June 2005

Luc Sindjoun (*) a participé au colloque qui s’est tenu au Goethe Institut de Yaoundé les 9 et 10 Mai 2005 sur le thème “Mondialisation et identités” et y a présenté un exposé intitulé “Relations internationales et culture” dans le cadre de la commission sur “Les relations internationales dans la Mondialisation”.

Comi M. Toulabor (*) a publié un article intitulé: “Élection à hauts risques dans un Togo déchiré” dans Le Monde dipomatique d’avril 2005 (accessible à: http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2005/04/TOULABOR/12060 ). Note: A translated version (“Togo: Disputed Succession”) in available in the April 2005 English edition of Le Monde diplomatique (print only).

Boubacar Boris Diop (*) est l’auteur d’un “Avertissement ivoirien à la Françafrique”, paru dans Le Monde dipomatique , mars 2005 (texte accessible à: http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2005/03/DIOP/12014). Note : A translated version (“Ivory Coast: Colonial Adventure”) is available in the April 2005 English edition of Le Monde dipomatique, and can be accessed at: http://MondeDiplo.com/2005/04/10diop.

David Zeitlyn (*) has just published a new book titled: “Words and Processes in Mambila Kinship: the Theoretical Importance of the Complexity of Everyday Life“. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2005. 256pp; $80.00 Hb – ISBN: 0-7391-0801-8). The book offers a set of studies of the way that Mambila speakers in Cameroon talk about themselves and their kin, and takes an important step toward a new synthesis between the practice of ethnography and the study of language. Zeitlyn employs conversational analytic methods to further the study of kinship terminologies, presenting African natural language data in an accessible format. Zeitlyn will also read a paper titled “Almost the Real Thing: Using Computer Based Simulation to Study Mambila Divination” at the international conference on: Realities Re-Viewed / Revealed – Divination in Sub-Saharan Africa, to be held at Leiden, July 4-5, 2005 and previously announced in our March issue. Among the sub-topics to be addressed are the roles of today’s diviners as political leaders and healers, the fundamental epistemologies which divination articulates, and the complex processes by which underlying realities are revealed. Also to be covered are descriptions of previously unstudied divination systems.

Jesse Ribot (*) is the author of a report called: “Waiting for Democracy: Politics of Choice in Natural Resource Decentralization”, published by the World Resources Institute (80 pp.; ISBN: 1-56973-564-6). It was presented and discussed on 24 May, in a session jointly organized by the Woodrow Wilson Center and the World Resources Institute. The full text of Ribot’s report is available in pdf format at: http://pubs.wri.org/pubs_pdf.cfm?PubID=3821 . The report examines local democratization through natural resources decentralization reforms, and raises a number of questions. What are the social and environmental effects of ongoing decentralization reforms? Are the current reforms transferring an adequate and appropriate mix of powers to local institutions? Are they supporting the appropriate local institutions? Are they producing or helping to consolidate local democracy? What choices can governments and civil society make to improve decentralization policy? Ribot outlines the insights and makes recommendations based on WRI’s comparative research on decentralization in Africa, drawing on cases from Asia and Latin America and on the rapidly growing literature on the topic.

Célestin Monga (*) has recently joined the World Bank’s Research Department as Lead Economist in the Office of the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, after spending three years in the Europe and Central Asia Department of the Bank where he worked as Senior Economist in charge of the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Albania. He has also been appointed to the Board of Governors of the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has contributed a chapter titled “Commodities, Mercedes-Benz, and Adjustment: An Episode in West African Economic History” in an forthcoming book edited by Emmanuel Akyeampong, of Harvard University, to be published later this year by James Currey.

(*) Names listed in the GRAF Directory / Noms figurant à l’annuaire du GRAF

François Ibara (*) has been part the coordinating staff for social assessment in the Congo (BISOC) for the 2002, 2003 and 2004 yearly exercises. The work consists in collecting, treating and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data on the social sector and its interference with economical and financial circumstances of the country. That study will, on the one hand, allow the publication of a document that will contribute to the working out of future plans, and on the other hand, help monitor the Objective of the Millennium for Development (OMD). For contact, ibaracg@yahoo.fr

P. Stanley Yoder (*), a social anthropologist by training, designs and directs studies related to local knowledge of health in African countries for Macro International, a company providing technical assistance for conducting national surveys (DHS) related to health and demographic issues in countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. During the past year Macro published the following reports written by Yoder and colleagues:

“Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) for HIV in Malawi: Public Perspectives and Recent VCT Experiences” ( QRS8 ) [ with Priscilla Matinga ]; “Signs of Illness, Treatment, and Support for Young Children in Guinea: A Prospective Community Study” ( QRS9 ) [ with Andrew Gordon ]; “Comprehension of Questions in the Tanzania AIDS Indicator Survey” ( QRS10 ) [with Laura Nyblade]; “Obtenir le consentement éclairé pour le test VIH: L’expérience de l’enquête démographique au Mali” ( QRS7 ) [avec Mamadou Konaté]; “Female Genital Cutting in the Demographic and Health Surveys: A Critical and Comparative Analysis” ( DHS Comparative Reports #7 ). These reports and others can be ordered (or downloaded) from the DHS web site: www.measuredhs.com

Call for papers: Movements, Migrations and Displacements in Africa
March 24-26, 2006 University of Texas at Austin www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa

We are pleased to announce a three-day conference (March 24-26, 2006) centered on the theme of Movements, Migrations and Displacements in Africa with the objective of examining population shifts within Africa, and the movement of people from Africa to the rest of the world. We welcome papers that pose new, cultural, historical, sociological, methodological, and theoretical questions, whether addressing relevant, recurring and urgent issues or raising neglected topics. Papers are invited on virtually all themes, inclusive of time, period and space parameters as well as interdisciplinary perspectives.

Among the themes of interest are the following:
-Migration and shifting identity
-Hybridity, transculturation
-The impacts of wars and military systems, ancient and modern
-Trans-Atlantic migrations, forced and voluntary
-Cultural and ethnic accommodation of newcomers
-Case studies within Africa (e.g., Rwanda, South Africa)
-Case studies of Africans in other continents (e.g., Nigerians in Dallas; African churches in London)
-Impact of Western and Asian settlers
-Trans-national struggles and ideas
-The African diaspora in other continents
-Refugees
-Representations in literature, films, and media
-Exile and homecoming narratives
-Sociological issues as crime, juvenile delinquency, unemployment, family structures
-Gender and generational disparities
-Intellectual movements such as Pan-Africanism, Négritude, etc.
-Memoirs of migrancy and displacement: plot, characters, setting

The deadline for submitting paper proposals is October 1, 2005. Proposals should include a 250-word abstract along with author’s name, address, telephone, email, and institutional affiliation.

Please submit all abstracts to: Toyin.Falola@mail.utexas.edu

It is expected that participants will raise the funding to attend the conference. The University of Texas at Austin does not provide participants with any form of funding support, travel or boarding expenses. If a small fund comes our way, we will use it to cover the administrative expenses of running the conference and to pay for the hotel rooms (food not included) for those coming from Africa and graduate students. Selected papers from the conference will be published in book form.

Toyin Falola: Department of History. The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, Austin, TX 78712-0220 – Tel: 512 475 7224 – Fax: 512 475 7222

Marie-Ange Somdah (*) annonce la publication du premier d’une série de quatre ouvrages à paraître cette année: “Libertés, chocolat & cie est maintenant disponible aux Éditions Le Manuscrit (ISBN 2-7481-5214-X) et peut être commandé sur www.manuscrit.com au prix de €11,90 (version pdf: € 7,45) . Dans ce nouveau recueil, l’auteur reste fidèle à l’un des traits de son écriture: une lecture mondiale des faits et gestes de l’humanité. Ici, sa démarche se nourrit en plus du regard d’une certaine jeunesse dont les envies, désirs et frustrations interpellent sans cesse le poète en rade qui soupèse tour à tour les mots: libertés, chocolat et Cie.

Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch (*) publie avec Henri Moniot , “L’Afrique noire de 1800 à nos jours” (Paris, PUF, collection Nouvelle Clio, éd. révisée, 2005; 395 p.) qui comporte de nouveaux chapitres: “L’historiographie de l’Afrique noire des XIXe et XXe siècle”, et “L’Afrique au seuil du IIIe millénaire”, ainsi qu’une “Bibliographie complémentaire 1992-2004″ et une section intitulée: “Internet et l’Afrique”. Elle a, par ailleurs, fourni un chapitre intitulé: “Histoire et perception des frontières en Afrique du XIIe au XXe siècle” pour l’ouvrage collectif: “Des frontières en Afrique du XIIe au XXe siècle” (Paris: UNESCO, 2005).

Bogumil Jewsiewicki (*) a dirigé la publication de “Musique Urbaine au Katanga: De Malaika à Santu Kimbangu” de Mwayila Tshiyembe. (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2004; 180 pages; €15,50 – ISBN : 2-7475-4857-0). Fruit de deux colloques tenus à Lubumbashi, les contributions tentent de présenter l’évolution de la musique urbaine au Katanga à partir des années 1940, retracent la naissance de la musique moderne de danse et analysent son évolution. L’un des pionniers, Edouard Masengo, décédé en 2003, y raconte sa longue carrière. Plusieurs chansons, surtout de la période initiale, sont transcrites et traduites en français. L’émergence récente de la musique autodidacte de jeunes citadins marginalisés est présentée en fin de volume.

Working Papers : Global and Area Studies

The Working Papers: Global and Area Studies are edited by the German Overseas Institute (DÜI) in Hamburg. This series serves to disseminate the research results of work in progress prior to publication to encourage the exchange of ideas and academic debate. An objective of the series is to get the findings out quickly, even if the presentations are less than fully polished. Inclusion of a paper in the Working Paper Series does not constitute publication and should not limit publication in any other venue. Copyright remains with the authors.

All Working Papers are available as pdf files free of charge. Working Papers can also be ordered in print. In this case, for production and mailing a cover fee of EUR 5 is charged. For orders or any requests please contact us at: workingpapers@duei.de. The editor of the Working Paper Series is Dr. Bert Hoffmann.

No 1: Matthias Basedau: Context Matters – Rethinking the Resource Curse in Sub-Saharan Africa; May 2005. The abstract and the full article can be downloaded as PDF file [ca. 550 kB] from: www.duei.de/workingpapers

“Islam, Disengagement of the State, and Globalization in Sub-Saharan Africa” ‘Islam, Désengagement de l’État et Globalisation en Afrique Subsaharienne’

Since 2003, the African Studies Centre (ASC) and the Centre d’Études d’Afrique Noire (CEAN) in Bordeaux have been running a collaborative project to study Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa. The project has received generous funding from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with additional support from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Drawing on the combined research expertise of the ASC and CEAN, the main objective of the project has been to improve our understanding of Islam and Muslim societies given the momentous changes of the last ten or fifteen years across the African continent. Economic and political liberalization, democratization, the weakening of the state (or in some cases even its collapse), increased global interconnections, and the spread of new media technologies have all had a dramatic impact on Africa. These processes have also influenced the practice of Islam and Muslim societies in Africa in ways that are still not well understood.

Funded by the ASC-CEAN project, more than a dozen academic researchers working in countries across Africa have undertaken research on Islam with particular reference to relations with the state, processes of political and economic reform, globalization and transnationalism. Their individual research projects, in countries such as Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania, have covered topics including Muslim youth, Muslim associations and activists, Islamic NGOs, debates about Islamic law, secularism and minority rights, and Muslims and the political process in both conflict and post-conflict settings. Together, these research projects are making a major and timely contribution to understanding Islam and Muslim societies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The culmination of the ASC-CEAN project was a conference entitled ‘Islam, Disengagement of the State, and Globalization in Sub-Saharan Africa’ / ‘Islam, Désengagement de l’État et Globalisation en Afrique Subsaharienne’ that was held at UNESCO in Paris on 12-13 May 2005, in the course of which the project participants presented papers to an audience of fellow researchers and policymakers. The ASC and CEAN are planning to publish a selection of these conference papers (in English and French). As part of the project, a bibliography on Islam in contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa has also been prepared. This bibliography, which can be consulted online, will be of interest as a reference tool for students, academic researchers and policymakers alike. See it at: http://www.ascleiden.nl/Library/Webdossiers/IslamInAfrica.aspx#Islam_in_Sub-Saharan_Africa

announcements of future events and deadlines should be submitted at least 3 months ahead

les avis ponctuels oU contenant une date-limite doivent etre transmis 3 mois d’avance au moins

Daniel Bach (*) presented a paper titled: “The New SACU Agreement: A Comparative Perspective” for the workshop on “Monitoring regional integration in Southern Africa” held on 11-12 June in Windhoek, and co-sponsored by the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung and the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU). The program and the papers presented at this workshop can be accessed at: http://www.nepru.org.na/

Call for Papers: “Converted Spaces — Religion and Spatiality”

For an upcoming issue of the journal Radical History Review that focuses on religion and politics, we invite authors to write and submit short articles or essays (12-18 pages, double-spaced) to be published in a special forum exploring the theme “Converted Spaces.” We envision the forum to include 3-5 pieces that explore the following questions:

• How do physical spaces (buildings, streets, shrines, natural landscapes) function as sites of contestation among competing religious groups? How do such sites accommodate multiple religious faiths?

• In areas where one religious group became displaced by another, how were physical spaces “converted” from the old to the new faith? What were the social, cultural, and political consequences of such converted spaces?

• How are sacred spaces “secularized”? How are secular, public, or civic spaces (courthouses, schools) transformed when religious rituals, symbols, and/or practices enter them? What are the socio-political and cultural ramifications of such transformations?

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the Christianization of non-Christian sacred sites in Europe or regions colonized by Europeans; the destruction of Muslim mosques in India and their conversion into Hindu shrines; the use of churches for organizing dissent in the former Communist nations of Eastern Europe; debates about wearing head scarves by Muslim girls in French schools; the use of public schools in the United States for religious education and programs; the rise and function of so-called ‘mega churches’ in the United States; etc. We are interested in historical analyses, as well pieces analyzing current issues with historical perspectives. Interested authors should send a proposal to rhr@igc.org with “Converted Spaces RHR 99″ in the subject line of the e-mail message. Deadline for proposals is September 1, 2005. If your proposal is accepted for publication, final essays will be due January 15, 2006.

Knowledge and Science in Africa Conference of the “African Studies Association in Germany (VAD)” Frankfurt am Main, July 24 – 27, 2006

The “African Studies Association in Germany” (VAD) meets every two years to discuss current developments and the status of research in Africa within the framework of an international conference. At the conference planned for 2006, various conceptions of “knowledge” in the broadest sense are to be dealt with, whereby local concepts of knowledge are to play just as much a role as the knowledge accumulated and institutionalized by academics. Central topics are the production, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge. But also questions concerning the power to define what “knowledge” is and how this knowledge has changed in the history of African studies are to take center stage at the conference: Which questions are posed by African and non-African scholars/scientists, and which thematic priorities condition their research? Under what political and economic conditions is scholarship conducted in Africa, and what attempts have been made to achieve forms of co-operation in terms of equal partnership? Does Africa need more scholarship/science to solve its problems – and what role can be played by the research on Africa pursued at universities? In addition to the thematic focus on the networking of local and academic conceptions of knowledge, interdisciplinary panels are to receive special attention in Frankfurt. The “Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Africa (CIRA)” will host the conference.

• For information and details of the conference programme, go to: http://www.vad-ev.de/2006/fs_vad_eng.htm

Odile Cazenave (*) is joining Boston University’s department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures as an Associate Professor, beginning in September 2005, and following her earlier appointments as a Visiting Scholar during the first semester, and as a Visiting Associate Professor for the Spring semester of the past academic year. She has also been named a research associate of the African Studies Center.

Dans la série “Études et recherches du CEAN” dirigée par Comi Toulabor (*) , Jean-Marc Châtaigner vient de publier “L’ONU dans la crise en Sierra Leone: Les méandres d’une négociation” (Paris: Éditions Karthala, 2005; 198 p p. – € 18,00 – ISBN: 2-84586-619-4). Cet ouvrage, préfacé par Dominique Darbon (*), est centré sur l’action du Conseil de Sécurité dans le processus de gestion de crise et de retour à la paix. Il met en lumière les réalités concrètes des négociations au sein du Conseil et explique comment les positions des différents acteurs peuvent contribuer à la résolution d’un conflit ou, au contraire, compliquer la tâche des négociateurs sur le terrain.

Le Réseau « Droit de la santé » est l’un des réseaux de chercheurs de l’Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) mis en place pour favoriser les échanges entre les spécialistes du droit et de la santé, chercheurs et professionnels, utilisant le français comme langue de travail, et tout particulièrement pour aider au désenclavement des chercheurs, des laboratoires et des équipes de recherche. L’animation qui a réuni les chercheurs en droit de la santé de toute l’Afrique de l’Ouest à Dakar (Sénégal) du 29 mars au 1 er avril 2005 a été l’occasion de débattre des grandes problématiques posées par l’application du droit de la santé en Afrique de l’Ouest. Le programme des différentes sessions et les autres acivités du Réseau peuvent être consultés sur le site: http://www.ds.auf.org