Four parallel panels

On Saturday morning there are four podiums running parallel. Our goal is that as many participants of the conference as possible will deal with some of the issues which seem particularly important to us as the preparatory group. In doing so, we want to make sure that every podium is attended by about the same number of people.

Women’s Struggles for Self-Determined Development

Venue: May Ayim // EN–FR (interpreted in DE–FR–EN)
Mercia Andrews (Director of TCOE, Trust for Community Outreach and Education, Cape Town), Dora Sandrine Koungoyo Ndedi (activist at Corasol and founder of the magazine « Stimme », Potsdam) & Nyima Jadama (journalist, Freiburg)
Chair: Carina Flores (Entwicklungspolitisches Netzwerk Sachsen, Leipzig) & Miriam Gutekunst (Konzeptwerk Neue Ökonomie, Leipzig)

Issues regarding development, global justice and a good life affect all people. Patriarchal gender relations, however, are particularly detrimental to the life prospects of women. Especially in politically and economically insecure countries on the African continent, women are increasingly affected by exploitation, poverty, violence and discrimination – despite their often relatively strong position in everyday life. In poorer countries women hold only ten percent of land use rights – in African countries on average only one percent of agricultural land – even though 80 percent of all foodstuffs are produced by them. At the same time feminist movements, solidarity and self-organization of women have a long tradition in many African countries. Women often leave their country for reasons other than men – and must take other paths (gender-specific discrimination or violence). Once in Europe, refugees must not only continue to resist patriarchal conditions, but are also confronted with a migration regime that uniquely restricts them and their opportunities. At this podium, we will discuss women’s struggles for self-determination and development – both in Africa and Europe – as well as international networks and alliances.

Mercia Andrews is the director of the NGO Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) in Cape Town that primarily works with small-scale farmers. Furthermore, she is the regional coordinator of the Southern African Rural Women’s Assembly.

Nyima Jadama is a journalist from the Gambia and lives in Freiburg. She studies Political Science at Kiron University and works amongst other for “Our voice – The Voice of the Invisibles”, a radio programme by Radio Dreyeckland by and for refugees.

Dora Sandrine Koungoyo Ndedi is a computer scientist and lives in Potsdam. She is the founder of the magazine “Stimme” (“Voice”) and active in various groups in Berlin where she is primarily involved in the struggle for the rights of women in Germany and Cameroon. for the rights of.

Social movements and self-determined development perspectives in Africa

Victor Nzuzi (farmer and activist, Afrique-Europe-Interact/La Via Campesina, DR Congo) & Emmanuel Mbolela (Afrique-Europe-Interact)
Chair: Conni Gunßer (Afrique-Europe-Interact)
Room: Salon Lilian Masediba Ngoyi // FR (interpreted in DE–FR–EN)

For many people in Europe – among them also left activists – Africa is until today the continent of crises, that is of wars, of hunger, of poverty, of child labour, of political persecution etc. But this perception is profoundly wrong, it is the heritage of the colonial view, which believes until today that Africa primarily needs to be helped and civilized. The two speakers will therefore present the extremely diverse civil society landscape in numerous African countries. It is because many African governments are corrupt, clientelistic and geared to Western interests (which is also a fatal heritage of colonialism), that in Africa the civil society consisting of farmers, (market) women, migrants, young people, miners and many other social groups, is often the only player, who can actually really make a serious contribution to change. The size of the respective space depends very much on the single countries, but especially the impressive revolution in Burkina Faso in October 2014 shows, that even dictators, sitting firmly in the saddle can be chased away by broad social movements.

Vicotor Nzuzi is one of the most well-known globalisation critics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He is farmer and as a member of Via Campesina mainly active in small-scale farmers’ struggles. He has his own radio programme; in addition, he regularly takes part in film and television productions which deal with corruption, debt, climate change, migration and so on. 2008 Victor Nzuzi participated in the climate-/migration camp in Hamburg and 2011 he took part in the Bamako-Dakar-Caravan, from which the transnational network Afrique-Europe-Interact has emerged.

Emmanuel Mbolela had to leave the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2002 after a short imprisonment for political reasons. He lived in Morocco for four years before he could leave for the Netherlands. In 2015 he published the book “My way from Kongo to Europe. Between resistance, flight and exile”. Emmanuel is active with Afrique-Europe-Interact.

Living at the Expense of Others: Capitalism, and the Exploitation of Humans and Nature

Ulrich Brand (University of Vienna) & Lucía Muriel (MEPa e.V., Berlin)
Chair: Peter Donatus (freelance journalist, environmental and human rights activist, Cologne)
Venue: Foyer Ken Saro-Wiwa// DE (interpreted in DE–FR–EN)

“We are here because you destroy our countries” has since long been a slogan of self-organised refugee organisations. They thus point out that capitalism, colonial continuities and ecological destruction are key causes for global inequality and should not be neglected in emancipatory discussions on causes of migration and flight. At the same time, movements in the global North, also in Europe, criticise exactly these connections from the other side – namely, that the mode of production and living in the global North, which is based on growth and profit, leads to some people (primarily in the early industrialised countries) living at the expense of others (principally those in the former colonised countries). How are these two perspectives connected? In how far can we understand the model of growth and prosperity in the global North and the imperial mode of living as causes for migration and flight? This panel discusses the commonalities of critiques of economic growth and capitalism such as degrowth and “Postwachstum” with questions of flight and migration. Thus, we hope to come up with new perspectives for common struggles for a self-determined life that link these perspectives.

Ulrich Brand is Professor for International Politics at the University of Vienna. His research focuses on topics such as globalisation and critique of globalisation, global governance and transformation of the state, environmental and resource policy, and social movements.

Lucía Muriel is a founding member and chairwoman of the migrant federal association MEPa e.V., Migration-Development-Participation in Berlin and is an activist in the field of decolonization, emancipation and participation. She works on empowerment of migrants and the Diaspora.

 On the Topicality of Anti-Colonial (Development) Concepts

Hamado Dipama (Working Group Panafricanism, Munich) & Ekanga Ekanga Claude Wilfried (author, Universität Frankfurt)
Chair: Isabelle Reimann
Venue: Mekatilili wa Menza // DE–FR (interpreted in DE–FR–EN)

The anti-colonial activist and theorist Frantz Fanon stated in 1961 that the world is demanding something other than “an imitation” or “an obscene caricature” of Europe from the societies in the (former) colonised regions. Contemporary debates on self-determined development, ecological sustainability or alternatives to a capitalist economy do not have to start from scratch, but can build on centuries of struggles against colonialism and exploitation. Fundamental critiques were particularly formulated in the context of the African independence movements of the 20th century. These comprised social models beyond Western “development”, capitalist exploitation and destruction, and individualised competition. This panel introduces anti-colonial (development) concepts, and discusses their relevance for contemporary problems as well as their realistic chances in the face of existing power relations. How can they be useful for overcoming the long-term legacy of colonial dominance in Africa – considering, for example, language, currency, trade relations and migration policy?

Hamado Dipama fled from Burkina Faso to Germany in 2002 and lived with the “suspension of deportation” status for nine years. Since 2007 he is the spokesperson for the Bavarian Refugee Council. He is the founder of the Working Group Panafricanism Munich e.V., as well as co-founder and deputy chairperson of the Central Council of the African Community in Germany. Hamado Dipama has for a long time worked on the legacy of the former President of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara, who had been murdered during a military coup.

Ekanga Ekanga Claude Wilfried finished his studies in Yaoundé, Cameroon, in 2008. Since 2010 he is studying Political Science in Frankfurt. He has published a poetry collection (“Des Afriques et des vers”), writes for the Cameroonian online newspaper, and gives lectures on the neocolonial entanglements of the Central and West African currencies CFA franc and the African educational systems.