Southern Africa Archives - ROAPE
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Southern Africa Tag

On the anniversary of Zambia’s independence, Robert Power examines the birth of the Zambian nation by shedding light on the connections that existed between political activists and anti-colonial organisations and governments that proved so vital in winning the liberation struggle in 1964. Power writes about the astonishing transnational connections and solidarity that proliferated from the early 1950s. ...

David Moore reflects on Robert Mugabe's life, politics and ZANU-PF. He sees Mugabe’s rule containing a blend of stultified Marxism and liberalism – a kind of ‘market Stalinism’. Discussing the coup that toppled Mugabe in 2017, Moore sees continuity in Zimbabwe’s liberation history. He asks, to what extent is this constant history of near-coups and coup-paranoia wired into the very structures of Zimbabwe’s political sociology and culture of class and state formation?...

In recent years governments across Southern Africa have targeted foreign investors, increased taxation on mining companies and enacted indigenisation. In this blogpost, Alex Caramento and Richard Saunders investigate the social forces currently shaping resource nationalism in the region. They hope to initiate a discussion on the various responses to extractive capitalism in Southern Africa. ...

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....

Twenty years ago today a major new political movement emerged in Zimbabwe. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was founded at a mass rally on 11 September 1999, in the capital Harare. At the time it marked the high-point of popular struggles across the continent and it was the first time since independence in 1980 that the country’s president, Robert Mugabe, was seriously threatened. Farai Chipato celebrates both the achievements of the MDC and examines its tragic and calamitous mistakes. ...

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 management staff who accumulated significant amounts of wealth and property. Activists from the 1990s complain of this turn from activist to professional in civil society organisations, which meant that civil society is increasingly just another industry to make a career in....

Njuki Githethwa discusses a recent workshop in Nairobi of activists and researchers on social movements in East and Southern Africa. The workshop set itself the task of asking a number of questions. How do social movements build and sustain resistance? What should the relationship between scholars and activists look like? What role can universities play in building and sustaining connections among social movement scholars and activists? Githethwa argues that the analysis and understanding that came out of the workshop provided rich ammunition for scholars and activists to transform protests across the continent into struggles for radical and lasting transformation.  ...

Across the world the extent of corporate collusion raises a range of fundamental questions relating to the manipulation of markets and capture of the policy agenda by private companies. Little is known about the extent of such collusion in so-called developing countries, in Africa in particular. Based on recent research for ROAPE, Thando Vilakazi argues that the form and extent of collusion across much of the continent points to limitations of conventional ‘governance fixes’, namely competition law, to address private cartels in Africa....

Vladimir Shubin celebrates the extraordinary life of an African scholar, activist and diplomat. Vasily Grigoryevich Solodovnikov, who died last year, spent decades working with African liberation movements. He worked tirelessly for the liberation of Southern Africa, and movements for colonial freedom across the continent. Shubin celebrates a legendary figure who was the first Russian citizen to be awarded the South African Order of O.R. Tambo....