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Lebohang Liepollo Pheko

Senior research fellow and political economist, Trade Collective

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  • liepollo[at]

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Ms. Lebohang Liepollo Pheko is a senior research fellow and political economist at a think tank called  Trade Collective and has over 25 years experience in cross sector leadership. She is respected as an activist scholar, public intellectual , political economist,  international movement builder and Decolonial Afrikan(ist)  feminist theoretician. taught at Universities across South Africa, Zambia, Germany, the US, the UK, India, Mexico and Sweden. She is also a fellow of the Africans Futures Lab 

Her areas of  research specialisation include international trade and international  economics in the context of South/North relations, political economy,  regional integration of Afrikan states, feminist economics, international development, international relations in relation to Afrikan positionality, , migration and globalization, citizenship and identity. Pheko’s  work is grounded in a race, class and feminist analysis and she is committed to grounding academic research in community struggles& contexts.

The ongoing thread of her work has been to build  social movements & organizations across academia, popular movements  both locally  and internationally. Nearly all of her work is located with an intersectional frame of race, class and gender.  She is  particularly interested in examining Afrika’s position related to international power matrix and has studied  and  extensively on written on international relations and international trade, regionalism and new economic formations , poverty studies and  coloniality of the academy and of the development world. 

Her current  areas of specialization include international trade and economics, political economy, feminist economics in the context of covid-19 , migration, and globalization in the era of bio politics, citizenship and identity in the context of vaccine imperialism. She is also  substantially exploring well-being economics and its intersection with decolonizing current neoliberal growth prescripts. She recognizes the problematics that much of the work on degrowth and wellbeing economics is led and shaped by thinkers in the global north and is often ahistorical in its understanding of current global inequalities and the  radical redistributive  mechanisms necessary to position the majority world to a space of autonomy and sovereignty. 

Over the past 30  months Pheko has   contributed to framing  policy alternatives that centre  Afrikan women in post covid economic recovery through various platforms including  South African Women In Dialogue, African Women In Development, South Femininst Futures, Well Being Economics Alliance(where she is a global ambassador), African Action Futures Lab (where she is a founding fellow) Development Alternatives for Women in a New Era and  Tufts. This includes co-drafting the African Feminist response on a Covid recovery plan  [].  She has traveled and lived in 42 countries  providing technical  support , lecturing and high level expertise.

In December 2021 Pheko was appointed to the National Planning Commission. 

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