How to Fix Nigeria: Tackling Corruption

Friday, 9 December 2016 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Date & Time: Friday 9th December, 19:00 - 21:00
Venue: B5 Auditorium, Ground Floor, Franklin-Wilkins Building, King’s College London, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH

Speakers:

Charles Abiodun Alao, Professor of African Studies at King’s College London
Kayode Ogundamisi, UK-based Nigerian activist and anti corruption campaigner
Maggie Murphy, Transparency International's Senior Global Advocacy Manager
Ayo Sogunro, Writer, Teacher, Columnist, Lawyer

The office of Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, Federal Republic of Nigeria regrets that he will no longer be able to attend this event. 

Chair: Funmi Iyanda

In May 2016, ahead of the London Anti-Corruption Summit, then PM David Cameron was caught on camera calling Nigeria ‘fantastically corrupt’. In response to this diplomatic gaffe, President Muhammadu Buhari granted that Cameron was ‘telling the truth’ based on a perception of Nigeria, but that his interest lay more in the return of stolen assets held in British banks.

From a domestic angle, there have been various major scandals in which several billions of dollars have been stolen at the highest levels. Buhari has embarked on an energetic anti-corruption campaign (some claim selectively) since coming to power in 2015 on a platform of promising to tackle graft.

But as the Panama papers leak highlighted, corruption of this scale has only been made possible by a network of offshore secrecy jurisdictions and tax havens – many of which are overseen by the UK and directly benefit certain British interests. Thanks to this system, Africa is a net creditor to the rest of the world, and Nigeria is no exception.

Who is really ‘fantastically corrupt’? What is being done to tackle corruption both in Nigeria and internationally? Is this era of economic recession and ongoing security challenges the right one for Nigeria to definitively tackle corruption?

Join us for the next edition of the How to Fix Nigeria series, hosted by Funmi Iyanda, Oya Media and the Royal African Society in partnership with Shell and the Africa Research Group at King’s College London.

 

This event is open to the public, with a suggested donation of £10.
Please register your place via Eventbrite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date & Time: Friday 9th December, 19:00 - 21:00
Venue: B5 Auditorium, Ground Floor, Franklin-Wilkins Building, King’s College London, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH

Speakers:

Charles Abiodun Alao, Professor of African Studies at King’s College London
Kayode Ogundamisi, UK-based Nigerian activist and anti corruption campaigner
Maggie Murphy, Transparency International's Senior Global Advocacy Manager
Ayo Sogunro, Writer, Teacher, Columnist, Lawyer

The office of Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, Federal Republic of Nigeria regrets that he will no longer be able to attend this event. 

Chair: Funmi Iyanda

In May 2016, ahead of the London Anti-Corruption Summit, then PM David Cameron was caught on camera calling Nigeria ‘fantastically corrupt’. In response to this diplomatic gaffe, President Muhammadu Buhari granted that Cameron was ‘telling the truth’ based on a perception of Nigeria, but that his interest lay more in the return of stolen assets held in British banks.

From a domestic angle, there have been various major scandals in which several billions of dollars have been stolen at the highest levels. Buhari has embarked on an energetic anti-corruption campaign (some claim selectively) since coming to power in 2015 on a platform of promising to tackle graft.

But as the Panama papers leak highlighted, corruption of this scale has only been made possible by a network of offshore secrecy jurisdictions and tax havens – many of which are overseen by the UK and directly benefit certain British interests. Thanks to this system, Africa is a net creditor to the rest of the world, and Nigeria is no exception.

Who is really ‘fantastically corrupt’? What is being done to tackle corruption both in Nigeria and internationally? Is this era of economic recession and ongoing security challenges the right one for Nigeria to definitively tackle corruption?

Join us for the next edition of the How to Fix Nigeria series, hosted by Funmi Iyanda, Oya Media and the Royal African Society in partnership with Shell and the Africa Research Group at King’s College London.

 

This event is open to the public, with a suggested donation of £10.
Please register your place via Eventbrite

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Castro changed Southern Africa

Monday, 28 November 2016
Author: 
Richard Dowden

In Cuba it seems there will forever be two histories of Fidel Castro. One is the revolutionary who succeeded and became the guiding star for all who saw the world through the lens of Marxist Leninism. The other is the brutal dictator who suppressed democracy and kept his country poor.

There is one place where Castro undoubtedly made a difference: Angola. In 1975 a military coup in Portugal overthrew the dictatorship of Antonio d’Oliveira Salazar. The country was tired of fighting wars in its colonies in Africa, long after Britain and France had pulled out of their African empires.

Angola’s three liberation movements had been fighting the Portuguese but they were at odds with each other and soon civil war broke out. The Movement for the Liberation of Angola, backed by the Soviet Union, was largely coastal and urban. Of the other two, Jonas Savimbi’s (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) was supported by apartheid South Africa and Western countries, and the National Front for the Liberation of Angola ( FNLA), was backed by Angola’s northern neighbour Congo.

The Vietnam war was just drawing to an end but here, on the West Coast of Africa, a new war began which threatened to become a proxy war for the communist and capitalist superpowers. The Americans, whose long and bloody war in Vietnam had scarred the country’s conscience, were not ready for another intervention. From a distance they backed the FNLA and then worked with the South Africans to support UNITA. The Russians and Fidel Castro in Cuba supported the MPLA. But while the big players sought a power-sharing agreement, Castro decided to act. The Russians sent about 1000 advisers, money and prayers but no combat troops. East Germany also sent military assistance. But for Castro this was not just an adventure or purely ideological. Many Cubans are of African origin and come from the Angolan coast. Castro saw an opportunity to exert his brand of international solidarity and make a difference on a global scale.  He sent 3,000 combat troops, 300 military advisers as well as tanks and fighter aircraft.

The battleground was Cuito Cuanavale, a small town in the south on the river Lomba and the gateway to south eastern Angola where South Africa was training, supplying and directing Unita forces. The first attacks were in 1983 and a full-scale battle took place in 1986, the biggest battle in Africa since El Alamein in Libya in 1942. The largely white South African army took heavy casualties but held the town and stopped the Angolan offensive, preventing it from advancing south and capturing Savimbi’s headquarters at Jamba. Stalemate but not a situation that South Africa could maintain for long.

Shortly afterwards Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in the Soviet Union and began to make overtures to the US. I was in Washington at that time and managed to get a briefing on Angola at the Pentagon. I was shown a satellite photograph of that showed Cuban and East German airforce bases in southern Angola, some south of Cuito Cuanavale. I asked if the South Africans had seen them yet. “They will find out soon enough”, came the reply.

At that extraordinary moment I realised that the world had changed. The Americans had decided that since the Soviet Union was no longer the big threat in the region, the real enemy of peace in southern Africa was the racism of South Africa. The man whose decision to go to war in Angola had triggered this moment was Fidel Castro. 

Richard Dowden is Director of the Royal African Society, and author of Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles. 

Scaling Social Innovation in Africa

Thursday, 17 November 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Date & Time: Thursday, 17 November, 16:00-17:30
Venue: CLM 4.02, Clement House, LSE, Aldwych
Speaker: Ndidi Nwuneli
Chair: Professor Harry Barkema

Social entrepreneur Ndidi Nwuneli will share some insights from her new book, Scaling Social Innovation in Africa. Encouraged by the emergence and early impact of social innovators on the African Continent, but frustrated by the slow pace of large scale change, this book is focused on filling the knowledge gap among aspiring and emerging social innovators. It lays out the required building blocks for achieving scale at impact. It also explores the steps for attracting and retaining talent and financing and forming strategic partnerships with the private, public, and non-profit sectors to foster scaling.

Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli (@ndidinwuneli) is a serial social entrepreneur based in Nigeria. She is the founder of LEAP Africa, co-founder of AACE Foods, director at Sahel Capital and the African Philanthropy Forum.

Professor Harry Barkema joined the Department of Management at the LSE in 2007. He is the founding Director of the Innovation Co-Creation Lab (ICCL), and is also on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Management (AoM).
 

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEInnovation.
This is a Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa at LSE and Royal African Society event

This event is free and open to all, but pre-registration required via Eventbrite
 

 

 

 

 

Africa APPG- How can the UK support the participation of women and Rule of Law in the DRC?

Tuesday, 1 November 2016 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

                                                  

 

The UK spends £1m a day, or $500m a year in the D.R.Congo, in order to support the development of the D.R.Congo, to support democracy and the rule of law, demonstrating the depth of the UK-D.R.Congo relationship. In June 2016, the UK was ready to spend £17m to help fund free and fair elections in the D.R. Congo, however the incumbent D.R.Congo Government and other political actors have demonstrated that they seek to prolong the rule of Joseph Kabila into a third term, which is barred under the D.R, Congo constitution. With the recent launch of a political dialogue that started on the 1st September 2016, it is now clear that it will be impossible to hold presidential elections as planned in November 2016.

Congolese Women based in the UK and the D.R. Congo are united in their concern about the ongoing political crisis and the current situation of instability in the D.R. Congo and are calling for effective security sector reforms, the strengthening of political institutions and the respect of the D.R. Congo constitution.

The speaker panel and Q&A will explore how the UK Government and private sector through implementing OECD guidelines can best support security sector reforms and political institutions to make room for Congolese women’s voices and the implementation of the Congolese constitution as well as National Action Plan on UNSC RES 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

 

Chair: Anne McLaughlin MP, Vice Chair of the Africa APPG@AnneMcLaughlin

Speakers:

1. Kongosi Mussanzi and Furaha Mussanzi - Human Rights Activists representing COMMON CAUSE UK, Centre Résolution Conflits (CRC), Bradford Congo Campaign and UKWILPF @FarayMarie @UKWILPF

2. Sophia Pickles, Campaign Lead on Conflict Minerals at Global Witness UK @SophiaPickles

3. Eve Bazaiba MP, Member of the D.R.Congo Parliament and General Secretary of the Mouvement de La liberation du Congo (MLC) @Evebazaiba

4. Catherine Pluyger, Chair of the London United Nation Association and SE Region

The panel will be followed by an audience Q&A.

Active tweeting of the event is encouraged- please use hashtags: #UNSCR1325 and #DRCongo

 

The meeting is hosted by the Africa APPG (@AfricaAPPG) together with the Royal African Society (@RoyAfriSoc) and Voices of African Women Campaign of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (@UKWILPF &@Peace_Women). 

 

To register for the event please, register via Eventbrite here.

Ghana: Where to now? Election Panel Discussion and launch of 'Positioning Ghana'

Friday, 11 November 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Date & Time: Friday 11th November 2016, 18.30-20.00

Venue: Alumni Lecture Theatre, Paul Webley Wing, Senate House, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1H 0XG

Speakers: Nana Ampofo, Partner & Co-Founder, Songhai Advisory; Michael Ansah, Chairman, New Patriotic Party (NPP) UK; Gideon Okai, Communications Team, National Democratic Congress (NDC) UK; Jeff Turner, Visiting Lecturer, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds & Positioning Ghana contributor.
Chair: Richard Tandoh (Star 100)

We will begin with a statement by Prof. Nana Araba Apt (Emerita Dean of Academic Affairs, Ashesi University College, Ghana, & Editor of Positioning Ghana) who is unfortuantely no longer able to join us in person.

Over the past 20 years, governing parties have made tremendous efforts to achieve economic development, reduce poverty and boost living standards in Ghana, with varied results.  As the country heads to the polls this December, it is a good time to consider what the priorities should be for her next government.

This event brings together representatives of Ghana’s two main political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), alongside academics and analysts to discuss key issues such as democracy and governance, infrastructure, education, health and technology.   

These themes are explored in depth in a newly published book, Positioning Ghana: Challenges and Innovations, which will also be launched at the event.  This collection, edited by Professor Nana Araba Apt, who will be speaking on the day, brings together 18 academics, public officers and human development activists to present their ideas about strategies needed to advance Ghana’s development.  The focus is very much on solutions.

Light refreshments will be served.  Signed copies of the book will be on sale at £20.

Presented in partnership with Star 100 - The Professional Ghanaian Network
 

 £5. Please register on Eventbrite
Free for RAS Members - email ras_events@soas.ac.uk for info
 

 

 

 

Democracy in the Digital Age: How Ghana is preparing to deliver the 2016 Elections

Wednesday, 2 November 2016 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Date & Time: Wednesday 2nd November 2016, 19:00 - 20:30

Venue: Alumni Lecture Theatre, Paul Webley Wing, Senate House, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Listen to podcast

Speaker: Mrs. Charlotte Osei (Chair of Ghana’s Electoral Commission)

Chair: Dr Michael Amoah (Research Associate at the Centre of African Studies, University of London)

Mrs. Charlotte Ama Osei has over two decades of legal, administration, and executive board level experience, and is now the first female Chair of Ghana’s Electoral Commission.  Prior to her appointment, Mrs. Osei served for nearly 4 years as the first female Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education, which is the constitutional body mandated to educate Ghanaians on their civic rights and responsibilities, voting rights and knowledge of the constitution.

Mrs. Osei has served as a Barrister-at-Law and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana and as General Counsel & Company Secretary for major financial institutions including the Ghana Commercial Bank, UniBank Ghana Ltd. Mrs. Osei also holds a Master of Laws (LL.M) from Queen's University, Canada; a Masters in Business Leadership (MBL) from the University of South Africa; a Qualifying Certificate in Law from the Ghana School of Law; and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Ghana.   

Ahead of the general elections on 7th December 2016, Mrs. Osei joins us to speak about the transformation, planning and delivery process of the commission, with a particular focus digital technology.   

Dr Michael Amoah is a Research Associate at the Centre of African Studies at SOAS. He specializes in the International Politics of Africa, Foreign Policy and Diplomacy. His doctoral work on Ghana was published as Volume 19 of the International Library of African Studies under the Tauris Academic Series, with the title "Reconstructing the Nation in Africa: the politics of nationalism in Ghana". His publications include "The Most Difficult Decision Yet: Ghana's 2008 Presidential Election", African Journal of Political Science and International Relations (April 2009). He is also the author of "Nationalism, Globalization, and Africa" (Palgrave Macmillan 2011)
 

This event is free and open to all, but space is limited. Please reserve your place on Eventbrite.
 

Click for venue directions

In conversation with Nuruddin Farah and readings of newly translated Somali works

Thursday, 27 October 2016 - 6:00pm to 10:00pm

Date & Time: Thursday 27 October 2016 18:00 – 22:00

Venue: Oxford House Derbyshire Street London E2 6HG

Speakers: Nuruddin Farah, Abdisalam Hereri, Mahamed Mahamud Yasiin “Dheeg”, CaashaLul Mohamad Yusuf, Clare Pollard  Elmi Ali and W.N. Herbert

Somali culture has two lives. It lives both in the Somali language and in translation. It comes from Somali people writing in many different languages and making connections between Somali culture and the wider world.

From the launch of the Somali translation of From a Crooked Rib by Nuruddin Farah to performances by Somali poets, both from the Somali territories and living in the UK, this event will showcase the literary work of Somali artists and the translators who have brought their work to a larger audience.

This event is the result of a partnership between Africa Writes (the Royal African Society’s literature and book festival), Poetry Translation Centre (PTC) and Somali Week Festival.

Panel 1: Book launch and in conversation with Nuruddin Farah and Abdisalam Hereri

From a Crooked Rib by Nuruddin Farahwas first published in 1970. It tells a coming of age story about a young nomad woman escaping an arranged marriage. Farah wrote the book in English while studying in India. After the novel was published in Europe,Nuruddin Farah quickly gained international acclaim, but his work was never available in Somali.

During a book tour in Europe during the 1970’s Farahwas warned that Somali authorities planned to arrest him. Since then he has lived abroad, writing many more novels in English and becoming a leading figure in Somali Studies. After 46 years, From a Crooked Rib has now been translated into Somali by a renowned TV and radio producer, Abdisalam Hereri.

Somali Week Festival is proud to celebrate this achievement by inviting Nuruddin Farah &Abdisalam Hereri to launch the Somali translation of From a Crooked Rib at the festival. Nuruddin Farah and  Abdisalam Hereri.

Panel 2: Somali Poetry  - Readings and Panel Discussion

This evening will continue with readings of Somali poetry from poets living in the Somali territories and based in the UK. The poems will be read in Somali by the poets and in English by their translators. After the readings the poets and translators will hold a discussion of Somali poetry and translation, relating their different perspectives as poets and translators from different backgrounds working in different traditions.

Poets Cabdul qaadir Cabdi  Shube and Mahamed Mahamud Yasiin “Dheeg” who live and work in the Somali territories will launch their newly translated poems. The English versions have been prepared by Maxamed Hassan ‘Alto’ and English poet Bill Herbert thanks to our collaboration with the Poetry Translation Centre. Alto, a Somali translator and journalist and Bill have worked on many translations of Somali poets together, including poems by Hadraawi and Garriye.

They will perform alongside CaashaLul Mohamad Yusuf and Clare Pollard. Caasha grew up in Somalia but has lived in the UK since 1990. She is fast emerging as one of the most exciting young poets living in the Somali diaspora. Caasha, Clare, and Alto have worked together for years translating Caasha’s poems from Somali into English and their collaboration continues.

These poets will be joined by Elmi Ali, a British born Somali writer, and spoken-word artist based in the North-West of England. He has performed his work in the Power House Library in Mosside and at the British Library, as part of the Africa Writes festival. He has been published in Sable15 and Critical Muslim.

The Participants

Nuruddin Farah is a world renowned, prize winning Somali novelist. Writing in English, Farah established his international reputation in 1970 with his first novel From a Crooked Rib. Farah lived in self-imposed exile for 22 years after the publication of his second novel A Naked Needle. Since then he has lived and worked away from his homeland as a novelist, playwright and leading figure in Somali Studies. He has said he sees his work as an attempt "to keep my country alive by writing about it".

Abdisalam Hereri is a renowned TV and radio producer.

Caasha Lul Mohamad Yusuf is fast emerging as one of the most exciting young poets living in the Somali diaspora. Like all Somalis, Caasha grew up in a culture steeped in poetry and while she was young she started to compose her own poems. Her work began getting published on Somali websites in 2008 and, since then, she hasrapidly garnered a great deal of praise for her ability to infuse her poetry with fresh imagery enlivened by telling details. Caasha came to the UK in 1990 having fled the Somali Civil War. She now has three children, a steady job, and a growing career as a poet.

Mahamed Mahamud Yasiin “Dheeg” is a poet, first generation Somali playwright, and songwriter, born and bred in the suburbs of Hargeysa district, Somaliland. He is a former member of the first artist troupe established in the city in the early 50s called WalaalahaHargeysa. His literary production is acclaimed for its variety and combination of the serious poetic style conforming to tradition, and the modern song poem known for its captivating appeal and easiness. Dheeg is a symbol of the older generation and its passion for poetry, but also an entertainer who appeals to the young urban middle classes.

Cabdul qaadir Cabdi Shube was born in the Nugal region, and raised in a nomadic area. He comes from a long line of poets who are popular for preserving the tradition of their ancestors.He was also member of Horseed band, and his artistic work touched on many topics, including politics, peace, and reconciliation. He currently lives with his wife and children in Garoowe.

Elmi Ali is a writer, performer/facilitator based in the North-West of England. He writes poetry, short fiction and for the stage. His performances have been received in venues across the country from the Power House Library in Mosside to the British Library. His latest work is published in Sable15 and Critical Muslim 13 respectively.  He facilitates voicing it, a weekly Creative Writing Lab at Contact Manchester and is associate editor at Scarf Magazine.

Maxamed Hassan 'Alto' was born in 1960. He studied in Somalia and Soviet Union and has an MA in Journalism. Since 2004 he has been a teacher in Somali language at SOAS London. He is a writer and freelance journalist and has published and edited many books in Somali language. He has worked closely with Dr Martin Orwin on a number of Somali poetry translations and is closely involved with the Poetry Translation Centre.

W.N. Herbert is an acclaimed UKpoet. His most recent collection, Bad Shaman Blues (Bloodaxe, 2006), was shortlisted for the TS Eliot and Saltire Prizes. He’s currently working on a book of translations of contemporary Chinese poetry with Yang Lian. Bill is based in Newcastle.

Clare Pollard received an Eric Gregory Award in 2000 and was named by The Independent as one of their 'Top 20 Writers Under 30'. Her first poetry collection, The Heavy-Petting Zoo, was published in 1998 and her second and third collections, Bedtime and Look, Clare! Look!, were published in 2002 and 2005 respectively. As a writer, Clare is very concerned with bearing witness to the times in which we live. Her work has frequently engaged with contemporary concerns, from our confessional media culture in Bedtime, to climate change in her play The Weather and globalisation in Look, Clare! Look!.

 

Tickets £5.90. Book now on Eventbrite.

 

 

 

Cancelled: Fed up and not afraid: Zimbabwe’s new citizen activism

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Date & Time: Tuesday 18th October, 7.00-8.30pm

Venue: CLM2.02, Clement House, London School of Economics, London, WC2B 4JF

Speakers: Pastor Evan Mawarire, Standrick Zvorwadza and Patson Dzamara

Chair: Professor Stephen Chan (SOAS)

It is with regret that we announce this event has been cancelled due to events outside of our control.

Zimbabwe’s citizens have taken to the streets and to social media to organise and speak out against social injustice in what has been described as the country’s largest protest movement in almost a decade. Speaking about #ThisFlag, the national stay-away and the response of the current government, we are joined by three prominent activists - Pastor Evan Mawarire, Standrick Zvorwadza and Patson Dzamara.

Pastor Evan Mawarire is a religious leader, motivational speaker and author. He gained national and then global notoriety after his video This Flag went viral, spurring the start of the #ThisFlag hashtag online. Along with protests and stayaways, the online movement has mobilised Zimbabweans to demand an accountable government. The Pastor was later arrested in early July 2016 after successfully calling for a national 'Stay Away' dubbed 'Shut down Zimbabwe'. His arrest sparked an international uproar by human rights groups. He was later acquitted by the Magistrate citing violations Constitutional rights. He has since fled to South Africa and then to the United States.

Standrick Zvorwadza is a political and civil rights activist. A teacher by profession, he acts as the board chairman of the National Vendors Union of Zimbabwe. With an estimated 80% unemployment rate, the highest in Southern Africa, the economy relies on a large number of vendors. Standrick has been arrested several times defending the rights of vendors in Zimbabwe against the confiscation of their goods by authorities.  Standrick gained international publicity when he led the protest against Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko's continued stay at a five star hotel for almost 2 years at public purse in June 2016. He was arrested by the police and charged with malicious damage to property. The Vice President has since left the hotel after the protest. He has been prominent in the use of social media under the #thisflower and #tajamuka hashtags. Tajakuma means 'outraged', 'angry' with an implicit component of 'action' - something like: "Let's act".

Patson Dzamara is an academic, leadership consultant and motivational speaker. He travels extensively speaking on leadership in presentations based on the 7 books he has published to date. His brother Itai Dzamara, who started the Occupy Africa Unity square Movement, calling for the end of President Mugabe’s rule was abducted in March 2015 and has not been seen since.  Patson has been campaigning to demand the return of his brother, for the government to address economic hardships, and calling for the end to Mugabe rule. An active social media user, he has popularised the #occupyafrica hashtag, and has also been arrested for his activities. 

This event is held in partnership with The Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa (@AfricaAtLSE), which aims to strengthen LSE’s long-term commitment to placing Africa at the heart of understandings and debates about global issues.

This event is free and open to all but space is limited. Please reserve your place on Eventbrite.

When registration for this event is full, please consider attending a discussion the following day (19th October) in Parliament with the Africa & Zimbabwe APPGs

Image: Themba Hadebe, Associated Press

 

 

RAS Annual Lecture 2016 - Africa's Growth Story: A New Chapter

Friday, 21 October 2016 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

 

The Royal African Society's Annual Lecture 2016
Delivered by Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

Chaired by: Zeinab Badawi, Chair of the Royal African Society

Date & Time: Friday, 21 October, 6-8PM

Venue: Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole Street, London W1G 0AE

In recent years much of the media has documented the fall in commodity prices and the impact of global and regional downturns in African countries. How can African governments increase their resilience to external shocks and what are the pitfalls they should avoid? Join President Adesina as shares his insights on the next chapter of Africa’s growth story.

Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina is the 8th elected President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). He is a distinguished development economist and agricultural development expert with 25 years of international experience.

Adesina has held a number of high-level roles including at the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), and in the Food Security division of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York. He has received international recognition for his leadership and work in agriculture, and in 2010 was appointed by the UN as one of 17 global leaders to spearhead the Millennium Development Goals.

During his service as Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (2010-2015), he implemented bold policy reforms in the fertilizer sector and pursued innovative agricultural investment programs to expand opportunities for the private sector. Now at the AfDB, the priority areas for his five-year term as president include growing the private sector for industrialization and wealth creation, jobs for youth and women, rural economies for inclusive growth and regional integration.

We invite guests to attend a wine reception in the atrium of the Royal Society of Medicine before the lecture (included in the ticket price).

Tickets: £16 / £8 / Free for RAS members. Register on Eventbrite.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Comrades Go to War: Liberation Politics and the Outbreak of Africa’s Deadliest Conflict

Tuesday, 11 October 2016 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Date & Time: Tuesday, 11 October 2016, 18:30-20:00

Venue: Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Paul Webley Wing, Senate House, SOAS, University of London

Speakers: Philip Roessler (College of William and Mary) and Harry Verhoeven (Georgetown University)
Discussant: Richard Benda (University of Manchester)
Chair: Phil Clark (SOAS)

In October 1996, a motley crew of ageing Marxists and unemployed youth coalesced to revolt against Mobutu Seso Seko, president of Zaire/Congo since 1965. Backed by a Rwanda-led regional coalition that drew support from Asmara to Luanda, the rebels of the AFDL marched over 1500 kilometres in seven months to crush the dictatorship. To the Congolese rebels and their Pan-Africanist allies, the vanquishing of the Mobutu regime represented nothing short of a ‘second independence’ for Congo and Central Africa as a whole and the dawning of a new regional order of peace and security.

Within fifteen months, however, Central Africa’s ‘liberation peace’ would collapse, triggering a cataclysmic fratricide between the heroes of the war against Mobutu and igniting the deadliest conflict since World War II. Uniquely drawing on hundreds of interviews with protagonists from Congo, Rwanda, Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Africa, Belgium, France, the UK and the US, Why Comrades Go To War offers a novel theoretical and empirical account of Africa’s Great War. It argues that the seeds of Africa’s Great War were sown in the revolutionary struggle against Mobutu—the way the revolution came together, the way it was organized, and, paradoxically, the very way it succeeded. In particular, the book argues that the overthrow of Mobutu proved a Pyrrhic victory because the protagonists ignored the philosophy of Julius Nyerere, the father of Africa’s liberation movements: they put the gun before the unglamorous but essential task of building the domestic and regional political institutions and organizational structures necessary to consolidate peace after revolution. 

Join us for a discussion with the book's authors Philip Roessler and Harry Verhoeven and discussant Richard Benda, chaired by Phil Clark.

This event is presented in partnership with SOAS Department of Politics and International Studies. Copies of Why Comrades Go to War Liberation Politics and the Outbreak of Africa’s Deadliest Conflict (Hurst, 2016) will be on sale at the event. Further details

This event is free and open to all but seating is limited. Please register your place on Eventbrite.

 

 

 

 

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