Research Africa News: July 28th, 2022

Research Africa News: July 28th, 2022

‘The NBA has come to us’: inside basketball’s $1bn play for Africa

By Omar Mohammed Fri 1 Jul 2022

On a March evening at New York’s John F Kennedy International Airport, an agent beckoned me over to the check-in counter and asked for my passport. As he thumbed through its pages, he paused on the page with a red visa stamp and an imprint of a baobab tree. “What’s your reason for traveling to Senegal?” he asked in a tone simultaneously neutral and stern.

Read the research article here.

After Mocking France’s Literary Elite, a Fraught Invite Into the Club

By Norimitsu Onishi, NYT, July 22, 2022

Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, a Senegal-born writer, has won high praise and top prizes from Paris’s insular publishing establishment. But the novelist wonders: Is it an endorsement or “a way to silence me”?

Read the research article here.

In West Africa and Beyond, Mali’s Famed Manuscripts Are Put to Use

By Ruth Maclean, NYT, July 12, 2022.

Tens of thousands of manuscripts were smuggled out of Timbuktu under jihadists’ noses, containing a wealth of knowledge about science, governance and peace-making. Now the public is getting a look. By Ruth Maclean,

BAMAKO, Mali — In an air-conditioned room on a quiet tree-lined street in Mali’s capital, Bamako, three young men sat at desks with cameras mounted overhead, picked up one page of parchment at a time from tall stacks at their left, clicked the shutter button and then reached for the next page. Click. Flash. Repeat. One of the men, Amadou Koita, said he had been doing this work for five years. But the job is far from complete. Rooms full of metal trunks crammed with manuscripts await him. The documents are part of a trove of tens of thousands of old manuscripts — legal documents, copies of the Quran, scientific writings — that for centuries were conserved and passed down by the desert-dwelling families who owned them, or collected in libraries. Then, suddenly, they were in danger. In 2012, jihadists took over Timbuktu — today a small, sunbaked city in northern Mali, but once the most prominent of numerous centers of Islamic learning in pre-colonial West Africa — and burned many manuscripts, according to librarians and Timbuktu’s mayor at the time. In a dramatic rescue, most of the documents that escaped the flames were smuggled out.

Read the NYT piece in this link.

NEW BOOKS ‫كتب جديدة

Diamond Warriors in Colonial Namibia: Diamond Smuggling, Migrant Workers and Development in Owamboland

[محاربو الماس في ناميبيا المستعمرة]

Author: Job Shipululo Amupanda

This book enters into unchartered scholarly territory of illegal diamond smuggling at the largest diamond mining company in colonial Namibia-De Beers’ Consolidated Diamond Mines of South West Africa (CDM). It details the underground activities of the natives (migrant workers) employed by the CDM and how these illicit activities accounted for rapid development in Owamboland. Beyond this account, the book takes on the deterministic ‘natural resource curse’ theory that equates natural resource endowments to a curse resulting in underdevelopment and sometimes conflict. It is argued and proven herein, from a decolonial standpoint, that such an approach is an oversimplification of the political economy of natural resources in Africa in general and Namibia in particular. The text also provides a contextual account of the contract labour system and details the symbiotic relationship between CDM and the colonial state before highlighting the remaining unanswered questions and areas of further research.

Publisher: Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Namibia, 2022.

My Life Is But A Weaving: An Autobiography

[حياتي ليست سوى نسيج من التجارب: سيرة ذاتية ]

Author: Rhoda Nakibuuka Nsibirwa Kalema

An icon of the Uganda women’s rights movement, a pioneer social worker and one of the first women parliamentarians, Hon. Rhoda Kalema has lived a remarkable life. Through this uplifting book, Rhoda shares the tumultuous events in her personal life and Uganda’s recent history, with humility and humour. Rhoda’s personal integrity, her courage, resilience and commitment to human dignity shines through.
Publisher: Moran Publishers, Kenya, 2021.

Humanitarian Governance and the British Antislavery World System

[تاريخ الحوكمة الإنسانية والنظام البريطاني لمكافحة الاسترقاق]

Author: Maeve Ryan.

This. book highlights Britain’s early-nineteenth-century, Royal Navy seizures of slave ships and the processes involved in the “liberation” of these enslaved Africans. Nearly two hundred thousand Africans were resettled throughout the British Empire from Sierra Leone to St Helena, the British West Indies, and by treaties to Cuba and Brazil. From 1808 to the end of the Atlantic slave trade, abolitionists attempted to bring relief to these “liberated” Africans. Yet, the needs of Empire often clashed with the moral ideals of abolitionism creating then a “benevolent despotism.”

Publisher: Yale University Press, 2022.

Recording History: Jews, Muslims, and Music Across Twentieth-Century North Africa

[ليشهد التاريخ: علاقات اليهود والمسلمون والموسيقى عبر شمال أفريقيا في القرن العشرين]

Author: Christopher Silver

This book offers a new history of twentieth-century North Africa, one that gives voice to the musicians who defined an era and the vibrant recording industry that carried their popular sounds from the colonial period through decolonization. If twentieth-century stories of Jews and Muslims in North Africa are usually told separately, Recording History demonstrates that we have not been listening to what brought these communities together: Arab music. For decades, thousands of phonograph records flowed across North African borders. The sounds embedded in their grooves were shaped in large part by Jewish musicians, who gave voice to a changing world around them. Their popular songs broadcast on radio, performed in concert, and circulated on disc carried with them the power to delight audiences, stir national sentiments, and frustrate French colonial authorities.

Publisher: Stanford University Press, 2022.

The Genocide Against the Tutsi, and the Rwandan Churches: Between Grief and Denial

[الإبادة الجماعية ضد التوتسي ودور الكنائس الرواندية: مواقف بين الندم والاستنكار]

Author: Philippe Denis.

Why did some sectors of the Rwandan churches adopt an ambiguous attitude towards the genocide against the Tutsi which claimed the lives of around 800,000 people in three months between April and July 1994? What prevented the churches’ acceptance that they may have had some responsibility? And how should we account for the efforts made by other sectors of the churches to remember and commemorate the genocide and rebuild pastoral programmes? Drawing on interviews with genocide survivors, Rwandans in exile, missionaries and government officials, as well as Church archives and other sources, this book is the first academic study on Christianity and the genocide against the Tutsi to explore these contentious questions in depth, and reveals more internal diversity within the Christian churches than is often assumed.

Publisher: James Currey Publishers, 2022.

Tahrir’s Youth: Leaders of a Leaderless Revolution

[شباب التحرير: قادة ثورة مبتورة القيادة]

Author: Rusha Latif,

January 25, 2011, was a watershed moment for Egypt and a transformative experience for the young men and women who changed the course of their nation’s history. Tahrir’s Youth tells the story of the organized youth behind the mass uprising that brought about the spectacular collapse of the Mubarak regime. Who were these activists? What did they want? How did the movement they unleashed shape them as it unfolded, and why did it ultimately fall short of its goals? Rusha Latif follows the trajectory of the movement from the perspective of the Revolutionary Youth Coalition (RYC), a key front forged in Tahrir Square during the early days of the revolt. Drawing on firsthand testimonies and her own direct experience, she offers insight into the motives, hopes, strategies, successes, failures, and disillusionments of the movement’s leaders. Her account details the challenges these activists faced as they attempted to steer the movement they had set in motion and highlights the factors leading to their struggle’s defeat, despite its initial promise..

Publisher: American University in Cairo Press, 2022.

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