Featured Archives - ROAPE
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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....

David Seddon examines the events leading up to the elections held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the end of December 2018. The election of the new government headed by President Felix Tshisekedi, the son of the veteran leader of the UDPS, Etienne Tshisekedi, who died in 2017, has been challenged across the country. The circumstances of the alleged ‘deal’ between the old regime and the new one, leave many asking what has really changed in the Congo....

In a blogpost on Ethiopia’s current challenges, Yohannes Woldemariam examines the hurdles facing the new leadership in the country. While the recent protest movement has determined the course of the country’s reforms, Woldemariam sees ethnic conflict, political division and violence hampering a political class that continues to have blind faith in capitalist development. ...

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....

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...