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Sino-Mozambican rice project

Class, politics and dynamic accumulation processes around the Sino-Mozambican rice project in the lower Limpopo, 2005–2014


Class, politics and dynamic accumulation processes around the Sino-Mozambican rice project in the lower Limpopo, 2005–2014 by Ana Sofia Ganho levels a Marxist political economy lens at the development of the Sino-Mozambican rice project in the lower Limpopo valley. Focusing on a defined time period, 2005–14, it interrogates the ways that class dynamics shaped, and were shaped by, China’s development cooperation model for Mozambique, and examines changing Mozambican accumulation interests in the context of sudden price rises in agricultural commodities. The article aims to understand how this project relates to Mozambique’s dominant strategy for capital accumulation, such as the dynamics it has enabled for capitalist factions in power. But it also seeks to comprehend the rural differentiation dynamics that the project has generated, particularly with regard to the desideratum to create a new group of rural capitalists. Together with historically situated challenges, this can provide crucial information about the form(s) that the agrarian question of transition to a capitalist agriculture is taking in Mozambique.

 

Abstract:

This study levels an international political economy lens at the development of the Sino-Mozambican rice project in the lower Limpopo, by examining how class relations shaped and were shaped by global trends, Chinese resources and Mozambican dynamic accumulation interests. The paper argues that the project has served the expansionist interests of the ruling capitalist group associated with central government circles, limiting land-based possibilities at province level. In addition, the plan to locally transform small producers into rural capitalists through ‘modern’ Chinese methods has failed to confront the historical interdependence of the commercial and so-called family sectors and the diversity of livelihood sources for the reproduction of food and labour.

 

Quotation:

Ganho, Ana Sofia (2022) Class, politics and dynamic accumulation processes around the Sino-Mozambican rice project in the lower Limpopo, 2005–2014, Review of African Political Economy, 49:171, 107-137, DOI: 10.1080/03056244.2022.2050557

 

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Narrow specialization of production, accumulation in Mozambique

Financialization, narrow specialization of production and capital accumulation in Mozambique


In post-independence Mozambique, national capitalism developed from the ashes of state-centred accumulation built around the dominant social structures of production that were inherited from colonialism. These very specific historical conditions weighed heavily on the structures of accumulation, which later were subjected to neoliberal economic reforms, becoming heavily dependent on inflows of private international finance and resulting in growing financialisation of the economy and of the state, alongside increasingly narrow specialisation of production. Narrow specialisation, also called primarisation, consists in the reduction of the number of industries, sectors, activities and products; the concentration of production and trade around a smaller range of primary commodities for export; increasingly basic and simple production processes, products and levels of processing and articulation; and fewer options and capabilities to promote linkages. In turn, financialisation and primarisation reinforced each other in an increasingly speculative mode of accumulation. Starting from the specific analysis of the historical logic of the mode of capital accumulation in Mozambique (Castel-Branco, 2022), Financialization, narrow specialization of production and capital accumulation in Mozambique by Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco and Diogo Maia will demonstrate the dynamics of financialisation and of the growing primarisation of production, and the connection between the two.

 

Abstract:

The article argues that the historical conditions under which national capitalism developed in post-independence Mozambique pushed the economy towards growing financialisation and narrower specialisation of production around increasingly basic and simple activities. The paper argues that changing these dynamics of accumulation requires conscious industrial strategies focused on diversification and articulation of production, which cannot be achieved without challenging the extractive mode of accumulation and the power relationships associated with it.

 

Quotation:

Castel-Branco, Carlos Nuno; and Diogo Maia. 2022. “Financialization, narrow specialization of production and capital accumulation in Mozambique”. Review of African Political Economy, VOL. 49, NO. 171, 46-66 https://doi.org/10.1080/03056244.2022.2049143

 

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Narrow specialization of production, accumulation in Mozambique

Mozambique – neither miracle nor mirage


Mozambique – neither miracle nor mirage by Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco and Elisa Greco explores how over two decades, in the 1990s and 2000s, international organisations, development cooperation agencies, financial institutions and the media often described the Mozambican economic, social and political trajectory as a ‘miracle’. Hailed as the ‘rising star’ of Africa in 2005 by the New York Times (2005) and by The Economist, the country has long been praised by neoliberal institutions as a model reformer, open and attractive to foreign direct investment (FDI), and for its high rates of economic growth, soaring primary commodity exports and one-digit inflation. While a milder version of this image of a Mozambican ‘miracle’ persisted throughout the 2010s, it started to clash with the reality of worsening inequality, poverty and crisis in social reproduction, as well as the emergence of the first clear signs of a debt crisis yet to come. In the main cities, violent riots triggered by rising costs of basic wage goods and services, over and above average inflation, erupted in February 2008 and again in September 2010. In September 2010, The Economist described these riots as the revolt of the ‘angry poor’, which did not deter international financial think tanks and media from continuing to emphasise the Mozambican ‘miracle’ (The Economist 2010). The country saw the contradiction of worsening poverty, high aid dependency and inequality at the same time as it was being described by the Financial Times as ‘at the centre of unprecedented international investor attention’ (Financial Times 2012, 2010). In May 2014, in her speech to the Africa Rising conference held in Maputo, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde highlighted Mozambique’s impressive performance with respect to economic growth as being the result of decades of institution building and sound macroeconomic management, which justified the IMF’s formal permission for Mozambique to obtain new loans on non-concessional terms (Orre and Rønning 2017). Two years later, in 2016, The Economist highlighted the country’s soaring sovereign debt in a context of increasing FDI and aid inflows, and the creditworthiness of the Mozambican economy was downgraded by credit rating agencies from stable average, where it had been from 2003 to 2015, to severe risk of default (Castel-Branco 2020). How can we make sense of this somehow contradictory information? Is Mozambique a ‘miracle’ or a ‘mirage’?

 

Abstract:

Editorial of the special issue of the Review of African Political Economy (RoAPE), titled “Capital accumulation, financialisation and social reproduction in Mozambique”, volume 49, number 171, March 2022.

 

Quotation:

Castel-Branco, Carlos Nuno; and Elisa Greco. 2022. “Mozambique – neither miracle nor mirage”. Review of African Political Economy, VOL. 49, NO. 171, 1-10, https://doi.org/10.1080/03056244.2022.2047297

 

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Narrow specialization of production, accumulation in Mozambique

The historical logic of the mode of capital accumulation in Mozambique


This article by Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco investigates the historical logic of the mode of capital accumulation in Mozambique. By historical logic we mean the objective explanation of the specific characteristics based on an understanding of the country’s historical foundations, and the conflicts and tensions within and related to its structures of accumulation.

 

Abstract:

This article critically analyses the political economy dynamics and trajectory of the mode of capital accumulation in post-independence Mozambique, focusing on the capitalist restructuring that followed the adoption of the Washington Consensus from the late 1980s. The article highlights the main structural characteristics, dynamics and tensions in the economy, the relationships and conflicts that explain why they reproduce and expand, what makes them change and the nature of the crises that emerge. The argument is that the recent trajectory of the Mozambican economy was not inevitable, and that it can be logically understood and derived from the existing historical conditions of accumulation. Understanding this historical logic enables us to articulate socially transformative actions which are drawn from the objective and concrete analysis of the mode of accumulation and its contradictions, countering idealistic perspectives in political economy.

 

Quotation:

Castel-Branco, Carlos Nuno. 2022. “The historical logic of the Mode of Capital Accumulation in Mozambique”. Review of African Political Economy, VOL. 49, NO. 171, 11–45 https://doi.org/10.1080/03056244.2022.2040225

 

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A prognostic of the impact of coronavirus on education in Europe

A prognostic of the impact of coronavirus on education in Europe: some evidence


In A prognostic of the impact of coronavirus on education in Europe: some evidence, Lúcia Oliveira highlights the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on student education and their perceptions corcerning the effect of distance learning on their lives as students. Thus, we conducted a survey to university students in Portugal, during the month of July, who composed a sample of convenience due to time constraints and at the end of the school year, which made the collection of information extremely important to evaluate the real impact at that very moment, taking also into account other external factors. We found out that students live difficult moments at the educational and private level due to the complex professional situation of their parents. All of these factors have a major impact in terms of mental health, as many of them reported experiencing anxiety and stress.

 

Abstract:

The spread of COVID-19 forced most countries to temporarily close educational institutions. It may cause not only short-term learning loss, but also an additional loss of human capital and reduced long-term economic opportunities. To mitigate this loss, many countries have opted for distance learning. However, issues of equity, participation and evaluation of results emerged as challenges. Universities have postponed or cancelled classes and are taking measures to protect all students and staff from highly infectious diseases. In this study, we highlight the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on student education and their perceptions corcerning the effect of distance learning on their lives as students. Thus, we conducted a survey to university students in Portugal, during the month of July, who composed a sample of convenience due to time constraints and at the end of the school year, which made the collection of information extremely important to evaluate the real impact at that very moment, taking also into account other external factors. Given the exploratory nature of this empirical research, data analysis is descriptive, measuring opinions, attitudes and perceptions that students have about the impact of the pandemic on their educational path. We found out that students live difficult moments at the educational and private level due to the complex professional situation of their parents. All of these factors have a major impact in terms of mental health, as many of them reported experiencing anxiety and stress. It will be a challenge for universities to deal with this new reality, to prepare an uncertain future not only for students, but also for professionals, who will need more preparation and training to face the new teaching methodologies.

 

Quotation:

“A prognostic of the impact of coronavirus on education in Europe: some evidence.” 4. International Seminar. Education, Territories and Human Development. Catolica, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Porto. pp. 550-557 https://www.fep.porto.ucp.pt/sites/default/files/files/FEP/eventos/Atas-SIETDH-2021.pdf https://www.repository.utl.pt/handle/10400.5/23273

 

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From Guangdong to Brazil: Itineraries of a sino-mozambican community

From Guangdong to Brazil: Itineraries of a sino-mozambican community


From Guangdong to Brazil: Itineraries of a sino-mozambican community by Lorenzo Macagno explores the itineraries and trajectories of a very specific Chinese community. First, it reconstructs the tenuous incorporation of this group into the colonial society of Mozambique in the 1950s. At the end of this article, I discuss the narratives of deception that emerged after the independence of Mozambique in 1975, when the Chinese had to abandon the possibility of a Portuguese future for their lives and decided to settle in Brazil.

 

Abstract:

This article explores the itineraries and trajectories of a very specific chinese community. First, it reconstructs the tenuous incorporation of this Chinese into the colonial society of Mozambique, an ex-Portugal overseas province in the 1950s. At the end of this article, I discuss the narratives of deception that emerged after the independence of Mozambique in 1975, when the Chinese had to abandon the possibility of a Portuguese future for their lives and decided to settle in Brazil. Indeed, once considered “good Portuguese” by the colonial authorities, the new context that emerged out of the independence of Mozambique forced these Chinese to “choose” the route of the diaspora. Many settled in Portugal, Canada, the United Sates, and Australia. But the majority, as we shall see, chose Brazil and, in particular, the city of Curitiba in the State of Paraná. Here they became engaged in commercial and professional activities, and in 1989 they founded the Associação Cultural Chinesa do Paraná (Cultural Chinese Association of Paraná).

 

Quotation:

Macagno, L. (2021). “From Guangdong to Brazil: Itineraries of a sino-mozambican community”, in: André Bueno & Daniel Veras (eds.) Studies in Chinese Migrations. Brazil, China and Mozambique, Rio de Janeiro: Projeto Orientalismo/UERJ, pp. 167-187.

Digitalization and corporate transformation: The case of European oil & gas firms

Digitalization and Corporate Transformation: the case of European oil & gas firms


Digitalization and corporate transformation: The case of European oil & gas firms by Jorge Fernandez-Vidal, Reyes Gonzalez, Jose Gasco e Juan Llopis, leveraging the collective learnings from the eight companies studied, aims to help decision-makers with a conceptual guideline to select the most appropriate strategic tools when undergoing a transformation, based on four dimensions that are of high relevance across multiple strategic environments.

 

Abstract:

Digital technologies have had a tremendous impact on the world and have forced companies to adapt their business models, strategies and management practices. There is a scarcity of research about digital transformation in the energy sector, so this paper aims to analyze this phenomenon in the Oil & Gas sector through a comparative case analysis of eight market leading European Oil & Gas companies. To ensure an adequate methodological approach, the authors have applied Eisenhardt’s framework to build theories from case study research. This article relies on multiple data collection methods. 26 interviews with 18 senior executives from the sample energy firms and two global consulting firms were completed in two separate phases. To complement these interviews, information and data were collected from a range of public sources, such as newspapers, video interviews, business magazines and analyst reports, as well as public information from the eight companies under analysis, such as annual and financial reports, company presentations, regulatory filings and announcements and company news. Our research highlights several transformational moves in the firms under study that bring substantial new capabilities and allow them to achieve market-leading positions in new and digitally native business areas -although modest in size. The sample firms mainly opt for combinations of small transformational strategies to achieve their large transformation goals. However, in many organizations, digital and business transformation initiatives suffer from poor governance and are typically just a collection of unconnected activities, piecemeal strategies and pilot projects. Developing a coherent transformation strategy, with the right structure and governance, remains a challenge for most organizations. This paper, leveraging the collective learnings from the eight companies studied, aims to help decision-makers with a conceptual guideline to select the most appropriate strategic tools when undergoing a transformation, based on four dimensions that are of high relevance across multiple strategic environments.

 

Quotation:

Jorge Fernandez-Vidal, Reyes Gonzalez, Jose Gasco, Juan Llopis, Digitalization and corporate transformation: The case of European oil & gas firms, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 174, 2022, 121293, ISSN 0040-1625

Itinéraires de Kamba Simango : dialogue entre un Mozambicain apprenti ethnographe et Franz Boas

Itinéraires de Kamba Simango: dialogue entre un Mozambicain apprenti ethnographe et Franz Boas


Itinéraires de Kamba Simango: dialogue entre un Mozambicain apprenti ethnographe et Franz Boas by Lorenzo Macagno explores the dialogue between anthropologist Franz Boas and Kamba Simango. It also analyses the ethnographic relationship between them and Simango’s cosmopolitan trajectory.

 

Abstract:

This paper explores the dialogue between anthropologist Franz Boas and Kamba Simango. Simango was born in 1890, in Machanga District, on the coast of present-day Mozambique. In 1914, under the auspices of missionaries of the American Board of Missions, he was sent to the United States to study at the Hampton Institute. Kamba Simango and Franz Boas met for the first time in 1919 at Columbia University. Boas did not want Simango to become a mere “informant,” but a native ethnographer. Based on an exchange of unpublished letters and a series of documents published mainly by missionaries, this article analyzes the ethnographic relationship between Boas and Simango as well as his cosmopolitan trajectory. Kamba Simango’s life and career help us to understand the colonial experience par le bas, and to understand the construction of subjectivities and specific historicities from a less nation-centered perspective.

 

Quotation:

Lorenzo Macagno, « Itinéraires de Kamba Simango : dialogue entre un Mozambicain apprenti ethnographe et Franz Boas », Cahiers d’études africaines, 244 | 2021, 831-858. URL: https://www.repository.utl.pt/handle/10400.5/22949

Common Causes in Grassroot Development

Common Causes in Grassroot Development: a case for community-based and communitydriven response in the postpandemic era


The purpose of Common Causes in Grassroot Development: a case for community-based and communitydriven response in the postpandemic era by Vincent Agulonye is to determine the impact of community-based and driven approaches during the lockdowns and early periods of the pandemic. The study examines the impact and perceptions of the state-led intervention. This would help to discover a better approach for postpandemic interventions and policy responses.

 

Abstract:

The purpose of Common Causes in Grassroot Development: a case for community-based and communitydriven response in the postpandemic era is to determine the impact of community-based and driven approaches during the lockdowns and early periods of the pandemic. The study examines the impact and perceptions of the state-led intervention. This would help to discover a better approach for postpandemic interventions and policy responses. This article used the inductive method and gathered its data from surveys. In search of global opinions on COVID-19 responses received in communities, two countries in each continent with high COVID-19 infection per 100,000 during the peak period were chosen for study. In total, 13 community workers, leaders and members per continent were sampled. The simple percentile method was chosen for analysis. The simple interpretation was used to discuss the results. Findings – The study showed that poor publicity of community-based interventions affected awareness and fame as most were mistaken for government interventions. The study found that most respondents preferred state interventions but preferred many communities or local assessments of projects and interventions while the projects were ongoing to adjust the project and intervention as they progressed. However, many preferred community-based and driven interventions. Research limitations/implications – State secrecy and perceived opposition oppression limited data sourcing for this study in countries where state interventions are performed in secret and oppression of perceived opposition voices limited data collection in some countries. Thus, last-minute changes were made to gather data from countries on the same continent. An intercontinental study requires data from more countries, which would require more time and resources. This study was affected by access to locals in remote areas where raw data would have benefited the study.

A Crying Economy in a Bleeding State

A Crying Economy in a Bleeding State: effects of religious and ethnic militia in Nigeria


A Crying Economy in a Bleeding State: effects of religious and ethnic militia in Nigeria by Vincent Agulonye and Daniel Adayi analyses the factors behind the emergence of these militias and the consequences their activities have on local economies in their regions and the national economy.

 

Abstract:

Nigeria’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-ideological nature is a complexity that should spur a synergy for development in all spheres. The theory of dissipative structures employed suggests that. Contrarily, the pursuit of individual group interests to the detriment of others leads to entropy that dissipates development and economic growth that its population needs. Ethnic and religious militia emerged in response to such problems and threats that has brought in consistent loss of lives and properties which whip the economy and country leaving the state bleeding. Militia internationalisation are important factors discussed as well. A Crying Economy in a Bleeding State: effects of religious and ethnic militia in Nigeria looks at the factors behind the emergence of these militias and the consequences their activities have on local economies of their regions and the national economy.

 

Quotation:

Agulonye, Uzoma Vincent Patrick e Daniel Adayi (2022). “A crying economy in a bleeding state : effects of religious and ethnic militia in Nigeria”. In Handbook of research on ethnic, racial, and religeous conflicts ans their impact on state and social security, Emilia Alaverdov, Muhammad Waseem Bari (eds), 273-297. Hershey: IGI Global. URL: https://www.repository.utl.pt/handle/10400.5/22739


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