Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا
In the same section


On the occasion of Amilcar Cabral’s 80th Birthday Celebrations Under the high sponsorship of H.E. the President of the Republic of Cape Verde Pedro Verona Rodrigues Pires

Number of visits: 423

The challenges of globalisation are universal and involve all countries and nations, as well as the
international and civil society organisations, and citizens, in general. Africa is all the more involved as many African
countries are facing serious and acute problems, pertaining to economic, and identity issues; these countries are
also suffering from wars, conflicts, acute health problems and pandemics such as AIDS, education, poverty etc.
Globalisation also tends to impose a mainstream way of thinking, which might be a hindrance to the
development of an autonomous and endogenous way of thinking, while creating new insidious forms of

There seems to be a consensus around the urgent need to carry out an endogenous reflection that could
lead to a better understanding of the dynamics and processes of social changes in the African continent, and which
could also help Africans devise appropriate policies for a sustainable development in Africa.

The Amilcar Cabral international symposium, which is organized by the Amilcar Cabral Foundation, is
seeking to contribute to the effort of creating a way of thinking that would be specific to Africa, which is expressed
through this maxim: “Pensar com as nossas próprias cabeças, de acordo com a nossa própria realidade” [1] that
was suggested by Amilcar Cabral himself.

The Symposium will involve debates on three main themes/ panels:

- 1. History, culture and identity;
- 2. Nation building in Africa;
- 3. Development and African regional integration within the context of globalisation.

While analysing the current situation, papers should also draw prospects for the future. There will be
references to the past, as a way to understand the present and build a link to the future.

The debate of Panel 1 - on History, Culture and Identity – will include questions, such as :

- a) Is globalisation a sustainable construction that could only be understood as a knowledge goal through
a historical analysis?
- b) To what extent is the impact of colonialism still influencing modern African societies?
- c) Can modern strategies of emancipation and development be a source of historical knowledge or is
history one of the main analytical tools of these very strategies?
- d) Since culture is to Amilcar Cabral the result and driving force of history, how can the necessity of
identity claim be reconciled with universality?

The Panel 2 – Nation building in Africa – will analyse the following problematics:

- a) What are the challenges to nation building, within he context of an accelerated globalisation process?
- b) How to reconcile the notion of a state subject to the rule of law with the system of traditional values?
- c) What must be done, so that the state can play his integration role, and how can political instability be
- d) Which role should the civil society play in the construction of democracy and building of the state?

Panel 3 – Development and African regional integration within the context of globalisation – the reflection
will address such issues as:

- a) Which concepts and which alternative policies for Africa’s economic development?
- b) How to deal with the threats and opportunities within the environment of international economic
- c) Which strategies and which models for a successful African regional integration ?
- d) Which integration policies in the face of globalisation challenges ?

Participants wishing to present a paper must submit to this organisation an abstract of half a page, in
Portuguese, French or English, by the 30th May, at latest. The complete texts (a maximum of 35 pages, including
appendices) must be submitted to the organisation by 30th July. You can have additional information on this event
by visiting the website of the Amilcar Cabral Foundation ( [2]

[1This could be translated as “Thinking through our own selves, according to our own reality ”

[2The website will be available from 25 May 2004