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Author: ROAPEadmin

In this review of a major new book on Nigeria, Naija Marxisms, Andy Wynne describes how Nigerian Marxist theory developed in the second half of the 20th century and still provides intellectual ammunition for the labour movement. As a tradition that is alive today, Wynne writes how Nigeria Marxists have analysed Nigeria as a capitalist country, embedded in a global capitalist economy, but affected by pre-colonial structures. ...

Writing about the Rhodes Must Fall movement Simukai Chigudu argues that the notion of decolonisation involves questioning the hegemony of white, western thought in fields of study as diverse as history, politics, philosophy, modern languages, and literature. Following Edward Said, he argues that we all share an intellectual obligation to push this endeavour forward....

Gary Littlejohn looks at the incredible research output of the radical Mozambican Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Economicos (IESE). The Institute has succeeded in organising nine annual conferences already under what have been at times difficult circumstances, run by a fairly small research unit that is entirely dependent on the funds that it raises through consultancy work and book sales, is remarkable....

ROAPE's Alastair Fraser writes about the recent contested elections in Zambia. He explains that without mobilized social movements making demands on the state, without mass-membership political parties which represent substantive political interests and projects, without citizens excited by a belief in the possibility of transforming the country, gains in formal rights – to free association, to freedom of expression - are easily pushed aside....

Christopher Webb argues that while the South African state has increased social welfare to the poorest it has also facilitated the expansion of a predatory form of finance targeting those same people. Webb reveals how social grants and their delivery has facilitated the emergence of predatory forms of micro-lending that targets the poor....

Gary Littlejohn introduces the Mozambique News Reports and Clippings, distributed and collated by Joseph Hanlon. ROAPE will regularly post Hanlon’s reports. By Gary Littlejohn The latest issue of Mozambique News Reports and Clippings, No. 335, distributed by Joseph Hanlon, shows that the drought induced by the last El Niño event is by no means Mozambique’s only problem. There are large numbers of food insecure people in Mozambique, as in other parts of Africa. Firstly, there is the fact (covered in an earlier edition of this newsletter) that negotiations between Frelimo and Renamo are in limbo, with the international mediators having ‘paused’ them owing to apparently irreconcilable positions taken by each side. Neither side was reportedly willing to consider a compromise document drafted by the mediators, who have now left the country. Meanwhile, low level fighting continues between Renamo and government forces, with considerable consequences for movement of...

In this wide-ranging critique of Firoze Manji's article on the failure of left movements in Africa, David Seddon writes that Manji's 'failure' implies falling short of something that could be identified as a ‘success’, which is an extraordinarily and unhelpfully binary approach to the study of class struggle, social movements and political change. ...

Firoze Manji writes that discontent has been growing across the continent, with spontaneous eruptions and mass uprisings that have in some cases resulted in the overthrow of regimes. In such circumstances, one would have thought that this would have been fertile grounds for the emergence of strong left working class movements across the continent. But why has this not happened?...

In the second part of her investigation into Angola's oil giant Sonangol, Liliane Mouan returns to the ongoing restructuring and asks whether these reforms will deliver greater openness and transformation. As she concludes, 'Angola’s rulers are well aware that this international legitimacy requires a restructuring process that retains at least some semblance of integrity, even if it simply means putting the corruption somewhere else.'...

In reflections on her fieldwork in South Africa, Asanda Benya writes about the difficulties and insights she gained while researching underground female mine-workers. Asanda argues that maintaining a distance, or being detached, was not a possible or morally available option, her research demanded that she became fully immersed in the lives of those being studied. ...