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Author: ROAPEadmin

In this blogpost Christiaan De Beukelaer and Martin Fredriksson contribute to roape.net’s ongoing discussion on fraud, economic trickery and crime in Africa today by initiating a critical discussion about the war on piracy. Ghana’s economy might look like a success story with a continuously growing GDP, but the statistics actually hide growing inequalities which also creates stronger breeding grounds for informal markets of various kinds....

In a major critique of dependency theory, Esteban Mora continues the debate on the nature of imperialism on roape.net (and specifically the blogpost by Walter Daum). He argues that while inequalities and unevenness in the world market exists, with both strong nation-states and weaker ones, this is not a division based on countries or regions, nor geography or ethnicity, but on relations of production. We must unearth the mechanisms of mutual profiting across all regions to see a class divided world market, as part of an international system of states where every single state is an agent of financial capital....

David Seddon celebrates Transition a publication that was established in Uganda in the early 1960s and became a forum for debate and controversy, precisely because it was run by and written by ‘amateurs’ – people who loved and were passionate about what they thought, what they said and what they read, and linked this passion not only to a concern to understand the world but also to change it. Seddon draws the lessons from the experience of Transitions for a radical publication on Africa today....

Historical explanations advanced by Walter Rodney on early patterns of dependency resonate with contemporary social and economic realities of globalisation. Colonial legacies are very much alive and well across the African continent. In this blogpost Katie Barker argues that many of the old patterns of dependency prevail and illustrates the urgency to transform Africa’s structural position in the global economy, de-industrialisation and agricultural stagnation. ...

Samir Amin, a ROAPE contributor and comrade, died last week, we post tributes from some of his comrades, students and friends. Ray Bush, Peter Lawrence, Issa Shivji, Ndongo Sylla, John Saul and Natasha Shivji celebrate the work and life of a rebel in the Marxist citadel. As Ndongo Sylla points out, Amin's life quest was to mark out what alternative paths can lead the ‘wretched of the earth’ towards an authentic human civilisation that capitalism can only refuse them. ...

Continuing the debate on roape.net on capitalism in Africa, Tom Goodfellow looks at the weak foundations of industrial capitalism, the key role of land, infrastructure and real estate in the ‘operations’ of capital in Africa. He argues that continued exploration of how capital intersects with contemporary urban forms can help to bring Africa to its rightful position at the forefront of global debates on capitalist transformation....

In the latest installment of the protest and social movement project on roape.net, David Seddon writes about recent developments in Burundi. He argues that President Pierre Nkurunziza’s brutal efforts to extend his rule have temporarily swept aside internal dissent and unrest. Across the continent the effectiveness of those struggling against such anti-democratic moves has varied considerably. ...

On 16 August 2012, the South African Police shot 34 platinum miners who were on strike for better wages and living and working conditions, while they were trying to disperse. Ten people had died before the massacre. The government set up the Farlam Inquiry which cost the people of South Africa R153 million. But it failed not only to ask the right questions—who gave the order to issue guns to the police? Who ordered them to shoot to kill? But also to address the material conditions that give rise to the community’s resistance. The toxic collusion between Lonmin, the South African police and the ANC government comes from the top: as a Lonmin director at the time, now President, Cyril Ramaphosa called the labour dispute a ‘dastardly criminal act’ requiring ‘concomitant action,’ supporting a position which - with 800 police already on the ground in Marikana...

Heike Becker writes about Claude Lanzmann’s close encounter with Frantz Fanon in 1961, and his fierce anti-colonial activism. Becker argues that we must remember the French filmmaker for more than his engagement with the European holocaust experience and his controversial support of Israel. Lanzmann took an ardent anti-colonialist stand against France’s colonial war in Algeria. ...

Yohannes Woldemariam discusses the major challenges confronting Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed. Tackling the deep structural weaknesses at the heart of Ethiopia’s economy and its so-called ‘revolutionary developmentalism’, will be a key test. Woldemariam also considers the country’s new relationship with Eritrea and the regional and international pressures playing out in Ethiopia’s new political landscape....