Scholars and activists working from within a political economy perspective often fail to explore the distinct motives, interests and behaviours of powerful actors who appear to be working ‘as one’ on a common agenda. Such is the case in recent analyses of efforts to promote the use of biotechnology in Africa. While the critical literature largely focuses on the attempt to create what Peter Newell calls ‘bio-hegemony’, the present paper explores the diverse interests and tensions that have to be worked out in order to build such pro-biotechnology coalitions. I analyse the formation of an organization called the African Agricultural Technology Foundation to show how differences between two major pro-biotech actors – the Rockefeller Foundation and the agricultural biotechnology industry – were negotiated, so that these actors could work together towards the goal of getting GM technologies used and accepted in Africa. In the process, I reveal the inward projection of power that occurred as the biotech companies effectively determined the structure and terms of this alliance.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
- African agriculture
- Rockefeller Foundation
- biotechnology industry