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At the workshop in Tunis, Malek Lakhal presented a scathing critique of ‘capacity building’ and ‘awareness-raising campaigns’ promoted by Northern NGOs that rely on orientalist tropes of lacuna and deficiency to reinforce how Tunisians – and the Global South generally - are perpetually ‘lagging behind’ or ‘catching up’ and in need of western tutelage and knowledge....

In a critique of Rwanda’s Green Revolution, An Ansoms argues that the promise of the ‘reconfiguration of the rural landscape’ has failed. Food price inflation rose rapidly while the economies-of-scale of the new system were captured by middlemen and local elites. Yet, the World Bank and the IMF persist in using the so-called Rwandan ‘success story’ to sell neo-liberal policy packages as the panacea for Africa’s development. However opportunities for alternative voices are opening up and criticism is also being picked up by Rwandan policy makers....

For years illegal capital flight from South Africa has resulted in a staggering loss of wealth for the country. For roape.net Ben Fine investigates efforts to curb these flows of wealth. He argues that capital flight not only shifts resources elsewhere as is commonly presumed, it also shifts speculation elsewhere – capital flight is financialised....

Action for Southern Africa’s report, The Money Drain: How Trade Misinvoicing and Unjust Debt Undermine Economic and Social Rights in Southern Africa, was recently launched at the Southern African Development Community People’s Summit in Dar es Salaam. For roape.net, the report’s author, Sunit Bagree, outlines some of the actions that the UK government must take in order to end these damaging financial outflows....

Recently the Financial Times published an investigation carried out by their data analysis team, which confirmed the findings that have been published on roape.net on poverty in Rwanda over several years. Of all the countries in the world for which there is data, only South Sudan has experienced a faster increase in poverty over the past decade. Rwanda’s official poverty statistics are verifiably false. The government, supported by the World Bank, is involved in a tragic debacle in which the poor are the real victims. ...

In this review of R.W. Johnson’s latest book on South Africa, Fighting for the Dream, David Seddon commends an analysis that criticises the ANC as having learned little or nothing from the experience of African nationalism elsewhere on the continent. Although Johnson adopts an approach that explicitly draws on the Marxist tradition, Seddon argues that the ‘top-down’ perspective he adopts does not allow him to see the ordinary people of South Africa as actors and agents in contemporary politics. ...

Max Ajl speaks to the Marxist economist Utsa Patnaik about agrarian history and imperialism. Her work on the economic history of India and other countries under colonial rule, shows how the experience deepened food insecurity and unemployment, trends which reemerged again under neoliberalism. The interview was conducted as part of the activities of the workshop on ‘Agriculture and Imperialism’ in November 2018, Beirut, Lebanon, organised by the Thimar Collective....