Last week, while reading comments on an article in the Guardian about corruption in the United Kingdom, I was intrigued by a commentator who wrote “Looking at the Corruption Perceptions Index, the key determinant of corruption seems to be race. Singapore, Japan, Barbados and Hong Kong are the only majority non-white countries in the Top 20. The highest ranking African country is Botswana (31). Southern Europe seems to be much less virtuous than the north, as well. Indeed, the highest ranking Ro
The expulsion of the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) from COSATU in November 2014 was a watershed moment in the post-apartheid labour movement. The expulsion is a product of, and has deepened further, the crisis in the Alliance between the African National Congress (ANC), Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the South African Communist Party (SACP), as well as the internal crises of each of the three component parts of the Alliance.
“Agroecology is political; it requires us to challenge and transform structures of power in society. We need to put the control of seeds, biodiversity, land and territories, waters, knowledge, culture and the commons in the hands of the peoples who feed the world,” according to the declaration of the International Forum of Agroecology.
More than 200 people took part in the forum, held in Nyéléni, Mali, from February 23 to 27, representing organizations of peasants, indigenous people, agricultural workers, artisanal fisherfolks, and nomadic pastoralists, as well as consumers and other urban people. They met to develop joint strategies to promote agroecology and defend it from corporate co-optation.
The city of Selma commemorated the 50th anniversary of its historic marches for voting rights recently, but how much progress has really been made since 1965? Much has been made of the relationship between racism & urban development through much of 20th century America, but what about the ways in which segregation was found to be profitable? Venezuela was recently designated a national security threat by the United States, citing human rights violations, but what was the real motivation behind this action on the part of the United States? The Global African host Bill Fletcher explores these stories with Dr. Raymond Winbush, Director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, labor economist & president emeritus of Bennett College for Women, and N.D.B. Connolly, Assistant Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University
The Speaker of the Greek parliament, Zoé Konstantopoulou, has announced during a press conference on 17 March 2015 the creation of a commission to audit the Greek debt. The scientific coordination of the commission will be led by Eric Toussaint, Spokesman for CADTM and a member of the Ecuadorian debt audit Commission that sat in 2007-2008. “The purpose is to identify any debts taken on by the Greek government that may have an illegal, illegitimate or odious nature,” the Greek people “has the right to demand that any part of the Greek debt that may eventually be shown to be illegal – be erased,” declared the Greek Parliament’s Speaker.
Joint NGO oral statement to the Human Rights Council 28th ordinary session. Call to establish a UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy
The UN General Assembly, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and existing special procedure mandate holders have all recognized the pressing need for ongoing, systematic and authoritative monitoring, reporting and guidance on the scope and content of the right to privacy.
The creation of a mandate of Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy would address this urgent need and fill a significant gap in the conceptual and practical understanding of the right to privacy.
Investment in agricultural production and trade often harms the rights of local and indigenous peoples while failing to contribute significantly to economic development, according to a new report from the Rights and Resources Institute.
Farmer organizations, indigenous groups, trade unions and other civil society organizations, under the umbrella of Our Land Our Business, call World Bank’s annual Conference on Land and Poverty a sham.
Students have often been a force for political and intellectual renewal. In recent months, beginning at Wits where students issued a challenge to the curriculum and then in Cape Town and Grahamstown, where they have organised around a set of issues via opposition to the ways in which Cecil John Rhodes has been memorialised, students have once again created a real opening in the sclerosis of the official consensus. If they can sustain that opening, new conversations and new practices will continu
The post-apartheid intellectual environment is shaped by a colonial discourse, which equates sounding white with intelligence and cultural sophistication. The main function of this colonial discourse is to normalise white privilege and unmerited prestige. Like the statue of Cecil John Rhodes at UCT, this colonial discourse places whiteness at the centre whilst other discourses that interpret society differently remain on the margins. Whites in post-apartheid South Africa have unrealistic expecta
Ethiopian Sugar Corp. is tapping loans from Development Bank of China to build six sugar-processing factories and plant 150,000 hectares of sugar cane in the region bordering Kenya. This may exacerbate conflict in the ethnically diverse region.
Much of the EU’s focus on the private sector is through its membership of the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (which is predominantly funded by the EU, the US and several European countries). This 3 year-old public-private partnership will invest €7.57bn in 10 African partner countries in a ‘win-win’ agricultural development and food security strategy that will lift 50m people out of hunger by 2022. The EU alone is committing €1.2bn.
Noble aspirations. But several examples from across Africa show that the New Alliance is having precisely the opposite effect. In Nigeria, Mozambique and here in Tanzania, smallholder farmers are being moved off their land to make way for sugarcane, rice and other crop-growing projects which are being backed by New Alliance money. And, in Tanzania at least, none has been offered the choice of whether to be resettled or not: they have only been offered a choice of whether to receive cash or land for resettlement. This violates the internationally recognised principle of prior, free and informed consent and constitutes a land grab.
The Congress of South African Trade Unions strongly condemns recent violent attacks by Swaziland police on trade union meetings and sends a message of solidarity and support to the Swazi workers struggling for democracy and the right to organise in free and independent trade unions.
On March 14, 2015, King Mswati’s police broke up a meeting of the executive board of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), and injured a union leader who was taking part. According to TUCOSWA leaders and the Swazi Observer, more than 300 plainclothed police forced participants to end the meeting in the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) Centre and blocked the gates to the building. TUCOSWA has reported that Muzi Mhlanga, SNAT secretary general, was assaulted and had to seek medical care.
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