Ressource Conflicts and Social Movements in Africa
|Garystr. 55 Hörsaal B
10:00 - 12:00
Africa’s resources have been exploited for centuries to the detriment of African populations. Post-colonial African liberation movements taking state control promised to take ownership over precious natural resources and to benefit the newly liberated populations. However, post-colonial resource policy in many African countries proves contentious. Violent conflict, cronyism and foreign interference are recurring malaises. African economies relying heavily on natural resources suffer from boom and bust cycles running the risk of focusing too narrowly on extraction. When governments fail to administer their countries’ riches in a sustainable manner, civil society plays an important part in changing the extractive trajectories their representatives have taken. This seminar aims to address the role social movements and community-based organizations play in formulating new visions of living in “resource cursed” spaces. Case studies from across Africa will illustrate how social movements organize to hold mining companies and governments to account. Debates in the seminar will situate resource extraction in Africa against the backdrop of a new global architecture sustaining pressure to “dig and drill” on the continent. We will also see how water, arable land, as well as air quality become issues of public contestation.