriers for manufactured and processed goods from Africa. However, industrial countries insist that African countries open up their markets to both agricultural and manufactured goods from industrial countries.

Industrial countries frequently have non-tariff barriers such as high quality, health and environmental standards for products coming from African countries. African countries do not have the same freedom to enact similar non-tariff barriers for products coming from industrial countries.

Furthermore, industrial countries heavily subsidize their own sensitive industries, such as agriculture. Yet, African countries are punished when they want to protect their own infant or sensitive industries. The US Africa Opportunity Act (AGOA) or the EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), for example, allow US and EU governments to subsidize their strategic industries; but both the US and EU forbid African countries to do the same, or they will lose out on “benefits” from AGOA and the EPAs.

Industrial countries insist that African countries allow multinational companies unfettered investment freedom in African economies, often with disregard for the local environment, labour standards or good corporate governance. Again, if African countries do not allow the free entry of industrial country goods, they are likely to face market, investors and industrialized-country political backlashes.

The international currency in which trade takes place is either the US dollar or other industrialized-country currencies, such as the Euro, British Pound or the Japanese Yen. The raw materials that most African countries export to industrial countries are usually traded in these currencies. Fluctuations in these currencies impact disproportionally on African economies, particularly because the economies are heavily dependent on the export of one commodity.

The prices, exchanges and bourses of all African commodities are set in industrial countries. This means that, astonishingly, African producers, even where they are the global dominant producers of a specific commodity, have no say in the price of that commodity.

In the global market, labour from industrial countries can move freely to African countries; yet African labour movement to industrial countries is increasingly restricted. The arguments for free markets ring hollow, without the free movement of labour.

Industrial countries also control the supporting structures of global markets: the credit rating agencies, transport and logistics, insurance agencies and the banks and the global communications systems.

Industrial countries dominate global transportation, insurance and finance markets, needed to export African products. Major global credits rating agencies are controlled by industrial countries and are often biased against, lack knowledge of, or generalize about African economies on a one-size-fits all basis.

Global markets are increasingly underpinned by communications technology, with trading, financing and business done digitally. Industrial country companies dominate communications technology.

The global public institutions that support global markets are all controlled by industrial countries, their appointees and their dominant views. Some of these include ‘public’ global institutions such as the US- and European Union-led World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and its private sector affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).  

African countries proportionally lose more through international tax rules that favour industrial countries and allow multinational companies great leeway to practice tax avoidance, illicit trade and profit shifting in African countries. As Rob Davies, the South African Trade and Industry Minister, said rightly “changing international tax rules and closing loopholes which facilitate and enable international tax evasion and aggressive avoidance” are only dealt with by the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), which most African and developing countries are not members of.

African countries must push for such global issues, which impact directly on them, to be handled through multilateral intergovernmental mechanisms.

African countries must push for global public institutions that support global markets such as the World Bank and IMF to give them a greater say in decision-making.

African countries must forge better coalitions to push for the improvement of the governance of global markets, allow individual African countries with the same policy space to ‘govern’ markets. African countries must as a bloc introduce appropriate industrial, development and trade policies. This will make it more difficult for industrialized countries, global public institutions and global markets to punish individual African countries for policies that industrial countries implement but are not punished for.

African countries should then introduce the very same economic policies – if appropriate - that industrial countries implement, but which are seen by industrial countries, global markets and supporting public and private institutions as anti-market.

For more than half a century since the end of colonialism, of the 54 African countries, arguably only two have ever come up with an industrial policy on the scale of South Korea, Taiwan or  Singapore. African governments, leaders and civil society groups have more often than not come up with criticisms (rightly so) of how industrialized countries and global public and private market institutions and markets undermine African development.

But African governments, leaders and civil society groups have often never come up with pragmatic, well-thought out development policies, beyond slogans, such as “return the land”, or “return the mines”, or “nationalize foreign companies”. What is needed are detailed industrial plans, using a country’s talents, empowering the largest number of people, and using the best of what industrial countries and other developing countries are doing as long as it is appropriate to the African context. 

African countries must also pool their own resources to create, in partnership with other developing countries, alternative, fairer and more equitable global public institutions because current ones are dominated by industrialized countries.

African producers of commodities must attempt to set up coordinating agencies, like the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), for the commodities they produce, in order to have a bigger influence in determining the prices of those commodities.

Our countries must diversify their products, and move away from overwhelmingly depending on commodity exports. They must also add value to their commodities by producing manufactured and processed products.

African countries must pool their markets and genuinely begin to trade with each other. They must introduce industrial policies to diversify their markets away from industrial countries.

But African leaders and governments must govern their countries better – poor governance further weakens their power against global public institutions, markets and industrialized countries.

African countries that are corrupt, mismanaged and with poorly thought-out policies undermine their own independence. They are not only unable to come up with policies more appropriate for their circumstances, but are also weak in bargaining with both industrialized countries and emerging powers such as China, and to resist destructive interferences from global public institutions such as the World Bank and IMF. 

* WILLIAM GUMEDE is Chairperson of the Democracy Works Foundation. His most recent book is Restless Nation: Making Sense of Troubled Times. A shorter version of this article appeared in the African Independent.

* THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM

* BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS

* Please do not take Pambazuka for granted! Become a Friend of Pambazuka and make a donation NOW to help keep Pambazuka FREE and INDEPENDENT!

* Please send comments to [email=editor@pambazuka.org]editor[at]pambazuka[dot]org[/email] or comment online at Pambazuka News.

Issue Number: 
Article Image Caption | Source: 
WTO

It’s time for youth to deliver South Sudan to lasting peace

Six years ago, South Sudan gained independence in a joyous occasion that marked a dramatic end to the inter-generation struggle of its people. After fighting two wars against Sudan in which millions were killed, the people of South Sudan were hopeful that a new era of peace and prosperity had dawned. Two years later, in a December night, the high hopes of independence were shattered when a power struggle between the country’s president, Salva Kiir, and his former deputy, Riek Machar, plunged the country into a civil war. Since then, the country and its hopes have become unrecognizable. The power struggle between South Sudan’s leaders has brought the country to a state of near total anarchy.

Nearly two million people, mostly women and children, have sought refuge in other countries. Hundreds of thousands are without any food to eat. If the war continues at its current intensity, half of the population will have starved to death or fled the country by the end of this year. Seventy-two per cent of women living in United Nations displacement camps in Juba have reported being raped or experiencing some form of sexual assault during the war.

The economy is destroyed. Inflation is the highest in the world. Fertile land has been left fallow because the danger of a violent death has kept farmers from tilling their soil. Food is so scarce and food prices so high that onions are cut into quarters for sale in markets in Yei!

These statistics should shock any leader into action. Not in South Sudan, it seems, where political leaders have squandered every opportunity to end the war and save the lives of their people.

There is no doubt that South Sudan is experiencing a man-made disaster of epic proportions. The political leaders of South Sudan from the warring factions are the primary constraint to peace. They have consistently failed to discharge the burden of leadership in the service of their people. For the last four years, South Sudanese citizens, regional and international leaders have been calling on the leaders of South Sudan to soften their hearts and prioritise the lives of their people. Tragically, these calls have fallen on deaf ears.

At this critical juncture in our history, before South Sudan goes beyond the point of no return and into the abyss, the country is in desperate need of leadership that will salvage it from a bitter power struggle and respond to the aspirations of the common South Sudanese for peace, stability and prosperity. There is a desperate yearning for a leadership that will bridge the deep historical cleavages between its peoples and embark on the project of nation building - leadership that will enter and uphold a social contract with the people of South Sudan rather than rule over them.

This is the strong and substantive message that a group of thirteen delegates from the South Sudan Youth Leaders Forum (SSYLF) of which I am a part of, will be taking to the region’s leaders, South Sudanese politicians and the people of South Sudan.  It is for this reason that we are repeating the same message to the leadership and policy fraternity of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan to share our views on what is needed to stop the war and place the nation on a path towards peace and stability.

These young leaders that I am travelling with are drawn from a diverse range of ethnic and political backgrounds. We include among us academics, church leaders, policy experts, government officials and civil society leaders at the forefront of peace-building, reconciliation and nation-building efforts in South Sudan.

The long and drawn out peace process in South Sudan has left the region and the entire world feeling bereft and tired. The peace process is desperately in need of new energy and ideas if it is to achieve its purpose. This sojourn by the South Sudan Youth Leaders Forum (SSYLF) aims to catalyse the type of responsible leadership that has eluded South Sudan for so many years.

We can only succeed in this effort if other South Sudanese and regional leaders are willing to talk with, support and join us in our call. 

Undeniably, the situation in South Sudan has never been more urgent. We have a golden opportunity to watch the sun set on a generation that has achieved independence for our people, but tragically mismanaged it for their own narrow interests. This is the time to correct that dark history.

It is time for the sun to rise on a new generation of South Sudanese that can focus on leading, not ruling. The future of South Sudan is in the hands of its youth. We will not squander it but humbly seize this opportunity with all the energy we have to make it right. This is our only chance.

PETER BIAR AJAK is a co-founder and co-ordinator of the South Sudan Young Leader’s Forum.

* THE VIEWS OF THE ABOVE ARTICLE ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE PAMBAZUKA NEWS EDITORIAL TEAM

* BROUGHT TO YOU BY PAMBAZUKA NEWS

* Please do not take Pambazuka for granted! Become a Friend of Pambazuka and make a donation NOW to help keep Pambazuka FREE and INDEPENDENT!

* Please send comments to [email=editor@pambazuka.org]editor[at]pambazuka[dot]org[/email] or comment online at Pambazuka News.

Issue Number: 
Article Image Caption | Source: 
dutjokyouthfoundation.org

South Africa: An open letter of SAFTU to the Communist Party

Sub-Title: 
Why we are unable to honour the invitation to your Congress

12 July 2017

Dr Blade Nzimande
General Secretary
South African Communist Party

Braamfontein 

Dear Comrade General Secretary, 

Thank you for the invitation to your elective 14th National Congress, which we have carefully considered.

As the second largest and fastest growing trade union federation in the country, and one with an unambiguous socialist orientation, it would be entirely proper for a Communist Party to invite SAFTU to its Congress. However we are unable to accept your invitation for a number of reasons including the following: 

Reflection is a revolutionary process 

Firstly, it would appear that the SACP leadership has been unable to seriously reflect on the consequences of their decision to actively support the destruction of the unity of the trade union movement. 

By openly supporting the expulsion of over 340,000 metal workers, and then to stand idly by when hundreds of other unions members within COSATU were summarily expelled for demanding an end to corruption, financial and political accountability and transparency by their union leaderships makes us doubt that any serious reflection has taken place. 

We have yet to hear the profound voice of a genuine Communist Party speaking out against the ‘business unionism’ of corrupt leadership within CEPPWAWU, SATAWU, SAMWU, etc. 

It was clear at the time that the unity of the working class was of paramount importance if a challenge to austerity and capitalist rule were to be taken seriously. Workers have been under siege from the capitalist class and neoliberal programmes implemented by the government, from the genesis of GEAR right through to the NDP. 

To weaken trade unions further at the time when no effort should have been spared to unite workers is an unforgivable act of treason. These anti-worker acts alone, we must say, have seriously undermined the credibility of the SACP leadership both locally and internationally. 

Frankly, SAFTU unions are simply disbelieving and skeptical about the motives of the SACP leadership. An organisation that has recently and consciously acted to destroy workers’ unity simply cannot be trusted to act differently and do the same again, if the leadership were to believe the need arose to address what the SACP referred to as a “lingering irritation”. 

Looking in the mirror 

Secondly, it would appear that the leadership of the SACP have been unable to ‘look in the mirror’ and learn the lessons from the past, and especially the constraints that have been imposed and internalized in order to secure Cabinet posts and other positions inside the belly of a capitalist state driving an anti-worker, anti-working class and pro-business economic agenda. 

To witness SACP leaders in the Cabinet acting as spokespersons of those implicated in thieving schemes, and pulling the wool over the eyes of our people to obscure and justify brazen theft in relation to Nkandla was such a betrayal of the role the communists inside the SACP have historically played. 

Joining the attacks on the judiciary and the media and going to the extent of proposing insult laws (by actively calling on the South African citizens not to insult Jacob Zuma and, therefore, calling for legislation to punish anyone who “insults the President”) was nothing but a move to muzzle the outrage expressed at the project that was and is still about destroying all the gains of our democracy. Given the evidence, which was widely available indicating that this project was about driving a programme towards a full-blown kleptocracy, this has left many in disbelief. 

This programme did not start when the Guptas were gunning for the heads of SACP leaders and other Cabinet members in 2015. It started as soon as Jacob Zuma was elected in May 2009. Those with short memories must recall the disbandment of the crime and corruption busting capacity of the state in the Scorpions, the hollowing out of the intelligence services, the destruction of almost all state capacity, including state-owned enterprises, and more recently the capturing of the Public Protector and much more besides, are the limited examples we raise in this short letter to you. 

It is only very recently that the SACP leadership has been bold enough to voice their disappointment with the leadership of the ANC, when it has been painfully obvious to everyone else, as wave after wave of evidence has surfaced making an irrefutable case against Gupterisation and state capture. The SACP in a very significant way together with many in the ANC helped Zuma and made him untouchable in the process. 

There have been two kinds of state capture in our view. The first was the capturing of the ANC itself in the run-up to the 1994 which resulted in the abandonment of its historic mission to liberate black people in general and Africans in particular, to address the exploitation of the working people and end the triple oppression faced by women in their homes, workplaces and broader society. The Zupta capture is an immediate threat. Left alone, the Zupta project will destroy any prospects for a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous South Africa. 

We are in agreement with the SACP on this immediate threat; however, those who raised the alarm from 2009, even from 2007, were labeled anti-majoritarian and, worse, counter-revolutionary by the SACP leadership. SACP members must ask how this was allowed to happen. 

The alternative to neo-liberalism is not austerity by another name! 

Thirdly, the SACP does not appear to have reflected on its own role in justifying and propping up the status quo. We don’t believe that you have truly looked at the scale of the destruction caused by neoliberal policies and austerity measures that the SACP has been party to supporting at national, provincial and local levels. 

Have SACP leaders not asked themselves why hundreds of thousands of poor people in our communities have taken to the streets over the last period, sometimes employing extremely desperate measures, in order to be heard, and to demand that ANC election promises of a better life for all to be honoured? 

Have the SACP had an opportunity to look at the destruction of jobs in the manufacturing, agricultural and other sectors, which are being decimated? 

Furthermore, we are convinced that the SACP leadership has not assessed ideologically the devastating impact the Zuma and ANC Alliance projects have had on the future prospects of a genuine left project. 

The destruction of state-owned enterprises in particular, the hollowing out of the state and organs of people’s power have made it harder for left forces to convince and mobilise the public about the efficacy of an active democratic developmental state that could make real change possible through programmes such as the nationalisation of strategic sectors of the economy and other measures to redistribute wealth and power in our country. 

Two factions: different sides of the same coin! 

Fourthly, the SACP appears to have to have fallen into the trap of factional politics. Despite the lessons of the past, in particular the devastating decision (which all of us rallied around and must shamefully regret) to rally the working class behind an extremely dangerous and compromised candidate such as Jacob Zuma and his NEC, it is ready to support the leadership of one faction against another by uncritically backing a pro-capital candidate as the next President of our country. 

From a distance we see a repeat of history as another coalition of the wounded is put together to challenge a man who has become more and more unpopular. 

Surely, the lessons of the Zuma period must teach us that a reliance on individuals, despite their rhetoric, has led to a disaster. Without an explicit programme to challenge capitalist rule, linked to the rebuilding of a mass democratic movement to ensure that the programme is implemented, will inevitably lead to further paralysis and, worse still, deepening levels of poverty, unemployment, inequality and corruption. 

Meanwhile, the unending exploitation and misery that huge sections of our population experience today will continue, and blame will be placed at the door of the Alliance which you are determined to preserve regardless. Changing who occupies the Presidency will not change the class balance of forces, or the reality of workers’ lives in South Africa today, or restore the electoral fortunes of the ANC. 

Despite the fact that we are possibly in the deepest political and economic crisis for decades, the SACP remains unable and unwilling to offer the working class an alternative to that posed by the dysfunctional ANC-led Alliance. In our view, Alliance policies at this time consist of little more than an accelerated continuation of the policies of GEAR and other variants of an austerity approach that is crippling the working class locally and globally. 

The SACP is as guilty as the Jacob Zuma-led faction in imposing and implementing a neoliberal programme that is anti-poor, anti-working class, pro-capitalist and anti-socialist. You have to look at the rate of youth and women unemployment and the Esidimeni scandal to understand the full meaning of the crisis. 

A question arises, is the SACP by inviting us and sudden talk of putting together a broad front of left formations not an attempt at redeeming itself and, worse, using us as a bargaining chip in its factional maneuvers inside the ANC-led Alliance to sort out the eating queue in 2017 and 2019, instead of addressing the crisis facing the working class and the black majority today? 

Unity of the trade union movement 

Communist parties around the world have always understood the critical importance of the role trade unions must play as a school for working class consciousness. In fact Lenin defined that role as follows: 

“When the workers of a single factory or of a single branch of industry engage in struggle against their employer or employers, is this class struggle? No, this is only a weak embryo of it. The struggle of the workers becomes a class struggle only when all the foremost representatives of the entire working class of the whole country are conscious of themselves as a single working class and launch a struggle that is directed, not against individual employers, but against the entire class of capitalists and against the government that supports that class. 

Only when the individual worker realizes that he is a member of the entire working class, only when he recognises the fact that his petty day-to-day struggle against individual employers and individual government officials is a struggle against the entire bourgeoisie and the entire government, does his struggle become a class struggle.” (Vladimir Lenin, On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet State) 

The factionalist and sectarian behaviour of the South African Communist Party leadership has today turned the trade union movement in South Africa into a lap dog of capitalism. Look at the state of the once mighty COSATU to appreciate your own contribution to the destruction of the country. 

The evidence of this assertion is the fact that the SACP, on the eve of the December 2013 NUMSA Special National Congress, wrote an open letter to NUMSA delegates to disown their national leadership who courageously called for Zuma to be removed. It is now a fact that you rejected these calls in 2013 BUT surfaced this same demand in 2017. Surely a Communist Party worth its salt should be seen to lead and not follow. 

Actions speak louder than rhetoric! 

Fifthly, despite the fact that the SACP may still enjoy some support in sections of the working class and the poor, it has been impossible to detect any concrete actions to provide solidarity to workers and communities who have engaged in day-to-day struggles. We see no communist party flag in battles for “Outsourcing Must Fall”, “Fees Must Fall” and the 13 000 annual service delivery protests. 

Actively supporting our people in struggle against exploitation, corruption and state repression is an essential task for any organisation claiming to be socialist and communist. The building and leading of genuine mass campaigns, to strengthen class-consciousness, and to take forward explicit demands that challenge the logic of capital is the hallmark of an organisation that is serious about challenging capitalist rule. Instead the SACP has been passive, or when pushed, has tailed organisations that represent wider class interests. 

We could discuss these points in greater detail, but what we hope they illustrate is that the actions of the SACP leadership over the last period have been part of the problem, and not part of the solution. 

We hope that those honest workers who have thus far continued to support the SACP, in the absence of anything else, will take note, and at the very least ask themselves if the programme of the SACP in the recent past, and at the current time, is capable of taking the class struggle forward. We believe that is decidedly not the case. 

Only if, and when, the SACP decisively and publicly breaks with the politics of positioning, patronage and class collaboration will organisations like ours be able to accept an invitation to witness your deliberations. Until that time, we shall continue placing the needs of the working class at the centre of our concerns, for that is the real meaning of non-sectarianism. 

Activists on the ground, if listened to, will testify and show evidence to indicate that the working class and the poor are desperately looking for organisations that will represent their interests, and who will also be ready to stand side-by-side with them in actively challenging, not accommodating the dictates of the market. That is what we intend to do. 

We will await the outcomes of the SACP Congress to see if such an orientation is capable of emerging. We remain however convinced, unless otherwise proven, that you will remain hanging on to the apron-strings of the African National Congress, who has now proven to be the champion of neo-liberal capitalist policies. 

Yours faithfully

Zwelinzima Vavi

General Secretary

Issue Number: 
Article Image Caption | Source: 
Nigel Sibanda

Comment Wall

Comment

You need to be a member of Who I am for Africa and Africans? to add comments!


NYMetro
Comment by Nefertari Ahmose on April 13, 2012 at 3:07am

The sure way out of the trickery is being presented with the truth, but we are a very brainwash people and so it is hard to digest. Firstly, I have to give credit to those who seek righteousness through religion. Applauded they must, but because there are so many different churches and denominations it is very hard to ferret out the truth. Also with the accomplishment of science we must give appaulse, but I am afraid that the foundation of science is not based on the truth neither is our religious base. I will tell you why. If we go back to the era before Christ we will see that our ancestors revered the creation much more than the Creator. The ancestors did not only revere one God. They revered many Gods. The ancestors did not only revere a son, but sons and daughters. The ancestors did not only revere the male divinity, the ancestors also revered the female divinity. They spoke of Gods and Goddesses. Therefore Akhenaten with his conviction towards one God led to monotheism which the Christians, Moslems and Jews made their foundation. King Tut'ankhamun, a boy king overthrew Akhenaten one God philosophy and restored the many God philosophy. But what happened to King Tut'ankhamun? He died young and became the Hero who a certain Lord and his wife in England for a better place sold to certain American entity the whole story of Tut'akhamun. We are in America so I think it is only appropriate for those who are the keepers of the life of King Tut would come forward and so instead of me telling the story I would reserve that for them to tell. I need for this bit of knowledge to surface so I can continue with the falsehood of both science and religion, though with good intentions.


NYMetro
Comment by Nefertari Ahmose on August 26, 2010 at 4:27pm
Freedom comes from the innermost control of oneself. Therefore it is what one does or involves oneself with that determines his freedom. Why are we not free? We are not free because we do not make day to day decisions that concern us as a people. We talk of providers, is it us that provide food for our table? Is it us who provide the curriculum for our children's education? Is it us who fund our own operations? Is it us in charge of our mental condition. We can go on and on with these questions and if in deed you answer yes, then in my mind you are a free human being with potentials to be great.

South
Comment by ms. gg owens aka QUEEN AKEBA on August 12, 2010 at 9:50am
HOTEP ...WE WILL HONOR THIS MOST ARTICULATE AFRIKAN KING THIS AUGUST 17, 2010 WITH A GLOBAL READ A THON....VISIT THIS SITE FOR MORE INFO....IT IS A GREAT FEELING TO BE AN AFRIKAN FOR ME !!!!!!!!

NYMetro
Comment by KWASI Akyeampong on February 22, 2010 at 12:50pm
Brother Ali Aminitu, I get that "Tricks are still, being played", so then, where do you we as a people go from here? What is the way out of the TRICKERY?

kwasi

Chicago-Midwest
Comment by Ali Aminifu on February 22, 2010 at 12:20pm
Hotep, words from one of our greatest ancestors. The concept of an African Union is the workings of The Illuminati. They are making it sound and look good, by uniting the countries in Africa, under The African Union. It's not what it seems...Tricks are still, being played.

South
Comment by Osiris Akkebala on December 21, 2009 at 7:24am
Hoteph Beloved Black Divine Beings:

I am humble to be invited to be a member of a wall that set upon the foundation of the Greatest Black advocate for the freedom of Black people and Afrika since our fall ever!!!

The Honorable Marcus Garvey I respect to be my Leader and Spiritual Father, a Father who demonstrated how much he loved Afrika and the Afrikan.

You have as they say, hit a Home Run by erecting this Wall and the members of this wall must serve to not allow it to be penetrated by traitors to Afrika and the Black Race.

To You Do I Bow, Beloved KWASI Akyeampong.

Divine Respect To The Honorable Marcus Garvey

Be Kind To Your Self, Beloved.

Hoteph

Osiris
Chief Elder
The First Way Institute Of Afrikan Mythicism/Reparation/Repatriation

South
Comment by ms. gg owens aka QUEEN AKEBA on July 19, 2009 at 10:09pm
MA'AT HOTEP....IT IS INDEED AN HONOR TO BE PART OF THIS PARTICULAR GROUP,,,MARCUS M. GARVEY IS HIGH ON MY LIST FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE INSPIRED ME TO WANT TO BECOME MORE CULTURALLY AWARE OF WHO I AM AND THOSE AROUND ME...THE RED/BLACK AND GREEN...WHICH GAVE ME THE DESIRE TO PURCHASE A FLAG OF THOSE COLORS AND HANG IT HIGH ON MY HOUSE...WEAR MY FIINGERNAILS IN THOSE COLORS NOW FOR 15 YEARS AND THE NOSE RING FOR 16 YEARS WITH THE CULTURAL COLORS ON MY HOOP..READING ABOUT HIM AND HIS INTELLIGENT WIFE HAVE LEFT AN IMPACT ON ME ABOUT LIBERATION THAT WILL NOT AND CANNOT BE DENIED...STAND UP YOU MIGHTY RACE..WE CAN ACCOMPLISH WHAT WE CAN AND WILL....ASANTE' SANA FOR HAVING THIS SITE TO SHARE ON AND KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING........QUEEN AKEBA.

NYMetro
Comment by Nefertari Ahmose on March 1, 2009 at 5:12pm
All honour and praise to Sister Agnes Johnson with let us get with reality. Our Black masses will not buy into this, meaning Merkhutu and the Queendom of Wafrakan. My dear sister the good part is that Merkhutu is not just for sale, but for a people to grow in the knowledge and understanding of self and when they do be rewarded the things that give honour, dignity, success, education, self-worth and excellence by just making the effort. One cannot be apart of something that is truly not inclusive of them. Hence, the Civil Rights Movement, Garveyism, the struggle to reach today's height. I leave you with the Jamaican saying, "What is for you cannot be not for you". Love, peace and blessings. Nefertari A. Ahmose.

South
Comment by Okpara Nosakhere on February 28, 2009 at 9:31pm
Greetings Everyone,

Educational Management Associates, www.educationalmanagementassociates.com, has been given the honor of arranging speaking engagements starting the month of May 2009, for Dr. Julius Garvey, the son of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association of 1914.

Dr. Julius Garvey will be available for lectures to discuss the life of one of our most revered and greatest freedom fighters in America, his father.

"Where did the name of the organization come from? It was while speaking to a West Indian Negro who was a passenger with me from Southampton, who was returning home to the West Indies from Basutoland with his Basuto wife, that I further learned of the horrors of native life in Africa. He related to me in conversation such horrible and pitiable tales that my heart bled within me. Retiring from the conversation to my cabin, all day and the following night I pondered over the subject matter of that conversation, and at midnight, lying flat on my back, the vision and thought came to me that I should name the organization the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities (Imperial) League. Such a name I thought would embrace the purpose of all black humanity. Thus to the world a name was born, a movement created, and a man became known." Marcus Mosiah Garvey.

If you know of an organization that would like to have him share an important part of African American history contact: Okpara Nosakhere at okpara@aol.com. This would be an excellent opportunity to support your fund raising efforts. Peace!

West
Comment by Prophetees Leerma on February 28, 2009 at 4:24pm
Blessings to you and may you be richly blessed.
 
 
 

Donations Accepted

Get on TheBlackList with
the following networks:

Facebook Page Twitter Ning foursquare StumbleUpon Digg Blogger pinterest

 

Discussion Forum

Institute of the Black World Applauds CARICOM on Venezuela Stance

Started by TheBlackList News on Monday. 0 Replies

The Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) applauds the CARICOM Heads of Government who at their…Continue

Why Africans have no land in South Africa

Started by TheBlackList-Publisher Jul 10. 0 Replies

Motsoko Pheko July 06,…Continue

Could an African passport bring to life the dreams of Nkrumah, Senghor and Touré?

Started by SendMeYourNews Jul 6. 0 Replies

Crossing borders have always been tough for Africans. Peter Andrews/ReutersUchenna Okeja, Rhodes…Continue

Pan African institute tackles academic decolonisation

Started by TheBlackList-Publisher Jun 24. 0 Replies

The University of Johannesburg in South Africa continues to play a leading role in what is increasingly being viewed as a national imperative to decolonise higher education, as one of its institutes last weekend hosted a conference focused on the…Continue

What does the burning alive of Afro-Venezuelan Orlando Figuera really mean?

Started by TBL_Promoter. Last reply by KWASI Akyeampong Jun 29. 4 Replies

PHOTO of 21 year old Orlando Figuera being burned to death in Venezuela.Try as…Continue

Back apology for Namibia genocide with reparations

Started by SendMeYourNews. Last reply by Zhana May 30. 1 Reply

If Germany paid billions of dollars to survivors of the Jewish holocaust, then there is an existing precedent for reparations, and it would be nothing short of racist to deny the Herero and Nama people financial reparations, writes Shannon…Continue

© 2017   Created by KWASI Akyeampong.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Offline

Live Video

= = http://theblacklist.net/