Review of African Political Economy

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Print ISSN: 0305-6244
Since 1981, in an attempt to deal withTanzania's present social and economic crisis which dates back to the late 1970s, the government has adopted a variety of policy measures including The National Economic Survival Plan (NESP), Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) I (1986) and II (1989); the Economic and Social Action Plan (ESAP) and Priority Social Action Plan (PSAP) (1989). The principal objective of these adjustment measures has been to attain macroeconomic balance by bringing national expenditure into line with national income to reduce inflation and to increase exports. Other objectives have been to maintain egalitarian income distribution and provision of basic social services to the majority of the population. In order to realise these objectives, the government has been controlling credit and has removed subsidies on certain food items and agricultural inputs; introduced a system of progressive devaluation; liberalised trade; and has been trying to reduce government expenditure by introducing cost sharing measures in the education and health sector.The erosion of real incomes and increased poverty have had a devastating effect on women and children: rural women have yet heavier workloads as males migrate to the urban areas to look for work; there is increased maternal mortality; chronic malnutrition and poverty are rendering the implementation of HIV/AIDS intervention strategies difficult. But most of all, the danger lies in the lack of care for future generations.
"This article reviews some recent key books on HIV/AIDS in Africa. It does so by examining the debates relating to the extent and possible future development of HIV/AIDS referring to the discussions about demographic, economic and social impacts in especially eastern and southern Africa. It explores the so-called doomsday scenarios and addresses themes linked to the important and increasing attention being paid to the gendered aspects of HIV/AIDS."
An international symposium on the social sciences and AIDS in Africa was held in Sali Portudal, Senegal, in November 1996. English- and French-speaking researchers and AIDS activists came together to consider a broad range of topics, with reference to individual country experience. The authors review some of the issues discussed at the symposium; in particular, the need for more social science research on AIDS to reconsider and re-evaluate methodologies and their role in relation to interventions, the variety of discourses through which AIDS is articulated and understood, and ethical questions relating to confidentiality and disclosure, as well as international disparities in income and access to resources. The shift in perception and understanding about the significance of AIDS, with its implications for the weakening of a former sense of common purpose, makes conferences such as this one all the more important.
"Between 1 and 15 of August [1997], Mozambique had its second country-wide population census. This briefing will outline how the census ran--an operation of considerable scale in an extremely poor and war-damaged country--and will also raise some broader questions which relate the census to Mozambique's contemporary politics."
"In the 1990s analyses of [Zimbabwe's land resettlement program] by both supporters and critics of land reform have generally been negative. Yet there is evidence that resettled people themselves have made real welfare and income gains. Strong support for the programme was also expressed by a large sample of rural-urban migrants in Harare in 1994. Their views, reported in this article, showed an appreciation of most aspects of the academic and policy debates, but clearly also tended towards the perception that redistribution of land in Zimbabwe is a moral issue."
PIP The author examines the law and practice concerning contraception and abortion in Nigeria in the context of the impact of these factors on women's rights and status. She concludes that both the law and current practices are designed to continue the subordination of married women to their husbands.
The terrible 1984 famine in Ethiopia focused the world's attention on the country and the issue of aid as never before. Anyone over the age of 30 remembers something of the events - if not the original TV pictures, then Band Aid and Live Aid, Geldof and Bono. Peter Gill was the first journalist to reach the epicentre of the famine and one of the TV reporters who brought the tragedy to light. This book is the story of what happened to Ethiopia in the 25 years following Live Aid: the place, the people, the westerners who have tried to help, and the wider multinational aid business that has come into being. We saved countless lives in the beginning and continued to save them now, but have we done much else to transform the lives of Ethiopia's poor and set them on a 'development' course that will enable the country to do without us?
A series of policy initiatives have been put forward in Nigeria over the last two decades aimed at expanding its educational system. But while numbers enroled have increased, gender and class differentials persist. Females have always been represented in smaller numbers than have males and have tended to be disproportionately drawn from the more privileged elements of society. This has broadly accorded with ideologies justifying a primarily domestic role for women which, in the case of Katsina in northern Nigeria, have emanated both from the secular state and the religious authorities. Pittin examines the latest policy initiative, a directive that females at secondary level would be educated only in boarding schools. While suggesting that it is likely to perpetuate and even exacerbate the women's relatively disadvantaged position as regards education, she also argues that it offers certain benefits. Moreover, because promulgated as consistent with Islamic morality, precisely at a time when greater legitimacy is being accorded to women's education by elements of the Muslim community, and Islamic schools are themselves permitting some questioning of previously accepted notions of women's role, it may offer space for some improvement of women's situation.
In March 2006, the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Centre for Civil Society in Durban aimed to reinvigorate a tradition of political economy by considering the legacies of Guy Mhone and José Negrão (who died in 2005) along with two others whose work was based on accounts of 'primitive accumulation': Rosa Luxemburg and South African sociologist Harold Wolpe (who died in 1996). The analytical traditions are diverse but complementary. Together they capture many of the ways that primitive accumulation continues to structure and reproduce systems of inequality.
The origin of Africa's current failure to benefit from the expansion of world trade lies in the colonial division of labour, the consequences of which persist in economic structures far more than in other continents. The consequent economic distortions emphasising export of primary products have been preserved by external forces and are now being reinforced by free markets. The 'fair trade' concept seeks to ensure a measure of surplus for some producers that the market - dominated by middle-men and oligopsonistic Western corporations - denies them. A leading force in the movement, TWIN, originated in London in the 1980s, and the movement now has worldwide trade approaching £1 billion, mainly in coffee, cocoa and tea, but also in rice and cotton. African countries have been prime beneficiaries. Although growth of 'fair trade' is extremely high, it is unlikely ever to displace 'free trade' in importance, but it may nevertheless promote a way out of poverty (including dependence on the commodities in question) for many people otherwise trapped in the hangover of colonial power. This may be through gaining increasing control over the commodity chains of which at present they are only the first, fragmented element.
The poor benefit greatly through redistribution through the budget in South Africa: Poor children attend public schools in large numbers and poor households benefit from a public welfare system that is exceptional in comparative terms. Trade unions have championed these apparently pro-poor policies, even though the trade union movement is not a movement of the poor in South Africa (there are very few union members in the poorest half of the population). Trade unions' record in acting as a movement for the poor is shaped by their primary objective of looking after their members' interests. In education, teachers and unions engage with the state as the employer more than as the provider of a social service. Teachers' unions were primarily responsible for securing more expenditure on poor schools in the mid-1990s, but this was the result of increased salaries. Self-interest has led teachers and their unions to oppose, block or impede some reforms that would improve the quality of schooling for poor children. In welfare reform, trade unions have championed the cause of the basic income grant, which is in the interests of the poor. A close analysis suggests that organised labour is also acting here in part out of self-interest. The socialisation of welfare costs will reduce the burden on working people and would deflect criticism of union-backed policies that, arguably, contribute to an economic growth path characterised by high wages but low employment. In previous work I argued that post-apartheid South Africa entailed a double class compromise, between capital, labour and the poor. The evidence from these areas of social policy suggests that this argument overstated the power of the poor and underestimated that of organised labour.
Trade with Europe is currently more important for the African continent, and nearly every single country in it, than any other international economic links. Africa's future trade relationship with the European Union (EU) is now being decided in negotiations which are provoking intense debate, and to understand what is at issue it is necessary to locate these negotiations in the context of the EU's wider trade policy. This policy was recently reiterated in a more coherent and focused form in the European Commission's (EC's) October 2006 proposal for a new trade strategy. This paper seeks to review the main elements of this 'new' strategy before looking at how it impacts on the EU's approach to the negotiations for 'Economic Partnership Agreements' (EPAs) with four groupings of African countries.1 It closes by reviewing what this will probably mean for the Africa-EU trade relationship in the future in the context of the major trends in the current processes of negotiations.
This article examines the SACP and its role in contesting the hegemonic project of neoliberalism in the post-apartheid period (1994-2004). I discuss the Party's written attacks on neoliberalism, support for the Congress of South African Trade Union's (Cosatu's) campaigns against privatisation, the formation of the Young Communist League (YCL), and the current campaigns surrounding cooperatives and financial sector reform. As the SACP is embedded within the ruling African National Congress (ANC), the Party's attempts to critique and fight neoliberalism have remained rhetorical and ineffective. Rather than directly confronting the neoliberal policies of the ANC, the SACP has instead cooperated with the ANC, hoping to pull it more to the 'left'. The SACP's dedication to influencing the ANC has come at the expense of building a mass base of support that opposes neoliberalism. This approach has ultimately resulted in an accommodation to neoliberalism, and exposes many difficult contradictions for the SACP.
This article addresses current crises of governance in Ethiopia. Internal conflicts within the ruling coalition arise from its origins in a localised insurgency and its flawed capacity to create a broader political base. In the national context, particularly in the major towns, it rules only by effective force and not through dialogue or negotiation. A policy of ethnic federalism promised devolution of powers to local areas, but founders on the difficulty of reconciling autonomous systems of power and authority within a common political structure. Internationally, Ethiopia has had considerable success, presenting itself as a model of 'good governance' with donor approval. Having accepted the basic tenets of neoliberalism, it also backed the 'global war on terror', giving it scope to promote its own agenda, with US backing, in Somalia. Its cardinal problem remains the management of diversity and opposition.
Idealists consider beliefs cause wars. Realists consider wars cause beliefs. The war in Sierra Leone offers some scope to test between these two views. The main rebel faction, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) was, sociologically speaking, an accidental sect. It lost its original ideologues at an early stage, and absorbed others with a different orientation as a result of military misfortunes. Bombing reinforced the sectarian tendencies of an enclaved movement, and belief proliferated. This confounded military assessments that the movement could be rapidly brought to heel by a private military intervention sponsored by British and South African mineral interests. The movement became an uncontrollable juggernaut, driven by strange sacrificial notions directed against rural populations it had once set out to liberate. The war in Sierra Leone is consistent with the Durkheimian argument that performance forges collective representations. Dealing with armed insurgency in Africa requires appreciation of the artefactual and circumstantial character of social and religious beliefs
Colin Leys, author of one of the most interesting books on underdevelopment in recent years, has caused considerable surprise by his 1978 article reassessing his pioneering study. The particular point of contention is the characterization of the indigenous industrial bourgeoisie. In the earlier study Leys argued that the indigenous bourgeoisie - which he termed an 'auxiliary bourgeoisie' - was largely defined by its relationship to foreign capital and that it saw its future in alliance with that of foreign capital. Langdon supported this, characterizing the 'insider bourgeoisie' as bargaining with foreign capital for a greater proportion of the surplus generated by foreign capital to be distributed to the Kenyan elite. But he, too, saw the interests between the indigenous bourgeoisie and foreign capital as being basically harmonious, rather than antagonistic.
This article will examine the character of relations between the European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in the wake of the new EU-ACP Partnership Agreement, signed in June 2000, and which replaces the longstanding Lomé Convention. The article views development co-operation as encapsulating particular political and economic relationships rather than constituting some kind of technical or apolitical endeavour. The origins of EU-ACP co-operation are placed within the specific context of decolonisation and the rise of a new form of inter-state relations between North and South. However, the nature of North-South co-operation has been transformed in the period since the 1970s when Lomé was first signed. Consequently the new agreement (and the prior changes to the Lomé Convention) need to be understood in the context of the wider restructuring and liberalisation of North-South relations. This has led to far-reaching changes to both the aid and trade elements of European Union-Africa relations.
Ruth First's early work as a journalist and political activist in South Africa became an inspiration for later generations of journalists and political writers. Here Don Pinnock, himself a journalist by trade, recounts how he rediscovered her writing of the 1950s in a new phase of political questioning and revolutionary activity in the 1980s. He pinpoints her talent as a reporter of events and conditions of the times to create an alternative consensus about race and class in South Africa.[Construire un consensus alternatif pour l'action politique : Ruth First en tant que journaliste et activiste.] Le travail de Ruth First à ses débuts en tant que journaliste et activiste politique en Afrique du Sud est devenu une source d'inspiration pour les générations de journalistes et d’écrivains politiques qui ont suivi. Ici, Don Pinnock, lui-même journaliste de profession, raconte comment il a redécouvert ses écrits des années 50 dans le contexte d'une nouvelle phase de questionnement politique et d'activité révolutionnaire dans les années 80. Il met le doigt sur son talent de reporter des évènements et du contexte d'alors, afin de créer un autre consensus sur les races et les classes en Afrique du Sud.
I was in prison when Ruth First was assassinated, felt almost alone. Lost a sister in arms... It is no consolation to know that she lives beyond her grave. (Mandela 2010, 333)This article analyses the contribution of Ruth First to the knowledge of struggles in South Africa and in Africa as a whole. First was inspired by her experience as a militant researcher in South Africa, by her editing of Govan Mbeki's work on Transkei and by her experiences in the UK. This contribution makes a significant examination of First's interest in and engagement with the broadly defined left of Italian politics, encompassing her work for the Lelio Basso Foundation, including its work on violations of the UN Charter. It also discusses First's wide-ranging and diverse analyses of Africa. It concludes with a discussion of First's work at the Centro de Estudos Africanos, and the development of the close interrelation between teaching and research developed there, which was politically engaged in a critical but dynamic way.
This article draws on a speech made at the Ruth First Symposium in London in June 2012. It describes Ruth First's role as a writer, political organiser and mobiliser of the freedom struggle within and without South Africa, drawing attention to her intellectual contribution and underscoring the importance of her Maputo years, with their broader significance. It discusses the personal tensions that many had with her, but points out that there was always a political issue at stake in these disagreements. It stresses her role as a scholar-activist, and following Brecht suggests that her assassination was an attempt by the assassins to ‘sleep more comfortably’. It then draws powerfully on a letter from Rusty Bernstein to pose the question of what First would have made of the contemporary situation in South Africa, where the ‘Empire of Capital’ is still dominant.
Tourism is regarded as one of Namibia's key economic sectors that can diversify the economy and create employment, but due to the apartheid legacy the sector is highly dominated by the white minority. Current efforts to increase the share of indigenous ownership include Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) and Community-Based Tourism (CBT). This article analyses the challenges involved in promoting BEE and CBT through research material gathered in 16 Namibian tourism enterprises. The challenges are related to the prevailing inequality and racial prejudices in Namibia, and to the nature of tourism as an economic sector that requires special skills and experience.
A criminal slander action brought by the son of the president of Mozambique against a journalist and the children of an assassinated editor have brought to the surface debates on race, development strategy and the role of the press. These are taking place in the shadow of Zimbabwe and in the context of international donors wanting to give more money to Mozambique because it is seen as a success story of World Bank and IMF policies.
Neo-liberal economic reforms were widely expected to rein in Africa's unofficial transborder trade through liberalisation and closer integration into the global economy. Instead of disappearing in the face of structural adjustment and globalisation, however, West African transborder trading systems have been restructured and globalised. This article analyses how the West African experience of economic restructuring has led to an expansion and deepening of unofficial trade, as well as the globalisation of its activities. A clear understanding of this process has been blurred by the ideological manipulation of perspectives on informal economic activity by proponents of the neo-liberal reforms. By means of a deconstruction of populist analyses and more recent narratives of criminalisation, this article traces the contemporary evolution of transborder trade. The conclusion reached is that, while transborder trading structures represent important institutional resources for economic development, they are structurally incapable of integrating West Africa into the global economy in the absence of an appropriate regulatory framework.
This is the text prepared for a lecture given to the Walter Rodney Memorial Series, African Studies Centre, Boston University, 8 November 1982, in tribute to Ruth First. It discusses her writing on South Africa and Namibia in the context of her political commitments and ultimately her assassination. It considers the forms and themes of her writing; her role as communist and journalist; the Congress Alliance; nationalism, socialism and the Freedom Charter; capital and labour; the treason trial to the sabotage campaign; Namibia; peasants and politics; detention without trial; exile and solidarity; historical interpretation and revolutionary strategy.
This article considers the resistance potential of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and their effects upon existing power relationships. It focuses upon the blocking of Eskom’s proposed new test nuclear reactor by the environmental NGO Earthlife Africa, at Koeberg, South Africa, the site of Africa’s only existing nuclear power plant. This was achieved through their engagement with, and contestation of, the South African EIA process. It occurred within a context of a globally uncertain future for the nuclear industry, and broader questions over the possible role of nuclear power in sustainable development. Whilst initially appearing as an example of environmental resistance against a big development project, by approaching the case through the lens of Michel Foucault’s concept of governmentality the article suggests that Earthlife Africa’s challenge reinforced existing power relationships and legitimised an essentially pro-development EIA process. This is particularly evident when considering the relationship between EIAs and established scientific authorities, and the problematic role of public participation. However, by regarding the EIA as an example of ‘bearing witness’ some sense of its resistance potential can be reclaimed. The article concludes by suggesting that a broader debate on nuclear power in South Africa is desirable, and that environmental NGOs should seriously consider the degree to which they accept and participate in the EIA process.
China's rapid growth and deepening global presence in Africa creates a major challenge for the conventional wisdom of industrialisation as a core component of development strategy. These challenges are expressed through a combination of direct impacts (expressed in bilateral country-to-country relations) and indirect impacts (reflected in competition in third country markets). In current structures, these impacts are predominantly harmful for SSA's industrial growth, as expressed through its recent experience in the exports of clothing to the US under AGOA (African Growth & Opportunity Act). If Washington Consensus policies prevail, these harmful impacts will be sustained and deepened.
The global development landscape is rapidly changing with the acceleration of the economies of emerging countries and this has important implications for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Notably, these emerging partners share a broad comparative advantage in their outward engagement. They are able to access large pools of finance and capital reserves and they also uphold a version of the Developmental State Model that encourages a statist approach to business. This state capitalism is increasingly coming to the fore, particularly in the aftermath of the global financial crisis and the evident intellectual collapse of neoliberalism as a sustainable economic model.
Analysis of the effects of AIDS-induced morbidity and mortality on rural livelihoods, particularly in east and southern Africa, has gathered pace in the last two decades. An understanding of the interaction between ill health and rural livelihoods is essential both at policy and theoretical levels. However, the tendency to analyse many of the effects of the AIDS epidemic under the rubric of coping strategies needs critical appraisal. In this article the question is posed as a basis for exploring whether the concept of 'coping strategies' is capable of explaining reality on the ground or has merely become a convenient escape route for academics and policy-makers. It is argued that in areas hard hit by AIDS, the concept of coping strategies is of limited value in explaining household experience and may divert policy-makers from the enormity of the emergency.
In this paper, I set myself the ambitious task of exploring some of the linkages between different facets of migration, and how three different regions (northern Mediterranean, southern Mediterranean and sub-Saharan Africa) are actually intimately connected through migration. Some theoretical considerations are also outlined. Finally, I conclude with an examination of European policy. En este artículo el autor explora algunos de los vínculos entre las diferentes facetas de la migración y en especial de qué manera tres regiones en particular (regiones del Mediterráneo del Norte y del Sur y África subsahariana) están en la actualidad intimamente conectadas por la migración. Se esbozan algunas consideraciones teóricas. Finalmente, el autor concluye con un examen de la política europea.
Rarely can there have been so much media attention on Africa as there was in the twelve months leading up to the G8 summit in July 2005. The crescendo of media coverage which greeted the Commission for Africa's report and the following Live8, Make Poverty History and G8 gatherings came after a year which had seen the launch and subsequent deliberations of the Commission for Africa, Blair's and Brown's various high profile initiatives on aid and debt, the WTO's stalled 'development round' and NGO's ongoing campaigns around all of these. This focus on Africa, led by the UK which held EU and G8 presidencies in 2005, was reflected in a renewed academic focus on Africa and a restating, and some revitalisation, of debates about Africa's politics and development.
Throughout the 1990s the debates about human rights and development have increasingly converged. The article asks whether the emerging human rights-based approach to development, honed in the period of revisionist neo liberalism, can deliver meaningful improvements to the African crisis? It begins by outlining the evolution of the rights-based development agenda in order to understand how the present agenda is defined. The next section examines the theoretical underpinnings of the current rights-based development agenda and summarises two recent reports which place such concerns at their centre. From there we examine the implementation of rights-based procedures in Africa. The next section assesses the moral and practical implications of the rights agenda for Africa and we conclude by arguing that the emphasis on economic and developmental rights should be welcomed, because it raises the possibility of cementing the right to a decent standard of living. However, the potential exists for the rights-based agenda to be used as a new form of conditionality which usurps national sovereignty and by handing the responsibility for defending rights to authoritarian states the process does little to challenge the power structures which may have precipitated rights' abuses in the first place. Finally, the emphasis on universal rights, as defined through largely Western experiences, limits the relevance of rights to local circumstances and thereby effects another form of Eurocentric violence which seeks to normalise a self-serving social vision. Hence, only by embedding discussions of rights in the locally meaningful struggles that confront impoverished Africans and by promoting broader and direct participation which, crucially, promotes self-determination can a rights agenda more thoroughly promote African development.
One of the most notable features of the forging of China's new activist foreign policy towards Africa is its emphasis on the historical context of the relationship. These invocations of the past, stretching back to the 15th century but rife with references to events in the 19th century and the cold war period, are regular features of Chinese diplomacy in Africa. Indeed, it is the persistence of its use and the concurrent claim of a continuity of underlying purpose that marks Chinese foreign policy out from western approaches which have by and large been content to avoid discussions of the past (for obvious reasons) or insisting on any policy continuities. However, beneath the platitudes of solidarity is a reading of Chinese historical relations with Africa emanating from Beijing that is, as any student of contemporary African history will know, at times at odds with the historical record of Chinese involvement on the continent. This article will examine the use and meaning of history in the construction of China's Africa policy. It will do so through first, a brief discussion of the relationship between foreign policy, identity and history; second, a survey of Chinese foreign policy towards Africa from 1955 to 1996; third, an analysis of the implications of Beijing's approach for its efforts to achieve foreign policy aims regionally and globally.
Although debates about the Gates Foundation's Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) continue with the serious criticisms that it will transform Africa's farming systems into monoculture and that it is trying to link African food production to the global ‘food value chain’, this paper focuses on more fundamental goals of AGRA: to access and privatise Africa's genetic wealth. Employing the theory of accumulation by dispossession explains why AGRA is appropriating African genetic wealth and the theory of philanthrocapitalism explains how that appropriation is occurring. This study employs philanthrocapitalism to show that the multiple acts of genetic resource expropriation are neither disparate nor unconnected, but rather, reflect a systemic change of replacing public agricultural sectors with private business practices and control.
Many view information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as mobile phones, computers and the Internet as tools that can significantly strengthen the quality and depth of Africa's engagement with the world economy. This paper interrogates the impacts of Africa's burgeoning ICT ‘revolution’ through an examination of their use among small, medium and micro-scale enterprises (SMMEs) in South Africa's and Tanzania's wood products and tourism sectors. The findings reveal that while new ICTs are being adopted rapidly, they are generally used for communication purposes, not deeper forms of information processing and management. This ‘thintegration’, while positive in many ways, has done little to stop a trend towards the devaluation of the goods and services provided by the SMMEs surveyed here. Moreover, ICTs are enabling new forms of outside intervention and intermediation into African markets, often further marginalising local firms and industries. The article details these outcomes and demonstrates why ‘thicker’ and more transformative kinds of ICT integration will remain elusive in the absence of changes to non-ICT-specific structures and power relations that limit Africa's ability to participate in the global information economy.
In the past both African Studies and Development Studies have ignored questions of the African diaspora. This point was made by Zack-Williams back in 1995 but since then there has not been much work attempting to rectify this matter. In this article we put forward a framework for examining the role of diaspora in development. This centres on recognising that the formation of the African diaspora has been intimately linked to the evolution of a globalised and racialised capitalism. While the linkages between capitalism, imperialism and displacement are dynamic we should avoid a simplistic determinism that sees the movements of African people as some inevitable response to the mechanisms of broader structures. The complexity of displacement is such that human agency plays an essential role and avoids the unhelpful conclusion of seeing Africans as victims. It is this interplay of structural forces and human agency that gives diasporas their shifting, convoluted and overlapping geometry. Having established that we examine the implications of a diasporic perspective for understanding the development potential of both Africans in diaspora and those who remain on the continent. We argue that both politically and economically the diaspora has an important part to play in contemporary social processes operating at an increasingly global scale. The key issues we address are embedded social networks in the diaspora, remittances and return, development organisations, religious networks, cultural dynamics, and political institutions. We conclude by suggesting where diasporic concerns will take us in the next few years.
Popular perceptions of China and its global role are often shaped by two words: 'made in'. Yet this vision of China that focuses primarily on Beijing as a coming economic superpower is relatively new, and it is not that long ago that two other words tended to dominate debates on and discourses of China: 'human rights'. To be sure, real interest in human rights in China was never the only issue in other states' relations with China, nor consistently pursued throughout the years (Nathan, 1994). Nor did human rights totally subsequently disappear from the political agenda.1 Nevertheless, the rhetorical importance of human rights - perhaps best epitomised by the narrow defeat of resolutions condemning Chinese policy in 1995 at the Human Rights Council in Geneva - stands in stark contrast to the relative silence thereafter as the bottom line of most states' relations with Beijing took on ever greater economic dimensions.
In 2006, the European Union reformed its sugar regime, reducing the price for sugar by 36%. To cushion the impact on traditional overseas suppliers, an ‘Aid for Trade’ programme called the Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol countries (AMSP) was implemented. This paper explores the impacts of the AMSP in Swaziland. The authors discuss emergent agrarian class differentiation and argue that the benefits experienced by farmers are jeopardised by ongoing processes of liberalisation. The paper concludes by suggesting that donors must consider market stabilisation and corporate regulation if they are to make ‘Aid for Trade’ work for the poor.
The upsurge in nonagricultural income diversification which has taken place on the African continent during the last fifteen years represents large-scale agrarian labour displacement within an accelerated process of depeasantization. The literature's current preoccupation with market response and prescriptive behaviour based on Western norms and formal economic models clouds perception of what is actually taking place. The confusion begins with limiting the focus to the household as the unit of analysis while tacitly assuming that such households operate within a clearly delineated formal/informal/peasant three-sector economy. One by one, the components of the three-sector model are changing; national economies represent an amalgam of these three sectors into one 'formless' sector. This paper presents colonial and postcolonial perspectives on the African rural labour question, specifically with respect to Tanzania, in order to lend historical depth and sociopolitical dimension to the current focus on income diversification. To ground the analysis, case study observations are presented from four Tanzanian villages: two situated in the Mbeya region and two in Iringa region. The new 'sustainable rural livelihoods' (SRL) approach is a response to the complexity of rural livelihoods and their growing nonagricultural character.
This article will attempt an original interpretation of Capital (Marx, K. 1867. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Vol. 1. Marx/Engels Internet Archive, 1995, 1999. and other major works of Karl Marx to demonstrate that people of African descent are central to the discourse of Marx, contrary to widespread misconceptions by critics who attribute a Eurocentric orientation to Marx because of the accident of his birth in Europe and by allies because of his scholarly activism in European working-class politics. The paper argues that the earlier work of Marx and Engels ([1847] 1969. The Manifesto of the Communist Party in Marx/Engels Selected Works, Vol. One, pp. 98–137. Moscow: Progress Publishers), especially the Manifesto of the Communist Party, may have misled critics into believing that the history of all hitherto existing society alluded to by Marx and Engels was exclusively European history. On the contrary, there are hundreds of references to the ‘Negro’ in Capital, not as part of a peripheral or superficial concern relating to the issue of class exploitation in Europe, but as a foundational model for explaining and predicting the ending of the exploitation of the working class globally. The paper concludes that this reading adds credence to Africana Studies paradigms that privilege critical, Africa-centred scholar-activism as an important contribution to original theoretical, methodological and policy innovations.
Top-cited authors
Peter Alexander
  • University of Johannesburg
Ruth Hall
  • University of the Western Cape
Giles Mohan
  • The Open University (UK)
Deborah Fahy Bryceson
  • The University of Edinburgh
Roger Southall
  • University of the Witwatersrand