Samir Amin’s legacy provides a lighthouse for those who not only want to understand the world, but fundamentally change it, by combining rigorous scholarship with political commitment and action.
The Kenyan government has proposed a compulsory housing levy from workers salaries to support contractors to build affordable homes for the working class. As incomes are squeezed and living standards collapse, Ambreena Manji and Jill Cottrell Ghai argue that the case for asking workers to bear the cost of housing development has not been made.
There are strong echoes across Africa of the recession of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The reappearance of recession, debt and structural adjustment to the continent reminds us of the fundamental contradiction of capitalism.
Examining the recent and brutal attempts to suppress the Sudanese revolution, Magdi el Gizouli looks at the efforts by the regime and its various factions to seize the initiative from the streets. In recent months the ruthless figure of Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (aka Himeidti), the leader of the infamous Rapid Support Forces, has moved into the centre of Sudanese politics. However, will the ‘neighbourhood committees’ be able to translate their revolutionary zeal into mass political action that can unite rural and urban discontent and challenge the regimes hold on power?
Kenyan activists Faith Kasina and Gathanga Ndung’u deliver powerful and sharp criticism of the role of the Kenyan police as the oppressor of the masses. They explain in detail how police terror has manifested itself on issues such as the crackdowns on activists, the aftermath of elections, state-led campaigns against terrorism and informal settlements. They also take the time to commemorate fallen activists and inform us about ongoing grassroots movements against the violence of the police, which they believe needs radical surgery or a total overhaul.
A recent workshop brought together scholars, agricultural practitioners, and activists. Stefan Ouma, Eugen Pissarskoi, Kerstin Schopp and Leiyo Singo summarise some insights from a vital discussion from the degrowth and the critical agrarian studies communities discussing visions of agriculture which do not rely on growing productivity.
Adam Mayer praises a new collection, Liberated Texts, which includes rediscovered books on Africa’s socialist intellectual history and political economy, looking at the startling, and frequently long ignored work of Walter Rodney, Karim Hirji, Issa Shivji, Dani Wadada Nabudere, A. M. Babu and Makhan Singh.
Nairobi remains a monument to the colonial project of discriminatory citizenship, inequality and structural violence. For decades under British colonialism demolitions of ‘illegal’ housing became the norm. Mwangi Mwaura explains that current demolitions in the city are justified under the banner of cleaning-up and building the city to attract investments.
Meriem Naïli writes about the continuing struggle for the independence of Western Sahara. Occupied by Morocco since the 1970s, in contravention of the International Court of Justice and the UN. The internationally recognised liberation movement, POLISARIO, has fought and campaigned for independence since the early 1970s. Naïli explains what is going on, and the legal efforts to secure the country’s freedom.
Across Africa projects of capitalist extraction still ensure evictions, mass expropriations of land and misery. Today the government of Tanzania wants to expand the space for luxury tourists to enjoy picturesque views of nature – a wildlife fantasy of nature supposedly untouched by humans. Laibor Kalanga Moko and Jonas Bens argue that justification for the dispossession of indigenous communities has shifted from “economic development” to “wildlife conservation”.
Nadia Sayed assesses the Black Lives Matter movement two years after mass protests erupted following the assassination of George Floyd. We share a talk she gave at Marxism festival in London in July 2022, which is based on her article for the International Socialism Journal. Defending the movement’s achievements while considering its weaknesses, Sayed argues that mobilising the power of the working class is crucial to ensuring that Black Lives Matter is not merely a moment but the beginning of a movement that delivers fundamental change.
In the first of a three-part series on mental health and activism in Kenya, Noosim Naimasiah writes about the pandemic of mental health breakdown in Kenya. She notes how activists respond increasingly to distress calls, extrajudicial executions, sexual abuse, fatal domestic violence, and suicides are interspersed by the chronic conditions of violence in the informal settlements of Nairobi. Naimasiah writes how communities once connected by values of respect, dignity and love have been left to the cold machinations of a brutal system registering only exchange value.