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.

The rise of a global technology industry to support financial services, known as fin-tech, has grown enormously in Africa in the last decade. Across the continent many commentators have proclaimed fin-tech as the solution to poverty and development. Examining the case of Kenya’s celebrated fin-tech model, M-Pesa, Milford Bateman, Maren Duvendack and Nicholas Loubere reveal a flawed system that is not an answer to poverty, despite the wild claims of...

Reviewing a major new book on Uganda’s neoliberal transformation, Daniel Lumonya writes that the volume is ‘a deep and comprehensive engagement with the dynamics of development in contemporary Uganda.’ Speaking at the launch of the book in Kampala in April, Lumonya was joined by one of the editors of the book and an audience of scholars and activists from Uganda. The launch was filmed for roape.net and the footage available...

Chinedu Chukwudinma argues that the proliferation of strikes before and after the downfall of Algeria’s President Abdelaziz Bouteflika suggests that only the working class has the power to lead Algerian society to liberation. Chukwudinma looks at the history of workers’ struggles and assesses the possibilities for the future. ...

In a blogpost drawing attention to the large number of suicides by immolation in Tunisia, Habib Ayeb explains that there has been an average of between 250 to 300 suicides per year since 2011. These desperate political acts are intended to draw attention to the dire social and political conditions experienced by millions of Tunisians in the years since the revolution (and the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi in December 2010)....

Farai Chipato discusses the massive influx of donor money into Zimbabwe’s civil society in the 2000s which created ‘briefcase NGOs’, where opportunistic ‘entrepreneurs’ attempted to draw down funding for profit, and the expansion of existing NGOs, creating employment opportunities for a growing number of careerists. Before long, the NGO sector became one of the main sectors sustaining Zimbabwe’s urban middle class, which included both junior staff and a layer of...

ROAPE’s Laura Mann introduces the Citing Africa Podcast Series that explores different aspects of knowledge production in and about African countries. Mann asks some profound questions about Western Africanists and their so-called expertise – how can we be sure that the research, conference presentations and journal articles produced by European and North American researchers are not based on flawed, flimsy and problematic research? The series is an important resource for...

To discuss the extraordinary events in Sudan and Algeria that have shaken these countries – and the continent – to the core in recent months, roape.net has asked some of our contributors to debate the significance and meaning of these revolutions. Both countries are confronted by a challenge: are the movements pacified in the interests of the local and global ruling classes or do the revolutionary movements successfully take-on and...

ROAPE’s Janet Bujra introduces a short film about the Connections workshops held across Africa in 2017-2018. The ROAPE workshops brought together left activists and intellectuals to debate radical transformation on the continent. In the film activists talk about the importance and relevance of these radical gatherings. ...

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...