Issa G Shivji

The Tanzanian National Electoral Commission (NEC) announced this week that general elections will take place on 14 December following the postponement of a 30 October poll due to the death of a presidential running mate. Elections did take place 30 October on Tanzania's semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar, with the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Party for the Revolution) winning the elections. The vote was marred by clashes between security forces and opposition supporters. Issa Shivj assesses more

Is the concept of agrarian revolution a serious proposition or a vote-catching gimmick? Issa Shivji examines what a real agrarian revolution would look like and lays down some of the fundamental transformations that would have to take place. Central would be a shift away from export crops to primary food crops.

In the current political campaigns, unlike during the last ten years of the third phase government, there is some talk about the transformation of agriculture. Even catching more

In the colonial language, land robbery carried out with the assistance of the state was called land alienation. In the neo-liberal era, the language, forms and mechanisms of land expropriation revolve around promoting efficient commercial agriculture and attracting foreign investment. Issa Shivji examines new forms of dispossession.

Robbery of land, labour and resources was the basis of primitive accumulation by colonial capital. Land was alienated from indigenous users and given to more

Regular contributor Issa Shivji tackles the history of the development discourse in Africa, discussing its changing meanings from the colonial period to post-independence rule and the onset of structural adjustment programmes in the 1980s – Africa’s lost decade. The new development discourse of neo-liberalism (otherwise known as globalization) continues historical forms of dispossession, Shivji notes, but there is also hope in the fact that Africa’s history is not only of slavery, more

“You have to be a genius to make a loss in a beer business,” writes Issa Shivji as he critiques the false logic behind privatization on the African continent. The first entities to face privatization were those that were most successful, he notes, with the subsequent argument for further privatization pushing the line that privatization led to a quick turnaround in the fortunes of ailing state enterprises.

The privatisation mania has gripped us like an unpreventable plague. The more

Simply joining the throb to make poverty history will never be sufficient to banish injustice, writes Issa Shivji. Rather, in order to make poverty history, the history of poverty must be understood.

The GG8 (Geldof & Group of 8) fanfare in Gleneagles, Scotland is over. Its slogan was `Make Poverty History`. Originally this was the slogan of well-meaning NGOs and concerned young people who could not stomach the outrageous poverty of millions in the South existing side by side with more

Capitalism came into the world “dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood and dirt”, writes Issa Shivji. And the bottom line which drives capitalism in Africa is profits and accumulation. Africa offers both with relative ease and apparently little resistance.

The Asian Tsunami was a great human tragedy; so was the invasion of Iraq. In both cases, the US-led financial capitalism found a great opportunity. The opportunity was to “reconstruct” these far flung societies in more

Since the defeat of apartheid, South African capital has begun a brutal march northwards that is reminiscent of a “Second Great Boer Trek”. South African supermarket chains have sprung up across Africa, as have cell phone companies, mining groups and even South African style water front developments. The next big sector being eyed by Afrikaner farmers is land, writes Issa Shivji.

Nature did not create a group of people with capital on one side and another group with only more

Issa Shivji examines the possibility of Federation of the Great Lakes Region consisting of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and the DRC. Such a federation, he states, would boost a genuine Pan-Africanism and contribute towards peace in the region.

The East African Federation is again on the horizon. The timetable is out. The Federation that was much talked about over forty years ago by the nationalist leaders may just come to fruition but under very different conditions. All more

From colonial resource exploitation to the negative impact of rampaging neo-liberalism, Africa has always followed behind the experience of Latin America. With general elections due to take place in late October in Tanzania, Issa Shivji asks why the candidates aren’t talking about how the country is going to avoid recent Latin American experiences with the Washington Consensus?

Latin America in the third world is a good barometer of what follows and what to expect in Africa, more