More than one conflict constellation in current Africa’s sub-regions underline the complexity of regional dynamics – and that peace is simply so much more than the absence of violence. Short-term regional security interests, e.g. from Uganda in South Sudan, Rwanda in the DRC, Chad in Libya, to name but a few examples, overlap and even hinder a positive peace in a national context. At the same time, new coalitions such as the G5 du Sahel highlight insufficiencies and challenges of existing mechanism by the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). A positive peace however, understood as the capacity to transform conflicts with empathy and without violence in a constructive way (Galtung), needs to build on social justice and participation, good governance, and sound inter- and trans-societal relations and cooperation. Formal and informal institutions that move societies away from violence and towards sustainable peace and a society’s belief and trust in those are also crucial when it comes to addressing the root causes of forced migration. If local and national conflict constellations cannot be settled in a sustainable manner without the implication of relevant regional actors – how can inclusive processes on the national level on the other hand be complemented, secured, and supported through new approaches to collective security on a sub-regional level? The roundtable aims at analysing 2-3 sub-regional conflict constellations with their regional dynamics and at discussing factors for building and supporting positive peace on a regional level with new approaches to collective security.
Time: Thursday, 28/06/2018, 2 - 4 pm
|Bodo Schulze (Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Berlin)|
Germany’s presidency of the G-20 in 2017 introduced a new initiative for supporting African countries’ development: the G-20 Compact with Africa (CWA). In its resolution, the G20 has acknowledged its special responsibility to join forces in tackling the challenges facing the world’s poorest countries. The CWA brings together interested African countries with the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the African Development Bank, and other multilateral and bilateral partners to develop and support policies and actions that are essential for attracting private investment. Ten countries have signed up for the initiative and outlined their reform programmes under a framework adopted by the G-20 in July 2017 in Hamburg. The compact reflects the reality that public resources are scarce and only private sector-led growth can create enough jobs for the young.
The compact differs from past initiatives by focusing explicitly on facilitating private investment. There are three major CWA frameworks: The macroeconomic framework formulates a set of well-known recommendations: fiscal discipline, redirection of public expenditure, tax reform, financial liberalization, elimination of barriers to foreign direct investment, privatization of state-owned enterprises, deregulation of market entry and competition, and secure property rights. The business framework primarily addresses regulatory uncertainties. The financing framework is centred on de-risking instruments to stimulate infrastructure investment by pension funds and life insurance companies.
What would an eventual success of the CWA look like? Four ingredients are of major relevance:
• Compact countries continue to pursue sound macroeconomic policies and invest in state capacity and good governance.
• Countries and their partners invest in deeper diagnostics of private sector constraints, including through a systematic, sustained, and open dialogue with domestic and foreign private actors to pinpoint additional reforms that further reduce country risks.
• G-20 governments encourage close engagement of G-20 private sector actors with – CWA countries to help transform risk perceptions and identify new investment opportunities.
• International financial institutions support new investments with their instruments where risks remain too elevated.
The CWA can bring change. The G-20 has recognized that African governments themselves hold the key to breaking investor wariness of the continent. The G-20 accepts that Africa will be led out of poverty by those governments that pioneer change. The CWAs will help the most ambitious governments to lead the way.
This panel discusses whether the CWA is an instrument that will bring change and tackle the most severe problems in Africa: Infrastructural bottlenecks and processes of structural transformation leading to lower poverty and unemployment.
Time: Saturday, 30/06/2018, 11 am - 1 pm
|Robert Kappel (University of Leipzig)|
„Einfacher Zugang zu richtig viel Material“: Forschungsinfrastrukturen und Dienstleistungen für die Afrikaforschung
Ziel dieses Panels ist, die wichtigsten jüngsten Entwicklungen der Informationsinfrastruktur vorzustellen. Das Auffinden wissenschaftlicher Materialien gezielt für die Afrikaforschung wird zunehmend erleichtert, da das gesamte Material verschiedener Datenbanken in einem Suchportal zugänglich gemacht werden soll. Durch internationale Kooperationen und Digitalisierungsprojekte wird der Zugang zu Materialien ständig verbessert. Gleichwohl sind vielen Afrikawissenschaftler_innen etliche Rechercheangebote nicht bekannt oder sie nutzen sie nicht. Wie können sie besser erreicht werden? Gerade für den Aufbau weiterer Datenbanken und die Aktualisierung vorhandener Forschungsinfrastrukturen wäre aber der Input von Forschenden und Lehrenden wichtig, der jedoch oft Zeit benötigt, die im Lehr- und Forschungsalltag oft nicht vorhanden ist. Manche Datenbanken sind nicht frei zugänglich und ihr Zugang damit an die Mitgliedschaft an bestimmten Universitäten gebunden. Wie kann eine stärkere internationale Vernetzung der Forschungsinfrastrukturen aussehen? Welche Möglichkeiten, Hindernisse und ethischen Fragen ergeben sich durch die Bereitstellung digitalisierter Materialien, besonders Forschungsdaten? Diese und weitere Fragen sollen auf dem Panel des Infrastrukturausschusses der VAD diskutiert werden.
Time: Friday, 29/06/2018, 4.30 - 6.30 pm
|Aïsha Othman (VAD Infrastructure Committee)|
Despite beacons of hope that occurred over the last two years in the form of peaceful changes of government in Nigeria and Ghana, African democracies overall remain fragile. In certain cases, it is not only about the fragility of democracy and the lack of a democratic political culture. For observers looking beyond the paradigm of electoral democracies it is the regression and backward orientation of democratization processes – processes that once set off with a lot of hope and enthusiasm.
25 years after the third wave hit the shores of the African continent we increasingly find political systems legitimized by elections of dubious quality. Façade democracies have been created and the international community closed its eyes to it for far too long. In the age of digitalization, electoral fraud does not take place anymore on election day and in polling stations. It happens either long before while compiling the voters register or during the processing of data. Not in many African states, judicial power is as independent and courageous has it has been in Kenya recently when its supreme court declared the presidential election null and void.
In at least 21 African states, constitutions have been amended in order to extend the mandates of presidents. Political and civil rights – in particular the rights of opposition parties and civil society – are severely under threat. The latest example that hardly comes to attention in Europe is Tanzania – once a poster child for development assistance.
The proposed panel seeks to discuss the state of democracy and latest developments with representatives from academia/think tanks (eg. Afrobarometer); democracy support practitioners; representatives of donor agencies (eg. EU DEVCO); and African political actors. The leading question will be how to get Africa’s democratization processes back on track, how to support local initiatives, and how to give as an international or regional actor the right signals?
Time: Saturday, 30/06/2018, 8.30 - 10.30 am
|Andrea Ostheimer (Kondrad Adenauer Foundation, Berlin)|
When it comes to feminism, the fight for equal rights for women and sexual minorities, Africa is still seen as being at the receiving end of global changes. Be it in Western/Northern academic contributions, activist interventions, or political statements, Africa – just as the Global South more generally – is portrayed as patriarchal, traditionalist, homophobic, and the antidote to the progressive West/North when it comes to questions of gender and LGBTIQ*. What had already been pointed out by Chandra Mohanty in the late 1980s with regard to the Western feminist movement has gained a new prominence with the emergence of outspoken LGBTIQ* movements in the US and Europe: The projection of backwardness of African politics and the proclaimed lack of political emancipation of African women and sexual minorities strongly shapes the self-identity of Western/Northern politics as progressive and feminist/LGBTIQ* activists as the saviors of Third World women and gays.
At the same time, African political leaders are buying into the same logic from a different angle. Within a seemingly decolonial argumentation, homosexuality is portrayed as un-African and a Western import and African emancipation from Western/Northern interventions is more often than not spelled out first with regard to questions of gender and sexual identity.
Thus, in the Global North as well as in many African countries, Africa's own history of sexual diversity and feminist movements is being ignored, silenced, and unwritten. What is more, the importance of Afrofeminism and the manifold experiences of African gender and sexual identities for the development of feminism globally is completely sidelined.
This roundtable discussion aims to analyse not only the entanglements of sexual and gender norms, homophobia, and patriarchy in the Global North and Africa, but also the connections and interrelatedness of feminist and LGBTIQ* liberation struggles. How does Afrofeminism shape global feminism? How is the struggle for gender and sexual rights within Africa related to struggles of the African diaspora? What effects does a Western dominated global feminist movement have on African feminist movements and African politics? What can we learn from pan-African and South-South connections with regard to gender and sexual rights?
Time: Thursday, 28/06/2018, 11 am - 1 pm
|Claudia Simons (Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin)|