Research Africa News: October 14th, 2020 

Research Africa News: October 14th, 2020 


A Singaporean firm has become the go-to master planner for African cities 


Surbana Jurong has signed contracts to do city master plans in ten African countries. Why is the continent relying on outside firms to map its future?

By Robert Neuwirth 09 Oct 2020

In early September 2020, the municipality of Kigali in Rwanda released a new master plan to guide development for the coming 30 years. It is called “Kigali Yacu” – “Our Kigali” in Kinyarwanda. Despite the friendly local name, the plan for the country’s capital city was actually produced by a foreign entity: Surbana Jurong, a global firm owned by the government of Singapore that has emerged as a dominant force in city planning across Africa.

Read the rest of the story here.


Normalizing Sudan-Israel Relations Now is a Dangerous Game As Sudan is mentioned among the next states to normalize relations with Israel, concerns about what that would do to the democratic transition arise.  

Payton Knopf, Thursday, September 24, 2020 


With the UAE and Bahrain having joined Egypt and Jordan in declaring peace with Israel, those asking “who’s next?” often look enthusiastically westward, toward Khartoum. Adding new chapters to the Abraham Accords is in the U.S. interest, but so is a successful transition in Sudan. And the sequence of these steps is critical. 

Read the rest of the story here. 


New find reveals grim truth of colonial Belgium’s ‘human zoos’ 

Antwerp exhibition tells of the lives and deaths of Congolese shipped over to be put on show in cities from 1885 to 1958


Two names stand out from the yellowing cemetery register: Sabo and Bitio, 24 and 20 years old, Described as “Congolanders” and buried in row 13, plot K of Kiel cemetery in Antwerp. The newly unearthed document, on show for the first time this weekend in an exhibition at Antwerp’s Museum aan de Stroom, has sparked renewed debate about how Belgium should come to terms with the darkest moments of a bloody colonial past – by shining a light on a long-forgotten tragedy.

Read the rest of the rest of the story here.


NEW BOOKS          كتب جديدة


Chadian Sister Engages Kansas City Youth About Peace and Justice: citoyenne du monde en construction à Kansas City

[فتاة من تشاد تحاور شباب مدينة كانساس الأمريكية حول مسائل  السلام والعدالة]

Author: Jeannette Nelkem Londadjim


A woman meets young people from various backgrounds – at a U.S. university. She is African, from Chad. The students, eager to learn about her life, ask probing questions. She tells them about the war, her flight, her refugee status, her experiences in West Africa and Algeria. In turn, she discovers that they are still exposed to racism in their country – an outrage compounded by the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. As an activist in residence, she dialogues with the students about their aspirations and encourages them to become artisans of peace and justice. We look forward, in turn, to the thoughts and writings of young people about the encounters shared here and the illustrations by a young Kenyan woman that accompany the essays.

Publisher: Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon, 2020.


Not My Time to Die 

[لم يحن بعد وقت مماتي] 

Author: Yolande Mukagasana


Yolande Mukagasana is a Rwandan nurse and mother of three children who likes wearing jeans and designer glasses. She runs her own clinic in Nyamirambo and is planning a party for her wedding anniversary. But when genocide starts everything changes. Targeted because she’s a successful woman and a Tutsi, she flees for her life. This gripping memoir describes the betrayal of friends and help that comes from surprising places. Quick-witted and courageous, Yolande never loses hope she will find her children alive.

Publisher: Huza Press, Rwanda, 2019.


Solidarity and Defiant Spirituality: Africana Lessons on Religion, Racism, and Ending Gender Violence 

[التضامن والروحانية: دروس أفريقية حول الدين والعنصرية وإنهاء العنف بين الجنسين] 

Author: Traci C. West


West traveled to Ghana, South Africa, and Brazil to interview activists involved in the struggle against gender violence. In each of these places, as in the United States, Christianity and anti-black racism have been implicated in violence against women. In Ghana and Brazil, in particular, their Christian colonial and trans-Atlantic slave trade histories directly connect with the socioeconomic development of the Americas and historic incidents of rape of black slave women. With a transnational focus on religion and racism, West brings a new perspective to efforts to systemically combat gender violence. Calling attention to forms of violence in the U.S. and international settings, such as marital rape, sex trafficking of women and girls, domestic violence, and the targeting of lesbians, the book offers an expansive and nuanced view of how to form activist solidarity in tackling this violence. It features bold and inspiring approaches by black women leaders working in each setting to uproot the myriad forms of violence against women and girls..

Publisher: New York University Press, 2020.


La Parole Chez les Seerer : Anthropologie et langage  

[الكلمة عند السيرير:اللغة والانتربولوجيا]

Author : A. Raphaël Ndiaye


This book defines speech from a viewpoint of the Seereer language in Senegal. It illustrates a set of common expressions and terminologies, analyzing their presentations as well as their morphosyntactic. It is a product of surveying Seereer’s communal life in four main sectors: working the land, fishing in the sea, raising cattle, and inter-individual relationships in society. The Seereer are in fact farmers, breeders, fishermen, hunters,. These life styles allows the author to follow them step by step to observe their speech patterns in all functions and social relationships.

Publisher: L’Harmattan, Senegal, 2020.


Zimbabwe Will Never be a Colony Again! Sanctions and Anti-Imperialist Struggles in Zimbabwe 

[لن تصبح زيمبابوي مستعمرة من جديد] 

Authors: Munoda Mararike


This is a thought-provoking original book, based on a wealth of empirical case studies of how Zimbabwe experienced illegal economic sanctions. It is a study of how the humanly constructed obstructions – from external remittances/finance flows into the country to finance embargos or total financial blockages – are deliberately created by so-called ‘powerful’ governments to deal with an ‘errand’ country. The book is an insightful contribution on Africa’s contemporary post-colonial liberation politics of development economics. It focuses on Zimbabwe as a synthesis of microcosmic study that provides accessible in-depth analysis of key aspects of sanctions as a weapon of control wielded by the so-called ‘powerful’ governments of the Global North. The book invites the reader to see power differently: as compassion and the capacity to right past wrongs by protecting all and sundry from inequality and poverty.

Publisher: Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon, 2019.


Ethiopia in Theory: Revolution and Knowledge Production, 1964-2016 (Historical Materialism)  

[إثيوبيا في النظريات] 

Author: Elleni Centime Zeleke


Between the years 1964 and 1974, Ethiopian post-secondary students studying at home, in Europe, and in North America produced a number of journals. In them, these students explored the relationship between social theory and social change within the project of building a socialist Ethiopia. Ethiopia in Theory examines the literature of this student movement, together with the movement ‘s afterlife in Ethiopian politics and society, in order to ask a vital question: what does it mean to write today about the appropriation and indigenisation of Marxist and mainstream social science ideas in an Ethiopian and African context? And, further, what does the archive of revolutionary thought in Africa teach us about the practice of critical theory more generally?

Publisher: Haymarket Books, 2020.


States of Justice: The Politics of the International Criminal Court  

[حول العدالة: سياسات المحكمة الجنائية الدولية] 

Author: Oumar Ba


This book theorizes the ways in which states that are presumed to be weaker in the international system use the International Criminal Court (ICC) to advance their security and political interests. Ultimately, it contends that African states have managed to instrumentally and strategically use the international justice system to their advantage, a theoretical framework that challenges the “justice cascade” argument. The empirical work of this study focuses on four major themes around the intersection of power, states’ interests, and the global governance of atrocity crimes: firstly, the strategic use of self-referrals to the ICC; secondly, complementarity between national and the international justice system; thirdly, the limits of state cooperation with international courts; and finally the use of international courts in domestic political conflicts. This book is valuable to students, scholars, and researchers who are interested in international relations, international criminal justice, peace and conflict studies, human rights, and African politics..

Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

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