Resources - ROAPE
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ROAPE provides resources for students, activists and researchers working on African political economy. In addition to our archive of back issues this page contains reading lists, lecture slides, books and films. These resources are meant for teaching various aspects of continental political economy and related areas. Please browse the list of resources below.  If you have other material that should be posted here, please send an email to

Nyerere Resource Centre

Nyerere Resource Centre under the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) organises a series of short courses for young scholars/researchers and activists in civil society which gives them theoretical and methodological tools for a deeper understanding of the burning social issues of the day. The course reader attached here is on ‘The Political Economy of Natural Resources’ and we attach the full course guide. We also include the course timetable that gives an indication how the course was taught.

Taylor and Francis

ROAPE’s publisher Taylor and Francis provides resources for teaching and open access material on events and projects. Taylor and Francis has an invaluable YouTube channel which includes important short teaching videos and clips. ROAPE’s David Simon discusses writing a journal article for the first time for those yet not quite sure how to begin. Discover the four A’s, as David offers advice on what to think about before you start to write. Taylor and Francis also have an active Vimeo channel, with invaluable resources T&F Vimeo channel

ROAPE and Ruth First

The South African revolutionary Ruth First made an extraordinary contribution to activism and radical writing and research on Africa. She worked as a journalist in South Africa from 1946 until her exile in the UK in 1964. She then became an editor, co-author and author of a large number of books, as well as a lecturer. She was also one of the founding members of the ROAPE in 1974, a radical journal committed to transforming (and understanding) Africa’s political economy. In the late 1970s First moved to Mozambique as Director of Research at the Centro de Estudos Africanos at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo. In 1982 she was murdered in Maputo by the apartheid state. Some of her contributions to the journal can be found here.

We have attached links to videos below that concern Ruth First’s life and legacy and come from a project and website run by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, the Ruth First Papers Project and a special issue of ROAPE published in 2014.

Drawing on papers presented at the 2012 Ruth First Papers Project symposium, ROAPE produced a special issue in 2014 that includes contributions from Anne-Marie Gentili, Gavin Williams and Alpheus Manghezi. Much of Ruth First’s work and life remains unknown to a new generation yet her work was of such impressive scope, her activism so courageous. The special issue on Ruth First is the story of First’s life in Mozambique, and her broad and substantial contribution to radical African studies.

In these videos Matt Mahon speaks about the Ruth First Papers Project, led by Leo Zeilig, which aims to create and populate a digital archive of a selection of Ruth First’s writings held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and in partner collections. Ruth’s colleagues Peter Lawrence and John Saul, Janet Bujra and Colin Darch recall their enduring memories of Ruth and reflect on both forty years of ROAPE. Full transcripts of these interview can be accessed here.

North Africa: Thimar research collective

ROAPE editorial board member Ray Bush works with Thimar a research collective that shares information and analysis, to promote basic research and to open policy debate on the connections between agriculture, environment and labour. Working with Thimar Ray Bush and Habib Ayeb made the documentary ‘Fellahin.’ The documentary provides insights into the missing dimension of the Egyptian and Tunisian uprisings. It highlights the importance of farmer resourcefulness and courage in the aftermath of economic and political turmoil and gives farmers the opportunity to voice out their hopes and fears. The documentary can be watched here.


Institute for Social and Economic Studies (IESE), Mozambique

By Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco

The Institute for Social and Economic Studies (IESE), is a Mozambican, independent research organization, created in September 2007 by a small group of Mozambican academics, which promotes heterodox, interdisciplinary research and public policy debate. Its research work is organized by four research groups, namely Economics and Development (E&D), Governance and Citizenship, Poverty and Social Protection and Emergent Economies. Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco is a prominent Mozambican political-economist. He was educated at Eduardo Mondlane University, the University of East Anglia and the University of Oxford and SOAS, University of London. Carlos currently at the IESE in Maputo, where he was director from 2007 – 2012. 

The E&D research group is focused on the political economy of economic growth and transformation in Mozambique, with emphasis on the study of how investment and growth patterns, the financial system, emergent economic groups, labour relations and poverty are shaped by the dynamic relationship between foreign and emergent domestic capital and the role of the state, and the challenges these pose to broad based industrialisation and economic transformation. The project takes advantage of critical issues – such as, paradoxes in the Mozambican economy, the bubble economy and its explosion (into the recent debt and inflation crisis) and implosion (contraction of investment, growth rates and employment) – to ask and explore critical questions about the political economy of Mozambique’s development within a single and coherent narrative developed around the understanding of the social system of capital accumulation, its tendencies towards concentration and centralisation of capital, financialisation and increasing specialisation in narrow primary production.

Since 2012, our research has been describing the growth dynamics in Mozambique as speculative and unsustainable, and since 2014 has been predicting the possibility of the explosion and implosion of the economic bubble, which happened early in 2015. While the scandal of the illegal and secret public guarantees to private debt has captured world news and severely damaged the reputation of the country’s economy and institutions, almost turning Mozambique into a financial rogue state, our research shows that the debt scandal is only another stage on a development trajectory focused on the creation of domestic oligarchic, financial groups financed by linkages with multinational capital and a systemic expropriation of the state (for a more detailed discussion, please see Castel-Branco, Growth, capital accumulation and economic porosity in Mozambique: social losses, private gains. Review of African Political Economy. Vol 41, No 1, 2014, which is free to access online).

In order to bring this debate to the public, the E&D research group produced a series of five briefing papers, in the form of IESE’s “Boletim IDeIAS”, on the debt issue. These briefings have not only provided detailed information about the debt situation, but also located the current crisis within the dynamics of the social system of accumulation in Mozambique. They also debunked some of the myths distorting public information and debate about the debt question.

Interested readers can access and download, free of charge, all of IESE’s publications by visiting our website,, and explore the publications links as well as the personal sites of the individual researchers (the vast majority of the publications and lectures are in Portuguese). The five briefing papers are available here in English.

Introduction to the public debt problematic: context and immediate questions

Mozambique’s Secret Debt: The Impact on the Structure of the Debt and the Economic Consequences  

Refuting Myths in the Debate about the Public Debt in Mozambique

Scenarios, Options and Policy Dilemmas faced with the Bursting of the Economic Bubble

Chronic of a crisis foretold: public debt in the context of the extractive economy

Joseph Hanlon’s Mozambique: News Reports and Clippings

Mozambique is afflicted today by the curse of war, debt, corruption and impunity. Without major changes that the government seems unwilling to make, the future for Mozambique does not look at all bright.  Successive governments managed to get away with a failure to reform because the IMF treated it as a ‘poster-boy’ but the high rates of growth were based on poorly conceived mineral projects, and that bubble has now burst. The ruling party, Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO), in power since independence in 1975, maintains its iron grip on the country – no matter the price to the poor or opposition. In recent months the country has been shaken by an extraordinary debt crisis that had been covered up for years. Under the former President Armando Guebuza FRELIMO backed loans of US$2.2 billion for various projects. Joseph Hanlon’s Mozambique: News Reports and Clippings has faithfully documented all these failings over the years. Until recently, ‘conventional wisdom’ looked the other way.

Joseph Hanlon’s Mozambique: News Reports and Clippings, can be accessed here: No. 338  No.339  No.440 No.342 No.344 (see also the Mozambique Poverty Supplement for No.344 hereNo.345 No.346 No.347 No.348 No.349 No.350 No.351 No.352 No.353 No.354 No.355 No.356 No.357 No.358 No.359 No.360 No.361 No.362 No.363 No.364 No.365 No.366 No.367 No.368 (supplement on minimum wage and exchange rate) No.369  No. 373 No.374 No.375 No.376 No.377 No.378 No.379 No.381 No.382 No.383 No.384