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Radical Transformations in Africa today

Radical Transformations in Africa today

In November I will be attending a 2 day workshop in Accra, Ghana, hosted by a local organisation called the Third World Network. This is one of three workshops I have been involved in organising in my role as an editorial board member of the Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE).

This is a journal committed to rigorous academic research and supports popular democratic movements and individuals who have been targeted by authoritarian and oppressive measures. It is an academic journal with a difference and one with a global reputation. Many of the editorial and international advisory board have a long tradition of activism against colonialism, apartheid and the exploitation of Africa. Personally, it is inspiring for me as an academic and activist to meet and work people whose work and campaigning I have long drawn on and respected.

As part of my work as an editor of the journal I have been helping to organise a series of workshops in Ghana; Tanzania and South Africa that will run between November 2017 and September 2018.

They will be an opportunity for activists and scholars to contribute to a series of linked workshops centred on analysis and activism in contemporary Africa from the perspective of radical political economy. The three linked themes are:

  1. Africa in a ‘post crisis’ world

  2. Economic strategy, industrialisation and the agrarian question

  3. Resistance and social movements in Africa

The workshops will bring together key speakers from Africa and elsewhere, combined with a call for local contributions and interventions from social movements and other locally based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) but governments and business are excluded.

Some of the questions we want to address are:

  • Is a new politics emerging from sites of contestation in Africa?

  • To what extent are struggles over globalising capitalism also gender struggles?

  • What potential exists for revolutionary activity in Africa and international solidarity in the 21st century following the current crises in capitalism?

  • What part do organised workers and peasants play in popular resistance in Africa?

  • To what extent do political, social and economic issues drive resistance to neoliberalism?

I will be attending the first workshop in Ghana which is being hosted by the local, radical, NGO called The Third World Network.

There will be delegations of trade unionists and other activists from Ghana, Nigeria, and South Africa all of whom are on the front-line of campaigning in their country. Due to lack of resources, it will be a very rare opportunity for activists (and researchers) to meet and swap experiences and ideas. It will also be an opportunity for me to meet up with a number of activists I last met at the World Social Forum in Kenya in 2007.

I will write a blog when I return from Ghana and another after the workshop in South Africa in September 2018.

You can find out more about our work here.

Written by Dr Peter Dwyer Tutor in Applied Social Science and International Labour and Trade Union Studies

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