Projects - ROAPE
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Projects


ROAPE Projects

ROAPE is involved in a number of projects, collaborations and publications. This page provides details of these projects and initiatives. We welcome input on these areas of the journal.

Popular Protest and Class Struggle Across the Continent

This project aims to be used as a resource for researchers and activists. The project is concerned to document and analyse popular protest and direct action on the continent, both as it happens, as a regular feature (that will be available on ROAPE Online) as well as charting broader patterns and trends in popular protest over recent decades. The project is run and coordinated by David Seddon.

Broadly the project considers the relationship between working class struggle and popular protest in Africa over the last ten years as we chart the development of protest movements across the continent. The project focuses on a broader array of popular forces that challenge not only immediate austerity and repression introduced as part of structural adjustment and ‘economic reform’, but also the legitimacy of the reforms themselves and even, sometimes, the governments that introduced them. Many of these protests have frequently identified the international financial institutions and agencies efforts to further enmesh ‘the developing world’ and the ordinary people who live there, into the uneven process of capitalist globalisation in the interests of major transnational corporations and the states that gain most from their operations. We pay particular attention to the development of Islamist movements across the continent, how they have emerged out of and are shaped by popular contestation.

For now this project will chart the incidents of protests, provide brief analysis and arguments on the dynamic of protests and host discussions on the meaning and shape of class struggle across the continent. We look particularly at how popular protest relates, shapes and is shaped by continental and international developments.

Read our reports

  • This project hopes to provide a constantly up-dated account (and archive) and analysis of instances of popular protest and examples of social movements across the African continent with a view to identifying patterns and trends....

  • In his second piece on popular protest in Africa, David Seddon examines the popular reactions to elected presidents who have extended – or attempted to extend - their term of office beyond the limits defined by the Constitution, as is the case in all too many African countries. ...

  • In this, the third in the series on protest, elections and presidential terms, David Seddon returns again to the three countries initially considered to examine the very different trajectories followed by them over the last six months, and extend the comparison to include two others – also in Central Africa. ...

  • One of the central concerns of our roape.net project on popular protests in Africa is to provide an appreciation of the extent to which the instances of popular protest and social movement can increase the scope for sustainable social, economic and political development, and even, on occasion to contribute to the transformation of the very conditions of continental political and economic life. In this post we republish an important article by François Houtart assessing the problems (and lessons) from South America of building a post-neoliberal alternative....

  • In the fourth article in series on popular protests and social movements in Africa, David Seddon extends his comparison by examining three more Africa countries or territories in which the head of state has exceeded two decades in power. Seddon considers the political dynamics that have allowed this to occur, examining the popular response to what might be seen as a gradual slide towards de facto and often de jure one party states and dictatorships in these countries....

  • Firoze Manji writes that discontent has been growing across the continent, with spontaneous eruptions and mass uprisings that have in some cases resulted in the overthrow of regimes. In such circumstances, one would have thought that this would have been fertile grounds for the emergence of strong left working class movements across the continent. But why has this not happened?...

  • In this wide-ranging critique of Firoze Manji's article on the failure of left movements in Africa, David Seddon writes that Manji's 'failure' implies falling short of something that could be identified as a ‘success’, which is an extraordinarily and unhelpfully binary approach to the study of class struggle, social movements and political change. ...

  • In the latest installment of the Popular Protest and Social Movements project for roape.net David Seddon looks at the case of Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe is currently facing a new kind of protest movement, while recent developments in the DRC mean President Kabila has just been enabled to run for a third term....

  • For the latest update on the project Popular Protest and Social Movements for roape.net David Seddon examines the case of Zimbabwe, where President Robert Mugabe has faced a new kind of protest movement this year, and recent developments in the DRC, where President Kabila has attempted to bludgeon into silence opposition protesting against attempts to extend his mandate....

  • Hours before the deadline Senegal maintains its troops are ready to intervene if Gambia’s President Jammeh refuses to hand over power. Jammeh has replied that he would not be intimidated, and the regional body ECOWAS had no right to interfere in The Gambia's affairs. David Seddon looks at the elections last month and the current crisis....

  • In this issue of Popular Protest and Class Struggle in Africa, David Seddon reviews the most recent developments in four countries he has recently discussed – Gambia, Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe and the DRC – in all of which long-standing leaders have refused to stand down, in some cases against growing internal opposition and external pressure, but with significantly differing outcomes....

  • David Seddon reviews the recent political and economic history of Niger. The country has long been one of the world’s largest uranium producers; supplying France with uranium ore for its nuclear industry. Since 2011, it has also started producing, refining and exporting oil. Output is currently around 20,000 barrels a day, which is about the same as its refining capacity. President Mahamadou Issoufou has recently announced that he would not amend the constitution to allow him to seek a third term after his second and final mandate ends in 2021....

Economic Trickery, Fraud and Crime in Africa

This project space is dedicated to the reporting about and analysis of two themes: first, economic fraud, trickery and crime, and, second, measures undertaken by state and non-state actors to address, counter and contain fraud and crime in the economy. The purpose of the project is to have a platform for the regular exchange of up-to-date information, opinions and analysis about these important phenomena, covering all African countries. Economic fraud, trickery and crime project is coordinated by Jörg Wiegratz. We are looking forward to receiving your articles and contributions to this important project and we welcome submissions for instance from NGOs, government officials, academics, transporters, detectives, private security professionals, journalists or students.



		

Read our reports

  • ROAPE's Jörg Wiegratz explains the parameters to this project, which he sees as seeking a critical understanding of some of the key ground-level dynamics of the fight against fraud, including those that contribute to actual fraud containment and reduction....

  • Nataliya Mykhalchenko discusses some of the challenges and findings of working on the political economy of anti-fraud measures in Africa. ...

  • In August 2015 Patrick Bond was invited to speak at a meeting in Harare organised by TrustAfrica’s ‘Stop the Bleeding’ project run by Briggs Bomba, this is a summary of his presentation. ...

  • In her research in Uganda Malin Nystrand found how employing relatives is seen as a social obligation, not as a contribution to the business, and most business owners find these employments difficult to handle....

  • In her second contribution Nataliya Mykhalchenko asks what is the result of anti-fraud measures in Africa and if the failure of initiatives to tackle fraud may be because they fail to challenge the economic system that creates conditions for its very existence....

  • Writer and activist Khadija Sharife describes the devastating practice of platinum price fixing. She sees how the role of the market in Africa as ‘sole regulator’ of value is kept in place for its fictive neutrality, its political-economic usefulness in not ‘seeing’ and therefore disguising socio-economic conflicts and injustices....

  • Koert Lindijer writes how the gap between rich and poor is enormous in Kenya. From the perspective of poor inhabitants - the majority - Kenya’s elite is rich thanks to massive corruption. Lindijer writes about the depth and extent of this corruption and the valiant efforts to bring the elite to justice....

  • Milford Bateman argues that apartheid was replaced with a venal market-driven economic system which has at its heart the supposedly poverty-reducing and empowering concept of microcredit. Yet microcredit has been an unmitigated disaster for South Africa's poor....

  • In this far-ranging analysis of recent events in South Africa, Elizabeth Cobbett argues that a ‘soft’ coup is effectively taking place. Cobbett argues that an ‘oligarchical coup’ is being carried out by wealthy families and senior ANC figures, with Zuma at the heart. The Gupta family’s power to replace key ministerial positions is a graphic example of the operation of this coup, as the wider ANC remain passive or, through Zuma, complicit. ...

  • David Johnson explains that impressive growth rates and the reduction of poverty in Ghana hide a rampant inequality that pervades the country. Although Ghana's progress in poverty reduction has to be acknowledged, income inequality has significantly increased, which seems to be fueling fraud....

  • Neoliberal policies, reforms, ideas, social relations and practices have engendered a type of socio-cultural change across Africa (and the world) which is facilitating widespread fraud. In a new volume just published, editors Jörg Wiegratz and David Whyte and their contributing scholars explore the moral worlds of fraud in different social and geographical settings, and illustrates how contemporary fraud is not the outcome of just a few 'bad apples'....

  • In the first of a two-part blog post Liliane Mouan looks to the restructuring of the Angolan oil sector and state oil company Sonangol. The country retains the image of an oil kleptocracy, with the fate of Sonangol tied to a political dynasty. This blog asks what do these reforms tell us about political-economic change in Angola?...

  • In the second part of her investigation into Angola's oil giant Sonangol, Liliane Mouan returns to the ongoing restructuring and asks whether these reforms will deliver greater openness and transformation. As she concludes, 'Angola’s rulers are well aware that this international legitimacy requires a restructuring process that retains at least some semblance of integrity, even if it simply means putting the corruption somewhere else.'...

  • In a new book on the neoliberal moral economy in Africa, Jörg Wiegratz writes how there has been a high intensity of moral-economic interference of foreign, especially Western actors to promote a particular capitalist moral order in contemporary African societies. In this blog-post introducing his book, Wiegratz argues that the moral economy of a country is not just made by domestic but also foreign forces, and, that given morals are in many ways an outcome of politics....

  • The adoption of technologies in the Nigerian banking sector is helping the ‘’unbanked’’ and ‘’underbanked’’ to enter online banking users. Yet, as Nataliya Mykhalchenko writes, electronic fraud related to e-payments, online banking and card use, for example, is rising across the country. ...

  • Dave Johnson argues that instances of fraud have increased since the liberalisation of the economies examined in his research. However the wider social harm of consuming and using fraudulent goods falls unevenly on the poor yet these consequences seems low on the official anti-fraud agenda....

Would you like to get involved?