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

Kampala Declaration on African History

27-29 October 2008

Number of visits: 2732

The conference on Re-Reading the History and Historiography of Domination and Resistance in Africa was convened by CODESRIA as the first step in a long intellectual journey code-named SOS African History designed to achieve the triple objective of:

- Promoting the study of the history of Africa,
- Mobilizing support for the discipline of History in African higher education, and
- Networking African historians both for these purposes and as a worthy cause in its own right.

It met in Kampala, Uganda from the 27th to 29th October 2008. It started with a brief opening ceremony addressed by the Executive Secretary of CODESRIA, Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi. In an incisive and stimulating address the Executive Secretary highlighted the incontrovertible factors which demonstrate the poor state of health of the study of African history in Africa today from the primary to the university levels of education. He then called on the assembled scholars to come up in their deliberations with strategies for reversing the virtual slide into oblivion by African historical studies in African education.

After him, the keynote speaker, Prof. Adiele Afigbo of the Department of History and International Relations, Ebonyi State University, Nigeria presented his keynote address in which he showed firstly, the various forms and stages which imperial domination by alien powers, especially by the West, had taken since 1450 and secondly, that it was via the unbroken route of imperial domination that Africa was brought to the current age of globalization. He warned that globalization must not be seen as the last stage in Western imperial domination since it is capable of further unpredictable mutation. He also warned that Africa must learn to impact on the Wider World instead of remaining its foot mat.

After that the conference worked full-time to consider 30 academic papers brought before it by participants. This was done in nine panels with each panel handling a set of thematically related papers. The panels were as follows:

- The Politics and Philosophy of the Re-Reading of Resistance and Domination in Africa
- Political Economy of Domination and Resistance
- Religion and Rituals in the History of Domination and Resistance
- Gender, Resistance and Domination in Africa
- Figures of Resistance and Domination
- Memories of Domination and Resistance
- Domination and Resistance through the Arts and Literature
- Historiography of Domination and Resistance: Some Case Studies 1
- Historiography of Domination and Resistance: Some Case studies 2

After the panels, the conference resolved itself into a Round Table to consider “Re-Reading the Historiography of Domination and Resistance in Africa: WHAT NEXT? The result of the Round Table was an ACTION DOCUMENT along the following lines:

African organizations who have a stake in the teaching of African history in African history in African Institutions of learning such as Historical Societies, Departments of History, Archeologists, Linguists, Archivists and Museum societies/scholars, Institutes of African Studies or African Cultural Studies, Research Organisations, The African Union and other Pan-African organizations (political, economic and social) are urged to :

- Organize conferences and training workshop at all relevant levels (continental, regional, national etc)
- Build up material resources for historical studies and linking these up throughout the continent, the region and the nation
- Encourage the production of educational materials in the area of African History for use at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels
- Institute bursaries and scholarships for history at all levels of the educational system
- The institute prizes for history at all levels of the educational system. At the secondary and tertiary level, prizes can be established for courses in African history
- Establish prizes in honor of Africa’s greatest historians at the national and regional levels
- Create special visiting lectureships in African history
- Encourage African researchers and institutions to utilize the Historical Method in their research work

CODESRIA is strongly encouraged to:

- Continue with conferences at the current level
- Help to organize down-stream conferences on the SOS African History Project at the regional and national levels
- Encourage the production of books especially textbooks on African history at the secondary and tertiary levels
- Help to bring about the organization of history competitions at the regional and national levels
- Draw up a memorandum on the SOS African History Project to be sent to and defended at the African Union. In the memorandum to the African Union emphasis should be laid on Funding and on the establishment of regional centers or institutes for the advancement of African History
- Bring the importance of the SOS African History project to the attention of Africans and African organizations in the Diaspora
- Work out a strategy or strategies for raising funds for the project
- Popularize the Democratic Republic of Congo example in which university teachers of history create a fund for giving financial assistance to students who elect to study history
- Publicize every step taken at any level to carry out the project

Finally, Conference Participants are to:

- Work as missionaries and ambassadors of the SOS African History Project by carrying the project and the work of this conference back to their departments and centers and institutes and if possible to neighboring departments and centers and Institutes not represented at this conference and
- Commit themselves to assisting CODESRIA and any other agency in all issues designed to advance the SOS African History Project.

The conference was attended by representatives from:

- Burkina-Faso
- Cameroon
- Congo
- Kenya
- Madagascar
- Mauritius
- Niger
- Nigeria
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Swaziland
- Uganda
- Zimbabwe


Finally, with a deep sense of responsibility the conference calls on African governments and peoples, without exception, to recognize the organic nexus between their history and culture on the one hand and their identity and self worth on the other and to do whatever is necessary to give full attention to studying and living their history and culture.

October 29 2008