Roeland Hemsteede

After obtaining my bachelor degree in Communication systems I started focusing on power relations and (socio-economic) empowerment in Southern Africa. In my first MA thesis I focused on Zimbabwe between 1980 – 2000. Here I looked specifically at how the power of the elite increased while the position of the average citizen was increasingly marginalized. Hereafter I decided to follow the Research Master in African Studies as offered by the ASC. My thesis “Views on the Empowerment of Farm Workers: A Case Study from the Stellenbosch Wine Industry in South Africa” brings forward the farm workers’ perspective regarding empowerment. Main conclusions are that while financial/material improvement is a priority to them so are immaterial aspects such as work enjoyment. Empowerment projects, be they driven by public or private sector frameworks tend to narrowly focus on material wellbeing showing a disconnect with what is important to empowerment’s beneficiaries. Currently I work as a debate organizer focusing on the inclusion of African youth in Europe. My main countries of interest are South Africa and Zimbabwe. Keywords for my research interests are: socio-economic development, empowerment, inclusion, power relations, affirmative action.