Research Africa: December 31st, 2018

Research Africa: December 31st, 2018

The Research Africa Team thanks its subscribers for its contributions in 2018 and wishes all a happy and healthy new year.

Open Applications

UN Economic Commissions for Africa Fellowship

ECA is accepting applications for qualified young African Professionals to the “ECA Fellowships for Young African Professionals” programme. Candidates applying for Fellowship position must be below 30 years of age when entering the programme and must have a Masters degree or related advanced degree. Candidates currently enrolled in a Ph.D programme or with an admission are also welcome to apply.The programme aims to provide practical, on-site experience to young professionals as they prepare either for a career in research, international development, or the public sector. It will also familiarize fellows with the Commission’s broad programmes and services for member States and sub-regional bodies in addressing the social dimensions of Africa’s development.

For more details, use this link:

News and Issues

The silences in academia about capitalism in Africa

By Jörg Wiegratz, Dec 13th, 2018

African Studies has a significant problem to engage collectively, explicitly, and critically with the thing that is ever more a point of discussion around the world: capitalism, more specifically with capitalism as a social phenomenon, topic and concept. There is a significant shortage at the heart of the African Studies community in Western Europe, and arguably across the entire Global North, of an explicit, focused, sustained, large-scale collective exploration, about the many, multifaceted features of contemporary capitalism on the continent, and about characteristics of African societies as capitalist societies.

Read the story in this link:

Senegal Museum Traces Millions of Years of African History

By Nicolas Haque, Dec 25th, 2018

A new museum has opened in Senegal, tracing millions of years of African history. The Museum of Black Civilizations is provoking calls for the return of African artifacts taken away by former colonial slave traders.

Watch the video in this link:

New Books ‫كتب جديدة

Anchored in Place: Rethinking the University and Development in South Africa

[‫راسخةكالوتد: إعادةالنظرفيمسألةالجامعةوالتنميةفيجنوبأفريقيا]

Author (Editor): Leslie Bank, Nico Cloete, François van Schalkwyk

This volume is the first work in South Africa to seriously engage with the place-based developmental role of universities. In international literature and policy there has been an increasing integration of the university with place-based development, especially in cities. This volume weighs in on the phenomenon by drawing attention to the place-based roles and agency of South African universities in their local towns and cities. But what should that role be? Is there evidence that this is already occurring in South Africa, despite the lack of a national policy framework? What plans and programmes are in place, and what is needed to expand the development agency of universities at the local level? Who and what might be involved? Where should the focus lie, and who might benefit most? This book poses some of these questions as it considers the experiences of a number of South African universities, including Wits, Pretoria, Nelson Mandela University and Fort Hare.

Publisher: African Minds Publishers, South Africa, 2018

To Swim with Crocodiles: Land, Violence, and Belonging in South Africa, 1800-1996

‫مسابحة التماسيح: تأملات في قضايا الأرض والعنف والانتماء الثقافي في جنوب أفريقيا،]


Author:Jill Kelly

Jill Kelly’s book is a history of ukukhonza, a practice of affiliation that bound together chiefs and subjects to enable security in the Table Mountain region of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. Kelly argues ukukhonza can be used as a “lens” to explore the history of the relationship between chief, subject, and land. By examining that history in the longue durée of the last two centuries, Kelly reveals the origins and evolution of violence and conflict that saw its peak during the civil war within the KwaZulu Bantustan during the waning years of apartheid in the 1980s. By connecting these issues with the larger evolution of apartheid and traditional ruler-ship in the country, Kelly solidifies KwaZulu-Natal as a relevant and critical region to our understanding of the history of South Africa.

Publisher:Michigan State University Press, 2018

The Education of Children Entangled in Khat trade in Ethiopia: The Case of Two Khat Market Centers

[‫ترشيد الأطفال المتورطين في تجارة القات في إثيوبيا: حالة دراسية لسوقين من أسواق القات]

Author: Girma Negash

In Ethiopia, khat cultivation is expanding aggressively in recent years. Regions that were formerly known for coffee production have become major khat producing areas. In equal proportion, the habit of khat chewing is expanding at an alarming rate among different social groups irrespective of gender, age, religion and ethnicity. Khat has also become one of the leading export commodities and foreign currency earners for the country. Correspondingly, the khat marketing system has evolved tremendously all along the value chain and has become a means of livelihood for many people. School-age children, as young as 8 years, are involved in khat trading and marketing activities. Based on empirical data collected from two khat marketing centers, Aweday and Wondo Genet, this monograph explores the impact of children’s involvement in khat trading activities on their schooling. The study also investigates the major causes for an engagement of young people in khat marketing activities and probes the nature and magnitude of other possible adverse effects, such as developing the habit of khat chewing.

Publisher: Forum for Social Studies, Ethiopia

A Cradle of the Revolution: Voices from Inyathi School Matabeleland, Zimbabwe 1914-1980

[‫مهدالثورات: أصواتمنمدرسةأنياتيفيماتابيليلندفيزيمبابوي، 1914-1980]

Author (Editor): Pathisa Nyathi, Marieke Clarke

A Cradle of the Revolution is a compelling collection of stories by former Inyathi School students in the period before Zimbabwean independence. The stories render moving accounts of evictions in the colonial period, conditions at Inyathi school, and in particular the leadership qualities of Kenneth Maltus Smith, who was the school head. After leaving Inyathi school, many of the students participated in the struggle for independence. The book is an expose of the colonial conditions and efforts to dislodge colonialists and usher in independence and dignity for the black majority.

Publisher: AmaGugu Publishers, Zimbabwe

Chinese and African Entrepreneurs Social Impacts of Interpersonal Encounters

[‫رجالالأعمالالصينيينوالأفريقيين: دراسةلواقعالتأثيرالاجتماعي فيالعلاقاتالشخصية]

Author (Editors): Karsten Giese and Laurence Marfaing

This book offers in-depth accounts of encounters between Chinese and African social and economic actors that have been increasing rapidly since the early 2000s. With a clear focus on social changes, be it quotidian behavior or specific practices, the authors employ multi-disciplinary approaches in analyzing the various impacts that the intensifying interaction between Chinese and Africans in their roles as ethnic and cultural others, entrepreneurial migrants, traders, and employers. Further, the author analysis the effects these relationships have on local developments and transformations within the host societies, be they on the African continent or in China. The dynamics of social change addressed in case studies cover processes of social mobility through migration, adaptation of business practices, changing social norms, consumption patterns, labor relations and mutual perceptions, cultural brokerage, exclusion and inclusion, gendered experiences, and powerful imaginations of China. Contributors are Karsten Giese, Guive Khan Mohammad, Katy Lam, Ben Lampert, Kelly Si Miao Liang, Laurence Marfaing, Gordon Mathews, Giles Mohan, Amy Niang, Yoon Jung Park, Alena Thiel, Naima Topkiran.

Publisher: Brill Publications, 2018.

Gender and Fundamentalisms


Author: Fatou Sow

When, why and how can religion and culture be both sources and places of expression for fundamentalism? Those are central questions raised throughout this book, asked particularly in the political context. What is at stake here is religion when it underpins culture and becomes a political tool to access moral and social power. Cultural and religious messages and their interpretations often underlie decisions, laws and programs made by politics. They have direct effect on society, in general, and on women and gender relations in particular. The various forms of fundamentalism in some African countries, the contexts of their emergence and the ways they (re)shape identities and relationships between men and women are also analyzed in this book. These fundamentalisms are sources of persistent concerns in social debates, in feminist and feminine organizations as well as in academia and politics. The manipulations of cultures and religions are progressively political and consequently cause social discriminations, or physical, moral and symbolic violence.

Publisher: CODESRIA, Dakar, 2018

Bird-Monk Seding

[‫طيور الرهبة في منطقة سيدينغ]

Author: Lesego Rampolokeng

Lesego Rampolokeng’s third novel Bird-Monk Seding was shortlisted for the prestigious Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize in 2018. This place is called Seding, short for Leseding, place of light. Bird-Monk Seding is a stark picture of life in a rural township two decades into South Africa’s democracy. Listening and observing in the streets and taverns, Bavino Sekete is thrown back to his own violent childhood in Soweto. To get through, he turns to his pantheon of jazz innovators and radical writers.

Publication: Deep South, South Africa

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Research Africa ( welcomes submissions of books, events, funding opportunities, and more to be included in the next edition.