ASCL Newsletter March 2016

African Studies Centre Leiden Newsletter, No. 15, March 2016
ASCL Highlight

Graduation ceremony for six African Studies Research Master's graduates

The ASCL congratulates the 2013 African Studies Research Master's graduates Iorver Ikeseh, Tanja Hendriks, Michele Portatadino, Affoh Guenneguez, David Drengk and Rafael Verbuyst, who received their diplomas at a wonderful graduation ceremony at Leiden University on 25 February. Two of them graduated cum laude!

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Education news

Interested in African Studies? Friday 11 March: Master's Information Day

Are you interested in doing a (Research) Master's in African Studies? Join us for a presentation on African Studies on 11 March, 13.15-14.00 in the Lipsius Building, Leiden.

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Research news

New research project: The Fulani in the Sahel: Caught between the Hammer of Muslim Extremism and the Anvil of the State (Mali, Nigeria)

Mirjam de Bruijn and Han van Dijk have been awarded subsidy by NWO-WOTRO for a new research project on the Fulani in the Sahel. The project will focus on the political dynamics in the Sahel and the appearance of nomadic pastoralist movements in the context of increasing political instability in the Sahara-Sahel zone: West Africa.

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ASCL to conduct five new country studies for CNV Internationaal

CNV Internationaal, the international department of the Dutch trade union CNV, has commissioned the ASCL to conduct explorative studies in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Mali. Aim is to make an inventory and assessment of the roles, strengths and weaknesses of civil society actors (including trade unions) when it comes to labour issues.

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News from INCLUDE, the knowledge platform on inclusive development

On 16 February, INCLUDE highlighted the evidence base on what works to promote youth employment at a meeting of the Dutch heads of development cooperation in partner countries, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Based on this evidence, INCLUDE also formulated ten focus areas for youth employment policies.

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New publications

Thematic map: Partner countries for Dutch bilateral development assistance 1962-2015

This map illustrates how the partner countries for Dutch development cooperation have changed throughout the years. Development cooperation began as technical assistance, channelled through multilateral channels. Bilateral aid was introduced in 1962. The priorities, target countries and budgets have continuously shifted since then.

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Violence in Nigeria: a qualitative and quantitative analysis


This book is the first to consequently use quantitative data in addition to qualitative data about violence in Nigeria in very different fields: from oil production to cattle breeding, radical Islam to motor accidents, land conflicts to witchcraft; quantitative data that was previously unavailable or inaccessible. Published open access!

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More publications

Fantu Cheru: Africa and international relations in the 21st century

Anika Altaf: Defining, targeting and reaching the very poor

Jos Damen: Google Books. Hoe verder na 25 miljoen gedigitaliseerde boeken?

Roundtable report: An African precariat? Africa’s informal workers and inclusive development

Conference report: Improving the perspective for regional trade and investment in West Africa

Library news

Acquisition trip to Morocco with Leiden University Libraries

In February, Mohamed Saadouni ( Leiden University Libraries), Elvire Eijkman and Heleen Smits (both ASCL Library) went on an acquistion trip to Morocco. They visited the 22nd Salon International de l’Edition et du Livre in Casablanca. It was a joint mission with the support of the Netherlands Institute in Morocco (NIMAR) in Rabat. Over 400 books were bought.

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Web dossier: African Women and the Sustainable Development Goals

Every year on 8 March special attention is paid to the position of women worldwide. This year’s UN theme for that day is ‘Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality’. The theme is directly related to the new Sustainable Development Goals. The ASCL Library has compiled a web dossier containing titles from our catalogue published after 2011. It concludes with a list of relevant websites. ASCL researcher Marleen Dekker wrote the introduction.

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Library Highlight: Sista brevet från Kasempa – the last letter from Kasempa

In 1912, 21-year-old Henrik Stiernspetz from Stockholm embarks on a journey to Africa to seek his fortune. Fifteen years later, all correspondence to his family ceases. A century later, Elise Killander, a Swedish journalist and cultural scientist, decides to find out why her great-grand uncle never came back from his adventures in Northern Rhodesia. The last letter from Kasempa is our latest Library Highlight.

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ASCL Community news

30 March: Uganda Country Meeting

The ASCL is organizing a Uganda country meeting with a focus on economic and political developments in post-election Uganda. Among the speakers: Jamie Hitchen, Policy Researcher at the Africa Research Institute, London.

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marieke on RTL
ASCL in the media

Article in OneWorld about thematic map on Dutch bilateral development assistance

OneWorld published an article about the new thematic map showing the African partner countries for Dutch bilateral development assistance, citing Agnieszka Kazimierczuk.

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RFI Afrique about Klaas van Walraven's publications on the Sawaba movement

Radio France Internationale Afrique pointed out researcher Klaas van Walraven's publications on the history of the Sawaba movement, Niger.

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Talk Africa about Marcel Rutten's speech during EU parliamentarians tour in Kenya

Kenyan platform Talk Africa wrote about the speech given by ASCL senior researcher Marcel Rutten during a tour of EU parliamentarians in Kenya.

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10 March: Frugal Innovation and its developmental relevance in Africa: Profitable business or capitalist exploitation?

Frugal innovation is the (re)design of products to make them affordable for low-income customers without losing quality. This seminar examines whether frugal innovation in Africa can lead to a ‘win-win’ situation, whereby businesses sell goods to the Bottom of the Pyramid and simultaneously alleviate poverty. Iva Pesa and André Leliveld work within the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa, which joins the Leiden, Delft and Erasmus universities.

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17 March: The death of a UN Secretary-General: Dag Hammarskjöld and the Congo

Initial investigations could not clarify the plane crash in September 1961 in which UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld died. Hammerskjöld was on his way to negotiate with Congolese secessionist leader Moise Tshombe. Fifty years later a private initiative collected further evidence into the crash. Henning Melber, director emeritus of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, will summarize Hammarskjöld’s approach to the Congo conflict and highlight the efforts to establish the circumstances of the crash.

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More seminars

22 March: Film seminar: 'They will have to kill us first' (Mali) and interview with Fadimata 'Disco' Walet Oumar

24 March: Empty Promises? Compliance with the human rights framework in relation to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting in Senegal

31 March: Africa Today Seminar by Bram Posthumus: The opposition in power. Is Condé breaking the mould in Guinea?

Other news

Lecture series: African arts and literatures today

The ASCL proudly presents a lecture series on African arts and literatures with Studium Generale, the Research Centre for Material Culture and the University of Amsterdam. Renowned authors and art scholars like Mineke Schippers, Carrol Clarkson, Fouad Laroui, Yasmine Allas, Chika Okeke-Agulu and Christine Eyene will speak during 8 Wednesday evenings. Starts 6 April!

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Call for Papers: The Individual in African History: The Importance of Biography in African Historical Studies

The editors of the 2018 volume of the ASCL/Brill series African Dynamics, Jan-Bart Gewald, Klaas van Walraven and Meike de Goede, invite proposals for papers that explore the interface between the individual (or groups of individuals) and their historical context in Africa. 

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Last PhD supervision by Honorary Fellow Prof. Wim van Binsbergen

On 16 February, associated senior researcher Prof. Wim van Binsbergen completed his last PhD supervision as promotor of Pius Mosima. Wim van Binsbergen is an Honorary Fellow of the African Studies Centre Leiden Community.

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21-22 April: Conference: Decolonizing the Academy

For whom do we research Africa and for what purpose? How do our institutions reinforce unequal access to power, opportunities and knowledge? What are our responsibilities as scholars and teachers to decolonize our work? These questions are central at the international conference 'Decolonizing the Academy' at the University of Edinburgh. 

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Highlight Africa

CODESRIA Symposium on Gender: Call for Applications

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa announces the organization of the CODESRIA Gender symposium on 9-10 May in Cairo, Egypt. The topic will be 'Women’s Struggles Today'. Deadline for application: 25 March.

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