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  • The Unfinished Business of Liberation and Transformation: Revisiting The 1958 All-African People’s Conference

    This book features essays, speeches, and reflections from the 60th anniversary commemoration of the All-African People’s Conference (AAPC), an epochal event in the history of the emancipatory struggles of African people. The four-day conference was a collaboration between the Institute of African Studies, Trades Union Congress of Ghana, Socialist

    Forum of Ghana, Lincoln University, and the Third World Network Africa.

    The book consists of three sections. The first contains ten essays on some of the conference’s key themes – decolonising knowledge production, a new politics for substantive democracy and security, economic liberalisation and the crises of work, and Pan-Africanism yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The second section features speeches delivered at the Conference – the welcome and closing addresses, solidarity messages from prominent pan-Africanists as well as an interview with the last living delegate of the 1958 All-African People’s Conference. The last section contains the conference background documentation and the Statement of Issues and Recommendations adopted by the Conference. The bookends are two poems by pan-Africanist scholar-poets. The book offers valuable perspectives on Africa’s current predicaments and what a truly liberated Africa can offer to the world.

     

     

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Invocation

    • Ancestral Roll-Call – Kofi Anyidoho

    Introduction- Back to the Future: The 1958 AAPC and the Power of Optimism

    Section 1

    1. Revisiting The 1958 All-African People’s Conference –The Unfinished Business of Liberation and Transformation – Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja
    2. Revisiting The 1958 All-African People’s Conference –The Unfinished Business of Liberation and Transformation – Horace Campbell
    3. Pan-Africanism in Mwalimu Nyerere’s Thought – Issa Shivji
    4. Ghana (1957 – 1966): Reflections and Lessons From a 20th Century Pan-African Liberated Nation-State – D. Zizwe Poe
    5. Transnational Citizenship on the Borderlands: Towards Making (Non)Sense of National Borders in Africa – Edem Adotey
    6. Looking Backwards to Run Forward: A Critical Examination of the 60th Anniversary of the 1958 All-African People’s Conference – Mjiba Frehiwot
    7. Generating Inclusive and Sustainable Growth: Challenging Neoliberal Approaches to Gender Mainstreaming in Regional Economic Integration in Africa – Adryan Wallace
    8. A Brief History of Development Initiatives in Africa – Anthony Yaw Baah
    9. Pan-African Epistemologies of Knowledge Production: A Deconstruction-Based Critical Reflection – James Dzisah & Michael Kpessa Whyte
    10. Hip-Hop Studies as a Model for Anti-imperialist Research in Africa – Msia Kibona Clark

    Section 2

    1. Speech by the chair of the Secretariat 60th Anniversary of the All-African People’s Conference – Dzodzi Tsikata
    2. Speech by H.E Thabo Mbeki former president of South Africa
    3. Speech by the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Kwesi Quartey
    4. Speech by the Chair of the 60th Anniversary of the All-African People’s Conference – Akilagpa Sawyerr
    5. In-conversation: Speaking with History (participant at the 1958 AAPC) – G. A. Balogun interview – Edem Adotey

    Section 3

    1. AAPC @ 60 Conference Background Documentation
    2. On culture at the AAPC @ 60 – Eric Tei-Kumado and Edem Adotey
    3. AAPC @ 60 Conference Recommendations and Issues for the Future

    Exhortation

    • De Geas of Rickydoc: an Exhortation – Arthur Flowers
  • Being Anti-Colonial

    Being Anti-Colonial by Jayan Nayar presents a profound critique of the contemporary engagements with ‘decolonial theory’ and the popular usage of ‘decolonisation’. This work argues that much of the current discourse within critical theory tends to overlook the intricate, essentially praxiological underpinnings of the anti-colonial struggle, thereby comfortably situating itself within the post-colonial status quo. Nayar’s book serves as a radical call to authentically re-engage with the anti-colonial ethos, emphasizing the necessity to confront the enduring architectures of coloniality that define our present. Distinctly divided into two parts, the book first elucidates the conceptual groundwork to reconceptualise ‘anti-colonial’ as a philosophical stance deeply entwined with the fabric of the global (post)colonial reality. Through meticulously argued philosophical foundations, Nayar underscores the (post)colonial present as a state of ‘resettlement’, where the architecture of post-colonial world-making loses sight of its colonial matrices. Being Anti-Colonial is both an invitation and a challenge to the academic community to critically revisit and re-energize the conversation about coloniality.

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  • I see the invisible

    Truth be told, I never thought I would write another volume of poetry after the last, I will not Dance to Your Beat (2011). The reason was that my previous volumes were reactive to the circumstances of the times. Patriots and Cockroaches (1992) was a reaction to the socio-political corruption that had engulfed Africa and dimmed the enthusiasm that had been built by the years of struggle for independence. Whereas we thought we were stepping into a post-colonial era, what we stepped into was a vicious neo-colonial times. The next collection, Poems on the Run (1995) was a reaction to military autocracy and the repression that followed. The volume was literally written underground. This was followed by Intercepted (1998) all written while detained at Kalakuta Republic of Alagbon Close. We Thought it was Oil But it was Blood (2002) responded to two things primarily – extractivism and the accompanying human and environmental rights abuses in the Niger Delta and elsewhere. The massive erosion of biodiversity and attacks on food sovereignty through the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into our agricultural system inspired I Will not Dance to your Beat.

    What you have in your hands, or on your screens, is a compilation that is largely more meditative than the previous collections. There are moments of reflection on the colonial and neoliberal foundations that permit a willful disconnection from nature and the resultant destructive extractivism.

    Some of the poems came through conversations and poetry writing sessions with Peter Molnar, Maryam al-Khawaja — Rafto Human Rights laureates and Salil Tripathi, a member of the board of PEN International, in August 2017. The sessions held at a beautifully rustic location in Celleno, Italy, were documented on celluloid by the duo of Maria Galliana Dyrvik and Anita Jonsterhaug Vedå of SMAU, a multimedia firm in Norway. Poetic relationship with Maria and Anita has continued over the years and their work continues to inspire more and more poems.

  • Política e cultura no pensamento emancipatório africano

    Description (2132 / 2500)
    A atual ausência de uma visão emancipatória para a África está no centro dos nossos problemas políticos relacionados à opressão racial capitalista e colonial. Qualquer tentativa de repensar a emancipação política no continente africano deve ser capaz de localizar uma concepção universal de liberdade no interior das experiências culturais singulares que as pessoas vivem. Quando esteve baseada nas tradições populares, a política emancipatória exibiu tais traços dialéticos, independentemente da maneira específica na qual cada luta pela liberdade foi pensada em diferentes contextos históricos. No entanto, apenas alguns intelectuais militantes compreenderam a importância dessa dialética no pensamento.

    O presente volume esboça e discute dois pontos de vista particularmente importantes sobre o papel e a relevância da cultura popular na política emancipatória em África. Cada um deles resulta de formas distintas de exploração capitalista e colonialista: o primeiro viu a luz do dia em um contexto colonial, enquanto o segundo é diretamente confrontado pelo estado neocolonial. Todas as políticas emancipatórias são desenvolvidas em confronto com o poder estatal, e todas começam com um processo de discussão e debate através do qual um sujeito coletivo começa a se formar. No continente africano, a construção de tal sujeito político coletivo tem sido informada, de maneira fundamental, pelas culturas populares.

    Os dois autores cujos ensaios estão aqui incluídos entenderam isso e colocaram a cultura popular no centro de suas políticas. O primeiro, Amílcar Cabral, aborda o papel central da cultura popular na luta pela independência da Guiné-Bissau nos anos 1970; o segundo, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba, aborda a centralidade da cultura popular africana para uma política emancipatória endereçada à atual República Democrática do Congo. Apesar das décadas que os separam, tanto Cabral como Wamba-dia-Wamba desenvolvem, no centro de sua política, uma dialética que ativa os universais da cultura no presente. É essa característica que confere às suas visões uma importância central para o pensamento emancipatório contemporâneo.

  • Politique et culture dans la pensée émancipatrice Africaine

    Au cœur de nos problèmes politiques issus d’un capitalisme racial et d’une oppression (néo)coloniale en Afrique aujourd’hui se trouve l’absence de toute vision émancipatrice véritable. Toute tentative de repenser une politique émancipatrice en Afrique doit pouvoir situer une vision universaliste de la liberté parmi les expériences culturelles singulières que les gens vivent. Les politiques émancipatrices quand elles existaient, bien que pensées dans les luttes pour la liberté ayant lieu dans des contextes historiques particuliers, mettaient toujours en vue une dialectique de ce genre quand elles étaient vraiment basées parmi les traditions populaires. Cependant, seulement une minorité de dirigeants intellectuels et militants comprenait l’importance d’une telle dialectique pour la pensée et l’action.

    Ce petit livre trace le contour et discute de deux points de vue très importants sur le rôle de la culture populaire dans la politique émancipatrice en Afrique. Chacun d’entre eux émane de formes d’exploitation capitalistes coloniales distinctes : le premier a vu le jour dans un contexte colonial classique tandis que le second est directement issu d’un contexte étatique néocolonial. Toute politique émancipatrice est développée vis-à-vis le pouvoir d’état et toutes commencent avec un processus de discussion ou est formé un sujet collectif. Un tel sujet politique doit être fondamentalement informé par et conçu en relation avec les cultures populaires.

    Les deux auteurs ci-inclus ont compris ce principe et mettent la culture populaire au centre de leur pensées politiques. Le premier, Amílcar Cabral se réfère au rôle principal de la culture dans la lutte contre le colonialisme au Guinée Bissau dans les années 1970 ; le second, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba insiste sur le rôle central de la culture populaire pour une politique émancipatrice dans la République Démocratique du Congo aujourd’hui. Malgré la distance temporelle qui les sépare, tous les deux développent au centre de leurs politiques distinctes, une pensée dialectique qui déclenche des pensées universalistes depuis la culture populaire dans le présent. C’est pour cela que leurs points de vue sont d’une importance capitale pour la pensée de la politique émancipatrice en Afrique aujourd’hui.

  • Politics of Turbulent Waters: Reflections on Ecological, Environmental and Climate Crises in Africa

    For the past 10 years, the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has been on the front line of the struggle for environmental justice, climate justice and food sovereignty in Africa and the globe. It has been a decade of non-stop probing of the exploitation of resources, peoples and nations, which has given rise to numerous environmental and climate injustices. HOMEF has had a decade of witnessing and standing against the injustice, the powers and structures (industries and policies) suffocating the rights of the people to a healthy environment and standing with the neglected to take charge of their once self-managed food and agricultural systems. The struggle has necessitated the reawakening of communities’ consciousness to the injustices that besiege them and to their ‘people power’ – power to be utilized in seeking the desired change.mPolitics of Turbulent Waters is a compendium of selected articles in the 36 issues of the Eco-instigator published from 2013 to 2022. The Eco-instigator is yet another tool used by HOMEF to pull together thoughts and reports of activities that advance environmental justice and food sovereignty. Issue by issue, these thoughts and reports flow from within HOMEF and other environmental/climate justice and food sovereignty advocates from across Africa and the globe.They form this rich assemblage (Politics of turbulent waters) to commemorate HOMEF’s 10th anniversary. The title of the book is one of Nnimmo Bassey’s (the director of HOMEF) numerous articles that have graced some pages of the different issues of the Eco-instigator. The article cum title encapsulates the messages that the book intends to convey to you, the reader. It crystallizes the dire condition of Africa and its waters and the power imbalance together with the spatial disposition that plunged the continent into the calamitous environmental situation it faces. It speaks of the politics of economic development and market fundamentalism that avows to maintain the status quo in terms of destructive exploitation of Africa’s marine and other natural resources.

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  • Breaking the Silence on NGOs in Africa

    Members of the Organic Intellectuals Network are active organizers in the struggle to achieve social justice. They have experienced the contradictions of the NGO discourse and, just like others before them, have found themselves in the struggle versus survival dilemma. To get a clear picture of our contemporary struggles and the despair of NGOs operating in the proletarian movement, comrades decided to reflect, study, and analyze Prof. Issa Shivji’s book Silences in NGO Discourse: The Role and Future of NGOs in Africa. For the authors, these analyses and reflections are based on personal experiences in their day-to-day organizing. In summarizing the authors’ observations regarding the impacts of NGOs in organizing, this book calls into question the fundamental question, ‘why do NGOs exist?’ To answer this question, the authors provide a historical chronology of the resistance in Kenya, Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa, relating those to the subjective factors in existence at every period. Through this, a scientific relationship can be drawn between social movements and NGOs in our current epoch. From their experiences with NGOs, the authors, representing grassroots social movements, highlight the dangers associated with donor funding. Often, donor funding ends abruptly after making people dependent on them, creating severe strain on grassroots organizations. The more one engages with NGOs, the softer one becomes to critique NGOs, particularly in highlighting their relationship to imperialism. Further, NGOs usually help in driving reforms. However, they play no part in revolutionary work. As a result, they merely preserve the present order and help exacerbate the frustrations arising from massive inequality in our society. In the long run, NGOs play a critical role in stifling the development and independence of grassroots social movements. This publication also includes two previously published essays by Prof Issa G Shivji, Silences in NGO Discourse: The Role and Future of NGOs in Africa, &, Reflections on NGOs in Tanzania: What We Are, What We Are Not and What We Ought To Be.

  • White Saviorism in International Development: Theories, Practices and Lived Experiences

    Given the growing interest in understanding the meaning, manifestations, analyses and implications of racism in North/South relations, White Saviorism in International Development seeks to remedy the shortcomings of the development studies literature on the prevalence of White Saviorism in Western development initiatives in the Global South. The volume comprises theoretical chapters, testimonies, stories and lived experiences from 19 contributors from across the Global South. With sensitivity and intelligence, these practitioners and academics create a tapestry that unveils the implicit and explicit forms of White Saviorism in international development.

  • Black Anarchism and the Black Radical Tradition: Moving Beyond Racial Capitalism

    This work is an important achievement in clarifying the history and current importance of Black anarchism. The information that the book presents will be new to many readers. For instance, one important component involves the explanations of how hierarchical principles within the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army helped generate the emergence of Black anarchism among key party members who later developed their ideas and strategies while in prison. Likewise, the book breaks new ground in demonstrating that Black anarchism has emerged not from the European/ North American anarchist traditions but rather from roots in Pan-Africanism, the Black radical tradition focusing on racial capitalism and the work of Cedric Robinson, and grassroots struggles partly in the U.S. South. An in-depth analysis of the somewhat different but complementary focuses within the two generations of Black anarchism also is very helpful. Finally, the book highlights concrete, contemporary implications for revolutionary strategy, including a perceptive analysis of the compatibilities between socialist and Black anarchist approaches to current transformative struggles. This publication will become widely known and used because it brings enlightening new ways to understand and act on the intertwined structures of racial capitalism and the capitalist state.

  • From Citizen to Refugee: Uganda Asians Come to Britiain

    In his introduction to this new edition of From Citizen to Refugee: Uganda Asians Come to Britain, Mahmood Mamdani reminds us that long before 1972, most Ugandan ‘Asians’ had already been disenfranchised by law, both Ugandan and British. Despite a global industry that insists otherwise, Uganda Asians are a poor fit as victims: there was no large-scale loss of life during the expulsion, nor were there massacres of Asians, only of ‘indigenous’ peoples. Asians in Uganda, as in East or Southern Africa, he argues, were immigrants, not settlers: immigrants are prepared to be a part of the political community, whereas settlers ‘create their own political community, a colony, more precisely, settler colonialism.’ Mamdani insists that there is no single Asian legacy. there are several and they are contradictory. The Asian question in Uganda remains, but it is no longer the original Asian question. But it does allow us to think more broadly. Just as US law recognizes African Americans as Americans of African descent, so too must those of Asian origin in Africa consider themselves, and be considered, Asian Africans. It is in his bittersweet and touching book on the Asian expulsion from Uganda that one can trace the beginnings of author and intellectual Mahmood Mamdani’s world-view.. … In From Citizen to Refugee: Uganda Asians Come to Britain Mamdani offers portraits of people reduced to a vegetative existence in refugee camps, feeling the burden of not being fluent in English and struggling with the uncomfortably cold weather. Not surprisingly, these few months played a pivotal role in shaping Mamdani’s theoretical and political leanings, and it is here that one can locate his preoccupation with the formation of racial, ethnic and class identities during the colonial era and his overarching concern with issues of citizenship.

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  • Nigeria and the Challenge of Federalism

    The book identifies three key moments in Nigeria’s experience with federalism and makes the argument that a complex and socially-diverse country like Nigeria can only be successfully governed by a truly federal arrangement, and not the present unitary contraption that has only delivered poverty, social unrest and the powerful centrifugal forces that are now threatening the very existence of the country itself. The time has come, write Ike Okonta, to convene a conference with sovereign powers to design a federal constitution for the country. The current process of amending the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly will not suffice. The document is so hopelessly flawed that only its discarding and a fresh effort at constitution-making will suffice.

  • Politics and Culture in African Emancipatory Thought

    The current absence of any emancipatory vision for Africa lies at the heart of our political problems of racial capitalist and colonial oppression. Any attempt to rethink political emancipation on the African continent must be able to locate a universal conception of freedom within singular cultural experiences where people live. Irrespective of the specific manner in which such struggles for freedom were thought within different historical contexts, emancipatory politics always exhibited such a dialectic when it was based within popular traditions. Yet only some militant intellectual leaders understood the importance of this dialectic in thought.
    The present volume outlines and discusses two particularly important views concerning the role and importance of popular culture in emancipatory politics in Africa. Each is the product of distinct forms of colonial capitalist exploitation: the former saw the light of day within a colonial context while the latter is directly confronted by the neocolonial state. All emancipatory politics are developed in confrontation with state power, and all begin with a process of discussion and debate whereby a collective subject begins to be formed. The formation of such a collective political subject has been fundamentally informed by popular cultures on the African continent.
    The two authors whose essays are included here understood this and posit popular culture at the centre of their politics. The first, Amílcar Cabral, addresses the central role of popular culture in the independence struggle of Guinea Bissau in the 1970s; the second, Ernest Wamba-dia-Wamba, addresses the centrality of African popular culture in an emancipatory politics for the current Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the distance in time that separates them, both Cabral and Wamba-dia-Wamba develop a dialectics at the core of their politics which activates the universals of culture in the present. It is this that makes their views of central importance to emancipatory thought today.