Tutu Fellows

Scramble for Africa 2.0

By Marc van Olst An auspicious meeting took place at the Berlin residence of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck about 130 years ago. Foreign ministers of 14 European powers and the United States established ground rules for the future exploitation of the “dark continent”. It must have been a lively and tense meeting as the superpowers…

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Obama, please don’t break our hearts

by Bright Simons The enthusiasm that greeted the election of Barack Obama, the first and only American president with an African name, was palpable across Africa. Everywhere you travelled you heard and felt a new wave of positive sentiments about the possibility of a great new era for doing business between Africa and America. One…

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One man, two wars, one guilty verdict

by Robtel Neajai Pailey Much has changed since I covered the first day of Charles Taylor’s trial for Pambazuka News on June 4 2007. That day, he failed to show up to court, calling the case against him a “farce.” Last week, he was in full view, stoic, resolute and somber. As I sat in…

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Why South Africa is not the world’s gateway to Africa

By Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa and Charles Wachira South Africa’s election into the Brics bloc of big emerging economies (along with Brazil, Russia, India and China) comes with many expectations and obligations. As Africa’s only Brics member, we need to ask whether SA’s inclusion is solely for its own benefit or as the gateway to the…

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Fighting for black gold in Africa: Liberians approach oil finds with caution

by Robtel Neajai Pailey News released at the end of February that Liberia was on the cusp of an unprecedented oil discovery garnered much more than just praise and adulation. Listservs and websites lit up one by one with lightening speed. Liberians reacted like rabid bulldogs frothing at the mouth, barking at the Liberian government,…

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A Zambian’s response to “You Lazy (Intellectual) African Scum!”

By Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa I read the “transcript” of your conversation with my compatriot with much intrigue. Your view of the “third world” is not only dated in nomenclature, it is also dated in reality. When was the last time you were in Zambia? The Zambia of the 1980s is not the Zambia of 2012!…

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Despite Nobel prizes, the time has yet to come for Liberia’s women

Obaa oh… this is our time. Obaa oh… this is our time. Oh, woman oh… this is our time! Oh, woman oh… this is our time! As I sat in the Spektrum Theater at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in downtown Oslo watching the glistening red, yellow, blue and green lights on the stage and…

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The making of Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Laureate

by Robtel Neajai Pailey In 2009 I screened the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell in Monrovia, Liberia, with a group of Liberian women — young and old — and found myself buoyed by an unconventional story portraying unconventional women in very unconventional circumstances. Two years I am now revisiting the film after it…

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Zambia, it’s time for change

By Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa As a child growing up, I recall the fervour and momentum around Zambia’s first democratic multiparty election which took place in 1991. I remember running in the streets chanting “the time is now … it’s time for change” and other chants focused on the people’s hope for a better future. Little…

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Leadership starts with us

By Kayeye Cedric Ntumba According to a paper delivered in 2004, “Strengthening African Leadership”, by Robert I Rotberg, the Director of the Programme on Intrastate Conflict at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government and President of the World Peace Foundation, Africa has long been saddled with poor, even malevolent, leadership: predatory kleptocrats, military-installed…

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