Deconstructing the westernization of Africa: Player or Pawn in Global History?

This is a presentation by Marcel Kitissou at a sympoisum organized by the Department of Africana Studies at the University at Albany on October 23, 2019 in comemoration of “400 Years of Inequity” and the celebration of the Department’s 50th anniversary. The main argument of the presentation is that, without the West, Africa would be less westernized (or at least in its own terms) but certainly more modernized. In Africa south of the Sahara, unlike any other parts of the world, the colonizer “decolonized” but never left. Therefore westernization, as can be observed today, is not a free choice. With the constant presence, and constant control by the West (Francophone Africa particularly), Africa is more westernized than modernized. Westernization, in its current form in Africa, is likely to perpetuate dependency. Read more at

Deconstructing the Westernization of Africa

Assessment of French Intervention in the Sahel Region, 2013-2019

In an article  published by  Small Wars Journal and Divergent Options on August 12, 2019, Hannah Richards assesses France’s military operations in the Sahel during the 2013-2019 period. The author concludes that:

“Although the overall contribution of Barkhane to the stability of the Sahel is as yet unclear, France’s military commitment remains steadfast. When viewed in the context of its historic engagement with the region, the implications of a permanent French presence are vast. As such, a nuanced understanding of the different narratives at play will be increasingly important in determining whether French intervention is ultimately regarded as a success or failure.”

To read more, plesase click on the link below:

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/14/assessment_of_french_intervention_in_the_sahel_region_2013-2019_114664.html

The Sahel in flames: A publication by The New Humanitarian (Formerly IRIN News)

On May 31, 2019 The New Humanitarian (formerly IRIN News) published an article that might be of interest for our readers: “The Sahel in flames.”

The article begins with these findings:

The civilian toll in numbers

  • Civilian fatalities rose 7,000 percent in Burkina Faso, 500 percent in Niger, and 300 percent in Mali compared to the previous year
  • 440,000 people displaced by conflict, a five-fold increase over the previous year
  • 1.8 million people face food insecurity
  • 5.1 million people require humanitarian assistance
  • 157 men, women, and children killed in March in one attack in Mali

To read more, click on the link below:

https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/in-depth/sahel-flames-Burkina-Faso-Mali-Niger-militancy-conflict?utm_source=The+New+Humanitarian&utm_campaign=cf6326c87f-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_03_21_12_49_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d842d98289-cf6326c87f-75481261

Restricted Spaces: Civil Society and Authoritarianism in Africa

This symposium is hosted by the Institute for African Development (IAD), Cornell University, and co-sponsored by  the Sahel Consortium and the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. For more information, contact Cornell Institute for African Development 190 Uris Hall Cornell University Ithca, NY 14853 or at ciad@cornell.edu, 607.255.6849/5499. You can also visit IAD’s website at iad.einaudi.cornell.edu. Please see the full brochure of the symposium at:

Institute for African Development Spring 2019 symposium on Restricted Spaces, Civil Society and Authoritarianism in Africa, April 26 and 27,

RESTRICTED SPACES: CIVIL SOCIETY, AUTHORITARIANISM, AND AFRICA

Cornell 2019 PosterCall for Proposals for  a Symposium Sponsored by the Cornell Institute for African Development (IAD) and Sahel Consortium

April 26-27, 2019 Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

Many governments around the globe have intensified restrictions on civil society. Authoritarian governments, in particular, are becoming more forceful in limiting civic space and in violating international norms which protect freedom of association. From 2015 to 2016 alone, 64 restrictive laws were adopted on civil society in both democratic and undemocratic countries (International Center for Not-for-Profit Law). The Washington-based International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, or ICNL, has identified 120 laws and regulations that have been enacted by 70 governments since 2012 that limit NGOs’ access to financing and the ability of citizens to organize and manage them.
“We’ve seen a paradigm shift in the view of civil society in the past 20 years,” says David Moore, ICNL’s vice president for legal affairs. “There is a perception, promoted by some governments, that civil society is somehow ‘other,’ seeking to undermine national goals and priorities.” According to the USAID Sustainability Index for SubSaharan Africa “ in many countries, civil society, especially those engaged in advocacy or human rights work, face significant and often vague restrictions on their operations.”

The Institute for African Development (IAD) and the Sahel Consortium symposium committee invite submissions of abstracts on the above mentioned theme. Proposals must be no more than a page in length; single spaced, and must have the name, title, and institutional or organizational affiliation and full contact details of the person or persons submitting the abstract. Deadline for the submission of proposals/abstracts in January 30, 2019. Submitted proposals should be sent to Jackie Sayegh jsb25@cornell.edu at the Institute for African Development (IAD).

For more information, contact Jackie Sayegh, Program Manager, Institute for African Development, 190 Uris Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, tel: (607) 255-6849 / e-mail: jsb25@cornell.edu. To read more go to:

Cornell Institute for African Development-Sahel Consortium Symposium April 26-27-2019

AFISMA and the Mali Crisis: Rethinking Security Intervention and Democratic Consolidation in Africa

0442fd04-ac06-4e24-a987-632550444ac9_16x9_788x442.jpg

For more than two and half decades, precisely between 1985 and 2011, Mali experienced rapid economic growth. For instance, between 1985 and 1994, Mali’s GDP grew at an average rate of 1.7 per cent; 5.8 per cent between 1995 and 2005 and at 4.9 per cent between 2007 and 2010, while annual GDP growth was 2.7 per cent in 2011. On the one hand, this economic growth was occasioned by a flourishing democracy and socio-political stability, which made the country “an acclaimed example of democratic process in the West African sub-region.” On the other hand, flourishing democracy, socio-political stability and the resultant economic growth in Mali were results of the successes in regional integration recorded within the West African sub-region by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Following decades of instability arising from a series of political upheavals, sporadic violent social conflicts and civil wars in West Africa, the emphasis in the sub-region shifted in the mid-1990s, from economic cooperation to peace-building and security cooperation. This was due to the realisation that there is a dialectical relationship among security, peace, political stability, and economic growth and that economic cooperation cannot be fostered on a conflict-ridden environment. However, the flourishing democracy, socio-political stability and economic growth experienced in Mali in particular and the success in regional integration recorded by ECOWAS within the sub-region in general, have come under threats by the resurgence of political conflicts and secessionist tendencies in Mali, military coup d’état in Burkina Faso and electoral violence in Gabon, among others.

OGBONNAYA, Ufiem Maurice

Read more at

http://aipectinstitute.com/articles/afisma-and-the-mali-crisis-rethinking-security-intervention-and-democratic-consolidation-in-africa/

Hydropolitics and Geopolitics: Transforming Conflict and Reshaping Cooperation in Africa

The purpose of this is paper is to contribute to the many endeavors to break the vicious circle of conflict, disease, poverty and the cycle of famine in Africa. It suggests that the continent make the best use of the very weakness of its state structures by re-conceptualizing a development whose sustainability is based on an integrated and collective management of river systems. To this end, one needs to rethink and reformulate issues that are creating conflict on the continent and redesign new forms of cooperation.

Marcel Kitissou

 

Hydropolitics and Geopolitics-Transforming Conflict and Reshaping Cooperation in Africa