January 2019 - ROAPE
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January 2019

Introducing a new collection on neoliberal restructuring in Uganda, the editors argue in this blogpost that the country has been a hotspot for capitalist restructuring, transformation, contradiction and crisis, past and present. Uganda has undergone an unprecedented political, socio-economic, cultural and ecological transformation, brought about by neoliberal capitalist reorganisation since the 1980s. Rather than seeing a post neoliberal world they argue that there is much more to come....

Continuing our exposé of the Rwandan government’s subterfuge (and World Bank and IMF complicity) roape.net’s expert reveals what is really going on behind the states recent poverty statistics. This blogpost finds an increase in poverty which is too large, too sustained, too wide-spread, and the findings too robust and too compelling to be ignored, or to be dismissed as mere statistical blips or methodological quirks. The evidence published on roape.net, shows that as the government continues to spend its meagre resources on unprofitable five-star hotels, empty skyscrapers, and even the president’s favourite football club, and imprisons or kills anyone who dares to question the official narrative of success, the lives of ordinary Rwandans continues to deteriorate. Following years of controversy surrounding the results of the EICV4 survey (the Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey or Enquête Intégrale sur les Conditions de Vie des ménages), the National Institute of statistics...

Since 2014 an unprecedented protest movement has shaken Ethiopia to its core. A wave of popular struggles have rocked the country, and pushed the regime into permanent crisis. Mebratu Kelecha writes that while repression has been severe, and thousands have died, the regime has been forced to embark on an unparalleled programme of reforms. Popular struggles across the country, with solidarity between different ethnic groups, have become the true arbiter of political power in Ethiopia....

The revolutionary left in Sub-Saharan Africa (1960’s-1970’s): a political and social history to be written   Background The reason for this symposium stems from the following observation: while the revolutionary left movements of the 1960s and 1970s in Europe, the United States, Latin America and elsewhere have been the subject of abundant literature, similar movements that emerged during this period in Africa are still unknown. There are two main reasons for this ignorance: firstly, it was often an underground history with actors operating in hiding, and secondly, it is also a long-concealed history, either because of defeat (political and sometimes military), or of a certain form of self-censorship due to the subsequent reconversion of former revolutionary actors within the ruling elite or other reasons of ‘disavowal’ of this left-wing activist past. The symposium is therefore meant to help reveal the invisible, forgotten and retrospectively compressed history of these...

Adam Rodgers Johns explores the commercialisation of football in Africa. He argues that at the professional level the continent’s most popular sport provides us with fertile grounds for the analysis of capitalism in Africa. By Adam Rodgers Johns The trend towards the commercialisation of football is not limited to the most powerful and competitive leagues in Western Europe but affects all regions of the world, including Africa. In recent years, the commercialisation of elite level professional football has affected the world’s most popular sport at unprecedented levels - from ownership, sponsorship, ticket sales to TV licensing. There are numerous ways in which Africa is linked to the global business of football. For example, the huge popularity of European, specifically English football, has significant commercial implications in terms of broadcasting revenue, merchandise and gambling. There are a number of examples from the African continent where there has...

Mpumelelo Tshabalala discusses a symposium that marked the 60th anniversary of the All Africa People’s Conference which was hosted at the University of London last month. The symposium created the space for reflection on the historical significance of the 1958 AAPC and on how it can be used to understand and shape where Africa is today. Tshabalala also raises some important questions about race and politics at the event. By Mpumelelo Tshabalala On Thursday, 6 December 2018 the All Africa People’s Conference’s (AAPC) 60-year commemorative event took place in one of Senate House Library’s grand, parliamentary styled rooms.  The symposium was incredibly rich, evident in the effort made to set and comprehend the context of the original conference in 1958. Further to the presented content, accompanying the programme was a list of the AAPC’s delegates, fraternal delegates and observers, a 1958 map of the continent and information...

Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa is a masterpiece. In this review of the new edition of the book by Verso, Andy Higginbottom celebrates a classic that has lost none of its power. The book brings together in a broad narrative the history of the African continent from a perspective that is at one and the same time Pan-Africanist and Marxist. For all of those interested in Africa’s history and future, the book must be studied once more. Review of Walter Rodney (2018) How Europe Underdeveloped Africa  (London/New York: Verso) By Andy Higginbottom This book is a masterpiece. Walter Rodney wrote How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (HEUA) in his late twenties while a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The book brings together in a broad narrative the history of the African continent from a perspective that is at one and the same time Pan Africanist...