Friday, June 16, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Fwd: H-Africa daily digest: 3 new items have been posted

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From: H-Net Notifications <>
Date: June 16, 2017 at 6:00:56 PM EDT
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Subject: H-Africa daily digest: 3 new items have been posted

Greetings Toyin Falola,

New items have been posted in H-Africa.

CFP: SERSAS FALL 2017 Conference, Tuskegee and Auburn Universities, 20-21 October

by Kenneth Wilburn

From: Bill Ndi and Daren Ray
Date: 15 June 2015

CFP: SERSAS FALL 2017 Conference, Tuskegee and Auburn Universities, 20-21 October

"America in Africa, Africa in America: Ties that Bind or Blind"

The Southeastern Regional Seminar in African Studies (SERSAS) is pleased to announce a conference to be hosted by Auburn and Tuskegee Universities beginning at 2 pm on Friday, October 20 and continuing through Saturday evening, October 21, in Auburn, Alabama, USA. Some funds for lodging may be provided to presenters--details to follow.

Tuskegee University's distinguished and signal leadership in cultivating educational and development opportunities in various African nations is a vital example of the ties that Americans have forged with Africans. While certainly not all American involvement in Africa has yielded positive, constructive outcomes, the on-going dialogue has proven to be one of the world's most dynamic forces of change. The conference organizers particularly invite proposals for papers and presentations which highlight the themes of dialogue, development, education and cultural exchange between Americans and Africans at all levels and from any disciplinary perspective.

The conference keynote lecture, "Popular Pan-Africanism in Idi Amin's Uganda" will be delivered by Dr. Derek Peterson, Professor in the History Department and the Department of Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan. In addition to award-winning research on ethnicity and religion in East Africa, Dr. Peterson coordinates an ongoing collaboration with Mountains of the Moon University to organize and preserve archives in Uganda. He is the principle investigator for a Mellon Foundation grant that supports joint workshops with the University of Michigan's African Studies Center and the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research in South Africa. In 2016 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in African Studies and elected Fellow of the British Academy (for a brief profile, see

Faculty, independent scholars, and graduate students are all encouraged to participate. In preparing proposals, please keep in mind that SERSAS explicitly seeks to disrupt the conventional "three people reading papers" session. We seek innovative and unconventional proposals from all fields for this interdisciplinary conference (for example, we invite you to propose an experimental session with 5 presenters making presentations of 7-10 minutes each). More traditional proposals for individual papers, entire sessions, round-tables, interactive workshops, and conversations, are still of course welcome. SERSAS will award the graduate student who presents the best paper at the conference the SERSAS Graduate Student Prize, which carries a stipend of $100.

Conference registration for faculty is $35. There is no registration fee for graduate students. Conferees become SERSASians for life.

Please send your proposals of no more than 300 words per presenter to:

Daren Ray and Bill Ndi

The deadline for receipt of proposals is Monday, September 4. Notification of acceptance (or otherwise) will be sent by Friday, September 8th.

Sponsors for the SERSAS Fall 2017 Conference: Southeastern Regional Seminar in African Studies; Tuskegee University College of Arts and Sciences; Department of Modern Languages, Communication and Philosophy, Tuskegee University; Department of History and Political Science, Tuskegee University; Department of History, Auburn University; Africana Studies Program, College of Liberal Arts, Auburn University; Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities, Auburn University; and Auburn University Libraries.

On-site Conference Organizers: Bill Ndi and Daren Ray

SERSAS Web Site:

18th Annual Africa Conference at the University of Texas at Austin (March 29-31, 2018)

by Toyin Falola

18th Annual Africa Conference at the University of Texas at Austin

(March 29-31, 2018)


Convened by: Prof. Toyin Falola, Department of History, UT Austin


Leadership and Institutions in Africa


Purposeful leadership and inclusive political and economic institutions have been identified as necessities for Africa and all Africa-related peoples and regions to begin to address past failures, confront present predicaments, and chart a credible course for the future. Africa's leaders have largely failed to transform the African state and its institutions into agents of development for the benefit of the citizens. Several explanations have been adduced for the observed leadership deficiencies that have become almost permanent narratives of Africa. Such explanations have often included, but not limited to, externalist arguments that point to the legacies of colonial exploitation and its neocolonial challenges, as well as contemporary global events that systemically constrain Africa's opportunities for growth and development. There are also internalist explanations that attribute Africa's leadership conundrum and institutional failures to the rapacity and irresponsible choices of successive African leaders. Whatever these explanations may be, there is an emerging consensus that real progress cannot happen until Africa addresses its leadership questions and transforms its weak and predatory institutions to inclusive ones. 


The 2018 Africa Conference will critically examine Africa's political leadership and extant institutions vis-à-vis the continent's history of underdevelopment, present challenges, and future trajectories within the global political economy. Scholars are invited to interrogate the nature and evolution of leadership and institutions in Africa from the pre-colonial era to contemporary times. Institutions in this context are broadly defined to include formal and informal institutions, including history, traditions and culture of the people. Is it leadership that shapes institutions or do institutions determine the quality of leaders that emerge? How can African states achieve the leadership and institutional transformation necessary to address the perennial development challenges of the continent? Are there lessons that could be drawn from the experiences of the pre-colonial era to inform contemporary issues of leadership? We invite proposals for papers, panel presentations, roundtables and artistic works/performances that would critically examine these and other related issues on Africa's leadership and institutions.


As in years past, participants will be drawn from around the world. Graduate students are encouraged to attend and present papers. The conference will provide time for scholars from various disciplines and geographical locations to interact, exchange ideas, and receive feedback. Additionally, selected papers will be published in a series of book volumes. Submitted papers will be assigned to particular panels according to similarities in theme, topic, discipline, or geographical focus. Panel proposals (of 3-5 presenters) are especially encouraged.


We invite submissions that include but are not limited to the following sub-themes and topics:


Institutions Conceptualized

  • The nature and role of formal and informal institutions
  • Institutional path dependency
  • Institutional change and transformation
  • Incentive structures and the choices of agents
  • Institutions and Economic Performance
  • Policy institutions
  • Institutions and enforcement mechanisms
  • The state, its institutions and the citizens


Leadership and Institutions in Pre-colonial Africa

  • The nature of leadership in pre-colonial Africa
  • The role of chiefs, kings, monarchs and other authority figures
  • The interface between culture and leadership in pre-colonial Africa
  • The evolution of culture from the pre-colonial era to the present
  • The society and the citizen in the pre-colonial era
  • Traditional institutions versus contemporary systems


Leadership and Institutions in the Colonial Era

  • State formation in Africa
  • The nature of colonial institutions
  • Interactions of colonial institutions and pre-colonial systems
  • The rise of new elites
  • Dislocations, transformations, and modernity
  • Nationalism and new trajectories


Colonial Legacies

  • Colonial exploitation and the emergence of predatory state-society relations
  • Neocolonialism
  • Colonial economic models
  • Western democracy and the conflict of culture
  • Dependence on former colonial masters
  • Rural-urban divide and the challenge of active citizenship
  • Education, culture and the leadership question


The Nature of Political Leadership in Postcolonial Africa

  • The role of Africa's independence leaders in setting leadership standards
  • Leadership recruitment processes
  • The role of culture in determining the type of leaders that emerge
  • Religion and leadership
  • Foreign interventions in domestic policies
  • Education, training and leadership
  • Ethnicity and the leadership question
  • Democracy and accountability
  • Citizenship, expectations, and civic engagements
  • The role of civil society in holding leaders accountable
  • Class and the political economy of leadership recruitment
  • Africa's Big Men
  • Patriarchy, gender and the leadership question



Institutions in Postcolonial Africa

  • The nature of political and economic institutions
  • Evolution of institutions in postcolonial Africa
  • Colonialism and the legacies of exploitation and expropriation
  • Examination of critical institutions of the state – public service, the Police Force, etc.
  • Property rights institutions
  • Anti-corruption crusades and institutional reforms
  • Law enforcement and the judiciary
  • Economic systems, financial institutions and systems
  • Law enforcement and anti-corruption institutions
  • Institutions and informal politics and spaces
  • The future of traditional institutions in Africa



The Cold War and Africa's Postcolonial Leadership

  • Africa's decolonization and the Cold War
  • The impact of the Cold War on Africa's independence leaders
  • The nature of foreign interventions during the Cold War
  • The Cold War and the emergence of violent political culture
  • International legitimacy versus domestic popularity for African leaders
  • The Cold War and Africa's political institutions
  • Post-Cold War transformations of African leadership


Multilateral Institutions in Africa

  • The role of the World Bank and IMF in Africa's economic systems
  • Public debt and the choices of African leaders
  • Foreign interests and interventions in leadership selection
  • Economic development ideologies versus local realities
  • The futility of universal recipes in economic policies
  • Foreign aid and leaders' responsibilities
  • The usefulness of foreign aid in Africa
  • Conditionalities and citizens' welfare
  • The future of development assistance to Africa
  • The effect of foreign aid on institutions 


Information Technology and Social Media

  • Social media and citizens' demand for leadership accountability
  • Dissemination of government programs
  • Social media and government transparency
  • Information technology and the election process
  • Leadership recruitment, retention and removal
  • Citizenship participation in the governance process
  • Public engagements and institutional change



  • Education and citizenship rights
  • The relationship between education, industry and bureaucracy
  • State involvement in education
  • Quality and availability of basic and compulsory leadership education
  • History, leadership and the African state
  • The role of the media in institutions building


Creativity and Performance of Leadership/Institutional deficits

  • Creative governance
  • Leadership Accountability
  • Models of institutional checks and balances
  • Governance peer review mechanism


Each individual proposal must include: 1) title of the work, and an abstract of 200 words, 2) name of the presenter (with the surname underlined). 3) mailing address, 4) phone number, 5) email, 6) institutional affiliation, and 7) three to five keywords that best characterize the themes and topics relevant to the submission. Participants are encouraged to abide by these guidelines.


Proposals for panels (3-5 presenters) must include: 1) title of the panel and a collective summary of 250 words on the panel's theme, including the title of each individual work 2) a 200-word abstract for the presentation of each speaker 3) mailing address 4) phone number 5) email and 6) institutional affiliation of each presenter. Panels with four presenters or less may be completed with other relevant presentations.


Proposals will be accepted on the official conference website from mid-August to November 30, 2017 ( A mandatory non-refundable registration fee of $150 for scholars and $100 for graduate students must be paid immediately upon the acceptance of the abstract. This conference fee includes conference t-shirt and bag, admission to the panels, workshops, and special events, as well as transportation to and from the hotel and conference events. Registration also includes breakfast for all three days, dinner on Friday night, lunch on Saturday, a banquet with DJ and open bar Saturday evening, and a closing celebration at Dr. Falola's house including dinner and DJ. All participants must raise the funding to attend the conference, including registration fee, transportation and accommodation. The conference and the University of Texas at Austin does not provide any form of sponsorship or financial support. However, the Holiday Inn Austin Town Lake will have a special rate for conference participants, and transportation between the hotel and the university is included.


Contact conference coordinators Toyin Falola and Ken Kalu at and, if you have questions, or if you need more information.  


Symposium Announcement: Getting Our Universities Back On Track: CONVERSATION ON HIGHER EDUCATION IN NIGERIA

by Toyin Falola

Symposium Announcement:


Getting Our Universities Back On Track:




The Ibadan School of Government & Public Policy in collaboration with Pan-African University Press 



Monday, July 10, 2017, 10.00 am -5 pm


Venue: Conference Center, University of Ibadan, Nigeria


The purpose of this one-day symposium is to bring together various seasoned university administrators, students, staff and faculty to reflect on the management of universities. Nigeria has over 100 universities, public and private, and a greater number of polytechnics, and colleges of education. Questions continue to be raised about the relevance of these institutions. The event is designed to bring together critical stakeholders in the higher educational sector, especially former/serving VCs, Provosts, Rectors, and officials of government, and several of its relevant agencies.


Various concerns have been expressed about the state of higher education. Nigeria continues to show a perfunctory commitment to education, fails to confront its serious problems, and thinks less about the connections between education and jobs. What is it that is required to have the Nigerian higher educational system rise to the challenge of meeting the goals of national development? How do we manage the universities?


Among the issues to be covered are:


 The Governance Role of the National Universities Commission (NUC)

University Autonomy or Freedom: Academic, Administrative or Financial?

Higher Education Funding: Challenges and Strategies

The Roles of Governing Councils and Staff Unions in Higher Institutions

Multiplication of Higher Institutions: Tonic or Toxic for National Development?

Global Ranking and Recognition: Impediments and Prospects


A possible outcome of the symposium is the creation of ISGPP/Pan African Working Group on Higher Education. Its objectives would be to engage in sustained interrogation of the outcome of the Symposium and allied matters, undertake advocacy and organize follow up activities to achieve the objective of taking Nigerian universities to global competitiveness and attend to the crises of higher education. 


 Contacts: Tunji Olaopa 

Toyin Falola




Chief Convener: Professor Akin Mabogunje


Chairman/Moderator: Professor Toyin Falola, Jacob and Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin and President, Consortium of Pan-African University Press


Lead Speaker


Prof. Femi Mimiko, mni                    Immediate Past Vice Chancellor,  Adekunle Ajasin University



Lead Panelists


Prof. Gabriel Ogunmola, ex-Chairman, Governing Council and current Chancellor, Lead City University, Ibadan


Prof. Eghosa E Osaghae, Vice Chancellor,  Igbinedion University


Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim, Chairman, Editorial Board, Premium Times and Senior Fellow, Centre for Democracy and Development


Prof.  Adebayo Okunade, immediate past Director, Centre for Distance Learning at the University of Ibadan 


Prof. Olubunmi Olapade-Olaopa, Provost, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan 




 Professor Ebunoluwa Oduwole  Deputy Vice Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University


Prof. Diji Aina                         Vice-Chancellor, Caleb University


Prof. Sunny Ogunduyile        Vice-Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University


Prof. Koya Ogen                        Provost, Adeyemi College


Prof. Tola Badejo                      Former Vice Chancellor,  Wesley University


Prof. Igbekele Amos Ajibefun, Vice Chancellor, Adekunle Ajasin University 


Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, Registrar JAMB


Prof. Jide Owoeye, Proprietor and Pro-Chancellor, Lead City University 


Prof. Friday Okonofua, Vice Chancellor,  University of Medical Sciences, Ondo


Professor Ayobami T. Salami, Vice Chancellor, The Technical University, Ibadan




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