New African Review July 2012

African Update – 06/08/12

In this issue, among other stories:

10 years of African Union; what has it achieved?

Special report: ICC debate

Features: Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Diego Garcia, and South Africa

New African Markets: Ensuring food security in Africa


Ten years ago, on 9 July 2002, the African Union (AU) was born to replace the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

The OAU’s central objective was to free Africa from colonialism. This was achieved with the end of apartheid in South Africa at the beginning of the 1990s. Whether or not the change from OAU to AU with institutions designed to some extent along the same lines as institutions in the EU was rapid and ill informed is debatable. The AU’s fundamental aim at its formation was to ensure that “ Africans own and control Africa from Cape to Cairo.” Thus at the formation of the AU economic freedom and development of the continent and its people were put high on the AU’s agenda.

In this cover story, therefore, New African looks at the AU after a decade of its existence; its position in Africa, Africa’s economic strength, economic freedom and economic development. It examines what the AU has achieved against the backdrop of “its original aims and objectives.”

New African highlights some of the positive steps made – growth and self reliance (“about 84% of all development finance in Africa is from domestic revenue”), emergency of determined leadership, political will and better effective institutions. Africa’s economic growth averaged 5.5% between 2000 – 2010 more than double the rates in the 1980s and 1990s. In short, “there has been a clear and bold attempt to bring about the progressive transformation of the continent economically, politically, socially and developmentally.”

However, there have been some failings too. For instance, Africa’s progress towards political and economic integration proceeds at a snails pace, the shameful African disunity and indecisiveness, which resulted in problems in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya among others.

Nevertheless, the gains made so far should provide the encouragement needed as the AU moves ahead to overcome challenges that lie in wait – surging population of unemployed youth, influences of the Arab spring on Sub Saharan Africa, sustaining the economic growth and reduction of poverty already witnessed. But above all, funding of AU. For, “how can a continent of 54 countries with the richest deposits of every natural resource in the world continue to depend on aid to finance its continental union?”

The broader perspective

To help the reader comprehend the genesis and nature of AU and perhaps some of the pessimism towards it New African includes insightful articles along with the main story: Kwame Nkrumah’s 1963 speech on why the people of Africa are crying for unity, Julius Nyerere’s 1997 speech on why “without unity there is no future for Africa”, Cameron Duodu’s examination of the change from OAU to AU, some of which are thought to have been plastic, and an address from Ngugi wa Thiongo (One of Africa’s great literary icons) on why now is the time for Africa to reclaim the black body.


In this report, New African presents a summary of proceedings of a conference held in London in mid April to review the “issues surrounding the whole idea of international jurisprudence.”

Dubbed “restorative international justice – the ICC of the future”, the conference in particular dealt with the basic question “whether the court’s competence and actions make matters better or worse for member countries.” But New African also examines a number of other questions posed during the conference. Is the one billion Euros in costs justified since ICC has completed only one case? Is there need for new international laws? To what extent has the ICC become a tool for Europe to subjugate Africa? Shouldn’t the ICC be renamed the African Criminal Court? What is the effect of lack of a truly universal membership for ICC? (Signatories to ICC represent only a quarter of the world’s population and three out of the five permanent members of UN Security Council do not recognize ICC). What impact has the ICC had in restoring peace in conflict affected and transition countries? To what extent has the ICC been conscious of ‘cultural relativism’ – acting in the interest of justice and acting in the interest of victims? What is the ICC’s criterion for threshold determination, its interpretation and application? When should it determine inadmissibility and gravity? In other words, what made a crime against humanity?

Now the answers of rather insights to these questions are well laid out in New African July issue. For these and many more informative thought provoking and insightful articles see New African July 2012 issue.


Reviewed by Swegenyi D.K. Shivairo for Humanitas Afrika.

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Book of the month

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya Kwasekhaya

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya KwasekhayaTastes from Nelson Mandela’s kitchen

A collection of recipes by Nelson Mandela's personal chef, this book contains the food served to visiting heads of state, celebrities, politicians for more than 20 years. Featuring some of the favourite former South African president's favourite meals including samp and beans, farm chicken, tripe, this book also features paella, peri-peri chicken, prawn curry, and myriad of other delights. With simple, delicious and nourishing recipes, it will interest those who wish to prepare meals that are both elegant and healthy.More

New arrivals

New titles in our library 12/2016

Our library has aquired a number of new and interesting books. Here is the list of the latest titles.

  • Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
  • Fashion Cities Africa by Hannah Azieb Pool
  • Frantz Fanon: Toward a Revolutionary Humanismby Christopher Lee
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Robinson, James A., Acemoglu, Daron
  • Shakespeare in Swahililand: Adventures With the Ever-Living Poet by Edward Wilson-Lee
  • A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present by Richard J. Reid
  • Authentically African: Arts and the Transnational Politics of Congolese Culture by Sarah Van Beurden
  • Children in Slavery through the Ages by by Gwyn CampbellSuzanne MiersJoseph C. Miller
  • Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control by Tamara Giles-Vernick
  • Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos by Gary  Stewart
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 1: Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 2: The Modern Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Cahier d'un Retour Au Pays Natal by Aimé Cesaire
  • Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange and Competition in South Africa, 1820-1948 by Karen Elizabeth  Flint
  • Global Education Policy and International Development: New Agendas, Issues and Policies by Antoni Verger
  • Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry by Matthew M. Heaton

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