Research Africa News: August 18, 2023

Research Africa News: August 18, 2023

A United Nations Report-Africa

A sequence of shocks beyond its borders diminished Africa’s ability to develop and led to fast increasing debt levels.

With nearly 1.4 billion people, or approximately one-sixth of the world’s population, Africa’s importance in the global economy is growing. Yet, since the turn of the century, the continent has been faced with several shocks that have arisen largely beyond its borders. Beginning with the global financial crisis of 2008 and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, Africa’s vulnerabilities have been brought to light. Subsequently, the continent’s need to increase its resilience and independence from the rest of the world has taken on greater importance.

Read the report here.

What Are the Top Global Destinations for Higher Education for African Students?

By Zainab Usman, Aline Abayo July 13, 2023

There appears to be a shift in African students’ higher education choices toward a variety of emerging economies and middle powers such as Türkiye, the UAE, and Malaysia, among others, beyond the former colonial powers such as Belgium, Portugal, or the U.K.

Africa is the continent with the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population: the current median age is about 19 years, and the population is projected to comprise 23 percent of the world’s labor force by 2050. As such, the task of providing quality education and opportunities for millions of young Africans is an important one. There are already dozens of higher education institutions in African countries that are catering to the rising demand from this growing population.

Read the rest of the story at this link.

Meet The Brothers Who Created An Alphabet To Preserve Language And Culture Across West Africa.

The pulaar language of the fulani people of west Africa is now accessible through adlam display on microsoft 365 thanks to a collaboration of ibrahima and abdoulaye barry and microsoft.

By Melissa Noel, July 17, 2023

The Fulani people of West Africa are the world’s largest nomadic group. Their native language, known as Pulaar, is spoken by over 40 million people, but for most of history, the language had no alphabet. The Fulani had to use other alphabets, which meant that the meaning and nuances of the words in their native tongue began to disappear, along with some traditions, stories, and songs, due to illiteracy.


Read the rest of the story here.

Paul Biya’s ghostly legacy in Cameroon: The absence that shaped a nation

By Eric Tsimijuly, July 12, 2023

In power for 41 years, the 90-year-old president has ruled mostly in absentia, a ghostly embodiment of a gerontocracy that has gifted its people the concept of Waithood.

In an unexpected turn, President Paul Biya of Cameroon, a seasoned nonagenarian leader, showed up in excellent health at the “Summit for a New Global Financial Pact” in Paris late last month. Previously, his lengthy stays in Switzerland had stirred up lively debate among Cameroonians. These days, however, his presence (or lack thereof) in Cameroon is far more enigmatic than his past wanderings abroad.

Read the rest of the story at this link.

‘People Here Forget They’re African’: The Rapper Fighting for Tunisian Women.

By Sam Kimball

TUNIS – On a March day in Tunis, Boutheîna El Alouadi appeared out of the crowd of tourists and shoppers swirling around Bab Bhar, a giant stone gate on the edge of Tunisia’s Mediaeval-era Old City. She was out of breath as she jogged to make our meeting while carrying a suitcase full of stage clothes that will transform her later into Medusa – Tunisia’s most prolific female rapper. The 31-year-old artist is a bright example of the explosion of creative expression to emerge from Tunisia after its 2011 Revolution – a mass movement whose gains are being violently rolled back by its new autocratic president, Kais Saïed. Medusa is also one of the very few Tunisian hip-hop artists to gain an international audience of any size.

The Cost of Belonging: Exploring Conformity in Egypt’s Collectivist Society

Farah Aly, 5 AUGUST 2023.

When the Mobinil ad “Dayman Ma’a Ba’ad” (Always Together) debuted in 2012, it achieved unprecedented success. The adoption of themes of community, sharing and unity quickly became a sensation in Egyptian TV marketing, inspiring other companies to follow suit and transforming the industry. Rooted in its opening line, “ashan lazem nekun ma’a ba’ad” (because we must stick together), the ad celebrated Egyptian collective bonds: the Nile Delta farmers’ willingness to share both joy and adversities, the Mediterranean sailors’ endearing hospitality, the unwavering unity among the Sinai Bedouins, and other heartwarming instances of community solidarity and warmth spread across every region in Egypt.

Read the rest of the story at this link.

One on One: Slave and Scholar

By D.G. Martin | Jul 31, 2023 | Columns, D.G. Martin, Town SquareWhat should we teach young students about slavery and its place in North Carolina history?

Should we follow the example of Florida, where new standards for teaching junior high students suggest that slavery’s so-called “benefits” be included? For instance, a discussion of the jobs enslaved people performed in agricultural work, painting, or blacksmithing should show how “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

Read the rest of the story at this link..

Ruth J. Simmons Named the 2023 Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 26, 2023) — Ruth J. Simmons, professor, author, and president emerita of Prairie View A&M, Brown University, and Smith College, will deliver the 2023 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities. NEH’s Jefferson Lecture is the highest honor the federal government bestows for distinguished intellectual achievement in the humanities.

Simmons will deliver her lecture, “Facing History to Find a Better Future,” on September 26 at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture at 7 p.m. EDT. The lecture is free and open to the public and will stream online at Simmons will draw on her more than 50 years’ experience as a scholar, pioneering academic administrator, and changemaker in higher education to speak about the role of the humanities in fostering socioeconomic mobility and cultural belonging.

Tickets to the lecture are free of charge and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserve a ticket online to attend NEH’s 2023 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities.

Read the rest of the story at this link.

NEW BOOKS كتب جديدة

India’s Development Diplomacy & Soft Power in Africa

[الدبلوماسية التنموية الهندية وقوتها الناعمة في أفريقيا]

Author: Edited by Kenneth King and Meera Venkatachalam.

Since independence India has deployed its soft power in Africa, with educational aid and capacity-building at the heart of its Africa policy. However, following economic liberalisation and in a quest for greater global influence, India’s geopolitics have changed. The country’s discourse on Africa has shifted from the mantras of post-colonial solidarity and South-South Cooperation, and there is now a growing sense of Indian exceptionalism, as the country reimagines its past and future against the growing influence of the political right. In this book scholars from India, Africa, Europe and North America show how India’s soft power has been implemented by the diaspora, government and private sector. Research documents how India’s ‘aid’ has been re-thought in major schemes such as e-global education and health, Gandhi statuary and Covid-19 diplomacy in Africa.

Publisher: New Books Network, 2023.

Understanding Ethiopia’s Tigray War

[فهم حرب تيغراي في إثيوبيا]

Author: Martin Plaut and Sarah Vaughan.

The ongoing war and consequent famine in the Ethiopian province of Tigray are increasingly critical. International journalists are not being allowed to travel to the region, which is almost completely sealed off from the outside world. This is a deliberate strategy by the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments prosecuting the war: their aim is to crush the Tigrayans at almost any cost. This differentiates the current crisis from the famine of 1984-5, when 400,000 died of starvation primarily as the result of a prolonged drought, exacerbated by war and government inaction. Today’s famine is a direct result of supplies to the region being cut off. Hatred of Tigrayans has been stoked by senior advisers to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed: they have called Tigrayans “weeds” who must be uprooted, their place in history extinguished. This language is reminiscent of the statements that preceded the genocide in Rwanda. The present situation has been orchestrated since 2018 by Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki, who wields considerable influence over Ethiopian affairs. His troops are deep inside Ethiopia, his security agents in its towns and cities. For both the Eritrean President and the Ethiopian Prime Minister, this appears to be a fight to the finish.

Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2023.

Transnational Families in Africa: Migrants and the role of Information Communication Technologies

[العائلات العابرة في أفريقيا: المهاجرون ودور تكنولوجيا المعلومات ]

Author: Edited by Maria C Marchetti-Mercer, Leslie Swartz, Loretta Baldassar, Gonzalo Bacigalupe.

This is the first book to capture the stories of transnational African families and their use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in mediating their experiences of migration and caring across distance. Transnational Families in Africa analyses the highs and lows of family separation as a result of migration in three contexts: migration within South Africa from rural to urban areas; migration from other African countries into South Africa; and middle-class South Africans emigrating to non-African countries. The book foregrounds the importance of kinship and support from extended family as well as both the responsibilities migratory family members feel and the experience of loss by those left behind. Across the diverse circumstances explored in the book are similarities in migrants’ strategies for keeping in touch, but also large differences in relation to access to ICTs and ease-of-use that highlight the digital divide and generational gaps. As elsewhere in the world, and in spite of the varied experiences in these kinship circles, the phenomenon that is the transnational family is showing no signs of receding. This book provides a groundbreaking contribution to global debates on migration from the Global South.

Publisher: Wits University Press, 2023.

Reading from the South: African print cultures and oceanic turns in Isabel Hofmeyr’s work

[مطالعات من الجنوب: ثقافات الطباعة الأفريقية وأخبار المحيط في أعمال إيزابيل هوفماير]

Author: Charne Lavery, Sarah Nuttall (editors).

This book draws together reflective and analytical essays by renowned intellectuals from around the world who critically engage with the work of one of the global South’s leading scholars of African print cultures and the oceanic humanities. Isabel Hofmeyr’s scholarship spans more than four decades, and its sustained and long-term influence on her discipline and beyond is formidable. While much of the history of print cultures has been written primarily from the North, Isabel Hofmeyr is one of the leading thinkers producing new knowledge in this area from Africa, the Indian Ocean world and the global South. Her major contribution encompasses the history of the book as well as shorter textual forms and abridged iterations of canonical works such as John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. She has done pioneering research on the ways in which such printed matter moves across the globe, focusing on intra-African trajectories and circulations as well as movements across land and sea, port and shore. The essays gathered here are written in a blend of intellectual and personal modes, and mostly by scholars of Indian and African descent. Via their engagement with Hofmeyr’s path-breaking work, the essays in turn elaborate and contribute to studies of print culture as well as critical oceanic studies, consolidating their findings from the point of view of global South historical contexts and textual practices..

Publisher: Wits University Press, 2023.

African Ecomedia: Network Forms, Planetary Politics

[الإعلام الإفريقي البيئوي: أشكال الشبكات، والسياسات الكوكبية]

Author: Cajetan Iheka.

In African Ecomedia, Cajetan Iheka examines the ecological footprint of media in Africa alongside the representation of environmental issues in visual culture. Iheka shows how, through visual media such as film, photography, and sculpture, African artists deliver a unique perspective on the socioecological costs of media production, from mineral and oil extraction to the politics of animal conservation. Among other works, he examines Pieter Hugo’s photography of electronic waste recycling in Ghana and Idrissou Mora-Kpai’s documentary on the deleterious consequences of uranium mining in Niger. These works highlight not only the exploitation of African workers and the vast scope of environmental degradation but also the resourcefulness and creativity of African media makers. They point to the unsustainability of current practices while acknowledging our planet’s finite natural resources. In foregrounding Africa’s centrality to the production and disposal of media technology, Iheka shows the important place visual media has in raising awareness of and documenting ecological disaster even as it remains complicit in it..

Publisher: Duke University Press, 2021.

Africa’s Contemporary Food Insecurity: Self-inflicted Wounds through Modern Veni Vidi Vici and Land Grabbing

[انعدام الأمان الغذائي في أفريقيا المعاصر ة]

Author: by Nkwazi Nkuzi Mhango.

Land is ubiquitous but exceptionally precious, no-frills, and one-off for all beings past, present, and future though not all appropriately appreciated for its nonpareil significance and sacredness. Nevertheless, currently, African corrupt, credulous, and closed-minded rulers are blindly and bald-facedly dishing land out in this toxic leasing by enacting another scramble for Africa under a putrid façade of investment, a crime against humanity revolving around coloniality, corruption, and racism. China, India, Petro-rich-with-inarable-land Middle East Countries, and western conglomerates are invading Africa to produce biofuels and food for their home populaces for yet another land and food colonisation. Contemporary land grabs aggravate Africa’s food and national in/ security, famishment, and effluence thereof. S/he who cannot feed her/himself is a dangerous laughingstock. This book addresses the crime and proposes what Africa must do to avert self-inflicted wounds resulting from fake and rose gambits like job creation, tax bases, and investment for development. Land is a life giver and is uniquely sacred as such nobody should dish it out or grab it like nobody’s business. The cardinal argument is that Africa must enable its people to till the land it is dishing out to produce and export food to those now grabbing its land. This is the only sensible solution any level-headed person can think of and apply.

Publisher: Mwanaka Media and Publishing, Zimbabwe, 2023.

Invoking the Invisible in the Sahara: Islam, Spiritual Mediation, and Social Change

[استكشاف الروحانيات في الصحراء الكبرى: الإسلام والتصوفات والتغيير الاجتماعي]

Author: Erin Pettigrew.

This book utilizes invisible forces and entities – esoteric knowledge and spirits – to show how these forms of knowledge and unseen forces have shaped social structures, religious norms, and political power in the Saharan West. Situating this ethnographic history in what became la Mauritanie under French colonial rule and, later the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Pettigrew traces the changing roles of Muslim spiritual mediators and their Islamic esoteric sciences – known locally as l’ḥjāb – over the long-term history of the region. By exploring the impact of the immaterial in the material world and demonstrating the importance of Islamic esoteric sciences in Saharan societies, she illuminates peoples’ enduring reliance upon these sciences in their daily lives and argues for a new approach to historical research that takes the immaterial seriously.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2023.

June 8, 2023: Call for Reviewers: Research Africa Reviews: Volume 7, Issue 2

Dear Research Africa members and associates,

Below is a list of titles that are available for RAR reviewers. The review must be submitted by August 18th, 2023. Please, review the RAR Guidelines on formatting and writing a review.

RAR is also soliciting literature review pieces or responses to published reviews on any issues and themes related to Africa.

If interested, please reply to this email and copy (

Please, sign your email response with your academic affiliation or credentials.

—- —- —-

Title: From Migrants to Refugees: The Politics of Aid along the Tanzania-Rwanda Border

Author: Jill Rosenthal

Publisher: Duke University Press, 2023

Title: Beyond Piety and Politics: Religion, Social Relations, and Public Preferences in the Middle East and North Africa

Author: Sabri Ciftci, F. Michael Wuthrich and Ammar Shamaileh.

Publisher: Indiana University, 2022

Title: Zar Spirit: Possession, Music, and Healing Rituals in Egypt

Author: Hager El Hadidi.

Publisher: The American University of Cairo Press, 2022

Title: The Gambia in Transition: Towards a New Constitutional Order

Author: Satang Nabaneh, Adem Abebe and Gaye Sowe(editors)

Publisher: Pretoria University Law Press, 2022

Title: Moroccan Other-archives: History and Citizenship after State Violence

Author: Brahim El Guabli.

Publisher: Fordham University Press, 2023

Title: Visualising China in Southern Africa Biography, Circulation, Transgression

Editor(s): Juliette Leeb-du Toit, Ruth Simbao, Ross Anthony

Publisher: Witts University Press, 2023

Title: The Briny South: Displacement and Sentiment in the Indian Ocean World.

Author: Nienke Boer

Publisher: Duke University Press, 2023

Title: An Ethnography of Faith: Personal Conceptions of Religiosity in the Soutpansberg, South Africa, in the Early 20th Century

Author: Caroline Jeannerat

Publisher: Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Namibia, 2023

Title: Uncovering Memory Filming in South Africa, Germany, Poland and Bosnia/Herzegovina

Author(s): Tanja Sakota

Publisher: Witts University Press, 2023

Title: Five Hundred African Voices: A Catalog of Published Accounts by Africans Enslaved in the Transatlantic Slave Trade, 1586-1936

Author: Aaron Spencer Fogleman and Robert Hanserd

Publisher: ‎ American Philosophical Society, 2023

Title: Breakup: A Marriage in Wartime

Author: Anjan Sundaram

Publisher: Catapult, 2023

Title: Flooded Pasts UNESCO, Nubia, and the Recolonization of Archaeology.

Author: William Carruthers

Publisher: Cornell University Press, 2023

Title: Transitional Justice in Tunisia: Innovations, Continuities, Challenges

Author: Simon Robins and Paul Gready (Editors)

Publisher: Routledge, 2022.

Title: Insignificant Things: Amulets and the Art of Survival in the Early Black Atlantic

Author: Matthew Francis Rarey.

Publisher: Duke University Press, 2023

Call for Reviewers: Research Africa Reviews: Volume 7, Issue 1

Call for Reviewers: Research Africa Reviews: Volume 7, Issue 1

Dear Research Africa members and associates,

Below is a list of titles that are available for RAR reviewers. The review must be submitted by April 20th, 2023. Please, review the RAR Guidelines on formatting and writing a review.

RAR is also soliciting literature review pieces or responses to published pieces on any issues and themes related to Africa.

If interested, please reply to this email and copy (

Please, sign your email response with your academic affiliation or credentials.

—- —- —-

Title: Corrupted A study of chronic dysfunction in South African universities.

Author: Jonathan D Jansen.

Publisher: Wits University Press.

Title: Baptists and TheOordination of Women in Malawi.

Author: Klaus Fiedler and Hany Longwe.

Publisher: Luviri Press, Malawi, 2022.

Title: White Malice: The CIA and the Covert Recolonization of Africa.

Author: Susan Williams.

Publisher: Public Affairs, 2021.

Title: African(a) Queer Presence: Ethics and Politics of Negotiation.Author: S.N. Nyeck.

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021..

Title: A Ritual Geology: Gold and Subterranean Knowledge in Savanna West


Author: Robyn d′Avignon

Publisher: DUP, 2022.


Title: Across the Waves: Strategies of Belonging in Indian Ocean Island Societies.

Author: Iain Walker and Max Planck.

Publisher: Brill, 2022.

Title: It Won’t Always Be Like: This a Graphic Memoir .

Author: Malaka Gharib.

Publisher: Penguin Random House:2022.

Title: Arrested Development: The Soviet Union in Ghana, Guinea, and Mali, 1955-1968 .

Author: Alessandro Iandolo.

Publisher: Cornell University Press, 2022. .

Title: Poverty and Wealth in East Africa: A Conceptual History.

Authors: Rhiannon Stephens .

Publisher: Duke University Press, 2022.

Title: Paradise Lost: Race and Racism in Post-apartheid South Africa, .

Author: (editors) Gregory Houston, Modimowabarwa Kanyane, and Yul Derek Davids.

Publisher: Brill, 2022.

Title: Khoisan Consciousness.,

Author: Rafael Verbuyst.

Publisher: Brill, 2022.

Title: Fixing Earth: Africa, UK and Ireland Writers Anthology.

Author: Tendai Rinos Mwanaka (editor).

Publisher: Mwanaka Media and Publishing, Zimbabwe, 2022.

Title: Lion’s Share: Remaking South African Copyright.

Author: Veit Erlmann.

Publisher: Duke University Press, 2022.

Title: Sustained Terrorism on Africa: A Study of Slave-ism, Colonialism, Neocolonialism, and Globalism.

Author: Tatah Mentan.

Publisher: Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon.

Title: Islam and Anarchism Relationships and Resonances.

Author: Mohamed Abdou.

Publisher: Pluto Press, 2022.

Title: Customs and Beliefs of the |xam.

Author: Kopano Ratele.

Publisher: Wits University Press.

Research Africa News: January 27, 2023

Research Africa News: January 27, 2023

‘Tirailleurs’: France’s forgotten colonial soldiers step out of the shadows

Issued on: 06/01/2023

The last surviving African soldiers who fought for colonial-era France will be able to live out their final days in their home countries following the French government’s U-turn on their pension rights. The decision coincides with the cinema release of a film highlighting the untold sacrifices made by African “tirailleurs” on France’s battlefields during World War I.

Read the rest of the story in this link

Morocco First African Nation to Provide Tanks to Ukraine:

Report Photo of Joe Saballa JOE SABALLAJANUARY 23, 2023

Western Sahara is mostly under Morocco’s control, where tensions with pro-independence Polisario Front have simmered since the 1970s.

The United States has adopted a “new official” map of Morocco that includes the disputed territory of Western Sahara, its ambassador to Rabat said. “This map is a tangible representation of President Trump’s bold proclamation two days ago – recognising Morocco’s sovereignty over Western Sahara,” Ambassador David Fischer said on Saturday, according to a statement seen by AFP news agency.

Read the rest of the story in this link.

The True Story of Yasuke, the Legendary Black Samurai Behind Netflix’s New Anime Series

By Kat Moon, April 30, 2022.

In n 1579, an African man now known by the name of Yasuke arrived in Japan. Much about him remains a mystery: it’s unconfirmed which country in Africa he hailed from, and there is no verifiable record of his life after 1582. But Yasuke was a real-life Black samurai who served under Oda Nobunaga, one of the most important feudal lords in Japanese history and a unifier of the country. He is also the inspiration for Netflix’s new anime series Yasuke—a project from creator and director LeSean Thomas and the Japanese animation studio MAPPA, executive produced by LaKeith Stanfield, who voices Yasuke, and Flying Lotus, who produced the soundtrack.

Read the rest of the story in this link.

Mamdani talks about his research legacy and work at Makerere

John Agaba 31 March 2022

Professor Mahmood Mamdani was the executive director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research at Makerere University, Uganda, from 2010 to the end of February 2022. During this time, he has revamped the institution’s mission and established a robust PhD programme. Following his departure, Mamdani shared his views about how to build a strong research culture, his work as an academic and threats to higher education. He has returned full-time to his work as the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government in the department of anthropology at Columbia University, New York, where he has remained a faculty member since the early 2000s.

Read the rest of the story in this link.

NEW BOOKS ‫كتب جديدة

Hausa Dictionary for Everyday Use: Hausa-English/English-Hausa

[قاموس الهوسا للاستخدام اليومي: الهوسا-الإنجليزية / الإنجليزية-الهوسا]

Author: Paul Newman, Roxana Ma Newman

Hausa Dictionary for Everyday Use is intended to afford greater access to the language by millions of Hausa speakers and scholars in Nigeria and beyond. Composed in Standard Hausa which is largely spoken in Kano, Nigeria the authors have made great attempts to capture new terms and expressions not covered by previous publications. Kamusun Hausa na Yau da Kullum, kundin littafi ne da ya ke dauke da kalmomi na Hausa da ma’anoninsu. An yi amfani da ingantacciyar Hausa wadda Hausar Kano ta mamaye. Littafin nan ya kunshi tsofaffi da sababbin kalmomi, wanda ya bambanta shi da sauran Qamusan da suka gabace shi. An yi wannan littafi ne domin manyan malamai na jami’o’i da dalibai masu bincike da masu magana da Harshen Hausa da masu koyon Hausa a Najeriya da wajenta.

Publisher: Bayero University Press, Nigeria, 2022

The Healing Stage: Black Women, Incarceration, and the Art of Transformation

[طور التشافي: أخبارالنساء السوداوات في السجون وسبل التغير والاندماج]

Author: Lisa Biggs

In this book, Lisa Biggs reveals how four ensembles of currently and formerly incarcerated women and their collaborating artists use theater and performance to challenge harmful policies and popular discourses that justify locking up “bad” women. Focusing on prison-based arts programs in the US and South Africa, Biggs illustrates how Black feminist cultural traditions–theater, dance, storytelling, poetry, humor, and protest–enable women to investigate the root causes of crime and refute dominant narratives about incarcerated women. In doing so, the arts initiatives that she writes about encourage individual and collective healing, a process of repair that exceeds state definitions of rehabilitation. These case studies offer powerful examples of how the labor of incarcerated Black women artists–some of the most marginalized and vulnerable people in our society–radically extends our knowledge of prison arts programs and our understanding of what is required to resolve human conflicts and protect women’s lives.

Publisher: Ohio State University Press, 2022.

Contesting French West Africa: Battles over Schools and the Colonial Order, 1900–1950

[الكفاح ضد مستعمرة غرب إفريقيا الفرنسية: نموذج المدارس الوطنية والنظام الاستعماري ، 1900-1950]

Author: Harry Gamble

After the turn of the twentieth century, schools played a pivotal role in the construction of French West Africa. But as this dynamic, deeply researched study reveals, the expanding school system also became the site of escalating conflicts. As French authorities worked to develop truncated schools for colonial “subjects,” many African students and young elites framed educational projects of their own. Weaving together a complex narrative and rich variety of voices, Harry Gamble explores the high stakes of colonial education. With the disruptions of World War II, contests soon took on new configurations. Seeking to forestall postwar challenges to colonial rule, French authorities showed a new willingness to envision broad reforms, in education as in other areas. Exploiting the new context of the Fourth Republic and the extension of citizenship, African politicians demanded an end to separate and inferior schools. Contesting French West Africa critically examines the move toward educational integration that took shape during the immediate postwar period. Growing linkages to the metropolitan school system ultimately had powerful impacts on the course of decolonization and the making of postcolonial Africa.

Publisher: University of Nebraska Press, 2017.

Arrested Development: The Soviet Union in Ghana, Guinea, and Mali, 1955-1968

[بتر عجلة التنمية: الاتحاد السوفياتي في غانا وغينيا ومالي ، 1955-1968]

Author: Alessandro Iandolo

In the middle of the 20th century, there was a passionate affair, between the Soviet empire and newly independent West African states. It was a short, intense, and acrimonious love story built on shared dreams for a noncapitalist future. Alessandro Iandolo’s new book explores the history of this unlikely romance. The book traces the rise and fall of the Soviet Union’s engagement with these three West African nations, which Iandolo argues were at the center of the Soviet search for development in the Third World.

Publisher: Cornell University Press, 2022.

Scripts of Blackness: Early Modern Performance Culture and the Making of Race

[مخطوطات من تاريخ السود: دور فن التمثيل في صناعة الانتماءات العرقية وسط السود]

Author: Noémie Ndiaye

Scripts of Blackness shows how the early modern mass media of theatre and performance culture at-large helped turn blackness into a racial category, that is, into a type of difference justifying emerging social hierarchies and power relations in a new world order driven by colonialism and capitalism. In this book, Noémie Ndiaye explores the techniques of impersonation used by white performers to represent Afro-diasporic people in England, France, and Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, using a comparative and transnational framework.

She reconstructs three specific performance techniques—black-up (cosmetic blackness), blackspeak (acoustic blackness), and black dances (kinetic blackness)—in order to map out the poetics of those techniques, and track a number of metaphorical strains that early modern playtexts regularly associated with them. Those metaphorical strains, the titular scripts of blackness of this book, operated across national borders and constituted resources, as they provided spectators and participants with new ways of thinking about the Afro-diasporic people who lived or could/would ultimately live in their midst.

Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022.

Envisioning African Intersex: Challenging Colonial and Racist Legacies in South African Medicine

[امكانية التلاقح الأفريقي: نبش الموروثات الاستعمارية والعنصرية في تاريخ مهنة طب بجنوب إفريقيا]

Author: Amanda Lock Swarr

Since the 1600s, travelers, scientists, and doctors have claimed that “hermaphroditism” and intersex are disproportionately common among black South Africans. In Envisioning African Intersex Amanda Lock Swarr debunks this claim by interrogating contemporary intersex medicine and demonstrating its indivisibility from colonial ideologies and scientific racism. Tracing the history of racialized research that underpins medical and scientific premises of gendered bodies, Swarr analyzes decolonial actions by intersex South Africans from the 1990s to the present, centering the work of organizers such as Sally Gross, the first openly intersex activist in Africa and a global pioneer of intersex legislation. Swarr also explores African social media activism that advocates for intersex justice and challenges the mistreatment of South African Olympian Caster Semenya. Throughout, Swarr shows how activists displace doctors’ impositions to fashion self-representation. By unseating colonial visions of gender, intersex South Africans are actively disrupting medical violence, decolonizing gender binaries, and inciting policy changes.

Publisher: Duke University Press, 2023.

Research Africa News: December 29, 2022

Research Africa Reviews Welcomes New Board Members

Research Africa network would like to welcome new members to the editorial board. They include Professor Alinah Segobye, North West University, South Africa & Botswana, Professor Ifeyinwa Okolo, Federal University Lokoja, Nigeria, and Professor Hamdy Hassan, Cairo University & Zayd University. We are looking forward to collaborating with them in making RAR a more relevant and useful platform to the community.

We would also like to thank a couple of outgoing members: both Professor Badr. A. Badr and Professor Yunus Dombe have been with us from the founding of RA network, and we are grateful for their service and dedication to global scholarship.

— — —

The US Academy and the Provincialization of Fanon

By Muriam Haleh Davis, November 9, 2022.

IN THE SUMMER OF 1959, the psychiatrist Frantz Fanon sent off an outline of L’An V de la révolution algérienne, a sweeping analysis of the French occupation of Algeria, to his publisher and received a probing reply: “Are you sure that everything will still be valid in six months’ time? Is the text still timely? I cannot hide from you my personal doubts about this.” The Algerian Revolution had broken out on November 1 five years prior, but François Maspero could not have known that Fanon would pass away in 1961, missing the chance to witness an independent Algeria by just three months. Nor could Maspero have suspected the immense interest that Fanon’s work would elicit 60 years later in the United States, a country that Fanon described as a “monster where the flaws, sickness, and inhumanity of Europe have reached frightening proportions.”

Read the rest in this link.

The Thinker is out! Special Issue on ‘The African Idea of Africa’.

Guest edited by Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni and Bongani Ngqulunga.

This special issue is part of the collaborative research project initiated by the Chair in Epistemologies of the Global South with Emphasis on Africa, based at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, and the Johannesburg Institute for Advanced Study (JIAS), based at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. The collaborative project is entitled “The Changing African Idea of Africa and the Future of African Studies.” At the University of Bayreuth, the research project is also part of The African Multiple Cluster of Excellence supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant number EX 20521-390713894). The overarching agenda of The African Multiple Cluster of Excellence is that of reconfiguring African Studies, and at the centre of this is the imperative of doing African Studies with Africans while also privileging African voices and intellectual/academic productions.

Read the rest in this link.

Elon Musk Is Destroying the Myths of Silicon Valley in Front of Our Very Eyes

By Luke Savage, November 27, 2022.

The myth of Silicon Valley touts the grit and flair of its tech bro champions. But the chaos of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover has revealed that there’s no genius or elaborate game of multidimensional chess behind the curtain: just garden-variety capitalists.

Read the rest of the piece here.

James Baldwin’s Advice on Writing

By Maria Popova.

“Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.” BY MARIA James Baldwin’s Advice on Writing.

In 1989, Paris Review founding editor and trailblazing interviewer George Plimpton edited a wonderful collection titled The Writer’s Chapbook: A Compendium of Fact, Opinion, Wit, and Advice from the 20th Century’s Preeminent Writers (public library). Among them was novelist, poet, essayist, and playwright James Baldwin (August 2, 1924–December 1, 1987), whom Plimpton had interviewed on two separate occasions in early 1984, half a century after Baldwin read his way out of Harlem and into the pantheon of literary greatness.

Read the rest of the piece here.

Description PhD Studentship on Slavery, Colonialism and the University of Liverpool

The Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS) and the School of Histories, Languages, and Cultures invite applications from suitably qualified candidates for a fully-funded PhD Studentship starting in January 2023 (dates negotiable) in collaboration with the University of Liverpool’s Libraries, Museums and Galleries (LMG). The studentship is tenable for three years full time [subject to satisfactory progress], though part-time options will be considered. Both Home/EU and international applicants may apply but international applicants will be required to pay the difference between home and international fees.

Read the rest in this link.

NEW BOOKS ‫كتب جديدة

Sustained Terrorism on Africa: A Study of Slave-ism, Colonialism, Neocolonialism, and Globalism

[الإرهاب المستدام في أفريقيا: لمحة تاريخية عبر العبودية والاستعمار ثم الاستعمار الجديد الى العولمة ]

Author: Tatah Mentan.

Human beings indeed need not justify terrorism of any kind, regardless of whether one is Muslim, Christian or Jew, because it is the axis of evil and devastation of mankind. Terrorism on Africa has been a ubiquitous presence against which the democratic values of African civilization are ranged-a demon to be exorcised at all costs, even at the cost of civil liberties. However, the deliberate use of the term terrorism in recent decades was carefully selected, mainly, against a certain religion (Islam). The idea was then globally politicized by the Western world. Leaving that scholarly view in its own right, this study disagrees with the opinion raising terrorism as the devil’s just-born child of evil, when in reality Africans had been terrorized for centuries as slaves and human chattel, colonies, neo-colonies and captives of globalism.

Publisher: Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon.

Rage and Carnage in the Name of God: Religious Violence in Nigeria

[ الغضب والعنف باسم الله: الهوس الديني في نيجيريا]

Author: Abiodun Alao.

In Rage and Carnage in the Name of God, Abiodun Alao examines the emergence of a culture of religious violence in postindependence Nigeria, where Christianity, Islam, and traditional religions have all been associated with violence. He investigates the root causes and historical evolution of Nigeria’s religious violence, locating it in the forced coming together of disparate ethnic groups under colonial rule, which planted the seeds of discord that religion, elites, and domestic politics exploit. Alao discusses the histories of Christianity, Islam, and traditional religions in the territory that became Nigeria, the effects of colonization on the role of religion, the development of Islamic radicalization and its relation to Christian violence, the activities of Boko Haram, and how religious violence intermixes with politics and governance. In so doing, he uses religious violence as a way to more fully understand intergroup relations in contemporary Nigeria..

Publisher: Duke University Press, 2022.

Christianity, Politics and the Afterlives of War in Uganda: There is Confusion

[المسيحية والسياسة فيما بعد الحرب في أوغندا: ظاهرة الارتباك]

Author: Henni Alava et. al.

Alava’s work sheds critical light on the complex and unstable relationship between Christianity and politics, and peace and war. Drawing on long-running ethnographic fieldwork in Uganda’s largest religious communities, Henni Alava maps the tensions and ironies found in the Catholic and Anglican Churches in the wake of war between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Government of Uganda. The book describes how churches’ responses to the war have been enabled by their embeddedness in local communities. Yet it is also in the churches’ embeddedness in structures of historical violence that religious faith nurtures peace liable to compound conflict.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic, 2022.

Decolonizing 1968: Transnational Student Activism in Tunis, Paris, and Dakar

[إنحلال الاستعمار عام 1968: النشاط الطلابي عبر مدن تونس وباريس وداكار]

Author: Burleigh Hendrickson.

explores how activists in 1968 transformed university campuses across Europe and North Africa into sites of contestation where students, administrators, and state officials collided over definitions of modernity and nationhood after empire. Burleigh Hendrickson details protesters’ versions of events to counterbalance more visible narratives that emerged from state-controlled media centers and ultimately describes how the very education systems put in place to serve the French state during the colonial period ended up functioning as the crucible of postcolonial revolt. Hendrickson not only unearths complex connections among activists and their transnational networks across Tunis, Paris, and Dakar but also weaves together their overlapping stories and participation in France’s May ’68.

Publisher: Cornell University Press, 2022.

Baptists and TheOordination of Women in Malawi

[المعمدانيين من النساء في ملاوي]

Author: Klaus Fiedler and Hany Longwe.

Baptists are keen to go directly to the New Testament in all major issues of faith. If the Bible is the first argument, then history (and therefore tradition) is another line of argument, that both promoters and opponents of women’s ordination can and do use. This book is largely concerned with not just the history of women’s ordination, or even of Baptists and women’s ordination, but offers perspectives from history that may be useful for the discussion of this issue. The thrust of the arguments are aimed at highlighting that differing biblical interpretations are possible, and it must be admitted that Baptists have their own history, over which, much diversity has developed.

Publisher: Luviri Press, Malawi, 2022.

White Malice: The CIA and the Covert Recolonization of Africa

[خبث البيض: وكالة المخابرات المركزية الامريكية وإعادة الاستعمار السري لأفريقيا]

Author: Susan Williams.

In 1958 in Accra, Ghana, the Hands-Off Africa conference brought together the leading figures of African independence in a public show of political strength and purpose. Led by the charismatic Kwame Nkrumah, who had just won Ghana’s independence, his determined call for Pan-Africanism was heeded by young, idealistic leaders across the continent and by African Americans seeking civil rights at home. Yet, a moment that signified a new era of African freedom simultaneously marked a new era of foreign intervention and control. In White Malice, Susan Williams unearths the covert operations pursued by the CIA from Ghana to the Congo to the UN in an effort to frustrate and deny Africa’s new generation of nationalist leaders. This dramatically upends the conventional belief that the African nations failed to establish effective, democratic states on their own accord. As the old European powers moved out, the US moved in.

Publisher: Public Affairs, 2021.

Obesiance to Frogs

[الرضوخ للضفادع]

Author: Robin Winckel-Mellish.

Obeisance to Frogs is Robin Winckel Mellish’s third poetry collection. In these pieces the contrast between the natural worlds of South Africa and Europe are brought into sharp focus, and her eye for detail and emotional connectedness to place and people are especially highlighted. The poems cross thresholds between animals, love and finally The Kaggen cycle, which is rich in mythology both personal and cultural. These poems offer up a precise honouring of the wild, with a deeply felt sense of attachment to a planet in peril..

Publisher: Hands-On Books, South Africa, 2022.

——– ———— ———–

Research Africa ( welcomes submissions of books, events, funding opportunities, and more to be included in the next Research Africa News edition. To share with the general mailing list, please send your contents directly to (

Research Africa News: October 17th, 2022

Research Africa News: October 17th, 2022

Charting Internet Speed in Africa
Not even the country with Africa’s top mobile internet speed is close to the global average, despite efforts to launch 5G networks. This is according to the 2022 Speedtest Global Index published this week by US-based internet speed analysis firm Ookla. South Africa, the continent’s internet speed leader—with an average mobile internet download speed of 68.9 megabits per second (mbps) is far below the global mean mobile download speed of 77.7 mbps.

South Africa is at position 46 globally, and in Africa it is followed by Togo, Mauritius, Morocco, and Botswana at download speeds.
Read the Speedtest Global Index here.

Kamala Ibrahim Ishag review – memory maps and rumours of djinns from mystical Sudanese painter
Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 7 Oct 2022.

In her painting Bait al-Mal, Kamala Ibrahim Ishag presents us with the neighbourhood in Khartoum where she grew up during the 1940s and 50s. This large, mostly dusky canvas presents us with clusters of figures in a kind of diagram of their connections and interrelatedness. Instead of streets and corners, we trace winding, branching webs of family and friendships and associations. We’ll never get to the end of them in these looping, bifurcating and fracturing lines..
Read the piece here.

Preserving the Coptic Language:
Many Egyptians are trying to revive the lingual link to their past

Lydia Wilson, Culture Editor, New Lines magazine

When Titi Maurice met her husband-to-be, she had a condition: To marry her, he had to learn to speak Coptic. One of only a handful of people in the world who spoke the language growing up, Maurice was determined that her children would have the same experience. Rafik, clearly besotted, did not hesitate. He had the basics of the written language from church, but Maurice taught him a living version — not the centuries-old liturgy and prayers repeated on Sundays but the everyday “Would you like a cup of tea?” or “It’s in the cupboard over there.”

Read the piece in this link.

The Future of Progress

Tackling two of the greatest challenges of our time — a broken food system and gender inequality — present enormous opportunities to improve the lives of millions of people in the world, including Africa.
The 2022 Goalkeepers Report explains how the world can accelerate solutions to these problems with human ingenuity, innovation, political will, and sustained funding.
You can access the Report here

NEW BOOKS ‫كتب جديدة

The Trick Is To Keep Breathing: Covid 19 Stories From African and North American Writers.
[الغرض هو الحفاظ على الحياة: قصص جائحة كوفيد من خلال كتابات الأفارقة والأمريكيين الشماليين]
Author: Tendai Rinos Mwanaka (editor).

This Vol 3, features 2 essays, 5 stories and 64 poems from 32 poets, writers and academicians from North America and Africa, writers residing in these among other countries; The USA, Canada, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, The Gambia, Ghana, Malawi.., surrounding the grate, telling stories of resilience and triumph as they dealt with Covid 19 and its several mutations over the past 3 years. Humans are connection beings and one of the most fulfilling ways they do so is through sharing stories. It’s time we surround the fire, warming ourselves as we tell the stories of our humanness and resilience, stories of triumph, stories to release unrequited pain, anger and grief, stories of loss, stories that will act as continuing breath.
Publisher: Mwanaka Media and Publishing, Zimbabwe, 2022.

Chinese Medicine in East Africa: An Intimacy with Strangers
[الطب الصيني في شرق إفريقيا: علاقات حميمة مع الغرباء]
Author: Elisabeth Hsu.

Based on fieldwork conducted between 2001-2008 in urban East Africa, this book explores who the patients, practitioners and paraprofessionals doing Chinese medicine were in this early period of renewed China-Africa relations. Rather than taking recourse to the ‘placebo effect’, the author explains through the spatialities and materialities of the medical procedures provided why – apart from purchasing the Chinese antimalarial called Artemisinin – locals would try out their ‘alternatively modern’ formulas for treating a wide range of post-colonial disorders and seek their sexual enhancement medicines.
Publisher: Berghahn Books, 2022.

Holy Ghost: The Life And Death Of Free Jazz Pioneer
[وروح القدس: مآثر رائد موسيقى الجاز الحرة]
Author: Albert Ayler.

“Albert Ayler remains one of the great visionaries of American music. He arrived by way of jazz and the Sorrow Songs, entering public awareness through a movement inspired by calls for Black Liberation, and playing music that frequently found its deepest resonance with listeners whose tastes were more down-to-earth than bebop. Anyone who has gone to the crossroads with Robert Johnson or thrilled to the Wicked Pickett’s cross-grained scream can recognise and identify the vernacular voices inhabiting Ayler’s vision. Richard Koloda draws on archive material and fresh oral history to document aspects of an American family and the passage of an uncompromising artist who took no prisoners”.
Publisher: Jawbone Press, 2022.

Scream for Me, Africa!: Heavy Metal Identities in Post-Colonial Africa (Advances in Metal Music and Culture)
[تصرخ من أجل أفريقيا!: هويات المعادن الثقيلة في أفريقيا ما بعد الاستعمار]
Author: Edward Banchs.

Scream for Me Africa! examines the hard rock and metal scenes in five African countries: Botswana, Togo, South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana. Edward Banchs interviewed musicians, producers, and fans in each country to create vivid pictures of each of these rarely discussed scenes. The book considers how the subculture of heavy metal is viewed in postcolonial Africa and examines how musicians on the continent have stepped forward to make this genre their own. It looks at Africa’s blossoming scenes through various themes, including hybridity, othering, and political tensions.
Publisher: Intellect Ltd, 2022.

Afropolitan Projects: Redefining Blackness, Sexualities, and Culture from Houston to Accra
[المشاريع الأفروبولية: إعادة تعريف معاني السواد والجنس والثقافة من مدينة هيوستن إلى مدينة أكرا]
Author: Anima Adjepong.

This book examines the Afropolitan projects of Ghanaians living in two cosmopolitan cities: Houston, Texas, and Accra, Ghana. Anima Adjepong’s focus shifts between the cities, exploring contests around national and pan-African cultural politics, race, class, sexuality, and religion. Focusing particularly on queer sexuality, Adjepong offers unique insight into the contemporary sexual politics of the Afropolitan class. The book expands and complicates existing research by providing an in-depth transnational case study that not only addresses questions of cosmopolitanism, class, and racial identity but also considers how gender and sexuality inform the racialized identities of Africans in the United States and in Ghana. Bringing an understudied cohort of class-privileged Africans to the forefront, Adjepong offers a more fully realized understanding of the diversity of African lives.
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press, 2021.

Aniceti Kitereza: An Tanzanian Epic
[أنيسيتي كيترزا: ملحمة تنزانية]
Author: Shoonie Hartwig.

“Words that are spoken fly like the wind. Words that are written live forever.” Aniceti Kitereza spoke those words while telling Gerald (Jerry) and Charlotte (Shoonie) Hartwig the story of his novel. The year was 1969. They couldn’t have imagined that this conversation would inaugurate an eleven-year saga, one of determination and commitment revealed in a significant collection of letters and the extraordinary tale of a man and a book..
Publisher: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania, 2022..

Animality and Colonial Subjecthood in Africa: The Human and Nonhuman Creatures of Nigeria
[الروحانية والذاتية الاستعمارية في إفريقيا: المخلوقات البشرية وغير البشرية في نيجيريا]
Author: Saheed Aderinto.

This book broadens the historiography of animal studies by putting a diverse array of species (dogs, horses, livestock, and wildlife) into a single analytical framework for understanding colonialism in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. From his study of animals with unequal political, economic, social, and intellectual capabilities, Aderinto establishes that the core dichotomies of human colonial subjecthood—indispensable yet disposable, good and bad, violent but peaceful, saintly and lawless—were also embedded in the identities of Nigeria’s animal inhabitants. If class, religion, ethnicity, location, and attitude toward imperialism determined the pattern of relations between human Nigerians and the colonial government, then species, habitat, material value, threat, and biological and psychological characteristics (among other traits) shaped imperial perspectives on animal Nigerians.
Publisher: Ohio University Press, 2022.
——– ———— ———–
Research Africa ( welcomes submissions of books, events, funding opportunities, and more to be included in the next Research Africa News edition. To share with the general mailing list, please send your contents directly to (

Research Africa News: September 22nd, 2022

Research Africa News: September 22nd, 2022

Michael Schultz Broke the Mold for Black Directors.
By Reggie Ugwu Published Sept. 1, 2022 Updated Sept. 6, 2022

He’s Not Done Yet. At 83, the filmmaker behind “Cooley High” and “Car Wash” may be the longest-working Black director in history. His own story is a Hollywood epic.

When Michael Schultz began work on his first film, in 1971, there was no road map for a lengthy career as a Black director in Hollywood. The first two studio movies to employ Black directors — Gordon Parks’s “The Learning Tree” (1969) and Ossie Davis’s “Cotton Comes to Harlem” (1970) — had only relatively recently left theaters. And the movement that would soon be known as Blaxploitation — mimicking the work of Davis, Parks and the trailblazing independent filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles — did little to suggest a promising future. Schultz was 32 at the time and a rising star of the New York theater scene. He had been tapped to direct a public television documentary, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” adapted from the book about Lorraine Hansberry. Though he didn’t know it, Schultz had already begun an improbable course that would take him to the heart of the mainstream film and television industry, where he has essentially remained for the past five decades. Although he has cast a more modest shadow than some of his peers, Schultz holds a singular résumé. He has directed more than a dozen films, including the classics “Cooley High” (1975), “Car Wash” (1976) and “Krush Groove” (1985); is responsible for the first feature-film appearances of Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Blair Underwood; and has worked consistently in television since the 1990s.
Read the NYT article here.

The Countries Controlling Africa’s Wealth

More than half of Africa’s total wealth is controlled by only three nations.
The latest tallies of private wealth (not to be confused with GDP):

Research Africa News: July 2nd, 2022

Research Africa News: July 2nd, 2022

An Eternal Symbol of Black Resistance

Larry Rohter Gayl Jones’s novel Palmares sees the legendary Brazilian slave haven as a story to which all descendants of Africans brought forcibly to the Americas can lay claim.

June 23, 2022

Read the research article here.

Soro Soke: The Young Disruptors of an African Megacity

| 5 questions to Trish Lorenz 18 May 2022 Trish Lorenz Judith Weik

Read the research article here

Google offers virtual tours of Sudan’s Pyramids of Meroe Historic locations in the Middle East and North Africa are increasingly being featured on virtual platforms

Alvin R Cabral, May 17, 2022

Google on Tuesday unveiled a new digital experience on its Arts & Culture platform that features Sudan’s Pyramids of Meroe, using the interactive technologies of the world’s largest internet company. The tour features a virtual walk through the pyramids — designated as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. It also allows viewers to zoom in on their inscriptions using Google’s Street View panoramic imagery, the California-based company said.

Read the research article here.

Mali has become another front in the Russia vs. NATO war in Ukraine

Middle East Monitorو May 13, 2022

The distance between Ukraine and Mali is measured in thousands of kilometres, but the geopolitical distance is much closer. So close, in fact, that it appears as if the ongoing conflicts in both countries are the direct outcomes of the same geopolitical currents and transformation underway around the world. After the Malian government accused French troops of carrying out a massacre in the West African country, on 23 April the Russian Foreign Ministry declared its support for Malian efforts, pushing for an international investigation into French abuses and massacres in the country. “We hope that those responsible will be identified and justly punished,” said the ministry.

Read the research article here.

Inside Kehinde Wiley’s Opulent Artist Residency—and the New African Renaissance

BY Alice Kemp-habib June 1, 2022

Walking through the wooden doors at Black Rock—Kehinde Wiley’s Senegal-based artist residency—is an incongruous experience. The courtyard is dense with greenery and the towering black walls that surround it are slick and modern. But just outside, the dusty roads of Dakar are lined with bare, half-built housing blocks. The city feels unfinished, and I say as much to Wiley when we meet. “This is what a developing country looks like when it’s coming into its own,” he says, motioning toward the scaffolding outside. “It’s a really exciting time to be here, to be able to say that you bore witness to the development of a nation.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Senegal’s highly prized ladoum rams – in pictures

All photographs by Sylvain Cherkaoui/Panos Pictures Wed 15 Jun 2022.

Sheep are an important commodity in Senegal, where more than half the population lives in the countryside and many city dwellers retain a close connection to their native villages.

Sylvain Cherkaoui took his mobile studio to meet some of the proud owners who posed with their animals Exhibited as part of Dak’Art 2022 Biennale Off at Pieds Tanqués in Dakar, Senegal.

Read the rest of the article here.

NEW BOOKS ‫كتب جديدة

38 Reflections on Mwalimu Nyerere

[تأملات وحكم حول الرئيس مواليمو نيريري38]

Author: Mark J. Mwandosya, J.V. Mwapachu

The novelty of this book is in the choice of individuals selected to be interviewed, the kinds of probing questions asked, and the quality of the conversations held. These led to the disclosure by the interviewees of details that would not normally have been known about Mwalimu. The individuals selected had each worked closely or lived with Mwalimu and, we believed, had unique insights and perspectives to share about him. It was an approach that we think evoked candid anecdotes that constitute the chapters of this book.

Publisher: Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, Tanzania, 2022.

Dust and Rain: Chipo and Chibwe save the Green Valley

[بين الغبار والمطر: كيف أنقذ شيبو وشيبوي الوادي الأخضر]

Author: Ruth Hartley

Two children make a perilous journey through the heart of modern and magical Africa to save their parents’ farm in the Green Valley from drought and climate change. Kambili and the drought arrive in a whirlwind of dust into the lives of CHIPO, an eleven-year-old girl with a special gift, and her brother, CHIBWE. Without rain, the family can’t grow food. so the children run away to find Makemba, the Wise Woman in the Evergreen Forest who can teach them how to keep their valley green. They are kidnapped by criminals but escape and have extraordinary adventures as they journey to find Makemba and then take her magical river water to save the Valley and end the drought.
Publisher: Gadsden Publishers, Zambia, 2022.

When the Sahara Was Green: How Our Greatest Desert Came to Be

[عندما كانت الصحراء الكبرى خضراء: كيف تحولت الصحراء إلى ما هي عليه اليوم]

Author: Martin Williams.

The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world, equal in size to China or the United States. Yet, this arid expanse was once a verdant, pleasant land, fed by rivers and lakes. The Sahara sustained abundant plant and animal life, such as Nile perch, turtles, crocodiles, and hippos, and attracted prehistoric hunters and herders. What transformed this land of lakes into a sea of sands? When the Sahara Was Green describes the remarkable history of Earth’s greatest desert–including why its climate changed, the impact this had on human populations, and how scientists uncovered the evidence for these extraordinary events. Martin Williams takes us on a vivid journey through time. Along the way, he addresses many questions: Why was the Sahara previously much wetter, and will it be so again? Did humans contribute to its desertification? What was the impact of extreme climatic episodes–such as prolonged droughts–upon the Sahara’s geology, ecology, and inhabitants?

Publisher: Priceton University Press, 2021.

Bury me Naked

[لأكن عاريا حينما تدفنني]

Author: Teamhw SbonguJesu

Bury Me Naked is driven by its hard-hitting language, accessible images, and depth of feeling. The poems are set in the poet’s home village of KwaGezubuso, and show the tough life of young people in South Africa’s neglected rural areas. Many poems are religious, with a respectful but irreverent attitude to God.

Publisher: TNG Publishing, South Africa, 2022.

Histoire de l’esclavage et des luttes anti-esclavagistes en Mauritanie [French book]

[تاريخ الرق والنضال ضد الاسترقاق في موريتانيا]

Author: Saidou Kane (Author), Milena Rampoldi (Editor)

Professor Saïdou Kane (Tékane 1947 – Dakar 2006) was a Mauritanian anti-slavery activist, still little known in Europe, that’s why ProMosaik LAPH decided to publish his book History of slavery and anti-slavel struggles in Mauritania. Kane was of Fulani community and was committed to cultural diversity and justice in Mauritania. He fought against racial discrimination and slavery that to these days still persist in Mauritania, despite official prohibitions during the colonial era and after the country’s independence. As echoed in this book, his socio-political and pedagogical objective was to create a multicultural and multi-ethnic national community in Mauritania, in which different ethnic groups would live together peacefully and with equal rights and which is only possible by eliminating slavery.

Publisher: ‎Neopubli GmbH, 2021.

Shari’a, Inshallah: Finding God in Somali Legal Politics.

[الشريعة إن شاء الله: تجليات الشريعة في تاريخ السياسة القانونية الصومالية]

Author: Mark Fathi Massoud

Western analysts have long denigrated Islamic states as antagonistic, even antithetical, to the rule of law. Mark Fathi Massoud tells a different story: for nearly 150 years, the Somali people have embraced shari’a, commonly translated as Islamic law, in the struggle for national identity and human rights. Lawyers, community leaders, and activists throughout the Horn of Africa have invoked God to oppose colonialism, resist dictators, expel warlords, and to fight for gender equality – all critical steps on the path to the rule of law. Shari’a, Inshallah traces the most dramatic moments of legal change, political collapse, and reconstruction in Somalia and Somaliland.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 2021.

——– ———— ———–
Research Africa ( welcomes submissions of books, events, funding opportunities, and more to be included in the next Research Africa News edition. To share with the general mailing list, please send your contents directly to (

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.

——– ———— ———–
Research Africa ( welcomes submissions of books, events, funding opportunities, and more to be included in the next Research Africa News edition. To share with the general mailing list, please send your contents directly to (

Research Africa News: May 19th, 2021

Research Africa News: May 19th, 2021

Note to RA readers:
Just a reminder: Research Africa Network is moderated. That means when you send in an email, you may get a note stating:

Rejected posting to L-AFI@LISTS.PSU.EDU
You are not authorized to send mail to the L-AFI list from your
research_africa-request@DUKE.EDU account. You might be authorized to post to
the list from another account, or perhaps when using another mail program
configured to use a different email address. However, LISTSERV has no way to
associate this other account or address with yours. If you need assistance or
if you have any questions regarding the policy of the L-AFI list, please
contact the list owners at L-AFI-request@LISTS.PSU.EDU.

Your submitted email will then be released at a later time when a moderator completes the review.
It is common that a sender of an email might not receive the email when it is released.

Germany Will Return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria in 2022 Culture Minister Monika Grütters describes the move as a “historic milestone”
By Nora McGreevy SMITHSONIANMAG.COM APRIL 19, 2021 | UPDATED: APRIL 30, 2021

SMARTNEWS Keeping you current Germany Will Return Benin Bronzes to Nigeria in 2022 Culture Minister Monika Grütters describes the move as a “historic milestone” A brown metal plaque that is intricately carved with figures, including a large central figure wearing armor and towering over at least three smaller people standing beneath This plaque depicts musicians, a page holding a ceremonial sword and a high-ranking warrior. It numbers among the thousands of works looted by British forces during an 1897 raid of Benin City.
Read the rest of the article here.

The Muslims Who Don’t Fast During Ramadan Members of Baye Fall eat, cook, and deliver food in grand processions.
By Katie Jane Fernelius, June 4, 2019

IT’S RAMADAN IN TOUBA, SENEGAL, and the road to the Grand Mosque is lined with sleepy storefronts. On the sidewalk, a merchant naps in the shade of a stall where he sells second-hand beanies, defunct AirPods, and wool socks.
Read the article here.

L’Afrique en musée – Les tablettes coraniques et la tunique protectrice de Bourbonne-les-Bains PAR LA RÉDACTION ·
Auteurs: Ousmane Diaw (Timbuktu Editions), Hadrien Collet (Ifao)/ 16/04/2021
Du Sénégal à Bourbonne-les-Bains

Les objets présentés ici consistent en deux tablettes et une tunique protectrice qui ont été rapportés du Sénégal par Ernest Noirot (m. 1913). D’abord membre d’une expédition dans le Fouta-Djalon et le Bambouk en 1881, il devint par la suite administrateur dans ces régions et en AOF de manière générale jusqu’à la fin de sa vie. Les deux tablettes ont été exposées en 1889 à l’Exposition universelle de Paris par les exposants des collectivités du Sénégal sous le patronage d’E. Noirot alors administrateur des provinces du Sénégal. Ce dernier fut par la suite maire de Bourbonne-les-Bains. Cette commune en est aujourd’hui propriétaire après un don de la famille..
Read the research article here.

The real ‘second-class citizens’ of academia
Donald Earl Collins Lecturer of History at American University in Washington, DC. 30 Apr 2021

At the end of February, pre-eminent Black philosopher Cornel West revealed that Harvard University has refused to consider him for tenure, triggering new discussions about inclusivity and justice in academia. Arguing that tenure is the difference between “first-class citizenship and second-class citizenship in the academy”, West has since announced his decision to leave Harvard for the Union Theological Seminary. West’s brilliant, four-decade-long career as a leading public intellectual and self-proclaimed “prophet of America’s present and future” has included tenure-stream and tenured professorships at Yale, Dartmouth, Princeton, and also Harvard (West left a tenured position at Harvard University in 2002 after a dispute with its then-president. He rejoined the institution in 2016). So it is understandable that he felt like a “second-class citizen” when the higher-ups in Harvard denied him tenure the second time around.
Read the rest of the story here.

Massacres, rapes and starvation: Breaking through the blackout to expose Tigray’s ‘crimes against humanity’
By Will Brown, 15 May 2021

When the first American bombs crashed into Baghdad in January 1991, the nature of war fundamentally changed. Images of the First Gulf War were bounced off satellites and broadcast live to tens of millions of homes around the world. Everyone saw how Iraq was systematically taken apart blow by blow. Since then, war has become more visible – its crimes ever harder to hide. But one conflict in the far north of Ethiopia has bucked the trend spectacularly, defying the information age. For the last six months, communications blackouts and appalling access for human rights researchers and journalists alike have shrouded a conflict raging across the Tigray region in shadows..
Read the rest of the story here.

NEW BOOKS ‫كتب جديدة
Being and Becoming African as a Permanent Work in Progress:
Inspiration from Chinua Achebe’s Proverbs
[ أن تكون أو تصبح أفريقيا: تأملات قيد التطوير]

Authors : (Editors) Francis B. Nyamnjoh, Patrick U. Nwosu, and Hassan M. Yosimbom
This book is a timely addition to debates and explorations on the epistemological relevance of African proverbs, especially with growing calls for the decolonisation of African curricula. The editors and contributors have chosen to reflect on the diverse ways of being and becoming African as a permanent work in progress by drawing inspiration from Chinua Achebe’s harnessing of the effectualness of oratory, especially his use of proverbs in his works. The book recognises and celebrates the fact that Achebe’s proverbial Igbo imaginations of being and becoming African are compelling because they are instructive about the lives, stories, struggles and aspirations of the rainbow of people that make up Africa as a veritable global arena of productive circulations, entanglements and compositeness of being. The contributions foray into how claims to and practices of being and becoming African are steeped in histories of mobilities and a myriad of encounters shaped by and inspiring of the competing and complementary logics of personhood and power that Africans have sought and seek to capture in their repertoires of proverbs. The task of documenting African proverbs and rendering them accessible in the form of a common hard currency with fascinating epistemological possibilities remains a challenge yearning for financial, scholarly, social and political attention. The book is an important contribution to John Mbiti’s clarion call for an active and sustained interest in African proverbs.
Publisher: Harmattan Sénégal, 2021

Wrecking Ball: Why permanent technological unemployment, a predictable pandemic and other wicked problems will end South Africa’s experiment in inclusive democracy
[تلاعبات في التدمير والاتلاف ]
Author: Stu Woolman

Wrecking Ball explores, in an unprecedented manner, a decalogue of wicked problems that confronts humanity: Nuclear proliferation, climate change, pandemics, permanent technological unemployment, Orwellian public and private surveillance, social media that distorts reality, cyberwarfare, the fragmentation of democracies, the inability of nations to cabin private power, the failure of multinational institutions to promote collaboration and the deepening of autocratic rule in countries that have never known anything but extractive institutions. Collectively, or even severally, these wicked problems constitute crises that could end civilisation.
Publisher: NISC (Pty) Ltd, South Africa, 2021.

The Promise of Memory
[تعهدات الذاكرة]
Author: Michael Weeder

This selection of poems – covering the years from 1980 to the present day – expresses the poets personal attempts at making sense of the everyday, ordinary difficulties, and the small victories of life. The offering emphasises, sometimes in an exploratory suggestiveness, how differences should not be divisive and that they form part of the range of ways in which we belong to – and are of – each other.
Publisher: African Perspectives, South Africa, 2021.

The African Lookbook: A Visual History of 100 Years of African Womanhood
[كتاب البحث الأفريقي ]
Author: Catherine E. McKinley

What does it mean to tie your cloth to that of another person, as in the Ghanaian tradition, or to be in full dress? How is fashion photography in a colonial and decolonial context more than just a “look” but in fact a looking and a looking at? Most of us grew up with images of African women that were purely anthropological—bright displays of exotica where the deeper personhood seemed tucked away. Or they were chronicles of war and poverty—“poverty porn.” But now, curator Catherine E. McKinley draws on her extensive collection of historical and contemporary photos, spanning the 150-year arc of photography on the continent, to tell a different story of African women: how deeply cosmopolitan and modern they are in their style; how they were able to reclaim the tools of the colonial oppression that threatened their selfhood and livelihoods.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021.

In Search of Africa(s): Universalism and Decolonial Thought
[في سبيل البحث عن أفريقيا]
Authors: Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Jean-Loup Amselle

This important book by two leading scholars of Africa examines a series of issues that are central to the question of the postcolonial. The postcolonial paradigm, and the more recent decolonial paradigm, raise the issue of the universal: is the postcolonial the first phase of a new universalism, one which would be truly universal because it would be fully inclusive, or is it on the contrary the denial of all universalism, the triumph of the particular and of fragmentation? In addressing this issue Diagne and Amselle also tackle many related themes, such as the concepts of race, culture and identity, the role of languages in philosophy as practised in different cultural areas, the various conceptions of Islam, especially in West Africa, and the outlines of an Africa which can be thought of at the same time as singular and as plural. Each thinker looks back at his writings on these themes, comparing and contrasting them with those of his interlocutor. While Amselle seeks to expose the essentialist and culturalist logics that might underlie postcolonial and decolonial thought, Diagne consistently refuses to adopt the trappings of the Afrocentrist and particularist thinker. He argues instead for a total decentring of all thought, one that rejects all ‘centrisms’ and highlights instead branchings and connections, transfers, analogies and reciprocal influences between cultural places and intellectual fields that may be distant but are not distinct in space and time.
Publisher: Polity, 2020
——– ———— ———–
Research Africa ( welcomes submissions of books, events, funding opportunities, and more to be included in the next Research Africa News edition. To share with the general mailing list, please send your contents directly to (