Beyond settler colonialism is not yet emancipation: On the limits to liberation in Southern Africa

Seminar date: 
09 February 2010
Speaker(s): Dr Henning Melber (Executive Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Uppsala, Sweden)

Henning Melber (born 1950) came in 1967 as a son of German emigrants to Namibia. He joined SWAPO of Namibia in 1974 and was since 1975 prohibited to re-enter Namibia and South Africa until 1989 and 1993 respectively. He graduated in Political Science in 1977 at the Freie Universität Berlin and received 1980 a PhD in the same discipline at the University of Bremen, where he also obtained a venia legendi ("the right to teach") in Development Studies in 1993. 
He was Director of the Namibian Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU) in Windhoek (1992-2000) and Research Director at the Nordic Africa Institute in Uppsala/Sweden (2000-2006), where he is the Executive Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation since then. He has published widely in the area of African Studies, on racism and on solidarity as well as liberation movements, in particular on Southern Africa and especially Namibia. He is co-editor of the "Africa Yearbook" and managing co-editor of the scholarly journal "Africa Spectrum".

Discussant: Dr. Ineke van Kessel

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Southern African liberation movements seized legitimate political power as a result of anti-colonial struggles. Following the independence of Angola and Mozambique in the 1970s, negotiated settlements in Zimbabwe (1980), Namibia (1990) and South Africa (1994) almost completed the formal decolonization process on the African continent. Since then, liberation movements as governments have reproduced a form of political control that demonstrates the limits to liberation. This seminar critically examines the flaws in the project of emancipation from Apartheid settler colonialism and suggests that the notion of solidarity is being re-examined.