EN · FR · DE

Dialogue forum: "Colonialism, Development Cooperation and the MDGs in Africa – who is actually developing whom?"



In 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), finalized and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001, will have expired – without all of their aims being achieved. The chosen indicators are predicting devastating outcomes especially in sub-Saharan Africa, and critical voices articulating the reasons for failure are abundant. They are supposed to be addressed by the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals currently in discussion at UN level.
At this key moment, it is of highest importance to question the concepts and decisions underlying the development goals, the assumptions they proceed from and the highly contested situation leading to their conception at the beginning of the new millennium.  

Liepollo L. Pheko, famous political analyst and activist from South Africa, will explore how development co-operation and the MDGs relate to neoliberal and neocolonial approaches that facilitate the continuity of colonisation heritages. She will offer a pointed criticism of the MDGs from an African and women's perspective, and point to the way the MDGs disguise and even enhance global power inequalities. Based on this, she will deconstruct the assumption evident behind development cooperation and the MDGs: that the Global South needs to "catch up" and "develop" and that the north has a formula for development at hand.

Liepollo Lebohang Pheko’s biography casts an impressive list of activities and engagements. She is scholar activist, public intellectual, social and economic commentator. Currently she is Managing Director and owner of a development consultancy called Four Rivers Trading. She serves as a board member in several organisations and as former president of the Business Women’s Association of South Africa, the Network of African Economists and the Association of Women in Development. She has been part of several African delegations to meetings of the World Trade Organization, the World Bank and other UN conferences and has addresses the European Union and the United Nations. Born in Zambia, educated in the UK, and now living in Johannesburg, she addresses various economic and development issues using a feminist, class and race analysis. She is a much demanded speaker and author and her work has taken her around the world. She writes articles, papers, columns, essays and poetry for the local and the international media besides investing much time in mentoring young people, particularly younger, radical academics.

With the friendly support of the Landesstelle für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit und Engagement Global.

back to top