The Zulu victory over British forces at Isandlwana in southern Africa 140 years ago profoundly shocked a Victorian society ideologically bound to the notion of white superiority over black "barbarism". Barry Conway explains why the victory should be celebrated by every socialist.
This month sees the 140th anniversary of the Battle at Isandlwana. This, the first major encounter in the Anglo-Zulu War and a decisive win for the Zulu, will be commemorated and celebrated across KwaZulu Natal in South Africa. Isandlwana brought the name “Zulu” to the attention of the world and established them as the paramount native force on the African continent.
Read this to be inspired by stories of city-based resistance in some of the most difficult conditions possible.
The editors want to confront the idea that capitalism is triumphant everywhere and instead look at examples where “the hegemony of ruling classes is being directly challenged by mass organisations”. Their examples range from Africa to Asia to Latin America.
As the Ebola crisis continues to rage across West Africa, Tokunbo Oke recalls the history of colonialism and neoliberal policies, which has ravaged the continent and left many states unable to withstand the epidemic.
The current Ebola crisis has been running for seven months — yet you would not know that from the media coverage in the West. The epidemic has only become a major concern since US and European citizens have become victims. British nurse William Pooley, who has returned to Sierra Leone to help victims having recovered from Ebola himself, has been rightly hailed for his heroism. But the deaths of several hundred African doctors and nurses from the disease so far have been virtually ignored.
George Bush's five nation visit to Africa last month received some absurd congratulations.
Even the normally discerning Guardian journalist Chris McGreal could not contain himself, commenting in an article called "George Bush: a good man in Africa", that Bush's African HIV initiative is "transforming healthcare in Africa and has been praised as the most significant aid programme since the end of colonialism".
Ousmane Sembène was one of those rare people whose death feels like a personal loss even to those who did not know him. We have lost a great mind.
Sembène had an extraordinary life. Born in 1923, he was sent by his father to an Islamic school in the Casamance - the poor southern region of today's Senegal, then part of the huge French West African colonial empire. Expelled from the school in 1936 for indiscipline, he worked as a fisherman before leaving to find work in the capital, Dakar.
The presidential elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were the first national vote in the country for more than four decades.
The first round of the election saw the sitting president, Joseph Kabila, take a 45 percent share. As Kabila did not win an absolute majority he now faces a run-off in a second round on 29 October with Jean-Pierre Bemba.
Some of the striking images from the election were of people queuing to vote for the first time in their lives. Sadly the elections offer little in the way of a real alternative for most Congolese - rather the run-up to the elections has seen a further phase of plunder.
Africa is normally seen negatively, particularly from the West, which often sees itself as the saviour of a dark continent marred by problems. Hunger, war, disease, refugees and debt are the issues that typically dominate the news stories in the Western media. Lately talk of bad governance has been added to the list.
Associated with it is the question of corruption. The rulers of the world, and their institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the World Trade Organisation, set "anti-corruption measures" as a pre-condition for getting assistance.
Anna Zalik and Michael Watts explain why being "oil rich" has become a curse on the poor of Nigeria and Angola.
The new scramble for Africa strikingly resembles the gun boat diplomacy and violence of the late nineteenth century. And the violence in the Niger Delta arises from a context in which oil industry policies have encouraged competition among local residents for the meagre payments associated with corporation activities on their land and waterways. Africa is experiencing a major oil boom. The continent accounts for roughly 10 percent of world oil output, and 9.3 percent of known reserves. Over the last decade it has emerged as a strategic supplier to the US market.
Africa needs to break immediately from the most destructive circuits of global capital, and its leaders are on the wrong side.
Paul Wolfowitz is a 'wonderful individual'. He is 'perfectly capable'. This judgment of the Iraq war architect's anointment as World Bank president came from Africa's most prominent finance minister, Trevor Manuel. The former grassroots anti-apartheid leader offered the comments at a 17 April press conference of the World Bank/IMF Development Committee, which he has chaired since 2002.