Revisiting the ‘Scramble for Africa’

African-Identities-cover-f-sMy posts are published now on ‘Africa on the Blog’.

On 19 January 2016, a post was published entitled “Revisiting the ‘Scramble for Africa’“.

In the post, I point to research done by CEPR economists Michalopoulos and Papaioannouis, who have demonstrated how the fragmentation of ethnic groups over different countries in Africa has led to civil conflict, discrimination by the national government, and instability. This fragmentation is the result of sticking to the colonial boundaries, boundaries that were established by the Berlin Conference of 1885, also known as the ‘Curse of Berlin’.

In the post, I ask the question what to do with this knowledge. I then summarize some of the key points made in my own longread, “African Identities: a New Perspective”, in which I call for a renaissance of African languages, for a better appreciation of African cultures, for greater regional autonomy and – in some cases – for reconsidering the old colonial borders.

I point to the start contrast between developments in this area in Europe and those in Africa. Why is this so and what can be done to overcome the ‘Curse of Berlin’? In my longread, I call for:

– A study of African culture using modern theory of culture and intercultural communication;

– A study of African languages from an African perspective, looking not only at differences but also at commonalities; I support a renaissance of African languages;

– A Panafricanist perspective that does not gloss over differences but that respects and cherishes them, seeking to heal the wounds that were inflicted by the curse of 1885 and that is grounded in an appreciation of the uniqueness of all of Africa’s many peoples.

“African Identities: a New Perspective” is available from all major e-book retailers. It is available free of charge using this link.

The post on ‘Africa on the Blog’ was reproduced by Skynews and several other sites.