Development Archives - ROAPE
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Development Tag

Recently the World Bank published a paper on poverty in Rwanda. The aim of the paper was to deal with the debate started in 2015 by Filip Reyntjens, and which continues on roape.net, on the reliability of Rwandan poverty statistics. Despite the objectives, when properly calculated, the evidence presented by the World Bank actually strongly supports the claim that poverty has increased in Rwanda. Yet the selective and even misleading presentation of supporting empirical evidence by the World Bank is, to say the least, disturbing. Our Rwanda experts ask if the World Bank is guilty of a worrying level of leniency and incompetence, or outright complicity in the manipulation of Rwanda’s official statistics. In September 2018, the World Bank published a paper entitled ‘Revisiting the Poverty Trend in Rwanda 2010/11-2013/14’, the stated aim of which was to resolve [i.e. shut down?] the debate initiated three years...

The public debate on South Africa’s ‘social grant saga’ portrays the case as a typical example of political corruption, personal incompetence and corporate greed. However, as Lena Gronbach argues, behind the headlines is an agenda developed by the World Bank in the early 2000s, which sees poverty as a problem of financial exclusion and restrictive financial markets, rather than the result of deeper structural issues and the lack of a regular and adequate income. This has been nothing short of a fundamental shift in development policy. By Lena Gronbach In 2012 South Africa’s Social Security Agency SASSA appointed Cash Paymaster Services (CPS), a private financial service provider, as the sole paymaster for the country’s extensive and rapidly expanding social grant programme. This move was designed to address concerns about payment efficiency, high levels of grant fraud, and the fragmented nature of the previous provincial grant payment system...

Free Access to ROAPE Connections Special Issue: Radical Political Economy and Industrialisation ROAPE held the first of three workshops in Ghana, Accra on ‘Radical political economy and industrialisation in Africa’, 13–14 November 2017. Our publisher Taylor and Francis have made the special issue from the workshop accessible until the end of the year. This Debate Special Issue from Volume 46, Issue 56 discusses the initiative of holding the Africa-based ROAPE meetings, why they are important and how they relate to historic socio-economic transformations, the most significant of which remains the great Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, whose centenary month coincided with the Accra workshop. This is the first of the workshops which ROAPE has sponsored across the continent in cooperation with local organisations. A similar version of the Accra meeting, held in Dar es Salaam in April of this year, will appear in a forthcoming issue. These workshops deliberately avoid an...

In a major contribution to roape.net, Zsuzsánna Biedermann analyses the complex reasons behind the largely fruitless diversification efforts in Botswana. Many African countries abundant in non-renewable natural resources experience the harmful effects associated with the extensive role oil, mining or gas extraction plays in their economies. Even if Botswana’s initial development based on diamond mining was spectacular, there is mounting proof that the Botswana Democratic Party - the country’s governing party since independence – has been deeply intertwined with the De Beers diamond mining cartel. Development, industrialisation and diversification remains a frustrating and elusive goal for the country....

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 country....

After the manifest failure of microcredit to address poverty in Africa and everywhere else, the international development community has hit upon a new microcredit-related idea that, it claims, will do the job this time around: ‘fin-tech’, i.e. financial technology. In this blogpost Milford Bateman argues fin-tech has the potential to gravely undermine the position of the poor and to increase inequality while, not coincidentally, vastly enriching a narrow elite. ...

In a major critique of dependency theory, Esteban Mora continues the debate on the nature of imperialism on roape.net (and specifically the blogpost by Walter Daum). He argues that while inequalities and unevenness in the world market exists, with both strong nation-states and weaker ones, this is not a division based on countries or regions, nor geography or ethnicity, but on relations of production. We must unearth the mechanisms of mutual profiting across all regions to see a class divided world market, as part of an international system of states where every single state is an agent of financial capital....

Continuing the debate on roape.net on capitalism in Africa, Tom Goodfellow looks at the weak foundations of industrial capitalism, the key role of land, infrastructure and real estate in the ‘operations’ of capital in Africa. He argues that continued exploration of how capital intersects with contemporary urban forms can help to bring Africa to its rightful position at the forefront of global debates on capitalist transformation....

As Donald Trump makes his first visit to the UK as president, Dirk Kohnert looks at how his policies will hit African countries. After years of talk of partnership for African economic development Trump’s tariffs mean a severe blow to African trade and sustainable development. Kohnert argues that Egypt and South Africa for example, potentially the most affected countries in Africa, face massive job losses....