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Long Reads

Our full journal articles are published in the quarterly journal and can be accessed through Taylor and Francis (and on our archive page of this site). However, on roape.net we post long reads (up to 4,500 words) on a range of historical and political-economic issues on the continent.

We welcome submissions on focused, thoughtful and controversial issues about African political economy and the wider impact of international development on Africa’s development, history and politics.

Surrounded – an ethnography of new colonialism

ROAPE contributor Yusuf Serunkuma asks if the pillage we are witnessing on the African continent—mostly from the 1980s-onwards—is worse than the exploitation of the 1884-1960s, where is the resistance? Serunkuma writes that even after decolonisation has been achieved (the academy decolonised, stolen artefacts returned, Rhodes, and others, fall), Africa will remain an impoverished and looted continent. The reason for this absurd state of affairs is that the African intelligentsia still struggles to see and expose the performative, informal, localized, and seemingly benevolent manifestation of new colonialism.

Migration and climate emergency in North Africa

Looking in detail at the issues behind COP27, ROAPE’s Ray Bush examines migration in the age of the climate emergency. The consequences of imperialism, colonialism and climate crises is the persistence of labour migration. Bush argues that the underlying cause of migration is structural inequality and its reproduction between the global north and south, which is now exacerbated by climate catastrophe.  

Being excess bodies: Shame in the age of climate coloniality

For many in the Global South, instead of recognizing that their suffering is a result of local and global socio-economic and racial structures, they feel shame. As COP27 takes place in Egypt, Shreya Parikh writes about climate change, overpopulation, and shame in Tunisia and India, and how suffering is often interpreted as being a result of individual deficiencies. It is a false narrative that blames those suffering most gravely from climate change for their own suffering.

‘Everybody to the Rice Harvest!’ – a speech by Samora Machel in June 1978

On 13 June 1978, President Samora Machel spoke at a large popular rally in a communal village in the Limpopo valley. Mozambique had been independent for less than three years, after a brutal ten-year war against the Portuguese colonial power, led by Frelimo. The party was now in the middle of a fierce struggle over agricultural policy. Colin Darch and David Hedges introduce the speech which is included in their forthcoming collection.

More than a moment – The achievements of Black Lives Matter

Nadia Sayed assesses the Black Lives Matter movement two years after mass protests erupted following the assassination of George Floyd. We share a talk she gave at Marxism festival in London in July 2022, which is based on her article for the International Socialism Journal (click the link at the bottom of the page to access the full article). Defending the movement’s achievements while considering its weaknesses, Sayed argues that mobilising the power of the working class is crucial to ensuring that Black Lives Matter is not merely a moment but the beginning of a movement that delivers fundamental change.