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Transregional Perspectives on Development Cooperation, Social Mobility and Cultural Change
African-Asian interactions contribute to the emergence of a decentred, multi-polar world in which different actors need to redefine themselves and their relations to each other. Afrasian Transformations explores these changes to map out several arenas where these transformations have already produced startling results: development politics, South-South cooperation, cultural memory, mobile lifeworlds and transcultural connectivity. The contributions in this volume neither celebrate these shifting dynamics as felicitous proof of a new age of South-South solidarity, nor do they debunk them as yet another instance of burgeoning geopolitical hegemony. Instead, they seek to come to terms with the ambivalences, contradictions and potential benefits entailed in these transformations – that are also altering our understanding of (trans)area in an increasingly globalized world.

Contributors include: Seifudein Adem, Nafeesah Allen, Hanna Getachew Amare, Tom De Bruyn, Casper Hendrik Claassen, Astrid Erll, John Njenga Karugia, Guive Khan-Mohammad, Vinay Lal, Pavan Kumar Malreddy, Jamie Monson, Diderot Nguepjouo, Satwinder Rehal, Ute Röschenthaler, Alexandra Samokhvalova, and Sophia Thubauville.
Politics, Economy and Society 2009-2018
Author: Andreas Mehler
This compilation of chapters of the Africa Yearbook (2009-2018) confirms that the people of Central African Republic experienced dramatic events over a period of ten years, not only from 2013 onwards when the Séléka rebels managed to take the capital Bangui. The scattered arenas of conflict demand a differentiated look at local dynamics and actor constellations. Outside influences have interfered with domestic politics and socio-economic developments while CAR’s humanitarian crises and above all refugees and IDPs have triggered international responses on an unprecedented scale for a country that has now left the shadow zone of a typical “aid orphan”. A bibliography of recent scholarly work complements the collection of articles.
In: African Diaspora

Abstract

Digital media, diaspora and deterritorialisation have provided important ways to think about contemporary global flows and social ties. Digital diasporas as a unit of study have become especially relevant for social scientists, particularly anthropologists: In this paper, the author argues that digital diasporas represent both online communities and the ICT practices of those living abroad, which seemingly actualise the potential inherent in Castell’s notion of the Network Society. Examining the material and social dimensions of these ties, however, this paper moves to critique the notion of networks as stabilised representations of diaspora/homeland connections. Drawing from the author’s ethnographic research with tech professionals in Ghana, and with diaspora-based social media users in the U.S. and the Netherlands, the analysis posits that the asymmetry of Africa’s sociotechnical infrastructures is central to understanding the enduring disjunctive nature of these flows. Through interviews and analysis, the author illustrates how these sociotechnical systems configure Ghana’s global cyberculture.

In: African Diaspora

Abstract

In 2015, a reading group in Abuja, Nigeria, started the hashtag #BeingFemaleinNigeria, which received widespread attention. Within the confines of 140 characters, Nigerian women and men shared stories of gender inequality, sexism and misogyny in the country. Using feminist critical discourse analysis, this article unpacks the tweets under the #BeingFemaleinNigeria hashtag, and teases out what they tell us about gender inequality in Nigeria, and the ambitions for emancipation. This article takes the stance that African feminism(s) exist, that empirical study of lived experiences of African women should define it, and not perspectives that reject and argue that feminism comes from the other. Therefore, this empirical research contributes to scholarship that seeks to define the characteristics of African feminism(s), particularly as the field is criticised for being over-theorised.

In: African Diaspora

Abstract

The ‘New African Diaspora’ (NAD) in Australia is a small yet diverse and interconnected community. African-born persons make up only 1.5 % of the Australian population, yet collectively represent all 54 independent African nation-states, and speak over 60 languages. Nonetheless, Australia embraces stereotypical and misleading understandings of the ‘African migrant’, and whilst these have been subject to academic scrutiny, there is a need to reconceptualise the NAD in both public and academic discourse. This article endeavours to challenge contemporary perceptions through an exploration of the history and demography of the NAD and the manifold ways it continues to shape Australia’s socio-cultural and economic landscapes. We draw upon our findings from a 2018 mapping project, which comprised analyses of publicly available migration data, an online survey, and a series of six in-depth interviews. Our analysis unveils the central role the NAD plays in brokering between multiple cultures and geographies.

In: African Diaspora
Mobilizing Labor and Land in the Lake Kivu Region, Congo and Rwanda (1918-1960/62)
In Dissimilar Coffee Frontiers Sven Van Melkebeke compares the divergent development of coffee production in eastern Congo and western Rwanda during the colonial period. The Lake Kivu region offers a remarkable case-study to investigate diversity in economic development. In Rwanda, on the eastern side of the lake, coffee was mainly cultivated by smallholder families, while in the Congo, on the western side of the lake, European plantations were the dominant mode of production.

Making use of a wide array of largely untapped archival sources, Sven Van Melkebeke convincingly succeeds in moving the manuscript beyond a case-study of colonizers to a more nuanced history of interaction and in presenting an innovative new social history of labor and land processes.
IGAD and the Role of Regional Mediation in Africa
Author: Irit Back
Irit Back’s book From Sudan to South Sudan: IGAD and the Role of Regional Mediation in Africa comprehensively analyses the full achievements, shortcomings, and implications of IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) mediation efforts in Sudan and South Sudan. IGAD’s active mediation was a primary force behind the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the south and the north that eventually resulted in South Sudan’s declaration of independence in 2011. The euphoria of this historic achievement was, however, almost immediately overshadowed by internal strife, which has, since 2013, escalated to a large-scale conflict in the new-born nation that demanded IGAD’s renewed mediation efforts.

The book offers readers new insights and perspectives to apply when seeking to develop a more balanced understanding of Africa’s contemporary conflicts and the efforts to resolve them. More specifically, the book will also help readers to better comprehend the potential role of regional mediation in East Africa, a region with a turbulent history in the post-Cold War era.
In: Dissimilar Coffee Frontiers
In: Dissimilar Coffee Frontiers