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Saliem Fakir

Saliem Fakir

Fakir is interim executive director of the African Climate Foundation –

The need for grit – industrialism in Africa

10th September 2021 Extractive industries offer no long-term solution for countries that continue to rely on their natural resources as levers for an economic boost; when a commodity boom end, the countries will slide back into debt and economic doldrums. There is need for diversification. As the Covid-19 pandemic... 

Of insurrection, malls and hunger

27th August 2021 We have been made to believe the narrative that things were under control When, in July, looting and rioting broke out in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng, we were told that the country was in the throes of an insurrection. However, politicians, the police and the army tried to convince... 

Intersectional issues in renewables: the race debate in the energy sector

16th July 2021 We must guard against the idea that green means socially responsible and equitable. Green and optimum social outcomes are not synonymous; therefore, a debate about intersectional issues relating to gender, race, inequality and justice is warranted. Green transitions can preserve the old system of... 

The private versus the public: living within the hierarchical system

18th June 2021 Societies that are most vulnerable to economic piracy need countervailing forces to protect them from those who deliberately pursue actions intended to maximise their own gain at the expense of the welfare of us all. This point is often not considered by free marketeers, given that they are... 

Gas-exporting countries in Africa and the problem of a displacement equivalent

14th May 2021 The public discourse around gas is intensifying. Climate activists have now made gas – which has been touted as being better than coal and a necessary transitional fuel –  the target of their next big effort against a fossil fuel. Predictions are that demand for gas will be healthy, but the pace... 

Climate finance and the political economy of finance

9th April 2021 In his book, Feline Philosophy, which is about what cats can teach humans, John Gray points us to a few lessons. One of these is pertinent to what I discuss in this article: beware of anyone who offers to make you happy. Here, Gray warns that what others promise you as heaven on earth is unlikely... 

The tragedy of abundant resources

12th March 2021 The coming into being of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) is giving momentum to an idea that has been very long in the making – a unified position around trade, whose importance will no doubt extend beyond trade. At the core of this idea is the shifting of economies in Africa from... 

The politics of knowledge production

12th February 2021 It has been an interest of mine for a long time – this question concerning the production of knowledge systems. The part that I will not focus on is the epistemological process of knowledge production – this question of how we know what we know. Epistemological inquiries also cover the... 

Political economy of the just transitions in Africa

22nd January 2021 The term ‘just transition’ may seem a neologism, but in reality it is not so new. It originated from the depths of US labour movement struggles in response to the impacts of new environmental laws on the chemicals and other industries in the 1980s. Capital was complying with new environmental... 

The framing problem and judgment– how to be aware of how not to frame

4th December 2020 For the human mind to cope with the world, it has to develop a set of frames of the world, or what can also be called heuristics. These sets of frames are not all innate; many are a product of social constructs and cultural transmission. Logical reasoning is an intuitive and innate property of... 

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