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Archive for the ‘Zambia’ Category

Dambisa Moyo Analyses China’s Aggressive Accumulation of Commodities

Winner Take AllDambisa Moyo’s latest book Winner Take All: The Race for the World’s Resources has brought the issue of commodity scarcity to the fore.

Eugene Goddard from Business Day wrote an article about Winner Take All in which he responds to criticisms of the book. Moyo was interviewed by Rick Westhead from The Star and asked about her views on China’s consumption of raw materials which exceeds the world’s commodity supply.

If the apocalypse was to arrive tomorrow, one of the four horsemen bearing down on the world might just turn out to be Zambian economist and scenario analyst Dambisa Moyo.

She’ll alight from her fire-snorting stallion, make a perfect landing in high heels and haute couture and, once she’s whipped off her helmet, she’ll use her sword to stab her point home saying: “I told you so.”

Q: How long did you research and report your book?

A: It took me about three years. I did probably 80 interviews with hedge funds, policy makers. Of those, probably 30 interviews were with Chinese officials. I spend about 80 per cent of my time in developing markets. I’m in Africa once a quarter and China two or three times a year. So over the course of writing the book, I probably spend three or four months in China. I felt like I had a good connection with people. I’ve seen Chinese mines, been on their oil rigs.

A trailer for Winner Take All has been released, using graphics and infographs to illustrate the issues that Moyo discusses in the book:

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Earlier this year Moyo gave a talk at Policy Exchange where she contextualised China’s aggressive moves in the commodity market:

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Dambisa Moyo Analyses the Scramble for the World’s Resources in Winner Take All

Winner Take AllOur planet’s resources are running out. The media bombards us with constant warnings of impending shortages of fossil fuels, minerals, arable land, and water and the political Armageddon that will result as insatiable global demand far outstrips supply. But how true is this picture?

In Winner Take All, Dambisa Moyo cuts through the misconceptions and noise surrounding resource scarcity with a penetrating analysis of what really is at stake. Examining the operations of commodity markets and the geopolitical shifts they have triggered, she reveals the hard facts behind the insatiable global demand for economic growth. In this race for global resources, China is way out in front.

China, Moyo reveals, has embarked on one of the greatest commodity rushes in history. Tracing its breathtaking quest for resources – from Africa to Latin America, North America to Europe – she examines the impact it is having on us all, and its profound implications for our future. What, Moyo asks, will be the financial and human effects of all this – and is large-scale resource conflict inevitable or avoidable?

Instead of another polemic, Dambisa Moyo’s Winner Take All is a clear-eyed look at the realities we all need to face if we want a just, balanced and peaceful global economy for the 21st century.

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Dambisa Moyo: We Should Learn from China’s Multilateral Commodities Strategy

Winner Take AllDambisa Moyo has written an article for Guernica that looks at China’s resources strategy.

Moyo, author of the recently-released Winner Take All, examines the multilateral approach that China has taken and contrasts it with the unilateral strategies adopted by other nations. She advises on a multinational approach to the scarcity of resources and suggests that we need to introduce policies to conserve the resources we do have:

Over the last decade, around the world, China has been buying up mountains and mines, agricultural land, and oil fields at an extraordinary rate. In 2007, a Chinese company bought the mineral rights to two billion tons of copper in a Peruvian mountain for U.S. $3 billion. This was relatively small change; in 2008 the same company spent $14 billion on a stake in Australia’s aluminum industry. Since 2005, China has engaged in nearly 500 direct foreign investments and large contracts, valued at U.S. $505 billion–roughly one billion U.S. dollars per week.

These investments ensure China an upper hand in future struggles over resources. Finite and rapidly depleting supplies of land, water, minerals, and fossil fuels cannot match rising demand, driven by a growing world population, rapidly increasing global wealth, and urbanization. This fundamental supply-demand imbalance will lead to higher commodity prices and an increased risk of resource-driven conflict. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, commodity prices increased 150 percent. And since 1990, at least twenty-four civil wars and violent conflicts have had their origins in commodities. Many more conflicts are likely in the coming decades.

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Gaile Parkin Returns With When Hoopoes Go to Heaven

From the bestselling author of Baking Cakes in Kigali comes a new novel, When Hoopoes Go to Heaven:

When Hoopoes Go to HeavenTen-year-old Benedict is feeling happy. His family’s new home in Swaziland has the most beautiful garden in the whole entire world, teeming with insects, frogs and his favourite cinnamon-coloured birds. Here, crouched in the cool shade of the lucky-bean tree, it’s easy to forget the loneliness that comes from his siblings playing without him, easy to stop himself fretting about how to fix his Mama’s failing cake-baking business.

Not that Benedict generally allows sad or uncomfortable things to cloud his day. Usually, he simply finds a way to put things right. Like trying to learn the language of his strange new country, to make himself feel less of an outsider. Like persuading the people at Ubuntu Funerals to provide a decent burial for the beautiful hoopoe killed by their van. Or like being a friend to Nomsa, a girl brave enough to pick up a spider but too afraid to tell anyone why her teacher is making her stay late after school.

Of course, there are many things in Africa that cannot be put right by a boy who isn’t yet big. But in Benedict’s wonder-filled world, even the ugliest situation has a certain magic. Warm, funny and brimming with life, When Hoopoes Go to Heaven paints a fresh and compelling picture of life in Swaziland that will capture your imagination and restore your faith in humanity.

About the author

Born and raised in Zambia, Gaile Parkin has lived and worked in many African countries. Her first job was in a Soweto still simmering from the violent uprising of the school students who had begun to loosen apartheid’s control of the education system in South Africa. More recently she has worked in Rwanda, counselling women and girls who had survived the genocide. A published author of numerous school textbooks and children’s books, Gaile has turned her hand to writing fiction for adults, with great success.

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New by Wildlift Artist Vic Guhrs: The Trouble with Africa: Stories from a Safari Camp

The Trouble with AfricaThe title of this book refers to the frustrations we experience when trying to judge Africa from a Western perspective. It also alludes to the notion that although we may be confused and impatient with it, we are under Africa’s spell.

German-born artist Vic Guhrscame to Africa at the age of twenty-two to fulfil his boyhood dream of a life in wild places among wild animals. He lived for twenty-five years in an isolated bush camp in the Luangwa Valley in Zambia and knows that, despite its paradoxes and its mysteries, he can never leave Africa.

Guhrs uses paintings accompanied by anecdotes and stories of his experiences in the bush and the people he met there to portray the magic of Africa, while simultaneously exploring the mystical connection between wild animals and man. The Trouble with Africa, he says, is that once it is in your blood, like malaria, it is almost impossible to get rid of. And the trouble with Africa is also the trouble with those of us who settle here: as long as we insist on judging it from a Western perspective, we will be the outsiders – we will be forever baffled by it. The complexities of African attitudes that seem to confound us are perhaps not so complex after all; it is their very simplicity that we fail to understand. On the road to our civilized enlightenment have we lost the ability to see life in its most fundamental essence?

About the Author

Vic Guhrs is a well-known artist with a particular interest in wildlife and natural history. He has spent more than twenty years in a safari camp in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. He holds regular and successful exhibitions in South Africa and America. As a wildlife artist, he constantly examines the ancient bond between wild animals and man and re-establishes it through his paintings

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The Winners of the Penguin Prizes for African Writing

Penguin Prize for African Writing

On Saturday, 4 September 2010, Penguin Books announced the non-fiction and fiction winners of the inaugural Penguin Prize for African Writing. This award seeks to highlight the diverse writing talent on the African continent and make new African fiction and non-fiction available to a wider readership. The authors win R50 000 each and publication by Penguin South Africa.

“We were overwhelmed by the number of entries for these two awards and, after hearing fromthe judges and readers who read the submissions, encouraged by the writing talentcoming out of our continent. Congratulations to the two worthy winners.”

–Alison Lowry, CEO, Penguin Books South Africa

The Winner – Non-Fiction

  • Pius Adesanmi for You’re Not a Country, Africa!

In this groundbreaking collection of essays Pius Adesanmi tries to unravel what it is that Africa means to him as an African, and by extension to all those who inhabit this continent of extremes. This is a question that exercised some of the continent’s finest minds in the twentieth century, but which pan-Africanism, Negritude,nationalism, decolonisation and all the other projects through which Africans sought to restore their humanity ultimately failed to answer. Crisscrossing the continent, Adesanmi engages with the enigma that is Africa in an attempt to make meaning of this question for all twenty-first century Africans.

Pius Adesanmi was born in Nigeria but now lives in Ottowa, Canada.

The Winner – Fiction

  • Ellen Banda-Aaku for Patchwork

Destined from birth to inhabit two very different worlds – that of her father, the wealthy Joseph Sakavungo,and that of her mother, his mistress – this emotive tale takes us to the heart of a young girl’s attempts to come to terms with her own identity and fashion a future for herself from the patchwork of the life she was born into. Beautifully constructed, warm and wise, this is a novel that will transport the reader to a world in which we can all become more of the sum of our parts.

Ellen Banda-Aaku was born in Zambia and now resides in London, England.

Pius Adesanmi

Congratulations to both authors! We look forward to bringing you their works.

Our official statement:

    Adorned with lanterns, Il Giardino degli Ulivi restaurant made for relaxed mingling on a perfect spring evening. The enchanting Stanley Avenue by night was the setting for The Penguin Prize for African Writing ceremony on Saturday 4th September.

    The use of Penguin’s orange and black theme colours ensured the venue interior was lively, warm and modern African in essence. Writers’ whose books form part of the Penguin African Writers Series were not forgotten, and, in a touch of genius, these books were turned into artistic displays further illustrating the theme of Africa and literature. A four-piece band provided the light background music that, ironically, created the air of being on a piazza in a European city.

    Alison Lowry, CEO of Penguin Books South Africa opened the proceedings after allowing guests to mingle and soak up some atmosphere, and introduced the keynote speaker, Kole Omotoso.

    Omotoso, popularly known as the “Yebo Gogo man” from Vodacom advertisements is a Nigerian writer and intellectual. He has been a professor in English at the University of the Western Cape and is a professor of Drama at the University of Stellenbosch. As the author of Just before Dawn, a controversial historical novel of Nigeria which led him to leave his home country for South Africa, having Omotoso speak at this event was both relevant and well-timed. Known for his insightful socio-political appraisals of Africa, Omotoso made a hard-hitting speech about freedom of speech and expression, and the lengths to which governments will go to repress it. He argued that the biggest mistake that post-colonial African citizens make is to believe that their liberation governments will be any different from their previous oppressors. “Somehow we thought that Africans in power would be different…Yet our government is not our government. Our silence is their greatest power – the power that keeps governments in power forever. We must not give them that power”.

    Omotoso’s address added a certain gravitas to the event, reminding guests of the significant impact writing has had, and should continue to have on the continent.

    On that note, Alison Lowry announced the winners of the Penguin Prize for African Writing. Pius Adesanmi from Nigeria walked away with the non-fiction prize and Zambian author Ellen Aaku with the fiction prize. Both were suitably thrilled with the knowledge that they had just secured publishing contracts with Penguin and a cash prize of R50 000 each.

    The rest of the evening proved equally festive as Il Giardino degli Ulivi served up a feast of platters, ensuring that no-one was in a rush to leave.

    The Penguin Prize for African Writing recognises fresh, new voices from the African continent and this event very successfully reflected that. Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors, the winners and to Penguin for organising a stellar occasion.

Ellen Aaku

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Shortlists for the Inaugural Penguin Prize for African Writing

Penguin Prize for African Writing

Penguin Books South Africa is delighted to announce the shortlists for the inaugural Penguin Prize for African Writing.

Having received approximately 250 submissions in the fiction category and 50 in the non-fiction category from countries all over Africa, Penguin Books South Africa is pleased to announce the names of the shortlisted authors for the inaugural Penguin Prize for African Writing. This award seeks to highlight the diverse writing talent on the African continent and make new African fiction and non-fiction available to a wider readership.

The shortlisted authors for the Penguin Prize for African Writing are:


Ellen Aaku (Zambia)
Moraa Gitaa (Kenya)
Chika Ezeanya (Nigeria)
Shubnum Khan (South Africa)
Isabella Morris (South Africa)
Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ (Kenya)


Pius Adesanmi (Nigeria)
Andrew Barlow (South Africa)
Ruth Carneson (South Africa)
Ahmed Mortiar (South Africa)
Tanure Ojaide (Nigeria)
Anli Serfontein (South Africa)
Tebogo Tlharipe (South Africa)

These manuscripts have been sent to the judges and the winners will be announced on Saturday 4 September 2010 at the Mail and Guardian Literary Festival. The prize in each category will be R50 000 and a publishing contract with Penguin Books South Africa, with worldwide distribution via Penguin Group companies.

About the judges


Kole Omotoso

Kole Omotoso was born in Nigeria in 1943. After studying in Nigeria, he obtained a doctorate on contemporary Arabic prose and dramatic writing at the University of Edinburgh. From 2001, he has been a professor in the Drama Department at Stellenbosch University, and is currently the director of the Africa Diaspora Research Group based in Johannesburg. In 2009, he was a judge for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Africa Region and was the keynote speaker on the festival’s opening night. He is the author of the classic historical narrative The Combat, first published in 1972 and republished in the Penguin Modern Classics series, as well as one short story collection, two plays, three books of literary criticism and several academic articles, novels and historical narratives.

Harry Garuba

Harry Garuba is the head of department and associate professor in the Centre for African Studies at the University of Cape Town. His teaching interests include: African Literature, Postcolonial Theory and Criticism, African Modernities, and Intellectuals/Intellectual Traditions of African Nationalist Writing. In addition to being an academic, he is an author and poet, and with an active interest in African and postcolonial literatures, has been a member of the editorial advisory board of the Heinemann African Writers Series.

Elinor Sisulu

Elinor Sisulu was born in Zimbabwe. She studied in her home country as well as in Senegal and the Netherlands. As an academic researcher for the Ministry of Labour in Zimbabwe in the early eighties, she published studies of women’s work and development assistance in Zimbabwe. This included a major study for NORAD that was later published by SAPES in a book entitled Women in Zimbabwe. From 1987 to 1990 she worked for the International Labour Organisation on assistance programmes for the ANC, PAC and SWAPO. In 1991, Elinor moved to Johannesburg and until 1998, worked as a freelance writer and editor, and as assistant Editor for SPEAK, a black feminist publication.

Her children’s book, The Day Gogo Went to Vote, a story about a child accompanying her grandmother to vote in the 1994 elections, won numerous awards, including the African Studies Association of America Best Children’s Book Award, and has been translated into 6 major South African languages. Her biography of Walter and Albertina Sisulu, Walter and Albertina Sisulu: In Our Lifetime, was published in 2002 and was runner up in the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award, and was awarded the NOMA Award for most outstanding book published in Africa in 2003. Elinor Sisulu is currently advising on projects on democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe.


Redi Direko

Redi Direko was born in Soweto, Johannesburg. She studied for her first degree in Journalism and Communications, and English Literature at post-graduate level in Johannesburg. She has been a broadcast journalist for 11 years, having worked in both television and radio. She began her career as a reporter for Network Radio News and then Kaya FM, a Gauteng radio station. She went on to present a variety of programmes for the SABC and its Africa channel, where she interviewed people such as Thabo Mbeki, Tony Blair, Colin Powell, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. She was the senior news anchor at eTV’s 24th satellite news channel, and has been a columnist for Fairlady magazine. She is currently the presenter of the Redi Direko Show on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk and writes a weekly socio-political column for the Sowetan newspaper, while studying for her Master’s in Literature.

Nic Dawes

Nic Dawes has worked for the Mail & Guardian from 2004. Dawes joined the newspaper as associate editor from ThisDay newspaper. As an investigative and political reporter with editing duties, he was part of the team that broke the story linking police chief Jackie Selebi to the underworld networks surrounding Brett Kebble, and also contributed extensive news and analysis on politics and economic policy. He is now the editor-in-chief of the Mail & Guardian weekly, and Mail & Guardian Online.

Jonathan Jansen

Jonathan Jansen is honorary professor of education at the University of the Witwatersrand and Scholar-in-Residence at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in Johannesburg. He has worked as a high school science teacher and served as the dean of education at the University of Pretoria from 2001-2007. He obtained his MS in science education at Cornell University and his PhD from Stanford University as a Fulbright Scholar, and is widely regarded as one of the top researchers in the field of education.

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Sihle Khumalo Shares Tales from the Heart of Africa

Sihle Khumalo & Heart of Africa

Heart of AfricaSihle KhumaloManqoba Shongwe chats to Sihle Khumalo about being a writerSihle Khumalo delighted his audience with his dry sense of humour at the launch of his second travelogue, Heart of Africa, at the Melrose Arch Exclusive Books last week. The event doubled as The Citizen newspaper’s first Citivibe book club do of the year, and CitiVibe editor Bruce Dennill was on hand to welcome guests and introduce the author.

Khumalo took centre stage as he quietly shared the joys of travelling in Africa – particularly in Uganda and Rwanda. Saying he grew up wanting to “have each leg in a different hemisphere”, he was thrilled to find an actual white line demarcating the equator in Uganda where he could do exactly that. Khumalo shared the story of trying to travel by ferry from Mpulungu in Zambia to Kigoma in Tanzania. The ferry’s day of departure kept changing, partly courtesy of it being unexpectedly hired by the UN to move refugees. First it was leaving on a Friday, maybe Saturday, and then Monday – possibly. Noting that the best way to travel in Africa is without planning or expectation, he laughingly told how he diligently went to the authorities to report that his visa would run out while he waited for the elusive ferry. The immigration officials were unruffled about it and told him to return to them once it had expired. Khumalo took it all in stride and all was resolved on the Monday. The ferry arrived on Tuesday.

Khumalo also related the dubious joys of accommodation in Africa – including a room with low walls allowing for some sharing of his neighbours’ more intimate moments. Also, a stay above a night club where Lucky Dube’s Remember Me was played again and again – welcome at first but perhaps a little too much at two in the morning.

One of the highlights of this trip around Central Africa was a night in a pub perched 30 metres above the river Nile with a thousand stars in the sky above him. He remembered thinking, “Wow! No amount of money can buy this!”. Another highlight was his third bungee jump in Jinja, Uganda (also above the Nile) with bare feet feeling “the breeze through my toes”.

One of the saddest moments of his trip was visiting the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda. He realised that the Rwandan genocide could have been prevented and that the response could have been “far more swift”. However, he found the country itself beautiful and definitely recommends that other travellers put Rwanda on their itinerary. He said, “It truly is the land of a thousand hills”.

Guests were treated to a Q&A session: asking about his travel budget ($60 a day should do it); paying bribes in Africa (most of the time he didn’t have to pay officials); the idea of a “United States of Africa” (maybe in the long term but definitely not now); women in Africa (beautiful!); and whether he felt conspicuous while travelling (“No, after all I am a brother!”).

Saying his journey through the heart of Africa was not about getting to destinations but about exploring, he told how a security guard he met said that he was not in South Africa, that he was in the “real Africa” now.

Enthusiastic fans can probably look forward to a third book in Khumalo’s Africa series, as the author plans to travel to the continent’s northwest sometime in the near future – time, and his wife, permitting of course!

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Baking Cakes in Kigali on Shelves Now

Baking Cakes in KigaliTerry Morris, Gaile Parkin & Dusanka Stojakovic Gaile Parkin’s delightful debut novel, Baking Cakes in Kigali, is now in stores – get your copy today!

“My cake business is doing well because there are almost no shops here that sell cakes. A cake business doesn’t do well in a place where people have nothing to celebrate…”

Meet Angel Tungaraza, professional cakebaker, amateur matchmaker, an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on. Baking Cakes in Kigali is a uniquely charming, funny and touching novel of life, love and food set in a country recovering from unimaginable terror and violence.

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Don't Take this Road – but You Might Want to Take this Book – to El-Karama

Do NOT Take This Road to El-KaramaTired of the African tales of misery with which we find ourselves bombarded every day, new author Chris Harvie sets out to find the good news on an epic 28 000-kilometre journey between his home outside the Kruger National Park and the Nile River in Uganda, traversing eight African countries: Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Zanzibar, Malawi and Namibia.

The result is the delightfully entertaining travelogue, Do NOT Take this Road to El-Karama.

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