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Decades of embracing neoliberal electricity policies have left Africa, one of the world’s most resource rich regions, with the lowest energy consumption rates per capita. Despite this, African states face severe pressure to create urgent and necessary infrastructure projects in line with a new Western consensus on approaches to climate finance.

Joanita Najjuko and Crystal Simeoni argue for greater inclusion of the perspectives of women and girls as well as better recognition of their needs in macro-level economic decision-making. They demand feminist economic justice, show how unpaid care work is central to our economies and encourage resistance against the co-option of gender-based initiatives by neoliberalism.

Efemia Chela delves into lesser-known African LGBTQ+ histories and the colonial origins of transphobic and homophobic legislation across the continent. She highlights vital opportunities for solidarity between people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities to fight against economic misery, social marginalisation and political repression experienced by all.

Professor Issa G. Shivji explores the process of worldwide capitalist accumulation across several centuries alongside the emergence of grand narratives of nationalism and Pan-Africanism. By highlighting ideologies of resistance which grapple with evolving forms of domination and imperialism, Shivji illuminates the requirements for a new Pan-Africanism that would serve people’s struggles today.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to vast mineral wealth – including cobalt, lithium, and coltan – that is essential for modern technology. Despite this, the Congolese people suffer extreme poverty. Historical and ongoing conflicts, driven by global capitalist interests, have destabilised the region. This dossier underscores the fight for sovereignty and dignity, ending with the words of young Congolese activists who have identified eight categories that are key to building their path to freedom.

The fifth Pan-Africa newsletter reflects on the Malian Manden Charter’s historic advocacy for human rights and contrasts it with the British Magna Carta’s legacy. Highlighting the enduring quest for sovereignty, Mikaela Erskog discusses the Sahel’s contemporary push against Western interference and hyper-imperialism. As global economic power shifts towards the Global South, with the rise of new multilateral initiatives like BRICS and the Belt and Road Initiative, we need for greater unity and organisation among Global South nations.

Following Guinea’s independence from France, Sékou Touré clashed against France’s De Gaulle, who tried to strongarm Touré into abandoning the project for independence. France would not tolerate African independence, but the people of Africa would not tolerate French dominion. That fervour for African sovereignty remains intact. ‘France, get out’ was the slogan then and remains the slogan now, from Senegal to Niger. To better understand recent developments in this struggle, we share a briefing from No Cold War in collaboration with the West African Peoples’ Organisation on the manifestation of that sentiment sweeping the Sahel.

Gaza is the epitome of the tragic dishonesty of our times, with over 33,000 Palestinians killed by Israel. Israel continues its brutal disregard for public opinion and international law, enabled by the Global North’s hypocritical behaviour as it feigns concern whilst supporting Israel and supply arms. This hypocrisy emboldens actions like Israel’s bombing of the Iranian embassy in Damascus and Ecuadorian President Noboa’s raid on the Mexican embassy, reflecting a growing impunity among leaders who feel emboldened by Washington’s tacit approval.

This February marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution, when Hugo Chávez took office in 1999. In 2024, Venezuela will hold its sixth general election since that time. Already the US has begun to delegitimise the vote and destabilise the country with the reimposition of sanctions. Such measures are illegal as they are imposed unilaterally, in contravention of the UN Charter. As one US official recently stated, Washington believes it is ‘the police of the world’.

From 13 January to 11 February 2024, the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be hosted in Côte d’Ivoire. Though the tournament is a celebration of football, it also casts a shadow over the profound challenges faced by Africans across the continent. A critical aspect of this year’s AFCON is the enduring influence of French capital in West Africa. TotalEnergies has been assertively expanding its reach, tapping into resources in countries such as Mozambique and Uganda, and Burkina Faso​.

‘The West is in danger’, warned Argentina’s new president, Javier Milei, at this year’s World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland. While Milei blamed ‘collectivism’ and social democratic policies, in reality the West is in danger due to its inability to come to terms with its slow demise as the dominating bloc in the world. Unable to maintain its control over the world economy, the US-led Global North is resorting to force to protect its ruling position.

Tectonic changes are taking place in the world, accelerated by the war in Ukraine and the rapidly escalating genocide in Palestine. These changes are shaped, on the one hand, by the Global North’s loss of economic power alongside its increasing militarisation and, on the other, by the Global South’s growing political demand for sovereignty and economic development. To understand these changes and the Global North’s bewilderment about the new mood in the Global South, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research produced dossier no. 72, The Churning of the Global Order, based on original research carried out with Global South Insights.

Events in recent years, including Israel’s genocide in Gaza, signify a qualitative change in the US-dominated world order. Imperialism has begun its transformation to a new stage: Hyper-Imperialism. This is imperialism conducted in an exaggerated and kinetic way, whilst also subject to the constraints that the declining empire has foisted on itself. The spasmodic quality of its exertion is felt by the millions of Congolese, Palestinians, Somalis, Syrians, and Yemeni – whose heads instinctively jerk for cover at sudden sounds of the over US$ 2 trillion dollar military spending of the US-led Military Bloc.

On a spectrum of marginalisation, African women’s thought on the economy arguably remains the least visible, a convergence of the problems that dominant economic traditions have with both gender and Africa. By identifying the impact of patriarchal capitalism and recognising the diverse ways in which it operates, feminist perspectives offer alternative economic systems that prioritise equitable distribution and environmental sustainability in general.

No amount of Israeli propaganda has been able to convince billions of people around the world that the violence is a righteous rejoinder for the 7 October attack. Visuals from Gaza show the disproportionate and asymmetrical nature of Israel’s violence over the past seventy-five years. A new mood has taken root amongst billions of people in the Global South and been mirrored by millions in the Global North who no longer take the attitudes of US leaders and their Western allies at face value.

Recently, the US, Japan, and South Korea held their first-ever joint aerial drill, a few months after their leaders met at Camp David ‘to inaugurate a new era of trilateral partnership’. Although North Korea is frequently framed as a regional bogeyman to justify militarisation, the formation of a trilateral alliance is, in fact, a key element of Washington’s efforts to contain China. The militarisation of Northeast Asia threatens to divide the region, undermine decades of mutually beneficial economic cooperation, and raise the likelihood of a conflict breaking out, in particular over Taiwan, entangling neighbouring countries through a web of alliances.

Dossier no. 68 presents an analysis of the 1973 coup against Chile and its effects on the Third World and non-aligned countries. It was the Allende government’s policies to nationalise copper that spurred the coup, but the policy to nationalise copper was part of a broader conversation in the Third World to create a New International Economic Order which would restructure the neocolonial international economic system along democratic lines and give weight to the ideas and peoples of the Third World. In that sense, the US-driven coup against Chile was precisely a coup against the Third World.

Africa has increasingly diverged from the Atlantic powers, more weary of Western militarisation, economic strangulation, and tepid diplomatic policies that give little room for sovereign development. We need new locomotives to represent and advance the collective aspirations of the people not only domestically but the shifting balance of forces globally. Through joint collaboration within our Network of African Research Institutes, we hope to build our capacity to support the leading social movements confronting the dilemmas of humanity on the continent.

Most states are constrained due to external pressures that thwart economic policies which would benefit society over private capital and wealthy bondholders, who extract the immense social wealth produced in poorer nations. Our dossier no. 67 – Dependency and Super-Exploitation: The Relationship Between Foreign Capital and Social Struggles in Latin America (August 2023) – uses the centenary of one of Brazil’s most important Marxist intellectuals, Ray Mauro Marini (1932–1997), to outline a proper Marxist view from the Third World of this ‘dependency theory’ tradition for our current times.

Over the past century, there have been major shifts in the debates and theories concerning the question of development. In the post-war era, this evolution can be divided into four eras: the era of modernisation theory, the era of the New International Economic Order, the era of neoliberal globalisation, and the current transitional era following the 2007–2008 financial crisis. This dossier examines the historical and current thinking on development and offers an outline for a new socialist development theory.