Research Africa News: October 22nd, 2021

Research Africa News: October 22nd, 2021

103 African Writers Respond to Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Nobel Prize Win by Ainehi Edoro, October 12, 2021

Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah is the 2021 Nobel laureate for literature. The Swedish Academy shared the news on October 7th. They praised “his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugees in the gulf between cultures and continents.” Gurnah has published 10 novels and is the 7th African to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, following Albert Camus (1957), Wole Soyinka (1986), Naguib Mahfouz (1988), Nardine Gordimer (1991), J.M Coetzee (2003), and Doris Lessing (2007).
Read the research article here.

Stealing Africa: How Britain looted the continent’s art,
By Nosmot Gbadamosi 12 Oct 2021
Nowadays, the sleepy town of Chibok in northern Nigeria is notorious for the kidnapping of 276 children by Boko Haram. But go back 115 years and this tiny farming community perched atop a hill fought one of the greatest resistances to British colonisation. In November 1906, around 170 British soldiers launched what that country’s parliament called a “punitive expedition” against the town for carrying out annual raids along British trade routes in Borno state..
Read the research article here.

M-Pesa, Opay, Telebirr, Palmpay: How Chinese tech is powering African fintech
Daniel Adeyemi 7th October 2021
In 2013, M-Pesa, Africa’s largest mobile money platform, was faced with a major challenge: Its users couldn’t settle insurance premiums and make bank payments in real-time. Payments made to Kenya Power took 48 hours before reflecting in the company’s systems; other payments, like the one to the National Hospital Insurance Fund, experienced longer delay times, often taking three days before they were acknowledged..
Read the rest of the article here.

Facebook shuts fake accounts in Sudan, as fight for public opinion rages online
By Nafisa Eltahir and Malaika Tapper, Khalid Abdelaziz

CAIRO/KHARTOUM, Oct 19 (Reuters) – Facebook says it has shut down two large networks targeting users in Sudan in recent months, as civilian and military leaders spar with one another over the future of an interim power-sharing arrangement. The battle for public opinion, much of it happening online, is intensifying as Sudan reels from economic crisis and a shaky transition to democracy following 30 years under President Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted in a popular uprising in 2019.
Read the rest of the article here.

NEW BOOKS ‫كتب جديدة

Friendship with a Purpose: Malawi and Scotland for Sustainable Development
[الصداقة الهادفة النبيلة : ملاوي واسكتلندا من أجل التنمية المستدامة]
Author: Kenneth R. Ross

Poverty and underdevelopment continue to present a profound challenge globally. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals suggest that “Partnership for the Goals” will be key to success. This booklet explores the innovative people-to-people partnership developed by Malawi and Scotland during the 21st century. It identifies distinctive features of this international collaboration: • The priority of the relational • The mobilisation of civil society • Government in synergy with people • A reciprocal partnership for development. This is a model that invites emulation and challenges Malawians and Scots to be ambitious as they work together for sustainable development..
Publisher: Mzuni Press, Malawi, 2021.

Beyond the Political Spider: Critical Issues in African Humanities
[ما وراء العنكبوت السياسي: قضايا حرجة في العلوم الإنسانية الأفريقية]
Author: Kwesi Yankah

This is the first title in the newly established African Humanities Association (AHA) publication series. By integrating his own biography into a critique of the global politics of knowledge production, Yankah, through a collection of essays, interrogates critical issues confronting the Humanities that spawn intellectual hegemonies and muffle African voices. Using the example of Ghana, he brings under scrutiny, amongst others, endemic issues of academic freedom, gender inequities, the unequal global academic order, and linguistic imperialism in language policies in governance. In the face of these challenges, the author deftly navigates the complex terrain of indigenous knowledge and language in the context of democratic politics, demonstrating that agency can be liberatory when emphasising indigenous knowledge, especially expressed through the idiom of local languages and symbols, including Ananse, the protean spider, folk hero in Ghana and most parts of the pan-African world.
Publisher: NISC (Pty) Ltd, South Africa, 2021.

[كله خراب]
Author: (editor) Ghassan Hage.

In eleven sharp essays, the contributors to Decay attend to the processes and experiences of symbolic and material decay in a variety of sociopolitical contexts across the globe. They examine decay in its myriad manifestations—biological, physical, organizational, moral, political, personal, and social and in numerous contexts, including colonialism and imperialism, governments and the state, racism, the environment, and infrastructure. The volume’s topics are wide in scope, ranging from the discourse of social decay in contemporary Australian settler colonialism and the ways infrastructures both create and experience decay to cultural decay in the aftermath of the Sri Lankan civil war and the relations among individual, institutional, and societal decay in an American high-security prison. By using decay as a problematic and expounding its mechanisms, conditions, and temporalities, the contributors provide nuanced and rigorous means to more fully grapple with the exigencies of the current sociopolitical moment.
Publisher: Duke University Press, 2021

Born in Blackness: Africa, Africans, and the Making of the Modern World, 1471 to the Second World War
[وقد ولد في السواد الأفريقي :دور الأفارقة في صناعة العالم الحديث من عام 1471 حتى الحرب العالمية الثانية]
Author: Howard W. French

Creating a historical narrative that begins with the commencement of commercial relations between Portugal and Africa in the fifteenth century and ends with the onset of World War II, Born in Blackness interweaves precise historical detail with poignant, personal reportage. In so doing, it dramatically retrieves the lives of major African historical figures, from the unimaginably rich medieval emperors who traded with the Near East and beyond, to the Kongo sovereigns who heroically battled seventeenth-century European powers, to the ex-slaves who liberated Haitians from bondage and profoundly altered the course of American history.
Publisher: Liveright, 2021., 2021.

The Oxford Handbook of the African Sahel
[دليل أكسفورد لمنطقة الساحل الأفريقي]
Author: Leonardo A. Villalón (editor)

Long on the margins of both scholarly and policy concerns, the countries of the West African Sahel have recently attracted world attention, primarily as a key battleground in the global ‘war on terror’. This book moves beyond this narrow focus, providing a multidimensional and interdisciplinary assessment of the region in all of its complexity. The focus is on the six countries at the heart of the Sahelian geographic space: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad. Collectively, the chapters explore the commonalities and interconnections that link these countries and their fates, while also underscoring their diversity and the variations in their current realities.
Publisher: Oxford University Press , 2021.

Community Stewardship
[ابن القوم]
Author: Abel Ndeh Sanjou-Tadzong

Ours is a world that is constituted and reinvented through the personal and shared stories we tell. In the spirit and understanding that each and every one of us, however big or small, has a story to tell, I am pleased to share with you this modest account of myself, who rose from very humble beginnings into community stewardship. It is only one story from one vantage point, which I hope will contribute to the dynamism and quest for recreation in eternity that makes our world what it is: a melting pot of experiences. My idea is to expose and share my personal experience with others and hopefully, leave them with a thing or two to take along in their own life journeys. This approach is a school from where people’s minds are tickled with new ideas and sooner or later, develop their intellectual and human capacities as caring and sharing beings. Through the story of my life, I want to create an awareness for people to stay focused on some basic principles or virtues of life such as belief and faith in the forces, big and small, that shape our affairs in ways we can only marvel at. The story is also an invitation to cherish virtues such as hard work, honesty, empathy, justice, love and respect, trust, confidence, transparency and accountability. These virtues are indispensable for in our quest and commitment to peaceful coexistence and to unity in our creative diversity as humans of various races and cultures.
Publisher: NISC (Pty) Ltd, South Africa, 2021.

Healing Knowledge in Atlantic Africa
[ المعارف العلاجية في المهاجر الأفريقية الأطلسية ]
Author: Kalle Kananoja

Kalle Kananoja tells the story of how pre-colonial communities throughout the west coast of Africa employed a wide range of medical and spiritual strategies to treat all kinds of diseases. In the sixteenth century, the arrival of European traders and colonists initiated an exchange of healing knowledge that moved across the Atlantic for the next three-hundred years. The initial links in this chain of exchanges were established by European settlers or visitors who, given the limited number of European doctors and medications available, sought the services of African healers whose methods were often seen as more suited and efficacious in the local environments. Missionaries, travelers and botanists also added to these exchanges by collecting and systematizing some of the knowledge they acquired from African informants.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2021.

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