Tuesday, February 19, 2013 10:30 a.m. to noon

Africa’s development has always been challenging and complex. Much has been said about the political frustrations of the post-colonial African state and economic stewardship of the Continent’s neo-colonial leaders. In the first decade of the 21st Century, these older matters have been joined by a host of newer challenges and complexities that orbit around the persistent and increasingly urgent question of the impediments to Africa’s political governance and economic independence. Indeed, important contemporary perspectives have reframed questions of the colonial legacy and neo-colonial leadership in terms of a broader recolonization of the African continent. Connecting these political and economic frustrations to recolonization is critical and timely. However, the framing of the recolonization concept itself has lagged behind its more frequent application to Africa’s crises. Accordingly, this essay aims at outlining a frame-of-reference in the case for the recolonization of the African continent. First, the essay seeks a footing with the assumption that the case for recolonization must be rooted in a critical reassessment of the broad contradictions of the decolonization process. While the formal commencement of colonialism was a tremendous chapter in the history of modern Africa, recolonization comes into focus at those points where decolonization intersected with efforts to sustain foreign interests in Africa. A second component is the reframing of the recolonization concept within a Pan-Africanists context. That is, the argument is made here that recolonization can best be understood, and critiqued, using a perspective that transcends the African continent and that utilizes a broader Diasporic lens.


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