Africa: Politics and Societies South of the Sahara

‘Western Powers and Somalis Will Not Accept a Taliban-style Regime’

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Somalia by ruben eberlein on June 29, 2009

Interview with Paula Roque, Horn of Africa Researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS, Pretoria), about the current situation in southern Somalia and Mogadishu. She comments on the motivations of young people to join al-Shabaab, the international approach to Somalia and the presence of international Jihadists in the country. (more…)

Derrida in Khartoum – Is the Disintegration of the Sudan Imminent?

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Sudan by ruben eberlein on June 25, 2009

konkret709My latest contribution to Konkret (7/09) deals with the intensification of the many conflicts in Africa’s biggest country. Some analysts even go so far as to predict a Somalia scenario any time soon. The warrant of arrest of the ICC for President Omar al-Bashir was supposed to raise the pressure on the Islamists, but some observers doubt that this strategy in fact succeeded. Read some English excerpts of that article here and find the original German version as pdf here. (more…)

Bitter-Sweet Chocolate: The Latest Kickshaw of Lazy Journalists

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Reviews by ruben eberlein on June 23, 2009

This is the stuff that many media in the West love to publish: Dead Aid, the book by Zambian academic Dambisa Moyo, advocates a stop of all development finances to Africa. The German monthly magazine Cicero for instance, in its July edition, exercises itself in prose dedicated to the beautiful, young exotic coming from the dark, wild continent in a heroic mission. (more…)

Extremists Dreaming of a Somali Caliphate State on the Offensive

Posted in African Politics, Somalia by ruben eberlein on June 22, 2009

The situation in Mogadishu and Southern Somalia at large worsens day by day. It seems that nothing can stop the religious extremist groups from toppling the weak Transitional Federal Government (TFG) any time soon. The TFG is so desperate to even ask archenemy Ethiopia and other neighbouring countries to intervene. (more…)

The Seven Year Itch: Is it Finally Over in Sierra Leone?

Posted in African Politics, Sierra Leone by ruben eberlein on June 17, 2009

kroobayfreetownIn 2002, Sierra Leone’s regional war officially ended. But deep social, economic and political problems remain. Abuse of power, the drug trade and youth unemployment are considered to be the biggest challenges in Sierra Leone. Three years ago, I finished a paper entitled ‘”We don’t believe in politics, we believe in reality” – Social domination and its perception amongst young people in today’s Sierra Leone’.
You can download it here (112 kb, pdf).

HipHop Culture in West Africa – A Political Force to be Reckoned With

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Global Africa, Senegal by ruben eberlein on June 15, 2009

The situation in the Casamance and Senegal at large, Islam and women/gay rights, Rap music and politics were some of the topics of my conversation with Sister Fa, HipHop artist from Senegal. Read it here in English or download a pdf of the original German text. (more…)

Economic Liberalisation in Tanzania Fails to Address Poverty

Posted in African Politics, Global Africa, Tanzania by ruben eberlein on June 12, 2009

[Policy Forum, Dar es Salaam] In its recent publication, ‘Tanzania: the story of an African transition’ the IMF argues that in the last two decades the Tanzanian economy went through a period of successful transition in which economic liberalization and institutional reform led to a recovery of GDP growth to more than 7 % per year since 2000. A note by the Policy Forum demonstrates that this ‘successful transition’ has failed to bring poverty reduction, that most of the progress has occured in Dar es Salaam and not in rural areas, and that it is associated with the poorest getting poorer and the richest richer. (more…)

Shower Head, Madiba and Other Comrades from the Bad Old Days

Posted in African Politics, Culture, Global Africa, South Africa by ruben eberlein on June 10, 2009

zapiroonantisemitismA cultural highlight at the ECAS conference in Leipzig happened to be the vernissage of a cartoon exhibition by Zapiro. South Africa’s ‘funniest philosopher’ (SA Times) opened the show himself and entertained the scientists with eloquent remarks about the different trajectories of people who were once united in their fight against Apartheid. He’s really good in mimicking Madiba. My favourite piece had the headline ‘Mugabe: SADC leaders apply pressure’, the picture shows Bob getting a relieving massage from African leaders (‘A bit lower … Aaah, that’s the spot!’). The one to the left on anti-Semitism isn’t bad too.

ECAS 09, Leipzig: Inspired Thinking and Talking about Africa

Posted in Global Africa by ruben eberlein on June 7, 2009

henrikvighguineabissauThe Aegis conference in Leipzig that just ended today was really both intellectually inspiring and entertaining. Scientists with an interest in Africa from all over Europe, the continent itself, the US and even China were coming together to discuss African issues from a number of viewpoints and with diverse methods. Keep checking my blog for some of those things that I found most interesting in the next weeks. For a start, you see to the left a book which I ordered immediately after returning.

Out of Berlin, into Leipzig: Four Days of Discussing African Issues

Posted in Global Africa by ruben eberlein on June 3, 2009

Tomorrow, a conference on African issues under the motto ‘Respacing Africa’ will take off in Leipzig, Germany, for four days. The Third European Conference on African Studies (ECAS) will host some 1,100 academics and interested persons to discuss dynamic changes in Africa from a variety of multi-disciplinary perspectives. You can follow Marieke Hounjet’s reports from Leipzig via blog.