Poverty Archives - ROAPE
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Poverty Tag

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 some academic commentators. Quite the contrary, fin-tech offers Africa a further case study of how contemporary capitalism continues to under-develop Africa....

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). Translated by Max Ajl, the blogpost looks at the origins of the Tunisian revolution, and broken promises. ...

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 devastating poverty....

Benjamin Selwyn’s The Struggle for Development challenges the dominant view that argues human development can only be achieved through continued economic growth and industrialisation. In this review, Andy Wynne praises a book that aims at the total reconceptualisation of human development, to see development as a process of resisting and ultimately transcending capitalist exploitation....

Continuing our examination of Rwandan development, An Ansoms looks at how the space for open contestation around problematic aspects of rural policy seems to have increased in the country. Both the national and local media, actors from within civil society, as well as the farmers on the ground are increasingly and openly commenting on flaws in the agrarian modernisation model. Such space for open criticism oriented towards local authorities is new in Rwanda. Though the question remains whether this new openness can evolve towards a larger debate around policy orientation....

Postponed hours before the poll was due to open, Nigeria will now hold its election on 23 February, voting to elect the President, Vice President and the National Assembly. These elections will be the sixth since the end of military rule in 1999. Fabiawari Batubo and Andy Wynne argue whichever major party wins the prospects for the popular masses are not positive. ...

Continuing our exposé of the Rwandan government’s subterfuge (and World Bank and IMF complicity) roape.net’s expert reveals what is really going on behind the states recent poverty statistics. This blogpost finds an increase in poverty which is too large, too sustained, too wide-spread, and the findings too robust and too compelling to be ignored, or to be dismissed as mere statistical blips or methodological quirks. The evidence published on roape.net, shows that as the government continues to spend its meagre resources on unprofitable five-star hotels, empty skyscrapers, and even the president’s favourite football club, and imprisons or kills anyone who dares to question the official narrative of success, the lives of ordinary Rwandans continues to deteriorate. Following years of controversy surrounding the results of the EICV4 survey (the Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey or Enquête Intégrale sur les Conditions de Vie des ménages), the National Institute of statistics...

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...