ROAPE Journal

ROAPE: Editorial Working Group affiliates

The Review of African Political Economy is looking for two affiliates to join the journal’s Editorial Working Group for a year starting from January 2021. We are particularly interested in applications from activists in the African diaspora who have a passion and a focus on Africa’s politics, history, and economics.

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Ghana: The ‘Rising Star’ of Inequality

David Johnson explains that impressive growth rates and the reduction of poverty in Ghana hide a rampant inequality that pervades the country. Although Ghana's progress in poverty reduction has to be acknowledged, income inequality has significantly increased, which seems to be fueling fraud.

Food Sovereignty and the Environment: an interview with Habib Ayeb

For Max Ajl interviews radical geographer and activist Habib Ayeb about food sovereignty, the peasantry in North Africa and film-making. Ayeb is a founder member of the Observatory of Food Sovereignty and Environment and Max Ajl is a sociologist, activist and an editor at Jadaliyya and Viewpoint. The interview was conducted on March 4, 2018, in Tunis, Tunisia.

Egypt’s Indelible Link: Corporate Food, Frontiers, and Popular Revolt

In important new research on Egypt, Marion Dixon explains that the corporate food system in the country has involved Egyptians across classes buying into the neoliberal project. The space of dietary convergence provided a social consensus that legitimized the neoliberal project, at least temporarily. Yet, its fundamental failure was that the growth of corporate food did little to reduce food costs as a percentage of income for the vast majority of Egyptians.
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Critical Agrarian Studies on

African Farmers, Agrarian Transformation and Critical Agrarian Studies By Ray Bush The new page on Critical Agrarian Studies engages with the most important issue of...


The Failure of Left Movements in Africa

Firoze Manji writes that discontent has been growing across the continent, with spontaneous eruptions and mass uprisings that have in some cases resulted in the overthrow of regimes. In such circumstances, one would have thought that this would have been fertile grounds for the emergence of strong left working class movements across the continent. But why has this not happened?

Kenya’s Cartels: the Power of Bandits in Suits

Koert Lindijer writes how the gap between rich and poor is enormous in Kenya. From the perspective of poor inhabitants - the majority - Kenya’s elite is rich thanks to massive corruption. Lindijer writes about the depth and extent of this corruption and the valiant efforts to bring the elite to justice.

If its not fixed, we didn’t break it

Graham Harrison writes how Africa shows the world a future capitalism, one in which the social relations of production are far more extensively defined by contingency, violence, struggle, fraud, unfree labour, environmental pillage, and the politics of organised chaos. Capitalism is as resilient as it is unstable, but there is hope once the process of breaking it down begins.

Blinded by Capitalism: Words that think (for us)

In this far-reaching and provocative contribution to's debate on capitalism in Africa, Elísio Macamo argues that instead of discussing whether “Capitalism” as such is a valid concept or a useful description of social phenomena in Africa, we should interrogate how concepts developed in very specific times and places under specific circumstances can be usefully deployed in other settings.

Domestic Resource Mobilisation in Africa: A Need for Intervention

Gretta Digbeu argues that domestic resource mobilization, which was a major preoccupation for early development economists in the period before the neoliberal counter-revolution, has become an increasingly pressing issue for African countries in the context of financial liberalization, rising external debt and capital flight.

Kenya’s Incredible Election

As Kenya lurches deeper into political crisis over presidential polls on October 26, Nic Cheeseman, Gabrielle Lynch and Justin Willis look at Kenya’s incredible election. The last few weeks have been a political roller-coaster, with repeated, unexpected, shifts and turns. The blogpost explains what’s going on.

African Cities: capitalism’s urban frontier

Discussing Africa’s relationship to global real estate capital, Tom Gillespie argues that we should not see African cities as exceptional to wider processes of accumulation and circulation but explore what we can learn about 21st century capitalism by studying its urban frontiers.