Research Africa News: September 25th, 2020 

Research Africa News: September 25th, 2020 



40 years after that attempt, the crowd of young Beninese men had congregated in the West African capital of Cotonou in August 2017 to rid the region of a symbol of its French colonial era: by burning banknotes of the CFA franc, the France-backed currency. They were just one of many groups in West Africa inspired by the actions of the controversial yet influential Franco-Beninese activist Kemi Seba. Seba was among the first on the continent to take to the streets of Dakar, Senegal to burn the very same CFA franc notes just days earlier.

Read the rest of the story here.


After the monuments have been removed  

BY Mohamadou Mbougar Sarr TRANSLATION BY Jeremy Dell


As interesting and necessary as it may be, it seems to me that the current critique of the presence of colonial symbols in our public spaces needs to be, as of this moment, reexamined. Let me emphasize “as of this moment.” I readily acknowledge that there will be some who believe the time has not yet come for internal criticism of a process that remains incomplete and that has even, in a certain sense, just begun. Is there not, as they say, a time and place for everything? Should we not prioritize certain actions and deeds? Demolish all of the problematic statues first, rename certain spaces, and only then, once we have recovered the feeling (or the illusion) of a sovereign liberty beyond all humiliation, turn our thoughts to other challenges?  

Read the rest of the story here.


Protecting Nigeria’s Entrepreneurial Future: A whitepaper with policy recommendations for Nigeria’s innovation ecosystem as startups and scaleups navigate the fallout of the global pandemic.


If you are the founder of a high-growth startup or scaleup in Nigeria, then you have inevitably been affected by the crisis that has tilted the entire world on its axis since early in the year. Necessary measures by governments to mitigate the health impact has had ripple effects on businesses worldwide. Governments have had to very quickly respond to stymie the potential disaster, including providing support programs to keep both large and small businesses afloat.

Read the rest of the story here.


Mozambique Can’t Contain Its Insurgency Alone Without a coherent counterterrorism strategy or regional assistance, the odds are stacked against the Mozambican military.  


On Aug. 11, militants with links to the Islamic State captured the port of Mocímboa da Praia in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province. The extremists have so far managed to hold the port city, signaling that the national government may have lost control over the conflict in its resource-rich north that began with a few attacks in 2017.

Read the rest of the article here.


Africa and the idea of the University  

By Editorial -September 20, 2020


Why do universities around the world require the donning of academic gowns that look like the Danshiki, Babariga, or Kosankosa of Africans? The modern university originated in Africa with its inception in 859 AD at Fez, Morocco, by Fathima, a Muslim woman, and it continues today as the oldest university in the world named in 1965, University of Al Quaraouiyine. This was followed in 989 AD in present-day Mali by the Mosque of Sankore or Timbuctoo which doubled as a higher learning center or Madrasa still known as the University of Sankore or Timbuctoo.

Read the rest of the rest of the story here.


NEW BOOKS          كتب جديدة


Babel Unbound: Rage, Reason and Rethinking Public Life 

[الوصول الى برج بابل: تأملات في الهياج والتعقل وإعادة التفكير في الحياة العامة] 

Author (Editors): Dr. Lesley Cowling, Dr. Carolyn Hamilton


The notion that societies mediate issues through certain kinds of engagement is at the heart of the democratic project and often centres on an imagined public sphere where this takes place. But this imagined foundation of how we live collectively appears to have suffered a dramatic collapse across the world in the digital age, with many democracies apparently unable to solve problems through talk – or even to agree on who speaks, in what ways and where.This collection offers a new theory of the public sphere. The notion that societies mediate issues through certain kinds of engagement is at the heart of the democratic project and often centres on an imagined public sphere where this takes place. Through news media, photography, archives, hashtags, ‘art-rage’, Muslim manuscripts, and much more, this incisive book illuminates the underlying dynamics of public engagement.

Publisher: Wits University Press 2020


Power and the Presidency in Kenya: The Jomo Kenyatta Years  

 [ السلطة والرئاسة في كينيا: سنوات حكم جومو كينياتا

Author: Anaïs Angelo


In December 1963, Kenya formally declared its independence yet it would take a year of intense negotiations for it to transform into a presidential republic, with Jomo Kenyatta as its first president. Archival records of the independence negotiations, however, reveal that neither the British colonial authorities nor the Kenyan political elite foresaw the formation of a presidential regime that granted one man almost limitless executive powers. Even fewer expected Jomo Kenyatta to remain president until his death in 1978. Power and the Presidency in Kenya reconstructs Kenyatta’s political biography, exploring the links between his ability to emerge as an uncontested leader and the deeper colonial and postcolonial history of the country.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2020


Tell our Story; Multiplying voices in the news media 

[كيف نحكي قصصنا: تضافر الأصوات في وسائل الإعلام] 

Authors: Dale T McKinley& Julie Reid


The dominant news media is often accused of reflecting an ‘elite bias’, privileging and foregrounding the interests of a small segment of society, while ignoring the narratives of the majority. Tell Our Storyinvestigates the problem of disproportionate media representation. Focusing on three very different communities in South Africait delves into the life and struggle narratives of each, exposing the divide between the stories told by the people who actually live in the communities and the way in which those stories have been understood and shaped by the media.

Publisher: Wits University Press 2020


Wicked Flesh: Black Women, Intimacy, and Freedom in the Atlantic World [ 

[العرض الطالح: الأفريقيات والعلاقات العاطفية والحريات أثناء في العالم الأطلسي] 

Author: Jessica Marie Johnson


Johnson draws on archival documents scattered in institutions across three continents, written in multiple languages and largely from the perspective of colonial officials and slave-owning men, to recreate black women’s experiences from coastal Senegal to French Saint-Domingue to Spanish Cuba to the swampy outposts of the Gulf Coast. Centering New Orleans as the quintessential site for investigating black women’s practices of freedom in the Atlantic world, Wicked Flesh argues that African women and women of African descent endowed free status with meaning through active, aggressive, and sometimes unsuccessful intimate and kinship practices. Their stories, in both their successes and their failures, outline a practice of freedom that laid the groundwork for the emancipation struggles of the nineteenth century and reshaped the New World.

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020


Power and Loss in South African Journalism: News in the age of social media 

[مسائل القوة والضعف في صحافة جنوب إفريقيا: الأخبار في عصر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي] 

Author: Glenda Daniels

This book examines the job losses in SA journalism industry but also the powerful contribution of investigative journalism. The book argues for the power of public interest journalism, including investigative journalism, and a diversity of voices and positions to be reflected in the news. It addresses the gains and losses from decolonial and feminist perspectives and advocates for a radical shift in the way power is constituted by the media in the South African postcolony.

Publisher: Wits University Press 2020

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