Daily Archives: December 5, 2022

Charts, Books, Maps, & Prints: Imagining and Representing “The Other” on a Small Planet

A brief introductory presentation for The Ticknor Society, posing the question:  “How do we sort out the facts from from the fictions in early African historical cartography?”

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For a similar perspective on similar problems of understanding and representation during the same historical period across cultural frontiers on a different continent see:

On the classical history and practices of circum-Mediterranean cartography see:

On the problems inherent in perceiving “the other” see:

See as well the discussion of Cape Coast Castle and the cartographic evidence for Africa’s “prior plantations” and its “industrious revolution.”

Cape Coast Castle, The Gold Coast, c. 1753

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European industrialization depended upon the prior growth of industrial agricultural techniques and technologies driven by wealth created on the slave plantations in South America, the Caribbean and the southerns states of North America.

This form of industrial plantation agriculture depended in turn upon the “prior plantations” that were created in Africa to fuel the trans-Atlantic transport of millions of slaves for thousands of miles over hundreds of years.

These prior plantations in Africa were themselves operated with the use of bonded and enslaved labor, often drawn toward the coastal regions from populations further to the interior. This labor force was also mobilized for the construction of slave forts and castles themselves which were built for the most part without the benefit of animal traction, or any supplemental sources of energy other than human manpower.

It can be said therefore that within Africa — over the decades and centuries of the slave trade itself — Africa’s continuous “industrious revolution” paved the way for Europe’s eventual “industrial revolution.”

The social and labor history of Africa’s industrious revolution along with the ethno-botany of of the prior plantations themselves deserve extended archival, cartographic, historical and archaeological research by coordinated teams of international experts.

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Short version of presentation to the The Ticknor Society, Boston.

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Understanding Cameroon’s Crisis of Governance – Christopher Fomunyoh

Africa Center for Strategic Studies – Dec 11, 2017

Cameroon’s two-year-old national crisis threatens the country’s very foundations. Christopher Fomunyoh speaks to an audience of African security professionals at a program hosted by the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, discussing the nature and causes of the grievances that brought this crisis to a head, as well as recommendations for addressing them.

CHAPTERS 2:49 – Overview of the Crisis 5:33

– History of Anglophone Marginalization in Cameroon 13:58

– The Role of Regional and Continental Bodies 17:36
– Conflict Patterns 19:11
– Different Approaches to the Crisis 22:43
– “How Do We Get Out of This?”:

5 Recommendations Since October 2016, Cameroon has been dealing with a national crisis, one which threatens the foundation on which the country was built. There are two parallel tracks leading to the current crisis: At first, there were grievances from various sectors, notably teachers and lawyers in the Anglophone region. Because of how the crisis at that stage was managed, these grievances morphed into more serious political grievances that call into question the very existence of the republic of Cameroon. There is a lot of confusion about the nature and causes of the crisis, and the depth of the grievances people hold. Left unaddressed, these grievances will only cause the crisis to resurface. If you found this video useful, please let us know by clicking “Like”.

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Ambazonia: How Cameroon’s government is struggling to end separatist endeavours | DW News

DW News – Aug 13, 2020

In Cameroon, fighting between the military and English-speaking separatists has killed more than 3,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more. It’s been nearly a year since the country started a national dialogue to address the crisis, but on the ground not much has changed. DW gained exclusive access to the frontline of the fighting. DW correspondent Blaise Eyong travelled with Cameroon government soldiers battling separatists in the anglophone areas which are the worst affected. An exclusive DW report from Cameroon – on how the country’s military is struggling to end a separatist struggle to create a breakaway state called Ambazonia.

“A Forgotten Conflict”: Sahrawi Activists Slam Moroccan Greenwashing Amid Western Sahara Occupation

Democracy Now! – Nov 28, 2022

As climate Sahrawi activists in occupied Western Sahara accuse Morocco of greenwashing, the Spanish Film Academy, the Spanish equivalent to the Oscars, has just given its social justice award to the Western Sahara International Film Festival and its film school. We feature our interview at the U.N. climate summit with Mahfud Bechri, who explains how Morocco sells the natural resources and wealth of Western Sahara without the consent of the Sahrawi people as part of an effort to greenwash its military occupation of Western Sahara, and his larger campaign to demand companies end complicity with the occupation. The new social justice award from the Spanish Film Academy recognizes how Spanish support for the Moroccan occupation has led to “a complete media blockade” of the conflict, says María Carrión, executive director of FiSahara, the Western Sahara International Film Festival.

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Wave of Coups Disrupts Africa as U.S.-Trained Soldiers Play Key Role in Overthrowing Governments

Democracy Now! – Feb 8, 2022

The African Union is condemning a wave of coups in Africa, where military forces have seized power over the past 18 months in Mali, Chad, Guinea, Sudan and, most recently, in January, Burkina Faso. Several were led by U.S.-trained officers as part of a growing U.S. military presence in the region under the guise of counterterrorism, which is a new imperial influence that supplements the history of French colonialism, says Brittany Meché, assistant professor at Williams College. Some coups have been met with celebration in the streets, signaling armed revolt has become the last resort for people dissatisfied with unresponsive governments. “Between the U.S.-led war on terror and the wider international community’s fixation on security, this is a context that centers, if not privileges, military solutions to political problems,” adds ​​Samar Al-Bulushi, contributing editor for Africa Is a Country.

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What’s behind the coups in West Africa?

Al Jazeera English – Jan 28, 2022

Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali have all had their governments toppled by their military in the past year. Counterterrorism specialist David Otto explains what’s behind this wave of coups in West Africa.

Why are so many coups happening in Africa? – BBC Africa

BBC News AfricaFeb 11, 2022

Recent coups in West and Central Africa have probed many to ask what, if anything, connects them. BBC’s Mayeni Jones looks at some of the reasons behind recent military takeovers across the region. Produced and edited by Joshua Akinyemi

West Africa becomes terror hotspot as U.S. scales back military presence

CBS News – Mar 6, 2019

Deadly terror attacks are escalating in West Africa as the U.S. scales back its military presence in the region. U.S.-led troops recently held a massive military exercise, but there’s growing concerns military cuts could leave the region vulnerable. CBS News foreign correspondent Debora Patta gives CBSN a rare look inside the training program in Burkina Faso.

Is a military solution in West Africa the only way out? | Inside Story

Al Jazeera English – Dec 5, 2021
There is anger against France in west Africa at what protesters say is the flawed relationship between French armed forces and their African allies.

Two people were killed and others injured in Niger last month when demonstrators tried to block a military supply convoy on its way to Mali.

Protest organisers complain that local forces are under-equipped and are suffering disproportionate losses compared to their French allies in frequent attacks by armed groups.

Protesters say those groups, often linked to ISIL and Al Qaeda, continue to operate, despite years of French military operations.

Has the military mission failed?

Presenter: Halla Mohieddeen


Aser Tiemtore, member of the Coalition of the African Patriots of Burkina Faso.

Jacques Reland, Senior Research Fellow at The Global Policy Institute.

Adama Gaye, political commentator specialising in the Sahel and West Africa.

What’s behind the coups in West Africa?

Al Jazeera English – Jan 28, 2022

Burkina Faso, Guinea and Mali have all had their governments toppled by their military in the past year. Counterterrorism specialist David Otto explains what’s behind this wave of coups in West Africa.