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Reviews

roape.net publishes reviews of academic and political books as well as fiction, exhibitions, social movement events and films. Our reviews examine the scholarly debates within Africa political economy, but can also focus on important cultural events taking place on the continent and elsewhere.

African trade unions in crisis?

Ghanaian union activist Prince Asafu-Adjaye reviews a recently published, open access collection of articles assessing the state of trade unionism in Africa, with a focus on Ethiopia, Ghana, Cabo Verde, and the politics of gender. Asafu-Adjaye argues that the collection challenges the commonly-held notion that trade unions in Africa are on the decline, and provides crucial lessons for those seeking to revitalise trade unionism on the continent.

Walter Rodney – A Revolutionary for Our Time

Chaitram Aklu reviews Leo Zeilig’s biography of the Afro-Guyanese Marxist Dr Walter Rodney: A Revolutionary for Our Time: The Walter Rodney Story. He argues that Zeilig’s extensive research, drawn from primary sources, provides a brilliant insight into the life and work of Rodney. Aklu also shares his own short eyewitness account of events surrounding Rodney’s tragic assassination in the opening sentences. 

Whites and democracy in South Africa

Before 1994 there was enormous speculation that white intransigence in South Africa would lead to a racial war. In his new book, Roger Southall finds that by the mid-1980s most whites saw the writing on the wall. Even so, he argues, the economic system which had maintained white dominance was left more or less intact.

Remember Africa, Remember Sobukwe

For a month the Robbin Island Museum in South Africa has commemorated one of Africa’s most forgotten freedom fighters, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. Sanya Osha writes about the opening of the exhibition, ‘Remember Africa, Remember Sobukwe’, which reflects on the life and times of Sobukwe on Robben Island.  

Rosa Speaks – beyond, and against, the conventional

Heike Becker reviews a book, Creolizing Rosa Luxemburg, which speaks to a generation of anti-colonial activists, from Cape Town to Cairo, London and Berlin, who are using a new language of decoloniality, with which they claim radical humanity in struggle and theory. The heart of the book puts Rosa in conversation with thinkers of the Black radical tradition.