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Publication Details

Reference
Bond, Patrick (2015) As global commodity super-cycle ends,
Africans continue uprising against ‘Africa Rising’. presented to Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (Mistra) : 1-21.

Summary
The conditions for reproduction of daily life in Africa have not improved as a result of the
frenetic expansion of global capitalism, given that this process has for the past third of a
century entailed structural adjustment austerity imposed by the Bretton Woods
Institutions, has been carried out by dictatorships or at best semi-democratic regimes, has
had the effect of deepening Resource Curses due to extractive industry exploitation and has
amplified other political, economic and ecological injustices. The ‘Great Recession’ the
world entered from 2007 exacerbated these problems. As a result, contrary to ‘Africa
Rising’ rhetoric, a new wave of protests arose across the continent since 2010. The African
Development Bank (AfDB) commissions annual measurements based upon journalistic
data, which suggest that major public protests rose from an index level of 100 in 2000 to
nearly 450 in 2011. Instead of falling back after the Arab Spring – especially acute in
Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco – the index of protests rose higher still, to 520 in 2012, as
Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Gabon, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda
maintained the momentum of 2011 (AfDB et al 2013). In 2013, the index rose still higher,
to 550 (AfDB et al 2014). In 2014 it fell back just slightly, but as in the earlier years, the
main causes of protest were socio-economic injustices (AfDB et al 2015). There are all
manner of reasons for dissent, but according to Agence France Press and Reuters reports,
the vast majority since 2011 were over inadequate wages and working conditions, low
quality of public service delivery, social divides, state repression and lack of political
reform. A good share of the turmoil in Africa prior to the 2011 upsurge took place in the
vicinity of mines and mineral wealth, as reflected in mappings of ‘Armed Conflict Location

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