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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 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.

Debt, Crisis and Resistance in Zimbabwe

ROAPE’s Patrick Bond looks at the context for the 14-17 January nationwide protests in Zimbabwe. The protests were called by trade unions against an unprecedented fuel price hike, leading to repression, death, injuries and mass arrests reminiscent of former leader Robert Mugabe’s rule. Bond unpicks what he argues is a full-on capitalist crisis.

In Defence of Radical Political Economy

In a powerful defence of Marxist political economy John Saul argues that ‘facing down the hulk of capital that presently bestrides the world was...

Did the Russian Revolution Matter for Africa? (Part II)

In the second part of Matt Swagler’s blogpost on the Russian Revolution, he focuses on how Marxist ideas became central to African political organizing...

Africa’s Dependency Curse: the Case of Botswana

In a major contribution to, Zsuzsánna Biedermann analyses the complex reasons behind the largely fruitless diversification efforts in Botswana. Many African countries abundant in non-renewable natural resources experience the harmful effects associated with the extensive role oil, mining or gas extraction plays in their economies. Even if Botswana’s initial development based on diamond mining was spectacular, there is mounting proof that the Botswana Democratic Party - the country’s governing party since independence – has been deeply intertwined with the De Beers diamond mining cartel. Development, industrialisation and diversification remains a frustrating and elusive goal for the country.

Being Made Poor: Economic Development in Nigeria

Abiodun Olamosu reviews the classic 1975 book, Economic Development of Nigeria: The Socialist Alternative by Ola Oni and Bade Onimode which will soon be republished. Oni and Onimode wrote about the underdevelopment of Nigeria and how the people were made poor. They also provided a programme for the country’s development which included the disengagement from international capitalism, the introduction of democratic planning, public ownership and control of the means of production, distribution and exchange. Olamosu provides a critical introduction to the book.