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Kenya's Crisis  · Poverty  · ...Stop the Bleeding

Click above, for articles in this issue.

With this issue, we add a new column featuring essays and investigative reports--written by journalists, muckrackers, and intellectuals who write about developments in the continent of Africa today. The following articles were originally published by Pambazuka News.  Pambazuka News is the weekly electronic forum for social justice in Africa,   (Pambazuka means arise or awaken in Kiswahili) it is a tool for progressive social change in Africa. Pambazuka News is produced by Fahamu, an organization that uses information and communication technologies to serve the needs of organizations and social movements that aspire to progressive social change.


In Search of Transformation:

Kenya’s Constitutional crisis

by  Kepta Ombati and Ndung’u Wainaina


When current Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki came to power in 2003 he promised Kenyans a new constitution within 100 days. The new constitution was seen as essential to prevent a recurrence of the abuses of President Daniel arap Moi's regime. But the process of developing the constitution quickly became mired in political wrangling and intrigue. The crisis came to a head last weekend, when a group of MPs made amendments to a draft constitution, sparking protests in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The amended draft constitution, which maintains the power of the president, was passed by parliament last Thursday. Kepta Ombati and Ndung’u Wainaina explain what’s behind the current crisis. Read article 




Making Poverty History or Understanding the History of Poverty

by Issa Shivji


The richest 225 people in the world own a combined wealth equal to the annual income of almost half the population of the earth. 1.2 billion of humanity exists in subhuman conditions at less than a dollar a day when 4 per cent of the wealth of these filthy rich 225 persons would be sufficient to pay the additional costs to achieve and maintain universal access to basic education, health care, maternity care, adequate food, safe water and sanitation for the whole human race. The statistics are not new. They have been well known. Now even the perpetrators of the system which produces and reproduces this inhuman system quote them – of course for their own purpose. Read article




It will Suffice to Stop the Bleeding

by Charles Abugre


Thanks to the recent incredibly successful mobilisation by the Make Poverty History (MPH) coalition, never before has Africa been so much in the public conscience in the United Kingdom. But as what? Tony Blair’s imagery of Africa is that of a scar on the conscience of the rich world. A scar is an ugly tissue left after a wound has healed or is healing. It acts as a reminder of a past painful experience. If the sight of it abhors you, look away or otherwise help to make- it-over in one form or the other to improve the aesthetic effect. There are some that feel strongly that the imagery of Africa presented through our airwaves and TV screens, and the justification that the pundits make for action under the MPH agenda is one of making-over an otherwise ugly, disturbing blemish that is also an unwelcome reminder of the past. My eight year old, who has not been back in Ghana in three years, asked me, “Dad, why are all Africans so poor and so miserable?”  Read article




Posted  August 02, 2005

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