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African Renaissance
Published Since: 2004
Publishing Discontinued: The journal is published regularly
Publication Frequency: Quarterly. AR is one of the longest surviving social science journals published by Africans.It is currently indexed at EBSCO, J-Gate, ProQuest, Sabinet and accredited by IBSS and SCOPUS.

Terrorism in Africa: Beyond Essentialism Jideofor Adibe   Terrorism appears to have become the scourge of our time, with terrorists  inflicting both pains and fears in the minds of ordinary folks. Yet, what exactly constitutes ‘terrorism’ or ‘terrorist act’ remains mired in controversy, with the concept often manipulated by those whose political and ideological interests it  serves to designate particular actions of agents they are opposed to as terrorism.  The problem of definition is compounded by the fact that ‘terrorism’ is an emotionally and politically charged notion, hence  one man’s terrorist could be another’s freedom fighter. Despite the lingering issue of delineation (see for instance Williamson 2009:38, Schmid, 2009), there is increasingly a broad consensus that modern terrorism could be distinguished from war and other acts of violence by some of its unique features such as............

The African continent has undeniably faced a tumultuous 2011.     In 2011 an unprecedented uprising erupted against corrupt and repressive regimes in North Africa, now infamously known as the ‘Arab Spring’. This culminated in the fall of President Ben Ali of Tunisia’s regime in January 2011. Inspired by Tunisia’s ‘Jasmine Revolution’, Egypt swiftly followed suit, calling for the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Scores of demonstrators from all ages and backgrounds subsequently seized control of Tahrir Square in central Cairo, which emerged as the hub and heart of the country’s revolution. Following 18 days of protests (characterized by Mubarak’s attempts to brutally suppress dissent, and the army’s withdrawal of support) Mubarak was forced to stand down and is currently facing what is likely to be a lengthy and difficult trial. In November 2011 Egypt’s Tahrir Square was once again the scene ............

Diaspora Studies as an academic field was developed some fifty years ago and has seen a rapid growth, with books such as The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities by Okpewho, Boyce Davies & Mazrui (eds, 2001), Gomez’s Diasporic Africa: A Reader  (2005) and The Oxford Companion to Black British History by Dabydeen, Gilmore & Jones (eds, 2007). Journals such as African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, and African Diaspora have been publishing on a regular basis, and a number of international conferences have taken place to further explore this vast field. While the United States boast the highest number of university programmes on the subject, in the UK, SOAS launched its Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies in 2007, and Edinburgh University Scottish Centre for Diaspora Studies opened in 2008. This issue of African Renaissance offers a reflection on aspects of African Diasporas, giving a voice to researchers ............

Social Movements and Nation-building in South Africa and Nigeria   In the lecture that he gave at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa to mark this year’s Africa Day, Ali A. Mazrui, who is also one of Africa’s foremost scholars observed inter alia:   “Among the intriguing paradoxes of South Africa’s history is that this land is the last country on the African continent to be liberated, and yet it is also among the first to be truly democratized. In our context here, liberation is either from racial minority rule or from colonialism in the imperial sense. On the other hand, democratization is either the quest for, or the consolidation of a system which combines government’s accountability, with popular participation, and links the pursuit of social justice with open society.”   Ali A. Mazrui’s assertion above portrays quite aptly the arguments that the authors of the four articles in thi............

The slavery debate, especially as it concerns the demand for reparation, was recently re-ignited by Henry Gates Jnr in an Op-ed to the New York Times on April 22 2010 (‘Ending the Slavery Blame Game’) where he contended that the role played by Africans is often underplayed in the slavery blame game. He argued:     Advocates of reparations for the descendants of those slaves generally ignore this untidy problem of the significant role that Africans played in the trade, choosing to believe the romanticized version that our ancestors were all kidnapped unawares by evil white men, like Kunta Kinte was in “Roots.” The truth, however, is much more complex: slavery was a business, highly organized and lucrative for European buyers and African sellers alike. (Gates Jnr: 2010)   Gates contended that that the complicity of Africans makes it difficult to talk about reparation as it would be difficult to determine the level of culpability of ............

In Volume 7 Number 1, of the journal, we discussed US-Africa relations under Barrack Obama. We posed and sought answers to the question of whether there has been any fundamental change in US policy towards Africa under Obama’s presidency. In this issue we focus on poverty in Africa, its ramifications and the various remedial measures in the continent. In Ghana where it is estimated that some 40% of the population are poor, John Gasu argues that the actors involved in poverty reduction programmes are critical to the expected outcomes. He points out the contradiction in the case of the Ghanaian state, which bears the responsibility for the social and economic malaise associated with poverty and yet is restrained by the dominant neo-liberal order from embarking on direct economic activity of its own to remedy the situation. Ezeibe Christian Chukwuebuka discusses the political economy of poverty and poverty alleviation programmes in Nigeria between 1999 and 2009, arguing that b............

In Volume 6 Number 2, we looked at the impact of the current global economic crisis on Africa. We posed questions on the roots of the crisis; its possible impacts on Africa, and the ways Africa could wriggle itself out of the logjam.   In this special issue, we focus on the Yaradua regime, which came into power in May Nigeria in 2007. Sunny Nwachukwu & Osumah Oarhe discuss the 2007 elections that brought the regime to power, and its implications for democratic consolidation in the country. They note that the conduct of the elections was fatally flawed with widespread voter intimidation, thuggery, violence, election rigging and outright falsification of collated results. For them, “since the government formed on the basis of the 2007 general election is based on fraud, the implication is that the government does not represent the people.” Ezeibe Christian Chukwuebuka discusses Yardua’s 7-point Agenda, noting that the Agenda on which the regime anchors its pu............

In the last edition of the journal, we examined the recently concluded Ghanaian presidential elections, noting that the 2008 elections tested the institutional character of the electoral process in Ghana to its limit. We noted that while Ghana deserved every commendation for yet another successful democratic power transfer, the rave reviews of the elections, were rather too extravagant and masked events which nearly turned Ghana to another Kenya or Zimbabwe’ in Africa.    In this issue, we look at the impact of the current global economic crisis on Africa. We posed questions on the roots of the crisis; its possible impacts on Africa, and the ways Africa could wriggle itself out of the logjam.    Patrick Bond discusses the various reasons offered for the crisis in the US – from deregulation, corruption, greed, feckless borrowing by debt-addicted consumers and Alan Greenspan – to Conservative Ann Coulter blaming it on the banks “giving your............

In volume 5, No.3 & 4 2008 edition of the journal, we dealt with the issue of Electoral Violence and Post-Electoral Arrangements in Africa, noting that the end of the Cold War and big power rivalries in the late 1980s coincided with and/or contributed to the restoration or establishment of multiparty systems in most of Africa in what has been termed the ‘third wave of democratisation’. We also noted that the violence that followed what was apparently a peaceful presidential poll in Kenya in December 2007 and the circumstances that surrounded the 2008 presidential election in Zimbabwe seem to overshadow the view of many observers about the democratic process in Africa.   In this issue, the first in 2009, we look closely at the recently concluded Ghanaian presidential elections. Ernest Ansah Lartey and Kwesi Anning give an insight into the emerging presidential transitional culture in Ghana’s political development. They note that the 2008 electi............


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