ROAPE’s Hannah Cross writes that the UK government’s policy to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda has been ruled unlawful by the Court of Appeal. Asylum seekers, the court argued, risked being returned to their home country and could face inhumane treatment and persecution. Paul Kagame’s Rwanda, with the complicity of Western media and international financial institutions, has been presented as a successful developmental state, but in reality it is a place of systematic state brutality.
Tom Gillespie and Seth Schindler argue that infrastructure megaprojects in Kenya and Ghana have driven rapid urbanisation processes in historically rural areas. Drawing on the concept of rentier capitalism, they show how infrastructure initiatives created opportunities for the appropriation of rents by various actors, contributing to urbanisation without industrialisation. If policy initiatives to socialise and redistribute land rents are to be successful, Gillespie and Schindler conclude, they must be accompanied by political movements to challenge the vested interests that benefit from rentier capitalism in Africa.
This year marks sixty years since Kenya’s independence in 1963. Gathanga Ndung’u is scathing of the cabal of wealthy turncoats who have led Kenya’s independence. Ndung’u celebrates a real hero of liberation, Mukami Kimathi, who died in Kenya as the coronation of a royal parasite was being marked in the UK.
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.