ROAPE Blog - ROAPE
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ROAPE Blog

Our Blog

ROAPE’s blog hosts short articles to highlight developments on the continent and comment on the dynamics of protest, shifting patterns of political economy and issues of historical concern for the journal. We welcome submissions for short articles between 800 and 1,800 words.

Twenty years ago today a major new political movement emerged in Zimbabwe. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was founded at a mass rally on 11 September 1999, in the capital Harare. At the time it marked the high-point of popular struggles across the continent and it was the first time since independence in 1980 that the country’s president, Robert Mugabe, was seriously threatened. Farai Chipato celebrates both the achievements...

On Robert Mugabe’s death in an exclusive hospital in Singapore, ROAPE makes available some of the articles that we have published on Zimbabwe over the long period of his rule. Like much of the left, we celebrated the fall of the racist white minority regime in Rhodesia in 1980. In a special issue in 1980 we cheered on Mugabe’s party in the following terms: ‘Of all the political movements in...

In the first of a series of blogposts on the extraordinary revolutions we have seen across Africa this year, Emma Wilda Botta examines the roots of the uprisings in Sudan. After decades of repression, the Sudanese people rose up in 2018-19, but the compromises that have temporarily pacified the country’s towns and cities, rest on a set of acute contradictions....

The ROAPE Ruth First prize has been awarded to Mondli Hlatshwayo for his article on the struggles of precarious workers in South Africa and specifically the organisational responses of community health workers. The article can be accessed for free from our website. ...

ROAPE believes it is not enough for us to preach a radical anti-neoliberal politics and not practice or attempt to develop an alternative work ethic to neoliberal capitalism in our own work on the journal and website. As a consequence, we inform our readers and supporters that we are introducing a series of annual shutdowns, starting from 7-27 August on journal production, and from 7 August – 2 September on...

Exposing the continued European control of the global commodity trade, Angus Elsby looks at the import and re-export of raw commodities from Africa by European countries. Focusing on the coffee market, this blogpost charts the destructive impact of Europe’s commodity ‘theft’ for Africa’s development....

Discussing the extraordinary work of the Guyanese activist and historian Walter Rodney, Chinedu Chukwudinma describes how Rodney’s work remains a priceless weapon of theory and history that restores the dignity of African people. However, this blogpost takes issue with Andy Higginbottom’s review of Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa on roape.net and argues that Rodney’s version of dependency theory presents a flawed analysis of imperialism....

Zimbabwe is confronting its deepest crisis since 2008. At the end of June, the ZANU-PF government reintroduced the Zimbabwe dollar, 10 years after an economic crisis compelled it to use a foreign currency. In an analysis of Zimbabwe’s economic and monetary situation, Mike Chipere-Ngazimbi describes rapid economic decline amid the incompetence and brutality of the current government. Is another social explosion a possibility as the young are forced to protest...

Examining the recent and brutal attempts to suppress the Sudanese revolution, Magdi el Gizouli looks at the efforts by the regime and its various factions to seize the initiative from the streets. In recent months the ruthless figure of Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (aka Himeidti), the leader of the infamous Rapid Support Forces, has moved into the centre of Sudanese politics. However, will the ‘neighbourhood committees’ be able to translate their...

Bettina Engels writes about the murder of two activists in Burkina Faso. The activists were well known for campaigning against mining in the province of Yagha in the North East of the country.  For years the region has been a hotspot of artisanal mining and conflicts between residents, the mining company and state security forces. Using the fight against ‘Islamic terrorism’, the government is frequently targeting activists. ROAPE appeals to...