History Production after Undemocratic Regime Change: The Impact of Ghana’s Competing Independence Narratives after the First Coup d’État on Peace and Political Stability

Clement Sefa-Nyarko


Strife Journal, Issue 5 (May/ June 2015)

Republished from Strife

By Clement Sefa-Nyarko

Clement Sefa-Nyarko has an article: History Production after Undemocratic Regime Change: The Impact of Ghana’s Competing Independence Narratives after the First Coup d’État on Peace and Political Stability published on Strife Journal

This article explores one of the “secrets” of Ghana’s political stability since the 1990s from the perspectives of history, memory and remembrance. Undemocratic regime changes have characterized post independence sub-Saharan Africa, both during and after the Cold War. Coup d’etats especially characterized the immediate post-Cold War era. Just like the mechanisms of the victor’s narrative in all post-conflict societies, coup makers manipulate history to sustain their agenda. Military and police elements staged the first coup d’etat in Ghana in 1966 to topple Kwame Nkrumah’s regime. Despite Nkrumah’s dominance in Ghanaian post-independence nation-building and his immense global appeal, the 1966 coup makers and subsequent regimes made efforts to erase his memory in Ghana until the 1980s. This was a period of aggravated culture of silence imposed against Nkrumah’s memory and legacies. The transition that led to his remembrance helped Ghanaians to purify the memory of violence and atrocities during his regime. In contemporary Ghana, Nkrumah has become a source of conflict and consensus, fostering national conversation (controversies) that ironically promotes social cohesion and political stability. The political conversation highlights the disagreement and consensus around Nkrumah, overshadowing sectarian, ethnic and religious tensions to a large extent; which has had positive impact on political stability. This article explores some of the contours of agreement and disagreement about Ghana’s past, and discusses their impact on its nascent democratic regime.

Download the article here.


Special Issue of Strategic Review of Southern Africa Vol 37 (1), May 2015

Strategic Review for Southern Africa, Vol 37 (1), May 2015

Special Issue: Human security, peace and conflict: African perspectives

Guest Editor: 'Funmi Olonisakin, Distinguished Andrew Mellon Foundation Scholar, University of Pretoria

Republished from University of Pretoria Website

Table of Contents

Front matter

In this issue
Henning Melber

A human security approach to peacemaking in Africa
'Funmi Olonisakin

Research Articles

South Africa's approach to conflict management in Burundi and the DRC: Promoting human security?
Cheryl Hendricks

Reconciliation in Zimbabwe: The conflict between a state-centred and people-centred approach
Ruth Murambadoro and Cori Wielenga

Asymmetrical conflict and human security: Reflections from Kenya
Awino Okech

Human security in East Africa: The EAC's illusive quest for inclusive citizenship
Barney Walsh

State-building and non-state conflicts in Africa
Alagaw Ababu Kifle

Re-conceptualising leadership for effective peacemaking and human security in Africa
'Funmi Olonisakin

Regional hegemonic contention and the asymmetry of soft power: A comparative analysis of South Africa and Nigeria
Olusola Ogunnubi and Christopher Isike

Analyses and Reports

Human security in South Africa
Sandy Africa

Human security in practice: Securing people from the threat of epidemic — What can we learn from the ECOWAS response to Ebola?
Habibu Yaya Bappah


Realities and discourses on South African xenophobia
Heribert Adam and Kogila Moodley

Book Reviews

Displacing the State: Religion and Conflict in Neoliberal Africa (James Howard Smith and Rosalind I J Hackett, eds)
Oluwaseun Bamidele

Ubuntu: Curating the Archive (Leonhard Praeg and Siphokasi Magadla, eds)
Laurence Caromba

South Africa — The Present as History. From Mrs Ples to Mandela and Marikana (John S Saul and Patrick Bond)
Karen Harris


Solution to terror attacks that ignores Somalia is ineffectual

Security forces display seized weapons outside Mpeketoni Hospital on Monday. They gunned down 15 Al-Shabaab terrorists who had attacked a military camp in Lamu County last Sunday.
20th June 2015

By Godwin Murunga & Sylvanus Wekesa

Republished from Saturday Nation

The authorities need to reassess goals of KDF’s invasion of neighbouring country

It is clear that since our defence forces’ retaliatory invasion of Somalia on October 26, 2011, the neighbouring country has become a critical part of Kenya’s  security thinking. This is partly because Al-Shabaab has ratchetted up its attacks in Kenya, thereby heightening the threat levels. The attacks have occurred not just with increasing frequency but also with growing gruesomeness, causing disruptions and uncertainty across the country.

This has posed several dilemmas, especially one between accomplishing the mission in Somalia or withdrawing from the country. There are many other dilemmas associated with the major one, including new challenges to the security forces on how to conduct counterterrorism actions based on transparency and human rights, and deal with historical grievances and the marginalisation it has engendered.

Engaging Gender, Peace, and Security through the Lens of Terrorism: The Case of Boko Haram

Engaging Gender, Peace, and Security through the Lens of Terrorism: The Case of Boko Haram
Engaging Gender, Peace, and Security through the Lens of Terrorism: The Case of Boko Haram

June 17, 2015

by Cheryl Hendricks and Rachel Sittoni

Republished from Kujenga Amani

The use of women’s bodies as “weapons of war” in conflict situations is well documented. We are informed it occurs because women are seen as part of the “spoils of war,” that sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) perpetuates social control through fear, and that it is practiced for a host of opportunistic reasons.1 The literature also emboldens us to see women as actors in conflict situations, moving beyond the narrative that portrays them as peaceful beings and mere victims of conflict.

Evolving security concerns have globally and continentally provided an entry point to discussing gender, peace, and security, mainly by focusing on SGBV in conflict situations. If we look at these issues through the lens of terrorism, what new insights emerge?

Why are we so shocked? It’s Pretoria’s official policy to treat Africans as aliens

25th February 2015

By Godwin Murunga

Republished from The EastAfrican

The pictures out of South Africa are gory, depicting a society with a deep seated but repressed tendency to brutality.

South Africa is not alone in this repressed tendency. We all have our share. But at the moment, the continent is traumatised, embarrassed and hurting about South Africa. We are numbed beyond words by images of a slit throat, gouged out eye, split-open skull, the burnt body of a child.

Many South Africans are totally outraged by this pornography of violence. Indeed, some have joined in protesting.

Professor Jonathan Jansen, vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State, aptly expressed this outrage by imploring foreigners not to “leave us to ourselves” because, as he put it, “We need you as role models teaching us how to work really hard and succeed in a stagnant economy.”

But few are acknowledging that Afrophobia is official South African policy, and that it is firmly entrenched in the country’s immigration policy.

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