March 2005

Mario Azevedo (*) is one of the two coordinators of the Southeast Regional Seminar on African Studies (SERSAS), which will be held on Friday-Saturday, April 15-16, 2005 at Norfolk State University, Norfolk VA. SERSAS is a semi-formal, multi-disciplinary association of college and university faculty and staff members, independent scholars, practitioners, and graduate students residing on the eastern seaboard between Washington, D.C., and Florida, and as far west as Georgia and Tennessee, and beyond. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, State University of West Georgia, Northern Kentucky University, Clemson University, among others, have hosted recent meetings, with some participants attending from other parts of the U.S.A. and overseas. SERSAS panels and presentations have addressed topics such as justice and law reform, land tenure system, pilgrimage and conversion, Islam and the state, environmental history, democratization, reparations, and health issues in Africa.

For further information, contact Mario Azevedo at: Department of African-American and African Studies, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte NC 28223 V Phone: 704-687-2355 Fax: 704-687-3888 Email:

Achille Mbembe (*) a presenté en octobre dernier, à l’Université de Californie, Irvine la session 2004 des Wellek Lectures sur le thème: “The Political Life of Sovereignty”. Avec Sarah Nuttall, Achille Mbembe a co-édité le numéro spécial (16:3/fall 2004) de la revue Public Culture consacré au thème “Johannesburg: The Elusive Metropolis” . Pour consulter cette dernière publication, on peut visiter le site: . On y trouvera entre autres: “Soweto Now: A conversation between Achille Mbembe, Nsizwa Dlamini, and Grace Khunou”

Timothy W. Docking (*) has contributed a chapter titled: “International Influence on Civil Society in Mali: The Case of the Cotton Farmers’ Union, SYCOV” (pp. 197-222) to a new volume called “Between a Rock and Hard Place: African NGOs, Donors, and the State” edited by Jim Igoe and Tim Kelsall (Durham NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2005 – ISBN 1-59460-017-1). The book presents a comprehensive theoretical discussion of NGOs and civil society in Africa, supported by ethnographic case studies by from Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Mali, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), and Zimbabwe. Contributions show the ways in which African elites and community organizers have worked to position themselves within the global networks of development and governance institutions, and the impacts of their strategies on life in African communities. They also reveal how African NGOs have had to negotiate the different and often contradictory demands on their own constituencies, donors, and African states -the ways in which they have succeeded and the ways in which they have come unglued.

The table of contents and front matter can be viewed at:

Robert Kappel (*) has published, together with Jann Lay and Susan Steiner , an article titled: “Uganda: No More Pro-poor Growth?” in the Development Policy Review, 2005, 23 (1): pp. 27-53. The article explores changing growth regimes in Uganda, from pro-poor growth in the 1990s to growth without poverty reduction, actually even with a slight increase in poverty, after 2000. Not surprisingly, it finds that good agricultural performance is the key determinant of direct pro-poor growth in the 1990s, while lower agricultural growth is the root cause of the recent increase in poverty. At the same time, after 2000 low agricultural growth appears to have induced important employment shifts out of agriculture, which have dampened the increase in poverty. The article also assesses the indirect form of pro-poor growth by analysing the incidence of public spending and the tax system, and finds that indirect pro-poor growth has been achieved to only a limited extent.

(A pdf version of this article can be requested from GRAF, or from: )

Robert Kappel (*) has also contributed an article titled: “Wirtschaftsreformen und Armhutsbekämpfung in Afrika” (pp. 17-25) in the recent issue of the journal Aus Politik und Zeitsgeschichte (ApuZ); 4/2005 (24 Jan. 2005), which is devoted to Africa. That same issue (pp. 11-17) also includes an article written by Ulf Engel (*) on: “Deutschland, Afrika und die Entstehung gemeinsamer Interessen”. Access at:,0,0,APuZ_042005.html

Theodore Trefon (*) has edited (and contributed to) “Reinventing Order in the Congo: How people respond to sate failure in Kinshasa” (London: Zed Books, 2005; 240 p. – Hb £ 50 /$75 – ISBN 1 84277 490 5 ; Pb £ 17.95 /$22.50 – ISBN 1 84277 491 3). Of the sixteen contributors, half are Congolese, and the rest Westerners -mostly Belgian. An earlier version of this volume (in French) had been published earlier under the title: “Ordre et désordre à Kinshasa : Réponses populaires à la faillite de l’État” (Institut africain-CEDAF: Cahiers africains n° 61-62 Paris: L’Harmattan, 2003 – ISBN: 2-7475-4289-0). For information, table of contents and orders, go to:

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

Bogumil Jewsiewicki (*) will present the keynote address at the Summer Workshop on “Memory and Methodology” to be held July 3 -24, 2005 at York University’s Harriet Tubman Resource Centre on the African Diaspora.

Sessions will include – 1. recording/recorded traditions – 2. archival resources : the revolution in accessibility – 3. databases: design and analysis – 4. database construction – 5. digitalization and decoding – 6. questioning memory and history

The areas of focus will include all parts of the African diaspora in the historical period of slavery and emancipation. Specific areas of focus, based on the expertise of the senior scholars who will be in attendance and will lead workshops include:

1. Underground Railroad to Canada – 2. West Indian-Canadian linkages – 3. Louisiana – 4. Circum-Caribbean, Mainland and Islands – 5. Amerindian/Atlantic divide and intersection – 6. Western Africa – 7. Brazil – 8. the Maghreb and Islamic heartlands – 9. the Indian Ocean

The Workshop is directed at interested scholars currently involved in writing a book, a thesis, a series of articles, or otherwise assembling data for such projects. The focus is on advanced Ph.D. students writing their theses who want to undertake part of this exercise in a collegial and professional environment. Graduate students preparing to do fieldwork or designing theses topics are also encouraged to participate.

For further information, see the website at Enquiries should be directed to or

Luc Sindjoun (*) a dirigé la publication d’un ouvrage collectif paru sous le titre: “État, individus et réseaux dans les migrations africaines” [Paris, Karthala, Décembre 2004, 355 pages, ISBN: 2-84586-596-1]. Composé de deux parties, respectivement intitulées: “État, région et migrations” et: “Individus, réseaux et migrations”, l’ouvrage comporte dix chapitres vérifiant l’hypothèse suivant laquelle les migrations africaines sont marquées du sceau de l’influence directe ou indirecte de l’État (d’origine ou d’accueil) et des réseaux (ethniques ou religieux) sur les individus; lesquels sont dotés d’un sens pratique leur permettant de procéder à des arbitrages et à des choix identitaires dans le bricolage des processus migratoires. En fait, à partir de l’expérience du Golfe de Guinée, l’ouvrage montre que les migrations ne sont pas des affaires d’individus; elles sont déterminées par la relation trinitaire État, individus et réseaux.

Par ailleurs, dans le cadre d’une cérémonie organisée par l’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, Luc Sindjoun (*) a reçu le 13 décembre 2004 à Louvain-La Neuve, le Prix scientifique de la Francophonie en sciences sociales et humaines au titre de ses “études fondamentales dans le domaine de l’État, de la démocratie et des relations internationales”. Le Prix scientifique de la Francophonie vise à consacrer et à distinguer l’excellence francophone dans le domaine scientifique sur la base de l’évaluation compétitive des dossiers de candidature des chercheurs provenant de toutes les universités entièrement ou partiellement de langue française d’Afrique, d’Europe,d’Amérique du Nord, de l’Océan Indien, des Caraïbes et du Moyen Orient Pour de plus amples informations sur la cérémonie de remise des prix, aller sur le site de l’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie

David Zeitlyn (*) will 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. The conference is hosted by the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden and sponsored by Leiden University, Research School CNWS, the Association for African Studies NVAS, the African Studies Centre, Leiden, and Brill Academic Publishers. 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 encouraged are descriptions of previously unstudied divination systems. To attend the conference or to present a paper, please contact Jan Jansen at: The conference program can be accessed at: divination_conference_programme_2-2005.pdf

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 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.

Solofo Randrianja (*) a dirigé la publication de l’ouvrage collectif “Madagascar: Ethnies et ethnicité”, publié en novembre 2004 par le CODESRIA et pour lequel il a fourni non seulement l’Introduction (pp. 1-24) mais aussi un chapitre intitulé “Les Marofotsy à la conquête de la liberté vers 1820″ (pp. 79-136). Pour commander cet ouvrage [ iv+308 pages; illus, tableaux, cartes; ISBN 2-86978-133-4 - Afrique: non-CFA $15.50; CFA 10,000; autres pays: $22.00] à partir de l’Afrique, s’adresser au CODESRIA, Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop x Canal IV, BP 3304 – CP 18524, Dakar, Sénégal (Email: ) et, hors d’Afrique, à l’African Books Collective, The Jam Factory, 27 Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HU United Kingdom (Email: )

Fallou Ngom (*) contributed a chapter on “Linguistic and sociocultural hybridization in Senegalese urban spaces” in the volume “Urbanization & African Cultures”, edited by Toyin Falola and Steve Salm (Durham NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2005- ISBN 0-89089-558-9; pp. 279-294), which also includes an article by Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch (*) on “Residential Segregation in African Cities” (pp. 343-356). Fallou Ngom also published an article on “Language and Ethnic Identity in the Senegalese Speech Community” in the International Journal of the Sociology of Language , Issue 170, p.95-111, as well as another one, titled: “The Social Status of Arabic, French and English in the Senegalese Speech Community”, in Language Variation and Change , Vol. 15, 2003, p. 351-368. In addition, she presented a paper on “Arabic-based scripts in Senegalese Muslim communities: The case of Wolofal” at the Annual Meeting of Michigan Linguistic Society, held at the University of Michigan-Flint, October 16, 2004, as well as a paper titled “Wolof variation and change in the Senegalese speech community” at the 35th ACAL (Annual Conference on African Linguistics), Harvard University, April 02-04, 2004.

Phyllis Martin (*) has published an article entitled “Celebrating the Ordinary: Church,Empire and Gender in the Life of Mère Marie-Michelle Dédié (Senegal, Congo, 1882-1931)” in Gender and History, vol.16 (August 2004), pp. 289-317.

Claude Wauthier (*) a publié dans le numéro de janvier-mars 2005 de “Notre Libraririe” un compte-rendu du livre de la journaliste et poétesse sud-africaine Antjie Krog, “La Douleur des mots”, qui évoque les auditions de la Commission ‘Vérité et Réconciliation’ sur les crimes de l’apartheid.

Deux expositions au Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale (MRAC), Tervuren (Belgique) LA MÉMOIRE DU CONGO – LE TEMPS COLONIAL

Par cette exposition, le MRAC entend apporter sa contribution à un débat très actuel qui concerne la Belgique et l’histoire du Congo colonial. Objets, oeuvres d’art, documents, images et séquences cinématographiques inédites plongent le visiteur dans cette période controversée. Des interviews filmées de Belges et de Congolais font revivre le passé dans une confrontation de souvenirs et d’émotions. Cette exposition se tient du 4 février au 9 octobre 2005.

Pour plus de renseignments (et une brochure téléchargeable en pdf) voir le site:


Cette exposition s’est ouverte en avant-première du 6 au 26 septembre 2004 au siège de l’UNESCO à Paris à l’occasion d’une conférence internationale des donateurs qui visait à récolter des fonds pour la protection des cinq régions congolaises reconnues Patrimoine Mondial de l’Humanité : les parcs nationaux de Salonga, Virunga, Garamba et Kahuzi-Biega, ainsi que la réserve naturelle d’Okapi. Vous pouvez découvrir l’exposition à Paris à travers une visite virtuelle sur le site de l’UNESCO:

L’exposition est installée au MRAC du 23 novembre 2004 au 9 octobre 2005.

La République démocratique du Congo jouit d’une réputation mondiale quant à la diversité de ses ressources naturelles. En effet, aucun autre pays africain ne peut se prévaloir d’une diversité animale et végétale d’une richesse semblable. Les relations que l’homme entretient avec son environnement naturel sont originales et diversifiées: il dépend de la nature pour tous ses besoins vitaux tels que la nourriture et les médicaments, mais il a également recours à elle à des fins symboliques et économiques. Au Congo se parlent plus de 200 langues, attestant toutes de la connaissance qu’ont leurs locuteurs de ces richesses naturelles.

L’exposition ‘Congo. Nature & culture’ met au premier plan la diversité des liens qui unissent l’homme à la nature. Cinq thèmes font office de fil rouge tout au long de l’exposition:

1. La biodiversité et la protection de la nature via des parcs nationaux
2. La nature en tant que source de matières premières
3. La terminologie spécifique relative à la nature et à la culture
4. La nature en tant que source de symboles
5. La nature en tant que source de nourriture et de médicaments

Voir aussi le site:

The Changing Dynamics of Memory and Community in West African History
A summer institute for college and university faculty
July 17 – July 30, 2005 : University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

The lack of written sources and the oral nature of African societies once left Africa in the domain of anthropology, not history. Pioneering historians of Africa formulated a methodology that would submit oral traditions to the methods and techniques of textual criticism. Using written sources to amplify and cross-check oral traditions and eye-witness accounts was crucial for pioneers like Jan Vansina to establish the validity of oral evidence. Historians today embrace memory as dynamic, with different recollections of an event at different points in an informant’s lifetime not necessarily contradictory or divergent. Anthropologists grapple with a similarly basic challenge in critiques of their concept of community. It assumes a culture and society that are neatly bounded and relatively homogeneous, and it underpins the central ethnographic methodology of participant observation. Recognizing the reality of multiple conflicting identities within and intimate transnational connections between communities, researchers now question common-sense dichotomies like insider/outsider, traditional/modern, and local/global. Going beyond these simple definitions has involved paying serious but critical attention to historical imagination and textual history. As shifting paradigms in both fields bring their methodologies closer together, this summer institute will investigate how much these new approaches to memory and community have privileged African voices and advanced the pursuit of usable knowledge. The institute will also address non-oral sources, written and visual, and examine scholarly approaches within and outside Africa. The institute will be based at the Institute for African Studies at the University of Ghana and will consist of a series of lectures, seminars and discussion sessions. In addition, as part of the institute, participants will travel to Kumasi and to Cape Coast and Elmina castles.

Dr. Ibrahima Thioub (Université Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal) and Dr. Sandra E. Greene, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY) will team up to serve as directors. For more information, please contact WARA at

Robert Kappel (*) is now Director of the German Overseas Institute (DUEI) in Hamburg (website: ), located at Neuer Jungfernstieg 21, D-20354 Hamburg (Germany).

Phone: +49-(0)40 42825-593 Fax: +49-(0)40 42825-547. Email:

Geneviève Calame-Griaule a prononcé un “Hommage à Edmond Bernus (*) ” devant la Société des africanistes réunie le 14 février 2005 au Musée de l’Homme, à Paris.