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Struggle Tag

Since 2014 an unprecedented protest movement has shaken Ethiopia to its core. A wave of popular struggles have rocked the country, and pushed the regime into permanent crisis. Mebratu Kelecha writes that while repression has been severe, and thousands have died, the regime has been forced to embark on an unparalleled programme of reforms. Popular struggles across the country, with solidarity between different ethnic groups, have become the true arbiter of political power in Ethiopia....

The revolutionary left in Sub-Saharan Africa (1960’s-1970’s): a political and social history to be written   Background The reason for this symposium stems from the following observation: while the revolutionary left movements of the 1960s and 1970s in Europe, the United States, Latin America and elsewhere have been the subject of abundant literature, similar movements that emerged during this period in Africa are still unknown. There are two main reasons for this ignorance: firstly, it was often an underground history with actors operating in hiding, and secondly, it is also a long-concealed history, either because of defeat (political and sometimes military), or of a certain form of self-censorship due to the subsequent reconversion of former revolutionary actors within the ruling elite or other reasons of ‘disavowal’ of this left-wing activist past. The symposium is therefore meant to help reveal the invisible, forgotten and retrospectively compressed history of these...

In an interview with roape.net Helen Batubo, an activist and worker in Nigeria, describes her experiences at the ROAPE workshop in Dar es Salaam in 2018. She argues that there are possibilities of influencing many other activists through these activities.  Such events are crucial, she says, in ‘calling us to revolt.’ Can you please introduce yourself for readers of roape.net? I was born in 1962, in Okrika, an island in the Niger Delta. I was the only daughter and became somewhat of a Tom boy to survive with my many brothers.  My dad was my mum’s second husband, but we generally depended on my mum for our upbringing due to his drinking.  My primary schooling was delayed by the Nigerian civil war and I later also saw the violence of the Niger Delta militants/gangs first hand. I have suffered my share of sexism and was nearly...

In a powerful defence of Marxist political economy John Saul argues that ‘facing down the hulk of capital that presently bestrides the world was never going to be easy.’ Though as ‘powerful and ill-intentioned as capitalists’ might be ‘as they destroy the world, environmentally and morally’, everything, in Africa and elsewhere, continues to depend on the struggle of the oppressed. In this contribution he blends his on-going work on Africa with a more general analytical and theoretical consideration on progressive political economy. The fruitfulness of this approach is exemplified in his forthcoming book, Revolutionary Hope vs Free-Market Fantasies: Towards the Revival of Liberation Struggle in Southern Africa (to appear in 2019). There readers can see a more elaborated model of the method of both learning and communicating – in exploring the juxtaposition between theory on the one hand and ‘practice’, in the chapters 'southern Africa...

International Research Workshop: The Moral Dimensions of Economic Life in Africa  Global South Studies Center, University of Cologne (November 8-9, 2018) co-funded by: Thyssen Foundation (Germany), University of Cologne (Global South Study Centre), and University of Leeds (POLIS).  For decades, mainstream economic analysis has tended to exclude morality from the investigation and understanding of economic life. Yet in reality there are always various moral dimensions at play when it comes to people’s economic thinking, practices and relationships, on one hand, and the structures in which they operate, on the other. In this workshop - organised by Tijo Salverda (Cologne), Cristiano Lanzano (Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala), and Jörg Wiegratz (Leeds) - we will look more closely at this morality-economy nexus, with a particular focus on Africa. Due to their economic and socio-cultural diversity and complexity, African countries are privileged sites to discuss the moral dimensions of economic life. Many economies on...

Remi Adekoya interviews Pascal Bianchini about Senegal’s street fighting years from 1968 to the mid-1970s. It was a period of growth for the revolutionary left and it forced a multi-party system on the government of Léopold Senghor, which at the time was not that usual in Africa. Bianchini argues that the democratisation in the country started in 1968 and was driven by the left, leading to major political changes in subsequent decades....

Remi Adekoya reviews a new book on the exploitation and underdevelopment of Africa. Extracting Profits by Lee Wengraf is a treasure-trove of facts and figures about Africa for anyone interested in the political economy of Africa’s past, present and future. However, Adekoya argues that for any systemic change to occur on the continent there must be a shift in the mind-set of those in charge, otherwise all that will be achieved is the replacement of one set of looters by another, only this time holding up different slogans....

Bettina Engels reviews a new book that traces the history of Burkina Faso’s student movement. The book by Lila Chouli demonstrates how the movement's development is closely connected with the general political struggles in the country and how organised students have positioned themselves in opposition to the state and ruling elite and questioned the very political and economic system itself....

For most commentators and scholars, it was only events in the Global North that constituted ‘Global 1968’. None of the relevant overviews brings related events on the African continent to the fore. In a detailed account of popular protest across Africa in the 1960s, it becomes clear that the decade was vital for activists – as it was elsewhere across the world. 1968 was a crucial year for popular protests and student militancy on the continent. roape.net begins to fill in the blanks in the story of ‘1968’ in a global perspective. ...

Heike Becker writes about the many uprisings in Africa’s 1968 and that these protests and revolts highlight the fact that Africa should not be left blank on the map of scholarship that seeks to understand 1968 in a global perspective. Yet, these revolts and protests are still forgotten in the global discourse of commemoration. This week roape.net will focus on the extraordinary African dimensions of the movements in 1968....