Henning Melber


There has been a massive media interest in the events leading up to Mugabe’s resignation. Over the last ten days, the Nordic Africa Institute’s Zimbabwe expert Henning Melber has given more than 30 interviews for Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish media. In this blog post, he gives his unfiltered analysis of the situation in Zimbabwe.

Students NG

Business-oriented analysis of the middle class in Africa is superficial, preoccupied purely with number crunching in terms of income and expenditure. In contrast, new scholarly interest in the African middle class offers a deeper analysis of cultural factors and identities, consciousness, social positioning and relations to other groups as well as institutions and the state.

Business Destinations

The debate about Africa’s middle class has largely ignored earlier analyses on African elites.


Indicative was the debate preceding the vote: not a single speaker spoke in defense of President Zuma, who after all is also the party leader. The opposition was eager to explain that the motion was not about removing the ANC from government, but Zuma from presidency. In contrast, those taking the floor for the ANC, appealed to members to protect the government from regime change and not abandon the party loyalty.


A black middle class in such a socially segregated society merits closer attention as to its definition and its further deconstruction. Which are the characteristics, the aspirations, the self-definition, but also the political orientations of such a group?


The political climate remains fragile and the mentality of most opposition politicians hardly offers meaningful alternatives. This is possibly an explanation – but no excuse – for the undemocratic practices permeating almost every one of the region’s nations. Beyond multi-party systems with regular elections, they resemble very little of true democracies.

Rajesh Jantilal

The so-called middle class appears to be a “muddling class”. Rigorously explored differentiation remains largely absent – not to mention any substantial class analysis. Fortunately, though, the debate has created sufficient awareness among scholars to explore the fact and fiction of the assumed transformative power of a middle class.

Southern Times

Namibia marked its 27th independence anniversary on Tuesday. Despite the government’s populist rhetoric, Namibia remains a rich country with poor people. Redistribution of wealth is mainly limited to a new black elite. These are office bearers, party stalwarts and those with close ties to the state. They thrive through a policy of so-called affirmative action and black economic empowerment.


It is dubious that African middle classes by their sheer existence promote economic growth. Their increase was mainly a limited result of the trickle down effects of the resource based economic growth rates during the early years of this century. Their position and role in society has hardly economic potential and dynamics inducing further productive investment contributing towards sustainable economic growth.

Zee News

Who benefits from withdrawal from the International Criminal Court as a response to the double standards and asymmetrical power relations in global politics? Leaving the ICC erodes international criminal jurisdiction and thereby the protection of people further, especially on a continent where no other local, regional or continental court with a similar mandate exists.