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.

Looking at the cocoa industry in Ghana, Erik Jorgensen and Yukari Kanamori demonstrate how power asymmetry in the private cocoa industry and reduced institutional capacity have added to dependency. The Ghanaian Cocoa industry is an example of the disproportionate appropriation of rents by foreign firms in the downstream segments of the value chain which has not only halted agricultural development, but actually eroded the position of cocoa farmers in the...

Continuing our look at the life of Steve Biko, Heike Becker writes about two extraordinary events. The first was the formation of a Black organisation of student protest in 1968. The South African Student Organisation (SASO) was founded during a meeting exclusively attended by black students. Biko became the new organisation’s first President. The second was the astonishing friendship that developed between Steve Biko and Rick Turner. Together their political...

Introducing her new book released this week, Gabrielle Lynch provides a radical analysis of the mechanisms of transitional justice. Looking at the case of Kenya, Lynch argues that truth commissions which hope to achieve truth, justice and reconciliation also require ongoing political struggles, and substantive socio-economic and political change. While reconciliation and justice may be goals which truth commission can recommend, and sometimes contribute to, they cannot be expected to achieve...

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...

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. ...

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....

From the editorial to issue 156 of ROAPE, Peter Lawrence discusses articles that examine the state and global capitalism. Included in the issue are papers which look at how the colonial and post-colonial states in Malawi have pursued policies that have been in the interests of the tobacco industry, state capture in South Africa's motor industry and the history of capital controls. While the Debates section is devoted to the...

In ground-breaking new research Torben Gülstorff argues that after 1945 both German states were involved in the events of decolonization and the Cold War in Africa and the rest of the 'Third World.' In the Central African region, they played a role in all major conflicts but neither state pursued high-minded policy but crude economic interests. Gülstorff argues that we must look beyond the typical powerhouses of Washington, Moscow,...