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Yohannes Woldemariam exposes the real legacy of Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie. Few realise the wide gulf between Selassie’s mythological representations in popular culture and the reality of his tyrannical reign, the perception that Selassie was a proud African and a champion for black people is not supported by the facts. Unpicking Ethiopia's foundational myths is vital for understanding where the country is today....

The first decade of the 21st century marked a new beginning for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). After the signing of a peace treaty in 2002, the country re-connected with the world to engage in post-conflict reconstruction. In this blogpost, the authors ask who really benefitted from the ensuing peace dividend? By re-examining the evidence, they conclude that the country missed an important opportunity to combat the country’s devastating poverty....

Across the world the extent of corporate collusion raises a range of fundamental questions relating to the manipulation of markets and capture of the policy agenda by private companies. Little is known about the extent of such collusion in so-called developing countries, in Africa in particular. Based on recent research for ROAPE, Thando Vilakazi argues that the form and extent of collusion across much of the continent points to limitations of conventional ‘governance fixes’, namely competition law, to address private cartels in Africa....

Tin Hinane El Kadi writes about a revolutionary movement in Algeria which poses a real threat to the survival of the regime. She describes a young generation determined to go beyond the usual arrangements between parties and the establishment to produce radical change. The slogan in the streets is ‘El Chaab yourid isskat ennidam’ – ‘The people want to bring down the system.’...

Artisanal gold mining has a long history in Burkina Faso, but industrial gold mining is experiencing a recent boom in the country. Since 2007, for example, 15 industrial mines have opened. The research group GLOCON has released a report which puts the views of those affected by large-scale gold mining in Burkina Faso at the centre of the analysis. For roape.net the authors discuss the report’s findings....

Postponed hours before the poll was due to open, Nigeria will now hold its election on 23 February, voting to elect the President, Vice President and the National Assembly. These elections will be the sixth since the end of military rule in 1999. Fabiawari Batubo and Andy Wynne argue whichever major party wins the prospects for the popular masses are not positive. ...

In this blogpost, Leo Zeilig looks at Walter Rodney’s journey from Tanzania, his return to Guyana in 1974 and then his extraordinary lectures in Hamburg in 1978. An astonishing scholar and activist, Rodney was constantly rethinking the question of working class agency and politics, and refused simplistic political statements or formulations. In Germany, Rodney asserted the central role of the working class in socialist transformation. ...

In a contribution to our debate on capitalism in Africa, Ben Radley writes that the involvement of TNC-led mining in the Congo has undermined the productivity and development of locally-led artisanal mining. Researching artisanal gold mining in South Kivu, Radley argues that real progress in the sector has been led and managed by a local Congolese capitalist class through a process of technological assimilation, capital formation and mechanisation. These processes are being eroded by international capital, backed-up by the state and police. ...

ROAPE’s Patrick Bond looks at the context for the 14-17 January nationwide protests in Zimbabwe. The protests were called by trade unions against an unprecedented fuel price hike, leading to repression, death, injuries and mass arrests reminiscent of former leader Robert Mugabe’s rule. Bond unpicks what he argues is a full-on capitalist crisis....