ASC Newsletter March 2015

African Studies Centre Leiden Newsletter, No. 6, March 2015
ASC highlights

Now online! The Kenya Coast - Social Sciences Portal

The Kenya Coast - Social Sciences Portal is a service provided by the ASC for students, researchers, development workers, policy makers and all others interested in this region. It consists of four parts: topical reviews; a bibliographical section; tables and maps; and open-access publications. Prof. Jan Hoorweg, the editor of the portal, welcomes new contributions!

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Public Lecture: Globalised Conflict Situations - Nigeria’s Boko Haram in Perspective

Egosha Osaghae, Professor of Comparative Politics and Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University (Nigeria), will give a public lecture on 20 March on ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria. He will analyse why local conditions like those in Nigeria are conducive to global conflict currents.

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Education news

Foreign students: apply for the Research Masters in African Studies!

Students with a non-Dutch diploma and currently living outside of the Netherlands who wish to follow the Research Masters in African Studies starting September: apply before 1 April! Submit your application online on Leiden University's website.

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Research news

Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa (CFIA) granted funding from NWO

CFIA has been granted funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for a four-year project. Royal Philips is one of the co-funders. The Centre, in which the Leiden, Delft and Erasmus universities work together with Dutch companies and African entrepreneurs, aims to develop new inclusive business models. The ASC's André Leliveld and Iva Peša work for the CFIA.

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Update 'No-go areas' map

At the end of last year, the ASC published a Thematic Map of so-called 'no-go areas' in Africa and the world, according to the travel advices of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We received many reactions. In a first update of the map, ASC director Ton Dietz discusses these reactions. The ASC will publish updates of the travel advices for African countries regularly.

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News from INCLUDE

The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs is launching an online public consultation on how to promote inclusiveness in the policy agenda on trade and international cooperation. The consultation will feed into the policy letter that Minister Lilianne Ploumen will send to Parliament in Spring 2015. The consultation will run online in March on the INCLUDE website. Please send your contribution (max 600 words) to

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New publications

Developmental Regimes in Africa Synthesis Report

Many African countries have experienced sustained economic growth, but few have achieved the change that has transformed mass living standards in parts of Asia. The Developmental Regimes in Africa Synthesis Report shows how DRA research has shed new light on how developmental regimes might emerge and be sustained in Africa in the 21st century. Ton Dietz and André Leliveld are among the authors.

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Debate between historians Stephen Ellis and Hugh Macmillan about the ANC and Nelson Mandela

The quarterly journal AFRICA published a heated debate between historians Stephen Ellis (ASC Leiden) and Hugh Macmillan (ASC Oxford) about the relationship between the ANC and the South African Communist Party (SACP) during the exile years of the ANC in Lusaka. The historians disagree (among other things) on whether Nelson Mandela was ever an official member of the SACP.

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Post stamps in Africa during the First World War

ASC director Ton Dietz published four detailed studies on the postal histories of the German Colonies ('Schutzgebiete') in Africa before, during and immediately after the Great War: studies aboutDeutsch Togo, Deutsch Kamerun, Deutsch Südwestafrika andDeutsch Ostafrika.

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Library news

New Acquisition Highlight: '1994: The Bloody Miracle' and 'Forerunners: South Africa's new middle class'

Filmmaker Bert Haitsma kindly donated copies of two South African documentaries to the ASC Library: '1994: The Bloody Miracle', that reveals plans for a military coup in the run-up to the elections in 1994, and 'Forerunners: South Africa's new middle class', about the first generation of black South Africans to enter the middle class.

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In Memoriam: André Brink and Assia Djebar

In February, two great African writers died. André Brink (South Africa) was primarily known as an anti-apartheid writer, though he was a many-sided author, notes Jos Damen in his Dutch Salute to André Brink. Assia Djebar (pseudonyme of Fatima-Zohra Imalayen; Algeria) defended women's rights and the emancipation of muslim women, writes Elvire Eijkman. The ASC Library has many books by both authors.

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marieke on RTL
ASC in the media

Two articles in Transfer magazine: universities' policies regarding 'no-go areas', and interview Dietz

Transfer magazine (of Nuffic) wrote an article about Dutch universities' policies with respect to 'no-go areas' in Africa and the rest of the world, also publishing the ASC map 'No-go areas'. Transfer also interviewed Ton Dietz on South African universities and the SA government's aim to create more PhD positions.

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Documentary film: Les Fantômes de Lovanium, in presence of the filmmaker

Les Fantômes de Lovanium is a documentary about the student protest in Kinshasa in 1969 during Mobutu’s regime. The protest was brutally oppressed. Belgian filmmaker Ccil Michel, historian Pedro Monaville and the Congolese popular painter Sapin Makengele work together in a project about the protest. Both Ccil Michel and Sapin are present at this film seminar on 10 March.

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Post-colonial cultural relations and the return of art objects

Museums in Western countries that possess cultural objects acquired during the colonial era, try to ‘decolonise’ their practices and relations with museums in former colonies. However, they have difficulty to seriously rethink the distribution of these objects. On 12 March, Jos van Beurden will talk about the Netherlands-Indonesia, Belgium-Zaire, and Europe-Nigeria relations.

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International workshop on wage labour, capital and precarity in African and global history

This workshop brings together specialized scholarship on the history of labour in the emergence of capitalism in Africa and the study of ‘African’ forms of capitalism. Invited contributors to the workshop will discuss their work on different African countries, sectors and workers’ organizations. All welcome, but do register!

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Other news

Prof. Mirjam de Bruijn blogs about the Fulani nomads in Mali

Prof. Mirjam de Bruijn visited the Fulani nomads in Mali, who feel marginalized and unheard. De Bruijn has done research among the nomads for many years and wonders whether researchers like herself can remain objective. 'Or should we become the nomads' spokesperson?'

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Nominations for the Gerti Hesseling Prize welcome!

The Board of AEGIS (African Studies in Europe) seeks nominations for the prestigious Gerti Hesseling Prize! The prize will be awarded for the best contribution to a European African Studies journal by a younger African scholar normally based in Africa. The prize was created in 2011 in honour of the late Gerti Hesseling, former ASC director, for her contribution to the activities of AEGIS.

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New date Nigeria Country Meeting: 22 April

The postponed ASC Country Meeting on Nigeria will take place on 22 April. Theme is The incoming government and its implication for Nigeria’s growth and economic transformation 2015-2019. Dr David Ehrhardt, assistant Professor in International Development (Leiden University College), and Dr Dele Olowu (consultant on governance and capacity development) are among the speakers.

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Highlight Africa

Namibia 25 years independent - ASC Country Meeting

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Namibia's independence, the ASC is organizing a Country Meeting on 6 March. Lectures will be given by Prof. Jan-Bart Gewald, Prof. Wouter van Beek, Dr Stasja Koot and Leonor Jonker. All welcome!

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