WARA/AiB Forum on Civil Unrest in Chad
On Tuesday February 11, WARA collaborated with Africans in Boston (AiB) to host a program on Chad at Boston University’s African Studies Center. AiB president Voury Ignegongba, a Chadian himself, discussed the current political and economic situation in the landlocked African nation of Chad, explaining how conflicts in Libya, Sudan, and the Central African Republic have led to an increasingly unstable situation in an already struggling nation.
Mr. Ignegongba went through the post-colonial history of Chad, starting with its independence from France in 1960. Over the years, a series of coup d’etats led by military leaders have led to a general lack of confidence in the government.
Moreover, Chad is located at the center of a region wracked by conflicts. According to Ignegongba, the many conflicts in the region have made it impossible for Chad to advance in the 50 plus years since its independence. Mr. Ignegongba provided an overview of regional history and U.S. involvement in the region during the cold war, paying particular attention to the situation in Libya, leading up to the US intervention there in 2011. He briefly went through the history of the Central African Republic and the impact that these regional conflicts have had on Chad.
A son of a diplomat, Ignegongba was born in N’Djamena, Chad and grew up in Central and Western Africa (Cameroon, Mauritania, Niger, Mali) where he attended local international French schools. From an early age, he was exposed to a broad range of countries and culture including France, the United States, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria. Ignegongba holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in 2000. Since then he has worked in Japan and currently resides in Boston, where he serves as the president of Africans in Boston, a vibrant organization that brings together African residents in the area.