African futures for social justice

A huge congratulations to Hakima Abbas who has been appointed the new Executive Director of Fahamu: Networks for Social Justice. The founder and previous ED, Firoze Manji will continue leading Pambazuka News and Pambazuka Press meaning we will all still benefit from his wisdom! Hakima sets out her own vision for the future of Fahamu which is really an assessment of where we stand in Africa today and where we could go if we put our minds to it.

We stand at a critical juncture in the movement for social justice in Africa and the global South. Important gains have been achieved but few consolidated. And despite these gains, the world — both mother earth and the people that inhabit it — is buckling under the contradictions of patriarchal super-capitalism and the reign of democratic ‘unfreedom’.[1]

As the people of Africa, we continue to stand on land and natural resources, including biodiversity, that global powers stake out with envious greed. But, we also continue to be divided by the manipulation of false consciousness, be it based on ethnicity, race, gender (and its variances), religion and sexuality, or other differences that we fail to embrace. A self-serving elite continues to reign, repressing resistance, be it through the fist and the barrel of the gun of a so-called state ‘security’ apparatus or through the violence of the daily indignities of economic oppression. Indeed, even development has become a militarised endeavour enabling colonialism to merge its two guises of missionary and general, playing good and bad cop simultaneously, as armed Western soldiers dig wells in our villages.

Within this, the people are on a move, seeking new just, sustainable and equitable potentials. While we have been fed development ‘alternatives’ that, at their highest attainment, aspire to make inequality and oppression only more bearable, a number of movements demanding and asserting the rights of peoples and mother earth to fulfil their full potential and redress power are capturing the imagination of the oppressed globally. These transformative social movements are organised in various forms, from community-based institutions, citizens’ assemblies and organic peoples’ movements to trade unions, non-governmental organisations and solidarity movements. Each one provides an important platform for the voices of the most marginalised to express their interests, provide services and create people-centred alternatives, and together they create the movement for social justice that is daily building new perspectives, knowledge and action…………Continue Reading

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