STREAM: Challenges and Survival Strategies within the Neoliberal Context for a Civilized Africa

STREAM: Challenges and Survival Strategies within the Neoliberal Context for a Civilized Africa

Communities which refuse to positively respond to challenges perish. This was the case in North Africa in the past. The region was struck by inadequate rainfall. The natural calamity seriously affected traditional lifestyles of hunters and gatherers in the mentioned regions. The communities responded differently. Some communities rejected to change their social structures and held on to their traditional lifestyles. They eventually perished. Others migrated to other regions of Africa with adequate rainfall to maintain their traditional lifestyle and survived. The interesting group is the one which remained in the same region but changed its social structure. The group capitalised on innovations including irrigation and creation of an urban lifestyle. The group survived but at the same time created a new and better civilization. Simply put, the group moved away from hunting and gathering and created cities. It is important to note that the interesting group changed its social structure to accommodate the new challenge. The situation of the group became better than it was the case during years with adequate rainfall. The world has learned a lot from North African civilization.

Modern Africa, from North to South as well as East to West, is confronted by neoliberalism as a new and sophisticated social challenge. The inhabitants cannot run away from neoliberalism by migrating to some other regions as did their counterparts in the past. Neoliberalism is everywhere. Nonetheless, neoliberalism is a social calamity which presents an opportunity to Africans to reshape their social structures and possibly form a better civilization. They, among other things, have to confront neoliberalism by making use of the available opportunities. Moreover, African communities cannot rely on external assistance but they must learn from the past. This thematic stream looks for articles from anywhere in Africa, which focus on challenges, responses and survival strategies of African grassroots communities as they negotiate for their survival within the neoliberal context. Papers presenting evidences of creation of new civilizations in Africa at whatever stage are also welcome.

Confirmed Panels

Panel 1: African communities redefining meanings in life: the case of Longitudinal studies on the effects of market reforms in Tanzania

  • The Negative Consequences of Neoliberalism to Rural Collectives in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case study of VICOBA Women Networks in Central Tanzania, Madaha, Rasel (Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania)
  • Mountain Students Changing Meanings of Land, Wealth and Education in Tanzania, Noe, Christine (The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)
  • From Pyramid to Pointed Egg: A 20-year Perspective on Wealth Distribution and Livelihood Change in Tanzania, Ponte, Stefano (The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)
  • The Sesame Seed Cash Injection Asset Investment and Economic Change in Mtowisa Village, Rukwa Region, Tanzania 2000-2016, Brockington, Dan (The University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)

Panel 2: Coping Strategies of Africa grassroots people: experiences from Sub-saharan Africa

  • African Gods must have gone Crazy: Neoliberalization and Impoverishment of blacks, Youth and Women in Africa, Madaha, Rasel Mpuya, (Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania)
  • Citizens’ Knowledge and Perspectives on Social Accountability Information Access and Distribution in a Small South African Town, Nxele, Lindelwa Lisa (Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa)
  • Coping with the Legalization of Neo-Liberal Exploitation: The Case of CSR in Tanzania, Mbirigenda, Shukrani Kassian (University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
  • “Work is Work”: The Gendered Dimensions of Securing a Livelihood in Central Kenya, Pike, Isabel (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, United States)
  • The Psychological Violence of Neoliberalism: Why Youth Empowerment Programmes Need to Work on Developing More Relational Forms of Agency , Coultas, Clare (King’s College London, London, United Kingdom)
  • From Fourth Street to Rotten Row! Food Vendors and the ‘Invasion’ of the Streets of Harare, 2008-2018, Kusena, Bernard (University of Zimbabwe, Department of Economic History, Harare, Zimbabwe)

If you have any queries or suggestions please contact Rasel Madaha ( or; Rosemarie Mwaipopo (; Rose Shayo (; Christopher Zambakari ( For panel and paper submissions please follow the instructions on the website 

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