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African Studies Centre calendar and newsitems
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African Studies Centre calendar and newsitems
ASC events
  • Seminar: Religious business and the violation of human rights in Africa today

    Vote for JesusThe growing pauperization of the lower classes in sub-Saharan Africa is giving birth to new religiosities; notably, a Christianity of misery, characterized by countless unemployed and street-smart individuals striving for survival. Such people have learned to exploit the socio-political liberalization of the ’90s and they try their luck by proclaiming themselves to be prophets or chosen by God. They combine the Pentecostal rhetoric of ‘prosperity gospel’ with shamanic practices, to sell ‘miracles’ to desperate and gullible people. The current and unprecedented ‘religious’ fervor has produced over 3000 prophets and prophetic assemblies in countries such as Cameroon, Nigeria or Congo-Kinshasa, where religious entrepreneurs are rapidly growing in influence among the poorer classes. At times this religious entrepreneurship goes along with criminal drifting, murder cases and offences to human dignity. How are these new figures of power becoming violators of human - civil, political, social and economic - rights? And how much of their existence is the result of corrupt governance?

    Event date: 
    2015-05-28 00:00:00
    Start and end time: 
    15.30 - 17.00
    Seminar location: 
    Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
    More about the speaker: 

    Dieudonné ZognonHe was born in 1969 in Galim, Cameroon, and received his PhD from the University of Yaoundé I. Currently he is an Adjunct Lecturer in Ethics and Moral Philosophy at this University. From 1 September 2014 to 30 June 2015 he is a Scholars at Risk Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS) in Wassenaar. Recently he published Le christianisme outragé : la misère religieuse en procès, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2014.

     

    ASC email adress: 


  • Seminar: Dangote Cement Plc: An African Success Story?

    Dangote cement bagsGlobally, market and non-market forces influence business decisions. In economies with weak institutions, however, the importance of non-market factors are usually elevated. This discourages long-term planning and investments by many businesses. The paper critiques developments in the Nigerian cement industry in the context of the above theory. It shows how the above dynamics created opportunity for an indigenous cement company, Dangote Cement Plc, to displace long-established cement multinationals and become the dominant player in the Nigerian cement industry. The company achieved this by exploiting its close relationship with the government to champion a ‘backward integration policy’ for the industry. The result was that in less than 12 years Nigeria moved from being heavily dependent on imported cement to become the leader in cement production in Africa. Although it is often cheaper to manufacture  than import cement in the country, cement multinationals have been unwilling to undertake the capital investment necessary to exploit this opportunity.

    Event date: 
    2015-05-21 00:00:00
    Start and end time: 
    15.30 - 17.00
    Seminar location: 
    Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
    More about the speaker: 

    Chibuike UcheChibuike Uche has extensive research experience in Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone in the fields of political economy, business and financial history, financial institutions regulation and regional integration. His current research interest is foreign business operations in Africa. Prior to joining the ASC, he was Professor of Banking and Financial Institutions at the University of Nigeria and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He has a PhD in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics.

    Akinyinka AkinyoadeAkinyinka Akinyoade is a Hydrologist turned Demographer. He obtained a Doctoral degree in Development Studies with emphasis on Population and Rural Development at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague. His research activities are on population health and development, with special attention on fertility dynamics and family planning in West Africa; migration (human trafficking and forced labor in Nigeria); decentralization (public service delivery in education and health sectors of Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania and Indonesia).

    ASC email adress: 


  • Seminar: Africa’s digital dividend - mapping the shift from tech transfer to indigenous innovation

    This is an Africa Today seminar.

    Popular accounts of contemporary Africa south of the Sahara remain dominated by reports of disaster, disease and mayhem. While the terror attacks in Nigeria and Kenya and the Ebola outbreaks in West and East Africa demand the world’s attention, these narratives of African failure co-exist and co-evolve with emerging narratives of African success. In this ASC seminar, Gregg Pascal Zachary will chart the spread of digital technologies in contemporary Africa, describing the current shift from pure absorption of Euro-American digital technologies to the rise of home-grown, indigenous innovation activities in computing and communications. Drawing on case studies from Nairobi (mobile money) and Kampala (computer science research), Zachary will argue that the spread of Africanized digital technologies is having profoundly positive, if poorly understood, effects on African society, culture and material life.

    Please note that this seminar will not be held on our regular Thursday.

    Event date: 
    2015-06-08 00:00:00
    Start and end time: 
    15.30 - 17.00
    Seminar location: 
    Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
    More about the speaker: 

    Gregg Zachary with some Maasai people in ZanzibarZachary has visited Sub-Saharan Africa more than forty times since 2000. He is a professor of practice at Arizona State University’s School for the Future, where he studies technology, society and innovation. He came to African affairs from the study of American science politics and innovation enclaves. He is the author of Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century (1997), and his writings on innovation have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Wired magazine. In 2013, he received a grant from the National Science Foundation (U.S.) to study the emergence of computer science research in East Africa.

    ASC email adress: 


  • Lunch seminar: Capital, Citizens and Ruling Elites: Asia and the West in the Red Sea Littoral

    This lunch seminar is organized together with the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden

    Djibouti 1994 Fuji mountain stampThe emergence of non-Western economies such as Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, China and Malaysia has resulted in the growth of sovereign wealth funds, government-owned banks and state corporations. This has reversed the assumed path of globalization – commonly associated with market-based capitalism and the free transfer of commodities and people. This presentation investigates the implications of the re-routing of globalization specifically for the citizens of Djibouti and its strategically located Red Sea port, which currently hosts the military of some of the world’s most powerful states, such as France, the US, China and Japan. The seminar will trace the relationship forged between those states who follow a liberal economic model (mainly France, Japan and the US) and states directly involved in the investment of capital across their traditional borders (mainly China, Dubai and Malaysia). By employing a comparative and historical perspective this presentation examines issues of democratization, the transfer of power and the political participation of citizens.

    Lunch will be provided, but registration is required. Please use the registration form you'll find at the IIAS website.

    Information: Ms Sandra van der Horst, a.e.l.van.der.horst@iias.nl

    Event date: 
    2015-05-13 00:00:00
    Start and end time: 
    12.30 - 14.00
    Seminar location: 
    International Institute for Asian Studies, Rapenburg 59, Leiden
    Speaker and institute: 
    Samson A. Bezabeh, Visiting Fellow, ASC and IIAS
    More about the speaker: 

    Samson BezabehSamson A. Bezabeh, an anthropologist, was previously a Post-doctoral fellow at École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and has been affiliated with the University of Bergen, the University of Exeter, and Addis Ababa University. His research interests include diaspora studies, state society interaction, colonialism, as well as issues of citizenship, ethnicity, and class in Africa. His article, “Citizenship and the Logic of Sovereignty in Djibouti,” published in African Affairs, won the journal’s African Author Prize. He has finalized a book length study that describes the interaction between Yemeni diaspora, state and empires in Djibouti and Ethiopia. Currently, he is researching the way in which state-society interaction is being reshaped in the Horn of Africa by the presence of Chinese sponsored cross-border infra-structure projects.

    Discussant: 
    Seminar room: 
    Conference room


  • Seminar: Can African countries successfully implement industrial policy?

    Book cover Lindsay WhitfieldDespite rapid growth in many African countries, there has been very little economic transformation, which is the key driver behind increasing incomes and raising the standard of living. Economic transformation is the cumulative outcome of successful industrial policies. African governments generally have been less successful in implementing industrial policies, historically and in the contemporary period, compared to other developing country regions. This presentation sets out to understand why. Drawing on theories within the comparative political economy of development literature, it creates a new Politics of Industrial Policy framework for understanding the conditions under which industrial policies are successfully implemented and identifying the politics that make those conditions possible. The framework is applied to explain the design, implementation, and outcomes of industrial policies in four African countries: Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda. The presentation explains the generally limited success with implementing industrial policies in these countries, but also variations in success across the four countries and across sectors within the same country.

    Event date: 
    2015-06-04 00:00:00
    Start and end time: 
    15.30 - 17.00
    Seminar location: 
    Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
    More about the speaker: 

    Prior to Dr Whitfield's position as Associate Professor in Global Studies at the Department of Society and Globalisation, she was a Senior Project Researcher in the Politics and Development research unit at the Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen. Before that, she was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Global Economic Governance Program, which is based at University College and the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, UK.
    Her book The politics of African industrial policy; A comparative perspective will come out in May 2015.

    Seminar room: 
    Room 3A06 (third floor)
    ASC email adress: 



 
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Funding Higher Education in Eastern and Southern Africa
Modalities, Challenges, Opportunities and Prospects
A Policy Research Forum

25 - 26 June, 2014
Soramaba Hotel

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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OSSREA’s Reponses to Africa’s Challenges of Change
Conference Held 9th–10 December, 2013

Proceedings of the OSSREA 11th Conference, 9th-10th December 2013 Desalegn Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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A Conference on
Achieving inclusive development in Africa
Policies, processes and political settlements
A policy research seminar

UN-ECA 13-14 May 2014
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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OSSREAOECDSIDA
Expert meeting on implementing research and innovation policy at policy and institutional levels in Africa
19-20 September 2013
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Click here to download Welcoming Remarks, Presentations, Comments

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PhD/Doctoral Scholarships - 2015
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Scholarship for Africa
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MA Programme
International Institute of Social Studies
of Erasmus University Rotterdam
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