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.

The Editors
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

Refugee families from Mali in Mentao refugee camp, northern Burkina Faso Photo Credit: Oxfam International via Flickr (http://bit.ly/2dDJsgj) CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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.

Supporters of Ghana's New Patriotic Party attend its electoral campaign launch. Accra, October 9, 2016. (Stefan Heunis/AFP/Getty Images

October 20, 2016

By Clement Sefa-Nyarko

Republished from Global Observatory.

Just four of 17 presidential candidates who filed nominations to contest Ghana’s December 7 presidential elections have been cleared by the country’s electoral commission to run. The rest have been disqualified on grounds that have elicited widespread condemnation and even legal action. On the one hand, the commission’s efforts can be considered a bold attempt to stamp its authority after a series of events in the last four years questioned its ability to conduct free, transparent, and credible polls. On the other, they are an indication of the deterioration of the country’s high record of participation and rights of political association.

At the “Harvard of Africa” in Uganda, power remains in imperial structures and bodies, while excellence is still defined on Western terms.

The Makerere University administration building, Kampala, Uganda. Credit: Ian Beatty.

August 1, 2016

by Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire

Republished from African Arguments

In 1922, within a few decades of British colonial control of the protectorate called Uganda, a technical school was founded. According to folklore, the hill on which the school was built was famed for its many noises. Kelele is the Kiswahili word for noise, the plural: Makelele. The folk tale concludes that the hill and the technical school took on the name, but with the ls replaced with rs. The Makerere Technical College, as it was known at the time, taught carpentry, building and mechanics.

In 1949, the school became affiliated to the University of London. Alongside the likes of Ibadan, Legon and Gordon – as well as Dar es Salaam and Nairobi later on – it became one of the so-called ‘Asquith colleges’ offering courses with degrees awarded by its Britain-based mother. As Carol Sicherman notes in Becoming an African University: Makerere 1922–2000, this arrangement was “presented as a means of guaranteeing world-class quality, [but it] ensured continued British influence once the colonies ceased to exist as such”.

July 19, 2016

by Toyin Ajao

Republished from Kujenga Amani

In October 2015, South African students took to the streets for weeks of protests under the slogan #FeesMustFall. The magnitude of the protests compelled all higher education institutions in the country to suspend educational activities, including tests and examinations. These events represented a bid to find a panacea to the looming cataclysm of increasing tuition fees. The overwhelming concern expressed in the students’ chanting and demands was the extent to which many of those from poor households and underpaid middle class families would become educationally disenfranchised by the increases. In a country riddled with corruption, the quality of higher education was already threatened, and should the current fees climb by 10 to 12 per cent, access to it would plummet.[1] To address the crisis, the student movements effectively organized collective and simultaneous demonstrations. They also took advantage of the ubiquitous presence of the Internet, posting their messages incessantly on social media to attract global awareness to their plight.

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