Professor Ibrahima Thioub, faculty in the Department of History, University Cheikh Anta Diop, was recently awarded an honorary degree (Docteur Honoris Causa) by the University of Nantes, France. Professor Alain Supiot, Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Nantes, wrote:
“….instead of reducing this history (of the slave trade) to an analysis of the relations (of Africa) with Europe, Professor Thioub has brought to the fore the internal relations of oppression and exploitation (within the African communities themselves) without which such a trade would never have been possible…..”
“Professor Thioub’s academic pursuits and findings are a lesson and an encouragement to all those who still believe in the virtues of Kant’s credo: sapere aude: be bold enough to use and express your own mind.”
The West African Research Center was among the first institutions to be invited to attend the ceremony in Nantes. Unfortunately time and a crowded agenda did not allow the director to attend. The Center chose to celebrate the event by inviting Professor Thioub to give a public lecture on the topic:”Politics and Violence in Africa: Democracy in its Infancy or the Culture of Predation“. The Senegalese historian boldly addressed the topic. While blaming Europe for centuries spent draining Africa’s human and natural resources, Professor Thioub did not spare local dignitaries who took advantage of the heinous trade.
The lecture was attended by a crowd of more than 80, including many regular attendees of WARC’s events who praised the Center for contributing to the cultural vibrancy in Dakar: “Le WARC est l’une des rares institutions à offrir cette animation culturelle et intellectuelle de qualité ici à Dakar.”