Research Phase Launch of Post-Colonialisms Today

Researchers selected through an open call for proposals came together with a working group and advisory group of activist intellectuals. This meeting focused on launching the research phase of the project by establishing a common intellectual frame; the meeting dived into sectoral discussion on industrialization, education, development planning, and more, while also examining the broader political vision of leaders such as Nasser or Nyerere through a feminist, progressive lens. See more…

Advocacy Launch of Post-Colonialisms Today: An Intergenerational Dialogue

This dialogue bookended a two-year research process aimed at recovering the progressive policies of immediate post-independence African governments and mobilizing them through a feminist lens to meet contemporary development challenges.  The researchers were joined by a community of activist-intellectuals, some of whom actively shaped progressive policy in post-independence Africa. See more…

Lessons from the Decolonization Era in Confronting the COVID-19 Crisis

The novel coronavirus and its related economic fallout reveal fundamental issues that have persisted across the continent since colonialism: an externally-oriented economy focused on exporting raw materials, weakened domestic productive capacity, and constrained policy sovereignty.  Post-independence efforts such as the importance of securing domestic food production; shoring up industrial capacity; and orienting central banking for development; all offer lessons for today’s crises. See more…

Lessons from the Decolonization Era Toward Natural Resource Sovereignty

Sovereignty was a key axis of anti-colonial struggles and early post-independence politics, especially over each country’s own resources, which had been plundered by the global North under colonialism. Today, after the early post-independence projects have been derailed by neoliberalism, dynamics similar to colonialism persist, with Africa’s natural resources siphoned off by the global North, and African economies left economically dependent on primary commodity exports. In the post-independence era, this dynamic was challenged through a central focus on economic policy, and natural resource sovereignty and development. See more…

Struggles for Natural Resource Sovereignty within the Global Political Economy

As a follow-up to Lessons from the Decolonization Era Toward Natural Resource Sovereignty, this workshop focused on the dynamics of global trade and production that underpin Africa’s current position within the global system, namely, as an exporter of raw, primary commodities (oil, minerals, etc.) to the rest of the world. Looking at neoliberal efforts to cement this structure of dependency and resource plunder, speakers also unpacked frameworks that move towards alternatives, like the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), and grassroots struggle for ecological justice. See more…

Lessons from the Decolonization Era for Industrialization: Policy, Leadership, and State Coordination for Structural Transformation

In order to transform their inherited colonial economies, post-independence governments initiated massive development projects and reimagined various sectors of the economy to meet the needs of their citizens. They did this by implementing industrialization policies that benefitted the working class; investing in and realigning certain sectors of the economy, such as technical education and central development planning; and through the support of state coordination in advancing the industrialization project. All presenters acknowledged both the limitations and the lessons learned from these industrialization projects. See more…