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The fifth Pan-Africa newsletter reflects on the Malian Manden Charter’s historic advocacy for human rights and contrasts it with the British Magna Carta’s legacy. Highlighting the enduring quest for sovereignty, Mikaela Erskog discusses the Sahel’s contemporary push against Western interference and hyper-imperialism. As global economic power shifts towards the Global South, with the rise of new multilateral initiatives like BRICS and the Belt and Road Initiative, we need for greater unity and organisation among Global South nations.

The African continent has for decades struggled with seriously high – and unpayable – levels of debt. The permanent debt crisis besieging them has not resulted from short-term market failures or from business cycles that will rebound, and that it is not fully a consequence of governments’ mismanagement of finances or deep-rooted corruption.

Dossier no. 42 explores how the enduring and expanding presence of foreign militaries in Africa continues to impede the realisation of political unity and territorial sovereignty.

Dossier 53 discusses the land question in South Africa, looking at the role of white farmers who have long benefited from the labour of exploited Black farmworkers. Beginning with a historical account of the plight of farmworkers, it argues that those who work the land deserve to be its primary beneficiaries, but, instead, they have been excluded from the profits and stability of owning land for generations. Faced with this reality, dossier no. 53 discusses what a land reform agenda that centres the perspectives and needs of farmworkers would look like.