June 2017 - ROAPE
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June 2017

My students make me much more optimistic about the future of Africa’s political economies. Unwilling to accept the criticism with which academics attack almost every actor involved in African development including politicians, businesspeople, international organisations and multilateral institutions, my students don’t just want to stand on the side-lines and analyse the problems, rather they want to get onto the pitch and find ways to change the world. This mission is particularly strong among my students from African countries, who see development, not as an abstract concept, but as a concrete and tangible future they want for their societies. Inspired by our students, this year, Thandika Mkandawire and I decided to ask our African Development course students at the LSE to write critical and thoughtful blog-posts about the most pressing issues concerning economic and social development within African countries. We then asked students to vote on the...

Continuing the debate about Rwandan poverty statistics, Sam Desiere argues that with an inflation rate of 30% - which is more in line with ‘real’ inflation - poverty has increased in Rwanda. His findings raise concerns, not only for Rwanda’s (rural) policies (and poor), but also for international donors that have presented Rwanda as a model for development....

The Review of African Political Economy is convening a series of three workshops in Africa in the 2017-18 period to explore Structural Transformations in Africa today: interventions from the Left. The workshops will help link analysis and activism in contemporary Africa from the perspective of radical political economy; consider whether a new politics is emerging from sites of contestation in Africa and reflect on lessons which might be drawn for the continent from revolutionary historical transitions....

Nungari Mwangi contributes to our debate on capitalism in Africa by looking into export horticulture in Kenya and its role in the expansion of capitalism. Using a case study of marginalized small scale flower farmers, she challenges the orientation towards European export markets, and calls for a focus on local and regional markets for their survival....

Laura Mann writes about a workshop on Africa’s growing youth populations. Participants discussed the challenge that African societies face in reimagining their economies and social policies in light of this demographic pressure. These pressures were not relieved by the recent economic boom within African countries which has been resource-intensive and “jobless”. ...