Elísio Macamo: L'abbecedario de la nostra dependenza

In his critical reading of the development discourse, which was first published in Portuguese and has recently been translated and published in Italian, Elísio Macamo discusses in an accessible manner key words from the field of development policy that render Mozambique visible and intelligible in the discussion and takes on an explicitly southern perspective.

Mocambique achieved its independence fairly recently by way of a long lasting struggle that entailed much fighting, immense loss and suffering, followed by a civil war fuelled by the dynamics of the Cold War. In order to consolidate and grow a nation has to draw strength and values based on an innovative and critical perspective. All action of solidarity has to acknowledge this priority, else it might turn into - or be perceived as - a continuation of dependency. Under the guidance of some of the great philosophers of language the book helps us to understand the seemingly neutral words that dominate the field of development cooperation and invites us to reflect on the fate of Mocambique in the era of globalisation.


The ABC of our Dependency is a collection of articles by Elísio Macamo initially published in the Mocambiquan newspaper Noticias and then in 2005 under the title Abecedário da nossa dependência (Maputo: Editora Ndjira). It draws from insights in the philosophy of language to discuss the way in which a particular set of concepts derived from the development industry are deployed in public and official discourse in Mozambique. It is thus an essay that maps the issues at stake in a freewheeling and progressive development that is not governed by an indigenous systematic reflection, but by external concerns informed by the interests of Mozambique's donors.




Elísio Macamo 2013: L'abbecedario della nostra dipendenza. Una lettura critica del discorso sullo sviluppo: il caso de Mozambico. Trento: Erickson (in collaboration with the Centro per la Formazione alla Solidarietà Internazionale, translated by Jenny Capuano).