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ROAPE Blog

ROAPE’s blog hosts short articles to highlight developments on the continent and comment on the dynamics of protest, shifting patterns of political economy and issues of historical concern for the journal. We welcome submissions for short articles between 800 and 1,800 words.

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 Today, his family has decided to make this previously unpublished text public.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.  

Can Africa speak?

Africa Is a Country’s William Shoki presents a newly established interview series, AIAC Talk. The weekly show, co-hosted by Shoki and Sean Jacobs, seeks to take advantage of the migration of life online to reach captive audiences and occupy an important space to talk about the world from an African perspective.

The Generational Populism of Bobi Wine

Discussing the recent elections, Luke Melchiorre argues that Uganda’s Bobi Wine is a symbol for a generation's desire for political change. However, his power has often distracted attention from the underlying politics of his People Power project. Melchiorre explains that Wine did not disavow the country’s underlying neoliberal moorings, but instead fixated on the ruling party’s history of ‘poor governance’.

Commemorating our fallen comrades: Patrice Lumumba, Amilcar Cabral, Rosa Luxemburg and Titina Silla

Ezra Otieno reflects on a recent meeting in Nairobi celebrating the lives of important revolutionaries and activists. On 29 January at the Kenya National Theatre, the politics, theories and lessons of Patrice Lumumba, Amilcar Cabral, Rosa Luxemburg, and Titina Silla were remembered.

Africa, extractivism and the crisis this time

From the editorial of the latest issue of ROAPE, Elisa Greco provides an excoriating denunciation of Africa’s underdevelopment in the context of the pandemic. Unpicking the political strategy of neo-extractivism, she argues that every global recession, or primary commodity prices downturn, African economies which bought into this model succumb to crisis and recession.

Entrepreneurs and Business in Rwanda: The Model Pupil Paradox

Based on his new book, David Poole exposes the Rwandan paradox: that despite extensive efforts to support a new entrepreneurial class and the formation of a small and medium enterprise private sector, the Rwandan economic landscape remains dominated by a vast number of informal micro-enterprises. All assumptions, he argues, by the leading development agencies have been proved wrong.

The World Bank and Covid-19: the private investment broker of the Global South

Despite cosmetic rebranding, the World Bank continues its decades-long work of pushing power into the hands of private capital. Sean Taylor explains how the Covid-19 response is being used to further the Bank's role of acting as a private investment broker in the Global South.

Reflections on aid and regime change in Africa: a response to Cheeseman

In a response to Nic Cheeseman’s call for strengthening patron-client relations between western donors and African governments, Jimi O. Adesina, Andrew M. Fischer and Nimi Hoffmann argue his approach is ahistorical, counterproductive, and morally indefensible. They explain that Cheeseman ignores the destructive, anti-democratic role of western-backed regime change and policy conditionality across the Global South.

Patrice Lumumba: Revolution, freedom, and the Congo today

In a powerful defence of the legacy and politics of Patrice Lumumba, murdered 60 years ago today, Charles Gimba Magha-A-Ngimba asks what does his death mean for Africa and the Congo? Lumumba’s name has become a passport to power, but the question remains how do we revert to his real legacy?

Patrice Lumumba and the unfinished business of liberation

On 17 January 1961 Patrice Lumumba, the Congo’s first leader, was murdered. In this celebration of his life and work, the Congolese scholar and...

Bobi Wine and hope for a better life in Uganda

Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu - better known to the public as Bobi Wine - is a singer turned politician who is currently campaigning in the general election to oust Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni who has been in power for more than 30 years. Pitasanna Shanmugathas looks at the elections and the hope for a better life in Uganda.

Marxism, Pan-Africanism and the International African Service Bureau

One of the most remarkable black radical formations of the twentieth century was the International African Service Bureau, which was active in Britain during the 1930s and 1940s. Theo Williams writes about an astonishing activist group and argues that the left of today has much to learn from this Pan-Africanist and Marxist organisation.

ROAPE in 2021: Looking Back, Forging Forward

For five years ROAPE’s website has tried to reinvigorate scholar activism in and about Africa. We continue to be an important resource for radical political economy in Africa, and to build deeper connections with activists and researchers. In a new initiative this year, we are launching a bimonthly Newsletter, run by Ben Radley, and offering a roundup of all the fresh content posted on the site in the previous two months.

Mohamed Bouazizi and Tunisia: 10 years on

This blogpost marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Mohamed Bouazizi, who on 17 December 2010 set himself alight at Sidi Bouzid in an act of self-immolation that made him the iconic martyr of the Tunisian revolution.

Egypt 2020: A Journey to the abyss

The 2020 parliamentary elections in Egypt were held on 24–25 October and 7–8 November to elect the House of Representatives. For weeks, even in the smallest village, the streets and squares were wallpapered with the smiling, photo-shopped portraits of the same people, with the same slogans, all the same, as if nothing had changed in this country since the uprising almost a decade ago.