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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



CODESRIA Bulletin, Nos 3 & 4, 2011

Reclaiming Our Future

Every new century comes with its own challenges. Although the rapid changes in virtually all spheres of life make it difficult to clearly identify all the challenges that Africa will face this century, the fact remains that Africa has a lot to contend with, there are many global issues that are craving for attention – emerging world powers, neoliberalism, interculturalism, climate change, poverty, rapid urbanization, and many others.

Some pertinent questions arise from these challenges, and these are essentially what the 13th CODESRIA General Assembly, taking place after the celebration of the 50th independence anniversary of most African countries, will tackle during its conference through lectures and round-table discussions as the Council hosts scholars on Africa from the continent and the outside world between 5 and 9 December, 2011, Rabat, Morocco. The communication that announced the forthcoming General Assembly raised two questions: “How does all this affect Africa? And how prepared is the continent to face these challenges as well as those that will arise in the future?”

Some of the major disadvantages that Africa is faced with at the beginning of the 21st century include low level of education of many Africans, lack of modern techniques of production, transport, a fragmented political space and the extrovert structure of the majority of the economies among others. Institutions of higher education and cultures of the elites are strongly marked, not by a philosophy and development strategies guided by the interests of African peoples, but by influences coming from the North, influences that are more alienating than liberating.

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