ASCL Newsletter April 2016

African Studies Centre Leiden Newsletter, No. 16, April 2016
ASCL Highlight

Lecture Series: African Arts and Literatures Today

With Studium Generale, Leiden University, the Research Centre for Material Culture and the University of Amsterdam, the ASCL proudly presents a lecture series on African arts and literature. Renowned authors, artists and academics in the field of African culture and literature will speak during eight Wednesday evenings. The series kicks off with lectures by Prof. Emeritus Mineke Schipper (Leiden University) and Prof. Carrol Clarkson (UvA) on 6 April.

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Education news

Submit your Master's thesis for the Africa Thesis Award 2016!

Submission of Master's theses for the Africa Thesis Award 2016 is now open! The best thesis will be awarded with € 500 and will be published in the ASCL's African Studies Collection. Any final-year student who has completed his or her Master's thesis with distinction (80% or higher or a Dutch rating of at least an 8) at a university in Africa or the Netherlands may apply. Deadline for submission: 10 July.

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New education project: Enhancing Postgraduate Environments in South Africa

The ASCL is one of the partners in a three-year EU-funded project that aims to enhance institutional postgraduate environments of public universities in South Africa. A workshop hosted by the ASCL took place 14-16 March.

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Research news

Learning event: Lobby and advocacy for children with disabilities

The African Studies Centre Leiden and the Liliane Foundation work together in a learning programme on lobby and advocacy for children with disabilities. During 'learning events' preliminary research findings are presented to local stakeholders. In March, the first learning event focused on the lobby and advocacy efforts of the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Services. 

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Book ‘Etat, société et Islam au Sénégal’ presented in the Netherlands Embassy in Dakar

The collective volume ‘Etat, société et Islam au Sénégal’, co-edited by ASCL senior researcher Mayke Kaag, has been festively presented to policy makers, academics and journalists at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Dakar. The volume was born out of a collaboration between researchers and diplomats.

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Jan Abbink visiting fellow at Kyoto University

ASCL senior researcher Prof. Jan Abbink has been invited to the Center for African Area Studies of Kyoto University, Japan, as a Visiting Research Fellow from 10 April until 20 August. 

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News from INCLUDE, the knowledge platform on inclusive development

INCLUDE republishes last week's blog on the Annual Conference of Oxford University’s Center for the Study of African Economies. With two plenary panels, one keynote speech, a presentation of the World Bank’s new report on Poverty in Africa, and almost 300 papers, this is an excellent opportunity to be updated on the latest economic research on Africa.

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New publications

Working paper: Dangote Cement. An African success story?

This working paper by ASCL senior researchers Akinyinka Akinyoade and Chibuike Uche critiques the rise of Dangote Cement plc to become the dominant player in the Nigerian cement industry.  

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Infosheet: Kenya Volunteer Project. Maximizing the value of the Kenyan diaspora


Twelve volunteers from the Kenyan Diaspora Community (KDCN) in the Netherlands were recruited for their professional expertise to work and share knowledge with businesses and organizations in Kenya.

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Opinion: Challenges for inclusive development in the flower sector in Kenya


The flower sector in Kenya can play an important role in private sector development, productive employment and greater inclusion. Yet, there is a need for greater scrutiny of market saturation, overregulation and the role of trade union leadership. Writes Agnieszka Kazimierczuk, PhD candidate and researcher for the INCLUDE project 'Dutch multinational businesses in Africa'.

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Library news

Web dossier: African art

On the occasion of the lecture series on African Arts and Literatures, the ASCL Library has compiled a web dossier on African art, with an introduction by Dr. Harrie Leyten. The dossier is based on the library's collection and contains authoritative works on African art, as well as recent publications.

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Five more novels of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency added to library’s catalogue

For the fans: the ASCL Library has added five more novels of the popular The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith to its catalogue. McCall Smith, a Professor of Medical Law before his successful career as a writer of fiction, received an award from the President of Botswana in 2011 for his services through literature to that country.

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ASCL Community news

Well-attended Uganda Meeting; new publications by Community members 

Take a look at the pictures of the Uganda Country Meeting! Plus: new publications by ASCL Community members Reny van der Kamp and Barbara Titus.

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marieke on RTL
ASCL in the media

André Leliveld and Iva Peša interviewed by Trouw about Frugal Innovation in Africa

André Leliveld and Iva Peša, who both work for the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa, were interviewed by Trouw. The Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa is a cooperative venture of the Leiden, Delft and Erasmus Universities.

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The late Stephen Ellis quoted in The New Yorker

The late Stephen Ellis, who was a senior researcher at the ASCL, was quoted in an article in The New Yorker about former Liberian warlord Joshua Milton Blahyi. 

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12 April: The Man-Leopard Murder Mysteries

In this seminar, David Pratten (Oxford University) will attempt to diagnose the ways in which a series of ‘human-leopard’ killings in Nigeria between 1943 and 1948 came to be labelled as ‘ritual murders’ when, in all probability, they were not.

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21 April: The Limits of Power: Trade Union Pluralism and Politics in Burkina Faso

Trade union pluralism helps explain why Burkina Faso is one of the few French-speaking African countries where trade unions enjoy autonomy. Pluralism is also a key to understanding both the critical role that trade unions have played throughout the country’s history and the limits of trade union power in shaping the country’s future. Speaker: Craig Phelan, Kingston University London.

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28 April: Is religious radicalization a threat to stable countries in West Africa?

Peter Knoope, Senior Visiting Fellow at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, headed a team that conducted field research in Ghana and Benin, exploring the potential for religious radicalization in stable countries in West Africa. The team looked into religious, historical, political and societal dynamics that may constitute future (in)stability. Knoope will elaborate on the team's findings.

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Other news

New photo expo at the ASCL: Becoming Fathers - Reproductive Journeys in Malawi

This series of portraits and accompanying narratives explores the values, meaning and calculations of fatherhood in rural Malawi, in an era where men are increasingly targeted by reproductive health interventions. The portraits invite reflection on the way men and male involvement are represented in policies and programmes to promote sexual and reproductive health in Southern Africa. 

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Guest blog: Does Lumumba’s shadow continue to hang over Congo’s relationship with the International Community?

Alanna O’Malley, Assistant Professor of International Studies in Leiden, wrote a blog in a series about the lasting impact of the murder on Patrice Lumumba in 1961. Earlier posts were written by Catherina Wilson, Meike de Goede and Mirjam de Bruijn. 

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Highlight Africa

11-13 May, Kigali: World Economic Forum on Africa

Under the theme 'Connecting Africa’s Resources through Digital Transformation', the World Economic Forum on Africa will convene regional and global leaders to discuss digital economy catalysts that can drive radical structural transformation, strengthen public-private collaboration, and agree on strategic actions that can deliver shared prosperity across the continent.

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The ASCL is an interfaculty institute of Leiden University


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