Anarchism in Southern & Central Africa

Anarchism in Central & Southern Africa

In the early twentieth century, there were anarchist and revolutionary syndicalist groups in South Africa and Mozambique. The Industrial and Commercial Workers' Union of Africa (ICU), which operated in Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, was also partly influenced by revolutionary syndicalism.

The new anarchist movement in the region began to develop in the 1990s in South Africa. One of the first new groups was the Anarchist Revolutionary Movement (ARM), which was replaced in 1995 by the Workers Solidarity Federation (WSF).

In 1997, comrades from the WSF made links with anarchists in Zambia, and helped establish a Zambian WSF. However, contact was lost and the current status of the Zambian comrades is unclear. The WSF also distributed materials in Zimbabwe and had contact in Tanzania. We'd love any new information about groups in these countries.

The Australian anarcho-syndicalist magazine Organise reports that the XX1 IWA congress in December 2000 was told an organisation was emerging in the Republic of Congo. Portuguese anarchists also report contacts with sympathisers in Angola, but we lack further information.

Despite the difficulties in maintaining contact in the region, we do have several articles written by anarchists, analysing the political developments in the region, especially from the pages of Workers Solidarity, the magazine of the now-dissolved WSF. The new South African anarchist paper, Zabalaza, co-produced by the Bikisha Media Collective and Zabalaza Books, also contains useful material, and has an explicit focus on the region.




Zambia & Botswana

Personal Accounts


Central African Republic

  • CAR - You see how we suffer

    Account of a trip from Yokadouma in Cameroon, to Bangui the capital of the CAR. From An Irish Anarchist in Africa - July 2000

  • Bangui - Capital of misery

    A description of the social and economic situation in the capital of the Central African Republic, includes a brief piece on the war in DRC. From An Irish Anarchist in Africa - July 2000

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