Published on Pambazuka News, by Nnimmo Bassey, Issue 500 /Oct. 12, 2010.
Nnimmo Bassey, environmental justice activist and winner of the Right Livelihood Award, often referred to as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’, pays tribute to Pambazuka News on occasion of its 500th edition. ‘Through this medium we build and equally recover lost memories for future action,’ he writes.
In an era where Africa is often portrayed as a ‘basket case’ there are bright spots that doggedly show that this is no season for despair. While some work for the fragmentation of African states and others forecast the collapse of existing ones, we can boast of collectives working patiently to build a pan-African consciousness with the full knowledge that our desired future is in our unity; our strength is in our diversity and the path to tomorrow must be built across the bridge of solidarity … //
… Today we may say that the number of conflicts on the continent has reduced. That is true. But we still have simmering conflicts, states in limbo and others waiting to explode or even implode. We see new scrambles everywhere: for crude oil, for solid minerals and now for land for the cultivation of agro fuels to feed machines in Europe and North America.
We need to urgently consider where the rain started to beat us, as our people say. Imagine an Africa that is truly united and able to utilise her resources for her development. Imagine an Africa that leads the way in a non-fossil or carbon based civilisation. Imagine an Africa that shows the world how to live within environmental limits. Imagine an Africa that is not a poster child of hunger, disease and conflict. That will be an Africa that thinks for herself. It is often said that a people get the government they deserve. This calls for a two-way interrogation.
This is the Africa that Pambazuka News presents building blocks for erection. One of the ways the publishers have made this easy for readers to access is through the regular offering of compiled Links and Resources. These links enable one to study, dig deep and analyse things for oneself. This is a very important service to all who wish to gain deep understanding of issues unfolding in our time. The scope of the links and articles offer opportunities for readers to build holistic knowledge and interpretations of situations and phenomena.
I see Pambazuka News also as a chronicler and reminder of our collective memories. Through this medium we build and equally recover lost memories for future action.
While we pause today to toast to 10 years of excellent service delivery, however, more grounds still need to be covered. Pambazuka News must continue to push on the pan African path, building on the achievements of the past years. More efforts must be made to reach the young as well as opinion leaders on the continent and beyond.
Pambazuka News is already being delivered through innovative media – such as twitter. More of such media needs to be further utilised to cater for our very mobile generation. It may be a huge target, but Pambazuka News must also aim to set the agenda for political leadership on the continent.
Together we press for justice. Until the victory! (full text).