ROAPE Journal

Popular Democracy, Youth and Activism: an interview with Tunde Zack-Williams

ROAPE's Peter Dwyer interviews the scholar-activist Tunde Zack-Williams. In 2020, Zack-Williams became the African Studies Association of the United Kingdom’s Distinguished Africanist. For decades, his research and writing on economic and political reform across Africa has focused on alternatives to western prescriptions, which has influenced his work as an editor of ROAPE.

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Reforming Angola’s Honey Pot – Part 2

In the second part of her investigation into Angola's oil giant Sonangol, Liliane Mouan returns to the ongoing restructuring and asks whether these reforms will deliver greater openness and transformation. As she concludes, 'Angola’s rulers are well aware that this international legitimacy requires a restructuring process that retains at least some semblance of integrity, even if it simply means putting the corruption somewhere else.'

Propertied Proletarians? The Kenyan Cut-Flower Industry

Nungari Mwangi contributes to our debate on capitalism in Africa by looking into export horticulture in Kenya and its role in the expansion of capitalism. Using a case study of marginalized small scale flower farmers, she challenges the orientation towards European export markets, and calls for a focus on local and regional markets for their survival.

Rwanda’s Green Revolution

Supported by major international donors, the Rwandan government has lofty ambitions to modernise the agrarian and land sector. These reforms are part of a broader call to implement a Green Revolution across Africa. The authors of this blogpost insist on a more nuanced, in-depth and multi-faceted approach in order to understand the distance between centrally-planned policies and the realities of rural livelihoods.
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Manufacturing Madness: Omar Blondin Diop against French educational elitism

In Senegal, the “Diary Sow case” has reopened the debate on the elitist French grandes écoles system. Over fifty years ago, Senegalese revolutionary Omar Blondin Diop had made a strong case against them in a film synopsis. Today, his family has decided to make this previously unpublished text public. Florian Bobin writes about what is going on.  

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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.

Chiadzwa Diamond Fields: Unprecedented Plunder

Raymond Sango writes about the Chiadzwa mining area in Zimbabwe, describing the dramatic ‘diamond rush’ following the expiration of DeBeers mining licence in 2006, the massacre of informal workers in the area in 2008 and the ‘looting’ partnership between government bureaucrats, Chinese and other foreign companies which has limited the potential of diamond production to improve the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans

Reforming Angola’s Honey Pot – Part 2

In the second part of her investigation into Angola's oil giant Sonangol, Liliane Mouan returns to the ongoing restructuring and asks whether these reforms will deliver greater openness and transformation. As she concludes, 'Angola’s rulers are well aware that this international legitimacy requires a restructuring process that retains at least some semblance of integrity, even if it simply means putting the corruption somewhere else.'

Popular Protest & Class Struggle in Africa – Part 7

Hours before the deadline Senegal maintains its troops are ready to intervene if Gambia’s President Jammeh refuses to hand over power. Jammeh has replied that he would not be intimidated, and the regional body ECOWAS had no right to interfere in The Gambia's affairs. David Seddon looks at the elections last month and the current crisis.

Propertied Proletarians? The Kenyan Cut-Flower Industry

Nungari Mwangi contributes to our debate on capitalism in Africa by looking into export horticulture in Kenya and its role in the expansion of capitalism. Using a case study of marginalized small scale flower farmers, she challenges the orientation towards European export markets, and calls for a focus on local and regional markets for their survival.

From the Blog

Manufacturing Madness: Omar Blondin Diop against French educational elitism

In Senegal, the “Diary Sow case” has reopened the debate on the elitist French grandes écoles system. Over fifty years ago, Senegalese revolutionary Omar Blondin Diop had made a strong case against them in a film synopsis. Today, his family has decided to make this previously unpublished text public. Florian Bobin writes about what is going on.