Vusi Gumede

The South Africa we do not want to know

There is a real South Africa. There is a fictional South Africa. Perhaps there is one in-between. This is a country, not a nation as Christine Qunta persuasively argues in her new book, which got its political independence – not real freedom – 22 years ago. Until the latest and newest African country – South…

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What does Africa really want?

As we celebrate yet another Africa Day, the question of what Africa really wants (and or what Africans, wherever they are, want) cannot be avoided. This question is forever lingering, and it becomes sharpened when Africa interacts with the rest of the world. The question must be confronted or posed directly especially given the fuzzy…

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Critical consciousness is the answer

There is, increasingly, a common message that is emerging about South Africa 21 years since the formal end of apartheid — things are getting bad. As argued elsewhere, this might not be surprising particularly if we look at the developmental experiences during the first two decades or so for many post-independent countries on our continent….

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The national question in South Africa

It is not easy to ignore the national question in South Africa, particularly presently, both in the context of 20 years of democracy and also given the troubling discourse by certain seemingly regressive people and or institutions. It is also hard to overlook this paramount issue of the national question when one observes the socio-economic…

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Towards a better development agenda for the global south

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015. They were adopted in September 2000 through the Millennium Declaration at the 55th session of the United Nations General Assembly, convened as the Millennium Assembly. The MDGs, understood to be a global development agenda, focused on poverty reduction, access to education, gender parity, healthcare access, sustainable development…

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Biko lives but transformation suffers

As we commemorate the brutal and barbaric killing of Stephen Bantu Biko this time of the year we are once again forced to reflect on where we are as a country against the ideals that Biko died for. South Africa is also marking 20 years of political independence. It is fitting, indeed, to ask and…

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A case for rethinking Africa’s development

Development is an indispensable aspect of socio-economic progress and civilisation — development should be thought of far more than just economic growth. As Thandika Mkandawire has put it, the search for development has become so consuming that it, more or less, assumes the form of an ideology to which post-colonial African leaders subscribed to under…

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We need an African renaissance and pan-Africanism for a better Africa

Cheikh Anta Diop, the pioneer of the concept of African renaissance, would have us understand the concept as a call to and a programme of action for the renewal of the African continent. Pan-Africanism, as espoused by its originators such as Ras Makonnen, has to do with the mobilisation of Africans and people of African…

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Africa’s Achilles heel: Global capitalism

In 2010, during the 50th anniversary of African political independence, I wrote an article which provocatively proclaimed that developmental states remain a pipedream in Africa. There is no consensus on what has constrained the further advancement of our troubled African continent. Could it be, fundamentally, institutions as some have argued or leadership as many have…

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Africa, time to get back to basics

As a point of departure, it is important to acknowledge that we know a lot about the challenges confronting the African continent today. Equally, we know more about the world today. It is in this context that a call for rethinking Africa’s political economy is made. Such a rethink is timely because the world economy…

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