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John-Paul Safunu Banchani
African Security Review Journal
Volume 25, 2016 - Issue 4
Pages 420-426 | Published online: 29 Sep 2016
Republished from Taylor Francis Online
Africa and for that matter the Gulf of Guinea cannot be indifferent to the global energy politics of the 21st century. The increasing importance of the region has attracted major actors in the energy sector. The competing interests of these actors are played out in various forms. This heightened interest in the region, especially with the discovery of oil in huge commercial quantities, has brought the importance of the area into focus in global oil politics. This paper looks at the importance of the region in light of the huge energy potentials of the Gulf of Guinea and how the institution of proper governance systems could serve as an important factor in ensuring the proper management of the resource.
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February 13, 2017
by Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire
Republished from African Arguments
In Uganda and beyond, the political influence of writers has greatly diminished, with different kinds of artists starting to take their place.
In an essay published after his death in 1982, the Ugandan poet, philosopher, lawyer, footballer and novelist Okot P’Bitek wrote:
“If there are two types of rulers in every society, that is, those who use physical force to subdue men, and those that employ beautiful things, sweet songs and funny stories, rhythm, shape and colour, to keep individuals and society sane and flourishing, then in my view, it is the artist who is the greater ruler.”
In P’Bitek’s generation, Africa’s great artists and leaders often overlapped. Leopold Senghor of Senegal, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Agostinho Neto of Angola, for example, were all poets and writers as well as founding presidents.
Similarly, the novelist Chinua Achebe led Biafra’s diplomatic front in the war in the late-1960s. The playwright and poet Wole Soyinka has been one of successive Nigerian governments’ most vocal critics and once founded a new political party. Ama Ata Aidoo served as Education Minister in Ghana. Ken Saro-Wiwa led the Ogoni struggle in the 1990s in the Niger Delta. And Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s outspoken political activism led to him being jailed in 1970s Kenya.
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December 12, 2016
by Clement Sefa-Nyarko
Republished from Global Observatory.
Within 48 hours of results being declared in last week’s Ghanaian general elections, a transition team was formed to facilitate the transfer of power from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to the newly elected New Patriotic Party. The latter’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo won with 53.8% of the vote, which was much more than closest contender and current President John Dramani Mahama, with 44.4%. Mahama conceded defeat, Akufo-Addo has been magnanimous in victory, and the incoming and outgoing administrations have committed to a peaceful handover.
This is the third political transition since Ghana’s Fourth Republic was inaugurated in 1993 and the second time a law governing the process will be followed, after its passage in the aftermath of the chaotic transitional processes of 2000 and 2008. The voting itself was the most uneventful and efficient in Ghana’s history, apart from a few hitches that delayed the opening of polling stations across the country.
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November 01, 2016
by Clement Sefa-Nyarko
Republished from V & R Academic
The volume provides critical insights into approaches adopted by curricula, textbooks and teachers around the world when teaching about the past in the wake of civil war and mass violence, discerning some of the key challenges and opportunities involved in such endeavors. The contributors discuss ways in which history teaching has acted as a political tool that has, at times, been guilty of exacerbating inter-group conflicts. It also highlights history teaching as an important component of reconciliation attempts, showcasing examples of curricular reform and textbook revision after conflict, and discussing how the contestations and difficulties surrounding such processes were addressed in different post-conflict societies.
Denise Bentrovato is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Pretoria and an associated researcher at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research.
Karina V. Korostelina is professor and director of the Program on History Memory and Conflict at George Mason University.
Martina Schulze is academic program coordinator at the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research.
Click here for more information about the book.
Download the Book Chapter Publication: Tensions in Independence Narratives in Ghana here
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October 24, 2016
By Eva Nelson
Republished from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Eva Nelson analyses the underlying motivations in France’s foreign policy towards Africa.
The long view of French foreign policy in Africa is paved by conflict of interest. Some politicians are tempted to pull out of the continent for fear of accusation of neo-colonialism, somewhat incompatible with President Hollande’s definition of the Francafrique. Others, looking forward to re-election, are more preoccupied with appeasing national fears of terrorism by keeping a grip on the Sahel – which they hope will secure them votes from an electorate that begs for heightened national security.
This paradox in policy is best witnessed by asymmetric reactions to recent French intervention in Mali and the Central African Republic. Civil wars were taking place at the same time in both countries, but the French media and public opinion reacted differently to each. The government received praise for intervening in Northern Mali, while involvement in the Central African Republic was barely covered, if not overlooked, by the French domestic audience. How to explain such a divide in public opinion for two identical military interventions? Unsurprisingly, it was due to the perceived relationship between the global jihad narrative and domestic security issues, and reinforced by public denial of France’s post-colonial responsibility for conflict in Central Africa.