Jade Saab is a Lebanese/Canadian writer and activist currently finishing a PhD at the University of Glasgow on Ideology and the Process of Social- ist Revolution. He is a regional organiser with the Industrial Workers of the World.
A wave of mass protest movements has spread across North Africa and West Asia, including Sudan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon and Iran. The mass protests have much in common, from opposing authoritarian regimes and worsening economic situations to demanding radical changes in social relations. Despite their similarities, each protest movement operates under different conditions that cannot be ignored. The specific historic, political and economic contexts of each country have determined who the key actors of the uprisings are and their location across old and new divides. This book elaborates on these similarities and differences to paint a clearer picture of these movements and draw out lessons to inform future struggles.
Sam Salour summarizes A Region in Revolt: Mapping the Recent Uprisings in North Africa and West Asia, edited by Jade Saab. A collection of essays that provides a comprehensive review of the 2018-2019 wave of struggle in the region. In the third part of this multi-part series, Salour provides an introduction to the book and then outlines the essay “The Revolutionizing Nature of the Lebanese Uprising” by Jade Saab and Joey Ayoub.
Edited by Jade Saab, a Lebanese/Canadian researcher at the University of Glasgow, the contributors include Azza Mustafa and Sara Abbas (on Sudan); Hamza Hamouchene and Selma Oumari (on Algeria); Zeidon Alkinani (on Iraq); Jade Saab and Joey Ayoub (on Lebanon); and Frieda Afary (on Iran).
Insightful, timely analysis of the uprisings in Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran. The book … demonstrates that the uprisings…carry the unyielding spirit of people’s resistance and struggle against both imperialism and local oppressive regimes.— Haifa Zangana, Iraqi novelist, author, artist, and political activist and author of Dreaming of Baghdad.
Whereas there is a plethora of books on the 2011 [Arab Spring] upsurge, this book is the only comprehensive overview of the second wave of revolt, which is here analysed from the standpoint of the popular struggle. — Gilbert Achcar, Professor at SOAS, University of London, author of The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising
A rich and informed account of the popular uprisings that have emerged across the Middle East in recent years. … [T]his book is a powerful testament to the new generation of activists who continue to seek long-term revolutionary change in the region. – Adam Hanieh, author of Money, Markets, and Monarchies: The Gulf Cooperation Council and the Political Economy of the Contemporary Middle East (CUP 2018).
Last year a wave of militant protests spread across North Africa and West Asia, in a sustained, historic series of popular struggles. Emma Wilde Botta reviews A Region in Revolt: Mapping the Recent Uprisings in North Africa and West Asia edited by Jade Saab. A Region in Revolt: Mapping the Recent Uprisings in North Africa and West Asia edited by Jade Saab is the first and, to my knowledge, only comprehensive review of the uprisings that took place in Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran. Each chapter is written by activist-scholars from the respective country who provide an overview of each country’s specific political and economic conditions. They show that, far from being ahistoric spontaneous events, the 2019 uprisings built upon past struggles, by tracing the legacies of resistance in each country and showing how they have impacted the newly emerged movements.
A Region in Revolt captures all of the hope and inspiration of the 2019 uprisings. One of the most significant achievements of these movements is that, in the words of Hamouchene and Oumari, ‘people discovered their political will and realised they are in control of their own destiny.’ These were undeniably class revolts, fueled by anger over poverty, unemployment, austerity, and corruption. Yet, the people in the streets largely imagined themselves as citizens. The challenges of how to bring people into motion as workers, how to develop independent working-class organizations, and how to develop a political alternative to capitalism continue to be pressing. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown another obstacle in the way. But there is no doubt that future struggles are on the horizon. A Region in Revolt helps us answer the question of what we can do now to prepare for them. – Emma Wilde Botta is a socialist activist and writer based in Oakland, California. She has written extensively on the Arab Spring, the Gulf States, Iran, and US imperialism. Her writing has appeared in TruthOut, the International Socialist Review, roape.net and Socialist Worker.
United we stand: anatomy of five revolutions: Mike Phipps reviews A Region in revolt: Mapping the recent uprisings in North Africa and West Asia, edited by Jade Saab, published by Daraja Press (Ottawa) & TNI (Amsterdam): We are nearly ten years on from the Arab Spring, a series of uprisings across the Middle East. When it began, argues Jade Saab in this important new book, it “was presented to the world through an orientalist lens… the awakening of the backwards Arab world.” For the west, it provided retroactive justification for the invasion of Iraq: “All democracy in the region needed was a nudge in the form of an illegal invasion and a million dead civilians.” This narrative allowed reactionary regimes in the region to paint the uprisings as western plots to destabilise their countries. Both these interpretations were bolstered by military interventions in Libya, Syria and Yemen. These military interventions upped the stakes considerably for any nascent popular uprising. If movements called for the fall of the regime, the regime could respond: “Do you want to become another Syria?” Yet the uprisings continued, and it is not too hyperbolic to refer to the last couple of years as a Second Arab Spring. This second wave is the focus of this book. The demands raised by these uprisings go beyond a change of political leadership: they call for a fundamental restructuring of society. The countries in question share similar political economies with an emphasis on extractivism and speculative investment. The spoils of these activities bypass ordinary people, fuelling the migration of skilled labour out of the region and massive rates of unemployment, especially among young people. They also share a common problem: “Debilitating national debt means that foreign finance has a vested interest in maintaining ‘stability’ in the region.” So unlike during the 2011 Arab Spring, “Western nations have refused to withdraw support from the various ruling classes in the region even though the intensity of protests has reached similar levels.” …
A Region in Revolt Edited by Jade Saab, Daraja Press If you’ve enjoyed [RED PEPPER’s] analysis of the ‘second wave’ of uprisings across some of North Africa and West Asia, then this book is a timely exploration of ground uncovered. Looking across Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Iran and Iraq, this collection of essays draws out the similarities and differences of the movements that are demanding radical social change under authoritarian regimes. One of the few books to explore the second wave of revolt, it is a fitting testament to a new generation of activists and their ongoing struggle for revolutionary change. RED PEPPER Winter 2020.
Jade Saab is a Lebanese/Canadian writer and activist currently finishing a PhD at the University of Glasgow on Ideology and the Process of Social- ist Revolution. He is a regional organiser with the Industrial Workers of the World.
|Categories:||African, Decolonisation, Economic Conditions, Imperialism, Leftism, Political Freedom & Security, Political Science, Protest, Racism, Revolutions, Social Science|
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Dictators as Gatekeepers for Europe is a detailed journalistic account of how the EU is attempting to limit mobility within the African continent as a matter of the EU’s domestic policy agenda, hence the title hinting at the many agreements (with Turkey, Libya, Sudan) aimed at blocking migrants from approaching the European continent. The new “Berlin Wall” not only encircles Europe, but also generates a proliferation of militarised borders in Africa. …To summarise, the authors argue, Europe desires protected borders and open markets. The novelty is the amount of material that this book contains about African desires and strategies, both as a continent and as single states. This, in particular, makes the work a collection of extremely valuable directions of research. In fact, Africa, if one were to simplify the continent’s intentions, is depicted as aspiring to the exact opposite of Europe, namely open borders (with the African Union aspiring to free movement within the continent) and protected markets (protected from Western corporate predatory strategies). Moreover, contrary to the narrative of aid according to which the West “helps develop” Africa, the figures quoted by the authors suggest the opposite: while Sub-Saharan Africa receives $134 billion a year in development funding, $192 billions flow out of Africa, with $46 billion in profit for major corporations and another $35 billion vanishing in tax havens (218). https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2022/02/double-book by Oana Pârvan.
The USA is divided around the wall President Trump wants to build along the Mexican border. Europe has long answered this question at its own southern border: put up that wall but don’t make it look like one.
Today the EU is trying to close as many deals as it can with African states, making it harder and harder for refugees to find protection and more dangerous for labour migrants to reach places where they can earn an income. But this is not the only effect: the more Europe tries to control migration from Africa, the harder it becomes for many Africans to move freely through their own continent, even within their own countries.
Increasingly, the billions Europe pays for migration control are described as official development assistance (ODA), more widely known as development aid, supposedly for poverty relief and humanitarian assistance. The EU is spending billions buying African leaders as gatekeepers, including dictators and suspected war criminals. And the real beneficiaries are the military and technology corporations involved in the implementation.
Originally published as Diktatoren als Türsteher Europas: Wie die EU ihre Grenzen nach Afrika verlagert.(Ch. Links Verlag, 2017), this English translation includes updated materials and analyses. Accompanying video at https://www.dw.com/en/the-gatekeepers-of-europe-outsourcing-border-controls-to-africa/av-45599271
You can read this book online for free.
Translated by: Lydia Baldwin | querzaehlen and Emal Ghamsharick
Europe delegates, shameful as it is, its dirty work on migration to African States, some of which hasten to endorse this role with servility. They hope to stay in the race and be treated on an equal footing with a Europe … In a word, colonization is draped in new clothes, but its consequences are the same as ever for people, for women, children and men who sometimes have no other way out than to flee a daily life that kills them. This is an important book for understanding these conditions.
– Mireille Fanon-Mendes-France, Frantz Fanon Foundation/Fondation Frantz Fanon
Migrants die of thirst in the Sonoran desert, drown in the Mediterranean, are murdered by gangs in Libya and Mexico, and disappear forever in doomed journeys that leave no trace. When we speak of immigration policies in rich countries today, we are really speaking about complicity in mass murder. This study brilliantly exposes how so-called liberal governments in Europe are outsourcing the violent repression of migrants to authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and local tyrants in Africa.
– Mike Davis, writer, political activist, urban theorist and historian; Professor Emeritus, University of California, Riverside
This book makes a depressing reading for any concerned African by clearly exposing how often European leaders and opinion makers continue to portray African migration with a mix of disdain, fear, racism and backward arguments. A unique contribution.
– Prof. Carlos Lopes, Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, University of Cape Town and African Union High Representative for Partnerships with Europe.
This book, originally published by AwaaZ in Kenya, provides insights into journalists of Indian origin who wrote about the struggles of Kenyan people.
À rebours des thèses soutenant que la migration contribue au développement ou que l’in- vestissement dans le développement réduit la croissance de la migration « irrégulière », ce livre marque une rupture tonifiante avec les idées communes abondamment véhiculées dans la littérature sur les liens entre migration, mobilités et développement en Afrique. Il accorde un intérêt manifeste pour la plus grande part des mobilités africaines, lesquelles se situent à l’intérieur du continent, et à la formation des diasporas en dehors des fron- tières nationales et continentales. Cette considération conjointe des mobilités « Sud-Sud » et « Sud-Nord » permet de remettre en cause l’hypothèse selon laquelle il existe des diffé- rences fondamentales entre elles.
Cet ouvrage examine les fluctuations ordinaires des mouvements de populations – à travers l’Afrique, comme dans le reste du monde –, qui étendent les familles, génèrent de nouvelles relations, reconfigurent les connexions économiques et politiques, et sont intégrées dans l’expérience quotidienne des millions de personnes qui y prennent part.
The in-depth knowledge of the mostly African authors adds to the quality of a research field, which was for long far too Eurocentric. – Ilke ADAM, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium)
Il était temps de mettre en lumière ce que migration et mobilité représentent en Afrique. L’ouvrage offre une perspective originale et décoloniale sur le sujet. – Eric HAHONOU, Roskilde Universitet (Denmark)
Christian Bouquet, « Quelques éclairages nouveaux sur les migrations africaines », EspacesTemps.net [En ligne], Books, 2020 | Mis en ligne le 20 November 2020, consulté le 20.11.2020. URL : https://www.espacestemps.net/en/articles/quelques-eclairages-nouveaux-sur-les-migrations-africaines/ ; DOI : 10.26151/esapcestemps.net-jc2a-6b03
Avec la participation de John O. IGUE, Saydou KOUDOUGOU, Pierre-Joseph LAURENT, Bassirou MALAM SOULEY, Hamidou MANOU NABARA, Marème NIANG NDIAYE, Amadou SARR DIOP, Sadio SOUKOUNA , Eric Stève TAMO MBOUYOU et Astadjam YAOUBA.
Este livro escrutina o impacto significativo da independência em diferentes sectores da sociedade moçambicana. Quarenta e cinco anos após a independência, Moçambique conheceu várias transformações. O Moçambique pós-colonial é hoje, em muitos aspectos, diferente do Moçambique colonial. No entanto, existem muitas questões permanentes relativas a essas transformações e ao seu impacto na maioria do povo moçambicano.
Ao salientar as contradições de todos os processos políticos e sociais em Moçambique pós-colonial, neste livro levantamos questões que visam desconstruir alguns mitos sobre o país.
Temas como estado, desenvolvimento, política, cultura, nação, políticas públicas, políticas agrárias e outros são questionados em abordagens teóricas inovadoras e progressivas, a fim de compreender o passado, o presente e o futuro de Moçambique numa perspectiva crítica. Por conseguinte, cada tema do livro é tratado de uma perspectiva crítica para melhor captar as aporias dos últimos quarenta e cinco anos de independência.
A liberalização política que deveria permitir mais partilha de poder e mais respeito pelos direitos políticos e cívicos consolidou, pelo contrário, um regime autoritário que utiliza a ajuda internacional e os benefícios da indústria extractiva não para transformar o país, mas para construir a sua hegemonia política, económica e social em todo o país.
Defendemos neste livro a tese de que é impossível compreender a verdadeira dinâmica social, política, económica e cultural sem considerar o “povo” como uma categoria essencial de análise.
Apesar de muitas transformações positivas que ocorreram após a independência, Moçambique ainda preserva muitas heranças coloniais e, portanto, várias transformações estão ainda por implementar.
Neste trabalho afirmamos que Moçambique é governado por elites que são incapazes de descolonizar o projecto de desenvolvimento que ainda está ancorado na agenda da capital internacional.
O objectivo deste livro é dar uma melhor compreensão do que tem sido o processo de independência em Moçambique e porque é que o país pós-colonial ainda é colonial na sua estrutura política e económica. Assim, são dados muitos exemplos para dar ao leitor a possibilidade de confrontar as perspectivas teóricas aqui utilizadas com os casos concretos.
Todos os estudos deste livro mostram que quarenta anos de independência não foram vividos da mesma forma pelas elites que governam o país e pelas populações que vivem sob o seu domínio. Por um lado, as elites no poder e os seus parentes beneficiaram, e ainda beneficiam dos recursos do país, enquanto que uma grande parte da população continua à espera das promessas da independência.
De um ponto de vista político a económico, os estudos que compõem o livro destacam como o “desenvolvimento” em Moçambique tem estado em contradição com as necessidades do país. Significa que o actual modelo de desenvolvimento responde muito mais à capital internacional do que à transformação social de Moçambique.
This important discussion of the most recent developments in the commodification of media and culture goes beyond market-based analyses of relations of exchange and locates their central dynamic in the alienated forms of human relations that characterize contemporary forms of the capitalist mode of production.
—Peter Hudis, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Oakton Community College and author of Marx’s Concept of the Alternative to Capitalism) and Frantz Fanon: Philosopher of the Barricades.
A vital exploration of Marxist and critical theory in relation to the lived reality of a society permeated by social media; features a strong discussion of the Global South.
—Kevin B. Anderson, Professor of Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara, author of Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism: A Critical Study, Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism, Ethnicity and Non-Western Societies, and Dialectics of revolution : Hegel, Marxism, and its critics through a lens of race, class, gender, and colonialism (Daraja Press, 2020)
Technology is one of the central elements of contemporary human life. The world as one knows it today is a space increasingly mediated by technological interventions, be it in the field of contemporary cultural expressions or political, organizational forms. Social media has played an important role in this transformation. Gone are the days when social media was merely a conduit for conversations. Today, it is a diverse field of operations spanning advertising mechanisms, branding processes and even direct commercial exchanges between users: the prime focus of this particular book. The book analyses real-world interactions, interviews and observations through the theoretical framework provided by Marxist political economy and social theory. It draws upon the theoretical scope provided by Marx’s dialectical methods of social analysis and uses it to unearth the effects that trading and commercial activities performed through virtual communities have on society and individuals.
ONLY AVAILABLE IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA
We are pleased to announce that Daraja Press will soon be making Unearthing Justice, originally published by Between The Lines, available in Africa through our partners at Zand Graphics Ltd (throughout East Africa and the Horn) and Sherwood Books (South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland).
Originally published in 2019, this new edition has an Introduction by Yao Graham, TWN-Africa. The author, Joan Kuyek, is a community-focused mining analyst and organizer living in Ottawa. She was the founding National Co-ordinator of MiningWatch Canada from 1999–2009 and continues to do work for MiningWatch and for a number of communities affected by mining.
The mining industry continues to be at the forefront of colonial dispossession around the world. It controls information about its intrinsic costs and benefits, propagates myths about its contribution to the economy, shapes government policy and regulation, and deals ruthlessly with its opponents.
Brimming with case studies, anecdotes, resources, and illustrations, Unearthing Justice exposes the mining process and its externalized impacts on the environment, Indigenous Peoples, communities, workers, and governments. But, most importantly, the book shows how people are fighting back. Whether it is to stop a mine before it starts, to get an abandoned mine cleaned up, to change laws and policy, or to mount a campaign to influence investors, Unearthing Justice is an essential handbook for anyone trying to protect the places and people they love.
Kitabu hiki kinaturudisha katika kipindi cha kusisimuwa cha miaka ya vita baridi, kipindi ambacho, sambamba na kipindi cha leo, madola ya kibeberu yamekuwa yakifanya njama za kubadilisha serikali zilizokuwepo na kuziweka madarakani zile zenye kufuata amri. Kwa kutumia kumbukumbu za picha za Johari, nyaraka za siri za Marekani na Uingereza, pamoja na mahojiano ya kina, kitabu kinatowa uchambuzi juu ya nafasi na satwa ya Chama cha Umma Party nchini Zanzibar na kiongozi wake mwenye upeo mkubwa wa mambo, Mwanamapinduzi mfuasi wa Itikadi ya Karl Marx, Abdulrahman Mohamed Babu. Kwa kuangalia kwa njia ya uwiano wa mifano inayokwenda sambamba ya wahka wa Marekani kuhusu Uchina ya Kikomunisti katika miaka ya 1960 na woga walionao hivi sasa kuhusu ushawishi wa Uchina, kitabu kinatafakari juu ya mivutano mipya iliyopo katika kupigania rasilmali za Afrika, kuundwa kwa kikosi cha AFRICOM, na jinsi Wanasiasa wa Afrika Mashariki wanavyoshiriki katika kuimarisha udhibiti wa Marekani katika nchi zao, na “Vita dhidi ya Ugaidi” katika ukanda wa Afrika Mashariki hivi sasa.
Now available from Mkuki Na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania: http://www.mkukinanyota.com
A piercing historical explanation of poverty and inequality in African societies today and the social impact of resource-driven growth, Extracting Profit explains why Africa, in the first decade and a half of the twenty-first century, has undergone an economic boom. Rising global prices in oil and minerals have produced a scramble for Africa’s natural resources, led by investment from U.S., European and Chinese companies, and joined by emerging economies from around the globe. African economies have reached new heights, even outpacing rates of growth seen in much of the rest of the world. Examined through the lens of case studies of the oil fields of the Niger River Delta, the Chad-Cameroon Pipeline and the East African infrastructure boom, this period of “Africa rising” did not lead to the creation of jobs, but has instead fueled the extraction of natural resources, profits accruing to global capital, and an increasingly wealthy African ruling class.
Extracting Profit argues that the roots of today’s social and economic conditions lie in the historical legacies of colonialism and the imposition of so-called “reforms” by global financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The chokehold of debt and austerity of the late twentieth century paved the way for severe assaults on African working classes through neoliberal privatization and deregulation. And while the scramble for Africa’s resources has heightened the pace of ecological devastation, examples from Somalia and the West African Ebola outbreak reveal a frightening surge of militarization on the part of China and the U.S.
Yet this “new scramble” has not gone unchallenged. With accounts of platinum workers’ struggles in South Africa, Nigerian labor organizing and pro-democracy upheavals in Uganda and Burkina Faso, Extracting Profit offers several narratives of grassroots organizing and protest, pointing to the potential for resistance to global capital and fundamental change, in Africa and beyond.
And in an updated Preface, the author analyses the implications of the Covid-19 pandemic and escalating climate emergency, as both the crises and resistance to extraction accelerate across the continent.
“Lee Wengraf’s Extracting Profit – Imperialism, Neoliberalism and The New Scramble for Africa is at once historical and contemporary. It unpacks ongoing resource crimes by analytically exposing its historical roots and pointing to ways by which the oppressed can cut off the bonds that lock in their subjugation.” —Nnimmo Bassey, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation
“Lee Wengraf provides an important reminder that Africa’s position within the world economy is heavily determined by its unequal insertion into the global capitalist system and ongoing manifestations of imperialism.” –James Chamberlain, Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute
“Lee Wengraf’s Extracting Profit provides a breathtakingly detailed account and analysis of some of the major socioeconomic ills that have been plaguing Africa for centuries. Amongst the host of issues she tackles, arguably the most consequential are mass poverty in African societies, their indefensible economic inequalities and the steady plundering of the continent’s resources, starting from the slave-trade era up till the present-day.” –Remi Adekoya, Review of African Political Economy
“Extracting Profit offers several narratives of grassroots organizing and protest, pointing to the potential for resistance to global capital and fundamental change, in Africa and beyond.” –Developing Economics
“Evidently, this book is well-researched and it contributes to the expansion of the frontiers of Marxist scholarship on Africa’s development dilemma within the global capitalist order. This book lends credence to the pioneering works of such notable radical scholars as Andre Gunder Frank, Walter Rodney, and Samir Amin among several others. It should be read by students and teachers of political economy, development studies, Marxism and philosophy.” –Marx & Philosophy Review of Books
“Extracting Profit provides a great arch of scutiny from the earliest carve-up of the African continent, through colonialism, war, imperialism, to the recent neoliberal takeover. The book demonstrates the continued importance of Marxist analysis on the continent, asserting the centrality of class analysis and a project of revolutionary change. Wengraf provides us with a major contribution, that highlights contemporary developments and the role of China on the African continent that has perplexed and baffled scholars. An indispensable volume.” —Leo Zeilig, author of Frantz Fanon: The Militant Philosopher of Third World Revolution
“The history of resource frontiers everywhere is always one of lethal violence, militarism, empire amidst the forcing house of capital accumulation. Lee Wengraf in Extracting Profit powerfully reveals the contours of Africa’s 21st century version of this history. The scramble for resources, markets, and investments have congealed into a frightening militarization across the continent, creating and fueling the conditions for further political instability. Wengraf documents how expanded American, but also Chinese, presence coupled with the War on Terror, point to both the enduring rivalry among global superpowers across the continent and a perfect storm of resource exploitation. Wengraf offers up a magisterial synopsis of the challenges confronting contemporary Africa.” —Michael Watts, University of California, Berkeley
“One of the most well-known stylized facts of Africa’s recent growth experience is that it has been inequality-inducing in ways that previous growth spurts were not. Lee Wengraf, in her new book Extracting Profit , expertly utilises the machinery of Marxian class analysis in making sense of this stylized fact. Along the way we learn much about Africa’s historical relationship with imperialism and its contemporary manifestations. This book should be required reading for all those who care about Africa and its future.” —Grieve Chelwa, Contributing Editor, Africa Is A Country
“In recent years countries in the African continent have experienced an economic boom—but not all have benefited equally. Extracting Profit is a brilliant and timely analysis that explodes the myth of “Africa Rising,” showing how neoliberal reforms have made the rich richer, while leaving tens of millions of poor and working class people behind. Lee Wengraf tells this story within the context of an imperial rivalry between the United States and China, two global superpowers that have expanded their economic and military presence across the continent. Extracting Profit is incisive, powerful, and necessary: If you read one book about the modern scramble for Africa, and what it means for all of us, make it this one.” —Anand Gopal, author, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes
“Thorough and thoughtful, Wengraf’s book has a radical depth that underscores its significance. It’s definitely a must-read for anyone who cherishes an advanced knowledge on the exploitation of Africa as well as the politics that undermines Africa’s class freedom.” —Kunle Wizeman Ajayi, Convener, Youths Against Austerity and General Secretary of the United Action for Democracy, Nigeria
“Extracting Profit is a very important book for understanding why the immense majority of the African population remain pauperised, despite impressive growth rates of mineral-rich countries on the continent. It continues the project of Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. And in several ways, it also goes beyond it, capturing the changing dynamics of global capitalism 45 years after Rodney’s magnus opus.
In this book, Lee Wengraf debunks the myth of “Africa Rising” and the supposed expansion of an entrepreneurial middle-class, revealing “reforms” imposed by international financial institutions as mechanisms for fostering imperialism in an era of sharpening contradictions of the global capitalist economy. The adverse social, economic, political and environmental impact of these are elaborated on as a systemic whole, through the book’s examination of the sinews of capital’s expansion in the region: the extractive industries.
But, Wengraf does not stop at interrogating the underdevelopment of Africa. Her book identifies a major reason for the failures of national liberation projects: while the working masses were mobilised to fight against colonial domination, the leadership of these movements lay in the hands of aspiring capitalists, and intellectuals. The urgency of the need for a strategy for workers’ power internationally, she stresses correctly, cannot be overemphasized.
Reading Extracting Profit would be exceedingly beneficial for any change-seeking activist in the labour movement within and beyond Africa.” —Baba Aye, editor, Socialist Worker (Nigeria)