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Out of the Ruins and Rubble: Covid-19 and the fightback in Africa

In an update on the Covid-19 pandemic across Africa, Heike Becker, Femi Aborisade and Issa Shivji, report on the reaction of governments, the struggles of poor communities and the urgency of building of a new world out of the ruins of the old.

Out of Control: Crisis, Covid-19 and Capitalism in Africa

Activists and researchers from across Africa speak about the impact of Covid-19 on their countries. Writing from Kenya, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Nigeria and Zimbabwe, Femi Aborisade, Heike Becker, Didier Kiendrebeogo, Gacheke Gachihi, Lena Anyuolo and Tafadzwa Choto look at how the crisis is taking shape – how governments are using the virus as a cover for wider repression, and the broader context of capitalism, climate change and popular struggles for radical change.

The Revolutionary Left in Africa

In a report on a recent conference in Dakar on the Revolutionary Left in sub-Saharan Africa, Adam Mayer celebrates a gathering of activists and researchers, which could not have been more different from the mega-conferences of academia today. The conference examined the extraordinary vibrancy of left politics and movements across the continent in the 1960s and 1970s.

Talking About Revolution

To discuss the extraordinary events in Sudan and Algeria that have shaken these countries – and the continent – to the core in recent months, roape.net has asked some of our contributors to debate the significance and meaning of these revolutions. Both countries are confronted by a challenge: are the movements pacified in the interests of the local and global ruling classes or do the revolutionary movements successfully take-on and overturn these deep-rooted and brutal states. The contributions below look at the challenges faced by these revolutions  and the possibilities of creating lasting and fundamental transformation.

Black Consciousness and Anti-Capitalism: The Legacy of Steve Biko

Continuing our look at the life of Steve Biko, Heike Becker writes about two extraordinary events. The first was the formation of a Black...

Africa’s 1968: Protests and Uprisings Across the Continent

For most commentators and scholars, it was only events in the Global North that constituted ‘Global 1968’. None of the relevant overviews brings related events on the African continent to the fore. In a detailed account of popular protest across Africa in the 1960s, it becomes clear that the decade was vital for activists – as it was elsewhere across the world. 1968 was a crucial year for popular protests and student militancy on the continent. roape.net begins to fill in the blanks in the story of ‘1968’ in a global perspective.

The Revolution Won’t Be Televised

'The revolution won't be televised' is a film that tells the story of the ‘Y’en a marre’ movement that rose up in Senegal against octogenarian President Abdoulaye Wade’s attempt to clinch to power in 2012. Y’en a marre translates as ‘enough is enough’, or – even more to the point – ‘we’re fed up’. The movement was started by musicians Thiat and Kilifeu, and some of their friends.

We Shall Fight, We Shall Live!

Reporting on the struggle for food and survival in Nigeria, trade unionist Gbenga Komolafe states that the repression and starvation of the poor must end. While in South Africa, Ashley Fataar argues for a wealth tax on the rich to feed workers and the poor.

The Great Green Illusion: Business as Usual for African Capitalism

Exposing the illusion of the green economy, Simone Claar argues that while the idea of greening capitalism might provide a clear conscience to regions in the North for addressing the ecological crisis, it perpetuates the exploitative relationship between the North and South. Through the green economy framework capitalism, development, and imperialism are ‘green-washed’ as capital invests in new environmental fields like renewable energy or clean cooking. Such a strategy will only ‘greenwash’ capitalism in Africa, leaving its exploitative and destructive nature unchanged.

South Africa’s Rebellion of the Poor

Carin Runciman reports on a recent workshop that focused on protests in South Africa. Based on research conducted by the Research Chair in Social Change she shows that these protests are not just about service delivery, but amount to a rebellion of the poor. However, to what extent can these protests break from the politics of the ANC and form a progressive movement for social change?