Article from ROAPE Volume 30 Number 96
Africa: Next Liberation Struggle?
This article brings into focus the immediate challenges facing progressives in Africa as they now seek to forge social and political initiatives that can hope to attain power and implement policies able to confront and ultimately to bend the apparent logic of global capitalism - thereby permitting more humane outcomes on the continent.
Taking as a starting-point the moment of heightened reflection on such issues that occurred in Dar es Salaam in the 1960s and early 1970s, the article up-dates the insights of that period with reference to the even grimmer circumstances in which Africa currently finds itself. Suggesting that mere 'reform' (NEPAD, 'liberal democratisation') offers little real promise of meaningful and substantial change of the continent's desperate situation, the article seeks to canvas the range of resistances in Africa that indicate the emergence of a more radical project of transformation.
While acknowledging that it is easy to be pessimistic regarding such possibilities, the article identifies sufficient movement on the continent to suggest that Africa, in terms of the emergence of a 'post-nationalist, post-neo-liberal' revolutionary politics, now stands at a moment analogous with 1945. At that time few could have anticipated the speed with which African nationalist movements would win independence for their territories from colonial rule.
The article concludes with the argument that, despite its current eclipse, the language and vision of socialism will have to become part and parcel of this continuing revival of Africa's revolutionary endeavours and of its 'next liberation struggle'.