Africa and the West: Converging Views

Board Editorial
14,00€

Africa and the West: Converging Views

n°52 Third Quarter 2014

Africa has always held a particular place in Europe’s imagination – and this is truly mutual, especially after the time of decolonization. Enthusiastic views converge – from the...

Magazine content

Baverez Nicolas
2,00€

AFRICA’S BOOM YEARS

For almost half a century, the undertakings made when the African States gained independence came to nothing. It became apparent that national unity and sovereignty were merely masks, which concealed flourishing dictatorship and corruption in a situation of under-development and poverty and the curse of the raw materials that kept the leaders wealthy against the background of the grinding poverty of the peoples. Having made a bad start, Africa ended by being relegated to the margins of the world and was regarded as lost as far as democracy and development were concerned. Since the early years...

Robert Anne-Cécile
2,00€

TOWARDS UNIVERSALISING THE UNIVERSAL

Africa is in fashion. Its growth rates (sometimes in double figures), its emerging markets and its resources are making it unprecedentedly attractive in the context of globalisation. Many leaders, experts and observers are even suggesting that it could become mission territory for “Francophonie” because of its hundreds of millions of French-speakers.•[1] So the ideal synthesis has been identified: long live economic Francophonie! The movement is gathering speed: relations are multiplying; miles and miles of pages are covered in print; there are too many moving...

Chantebout Bernard
2,00€

ON THE INVENTION OF THE CONCEPT OF THE “THIRD WORLD”

In 1966, I had published an essay on the third world which received a “mixed” reception. Economists such as Daniel Cohen or editorial writers such as Alain-Gérard Slama gave it the thumbs-up, but others, known as “third-worldists”, criticised me for it, sometimes in extremely sharp and even offensive terms.•[1] I was not surprised by their reaction because I was announcing the imminent disappearance of the concept of the third world. Three years later, in 1969, my publisher was keen to publish a second edition of my book, believing that all that would...

Hodonou Germain
2,00€

AFRICA AND THE WEST IN GLOBALISATION

Globalisation means the worldwide integration of economic, trade and financial activities. No country in the world can escape the resulting dizzying acceleration of exchanges, particularly via Internet. Consequently, the whole world is affected: the 34 countries of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)•[1], the 18 countries•[2] of the eurozone, often also members of the OECD, the emerging Asian States and the African countries. Although this huge economic change is of benefit to many, it constitutes a handicap to those without the resources to deal...

Mangeon Anthony
2,00€

AFRICA’S HONOUR

The relationship between Africa and the West both fuels and explains its history. “Africa”, “West” or “East” are all names inherited from Antiquity whose shifts in meaning and reference reveal a number of relational patterns. Although the Greeks called Africa Aethiopia, or “the country of burnt faces”, the Romans called it Lybia, reserving the name of Africa for their province of North Africa instead. Later used to designate the whole continent, the name “Africa” marks the origin of the colonial period in the...

Wane Sidina
0,00€

THE WEST AND AFRICANNESS

In the West, the social networks set up by the new communication technologies seem to be mimicking one of the virtues of the communal life of African societies. This new form of social interaction is intended to achieve a compromise between individual freedoms and collective constraints. Cyberspace is creating a way to inhabit space in a new relationship with territory and geography: within space above the earth an abstract and computer-assisted coexistence is introducing a new geometry of borders between public and private worlds. In the same vein, the ecological awareness now so much a...

Mabe Jacob Emmanuel
0,00€

AMO AND HEGEL: TWO LIVES, TWO PHILOSOPHIES

Although Anton Wilhelm Amo (c.1700-1753) and Georg Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) developed against the same cultural background, they share few common elements in their reasoning styles and are fundamentally differentiated by their perceptions of Africa. For a very long time Amo’s work developed in the shadows because it failed to attract an audience. However, he has gone down in history as the first world-class philosopher of African origin to have taken an active part in the debates of the European Enlightenment. His intellectual greatness is due as much to his unwavering support...

Ramazani Bishwende Augustin
2,00€

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE, AN ALTERNATIVE TO WESTERN LIBERALISM?

Our world is dominated by a small wealthy elite: some 2% of its population possesses 50% of the world’s wealth … Following the establishment in 1944 of the Bretton Woods system and the end of the Second World War, the capitalist West – and more specifically the United States – has set the financial and economic tone. Of course, in the geopolitical context of the Cold War in the 20th century, there were some tough confrontations between capitalists and Communists. The world was bipolar, but then came the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR. The...

Mbaye Diop  Babacar
0,00€

AFRICAN ART: INTUITION AND SCIENCE

It seems that Black African art does not lend itself to a strictly scientific study. This is because it is deeply rooted in religion and all that is religious is irrational. In other words, it would not be worth subjecting African art to scientific testing. African artistic production is functional and connected with society, sensations and emotion. Its domain differs from that of understanding, and the comprehension of its activity and its outcomes require some organ other than that of scientific thought. But we all know that “artistic language” cannot exist “without the...

Mongo-Mboussa  Boniface
2,00€

THE CONGO RIVER AND THE GEOPOLITICS OF THE IMAGINATION

Africa, wrote Frantz Fanon, is shaped like a revolver, and its trigger is in Zaire. I no longer remember in which of his books the essayist from Martinique penned this memorable phrase. One thing is certain: it is rooted in common sense, so greatly have the crises that have wracked this country affected the continent and sometimes the world. It was at the time of the confrontation between Stanley working on behalf of Leopold II, King of the Belgians, and Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, the French explorer of Italian origin, that Bismarck seized the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. He...