News & events


15 December 2009

The global economic crisis and African alternatives

Kim Trollip

Podcasts of the Democracy and Governance (D&G) programme’s recent Round Table on the Global Economic Crisis and African Alternatives: A focus on South Africa in Africa, can now be viewed on the HSRC’s YouTube channel.

The round table was organised by CODESRIA and the HSRC.

You can view the discussions here

The available clips include:

The Freedom to Think Differently: Rosa Luxemburg and Today’s Crisis
Prof. Sandra Rein (University of Alberta, Canada)
Sandra Rein advances her argument by calling for a re-engagement with Rosa Luxemburg’s work in analyzing the current economic moment. Her discussion is guided by two main goals. The first is to make the argument for Rosa Luxemburgs relevance and on-going salience for political economy and philosophy in a general sense. The second goal is to turn Luxemburgs critical gaze to the relations that define global capitalism today with the objective of identifying the possibilities for realizing human freedom. Rein concludes by proposing key areas of insight and potential research area based on her presentation.

Matters of Gender and Governance in Africa in the Context of a Global Crisis 
Prof. Onalenna Selolwane (University of Botswana)
Matters of Gender and Governance in Africa in the Context of a Global Crisis

Globalisation, Neo-liberalism and Shifting Global Hegemonies
Prof. Gillian Hart (University of California, Berkeley)
Globalisation, Neo-liberalism and Shifting Global Hegemonies

Globalisation and Africa’s Challenges
Prof. Mwesiga Baregu (University of Dar es Salaam)
Mwesiga Baregu posits that the failure of African countries to realise meaningful economic and political integration is, at least in part, attributed to the global process. He notes that majority African countries still remain vertically integrated to the European countries. As a result, this linkage continues to block horizontal integration between the African countries in general. Thus, while Europe is undergoing centripital forces, Africa is experiencing centrifugal forces. Baregu argues that the vertical integration remains the primary contradiction and the root source of insecurity and conflicts in the continent. He concludes that Africa globalisation has unleashed a chain reaction which may be depicted as follows: Marginalisation, state failure, resource plunder, impoverishment, political disintegration, social fragmentation, community polarisation and conflicts. He points out that in order to survive in the global system Africa must adopt a two pronged strategy that includes protecting African countries from threats as well as building capacity to create opportunities.

Labour and Lessons from the Venezuelan Alternative

Dr. Herbert Jauch (The Labour Resource and Research Institute: LaRRI)

Herbert Jauch argues that the current global economic crisis has to be placed within the context of a history of neo-liberal globalisation. He also notes that the debate about alternatives has to go beyond the question of how the current financial and economic system can be rescued. By focusing on Venezuelas case, Jauch suggests that a more effective approach is one that addresses systemic questions going beyond the confines of rescue packages for banks and policies of adjustment with a human face.


HIV/AIDS, Gender and Sexuality in the Context of a Global Crisis

Ms Lucy Edwards (University of Namibia)

Lucy Edwards argues that the global crisis will a have number of implications in the context of HIV/AIDS disease. Specifically, she points out that the crisis will intensify the structural drivers of the spread of HIV in the hyper-endemic countries of Southern Africa. Second, the crisis is likely to affect government and donor funding which will lead to a new cycle of infections and exacerbate the levels of poverty and inequality. Generally, Edwards presentation provides a critical analysis of the above implications by focusing on gender class and other inequalities.


Is it Africa’s turn? Region, Continent and the Elite Project in Africa

Prof. Ari Sitas (University of Cape Town)

Ari Sitas locates his discussion within previous forums such as the Africa Unions Plan of Action for Africas Industrialisation adopted in 2009, the Lagos Plan of Action, Bandung Conference and Cancun Talks. He also provides an analysis of the new emerging powers including China, Brazil, India and South Africa. Sitas provides eight preconditions for Africa’s economic growth that include: moving beyond fiscal regimes to other alternatives such as investing in infrastructure as the case of China; focusing on rural employment as exemplified by India; free movement of individuals within regions; joint IBSA/China Africa Projects; and a move in customary areas from subsistence to sustenance.

Kim Trollip

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