Establishment of the African Network in Global History /Réseau Africain d’Histoire Mondiale, formed in a meeting of about 20 delegates at the University of Ilorin in Nigeria, 9-11 December 2009
Report on the founding conference
A new scholarly organisation, the African Network in Global History / Réseau Africain d’Histoire Mondiale (ANGH/RAHM), was founded at a meeting on 9-11 December 2009 at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. The organisation is to support studies in world and global history that address the African continent and the world as seen from African perspectives. At the conference, statutes were adopted, officers were elected, and plans laid for two future meetings: (1) members of the Board of Directors expect to meet in Amsterdam (August 2010) in the course of the congress of the International Committee for Historical Sciences (CISH); and (2) the first triennial conference of the organisation will be held in September 2011 in Cairo, hosted by the American University in Cairo.
2. Preparations for 9-11 December meeting
The founding conference was coordinated by co-directors Peter Adebayo (University of Ilorin) and Patrick Manning (University of Pittsburgh). Funding and logistics were also handled by officials at the University of Ilorin, the University of Pittsburgh, and the World History Network. The Call for Papers was announced in August 2009 on the World History Network site (www.worldhistorynetwork.org), and was distributed by H-WORLD and other online lists. Proposals were due on September 15 and papers and conference delegates were selected by October 15. In addition, invitations were sent to CODESRIA, AAH, and the International Joseph Ki-Zerbo Committee to send delegates. It was possible to provide travel support for certain delegates, especially those coming from African countries outside Nigeria. Of 17 delegates to the conference in attendance, 6 were from Nigeria, 5 from other parts of Africa, 2 from Europe, 3 from North America, and 1 from East Asia. (Delegates unable to attend included 2 coming from Nigeria, 2 from other parts of Africa, 2 from Europe, and 1 from North America.)
The Local Organising Committee at Ilorin was headed by Prof. Bolade Eyinla, Head of the Department of History: the committee included Lemuel Odeh (transport and accommodations), Dr Sam Aghalino (accommodations), Mrs. Mary Lewu (ceremonies and meals), a Secretariat Committee headed by Dr Saad Omoya and Dr A. I. Jawondo, and the work of Prof. Eyinla in coordinating the public sessions of the conference. Thanks are due to all of these and to Philips Bamidele, Lagos liaison officer of the University of Ilorin, and to Dr. Yunus Tijani, who served as translator between English and French at both public sessions and working sessions. The collaboration of the University of Ilorin and the University of Pittsburgh was documented through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the two universities (the MOU will continue to support academic collaboration of the two universities).
3. Organisational context
The formation of ANGH/RAHM takes place in the context of expanding African and worldwide interconnection among scholarly organisations. This context is described here in terms of the global context of historical organisations and the African context of scholarly organizations.
The Network of Global and World History Organisations (NOGWHISTO) formed in Leipzig on 2 July 2008. This network structured itself to apply for membership as an affiliated organisation within CISH: it was composed of five member organizations: the World History Association (North America), the European Network in Universal and Global History (Europe), the Asian Association of World Historians (Asia), and Organising Committees for Africa and Latin America. (The Organising Committee for Africa included, as members, Peter Adebayo, Patrick Manning, and David Simo (University of Yaoundé); the ANGH/RAHM now replaces the Organising Committee for Africa.) NOGWHISTO has applied for admission into CISH at the August 2010 CISH congress, and the Executive Council of CISH has already recommended in favor of admission. In the course of the CISH congress, NOGWHISTO will conduct a two-day conference, including presentation by representatives from ANGH/RAHM and other continental affiliates. At the Ilorin conference, Professor Shingo Minamizuka served as representative of the Asian Association of World Historians.
In Africa, the Council for the Development of Economic and Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA) serves as the academic umbrella and principal organisation in social science and humanities scholarship. The Association of African Historians (AAH) is the continental organisation of historians, and publishes the journal Afrika Zamani. The AAH includes individual members through their membership in national associations, plus membership from the African diaspora. At the Ilorin conference, Professor Rokhaya Fall (Université Cheikh Anta Diop – Dakar) served as representative of CODESRIA; Professor A. I. Asiwaju (University of Lagos) served as representative of the African Association of Historians; Professor Yakubu Ochefu (Benue State University) served as representative of the Historical Society of Nigeria; and Lazare Ki-Zerbo represented the International Joseph Ki-Zerbo Committee.
4. Conference Sessions
The full conference consisted of three types of sessions: A) public sessions presenting research and interpretations; B) working sessions to create the organisation and its structures; and C) an executive session at which conference organizers met with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin.
In attendance at these sessions was an audience of as large as 250 persons, most of them students at the University of Ilorin
Opening session (10 Decembere), Performing Arts Theatre Hall
Presided by Prof. Bolade Eyinla, head of Department of History.
Remarks of welcome:
Conference co-organiser Peter Adebayo
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Management Services)
Yakubu Ochefu (Historical Society of Nigeria)
A.I. Asiwaju (Association of African Historians)
Rokhaya Fall (CODESRIA)
Lazare Ki-Zerbo (International Committee Joseph Ki-Zerbo)
Keynote address by Olutayo Adesina (University of Ibadan), on ‘The Dilemmas of the African Diaspora in the Global Age’.
Brief remarks by Dean Oseni, Patrick Manning, and Bolade Eyinla.
Session One. (10 December), University Auditorium Basement
Boldade Eyinla, chair.
J. G. Nkem Onyekpe (University of Lagos), ‘The African Past in nNew Historiographical Perspectives’.
Shingo Minamizuka (Hosei University), ‘”Fancy Meetings of Three Beauties” in the Age of Imperialism: Japanese First Meeting with Africa’.
Lazare Ki-Zerbo (Comité International Joseph Ki-Zerbo), ‘Opening the Library? Promoting a Multilingual Pan-African Library’.
Abdouraman Halirou (Université de Ngaoundéré), ‘Les frontières disputées dans les états africains’.
Session Two. (10 December), University Auditorium Basement
Yakubu Ochefu, chair.
Elisabeth Engel (Free University of Berlin), ‘Anti-Colonial Racism ? African-Americans’ Racial Uplift Ideology as Civilising Mission’
Elisée Soumonni (Université National du Bénin), ‘Between Globalisation and Marginalisation: Reflections on Africa’s Status in World History’.
Peter Adebayo (University of Ilorin) and E. O. Ojo (University of Ilorin), ‘The Transnational Networks of the African Diaspora in World History’.
Patrick Manning (University of Pittsburgh), ‘The African Diaspora and the Rise of the Modern World’.
Saad Omoya (University of Ilorin), ‘Mathematical Equation of Nigerian Political History’.
Session Three (11 December), University Auditorium Basement
Elisée Soumonni, chair.
David Blanks (American University in Cairo), ‘The African University in a World Historical Context’.
Peter Adebayo (University of Ilorin) and Guita Hourani (Notre Dame University), ‘The Transnational Networking of the Lebanese-Nigerian Diaspora in World History’.
Jide Ige (University of Ilorin), ‘Indigenous Administration and Socio-cultural System of Ijumu’.
J. O. Ashaolu (University of Ilorin), ‘Palmer and Doigital Dermatoglyphic Analysis among Fulani and Yoruba in Ilorin’.
Session Four (11 December), University Auditorium Basement
David Blanks, chair.
Christine Whyte (Eidgenössiche Technische Hochschule Zürich), ‘Global Rights and Local Wrongs? The politics of abolition in Sierra Leone’.
Saheed Adejumobi (Seattle University), ‘From Black and African Studies to global African Studies: A Synthetic Framework’.
Terna Agba (Benue State University) and Lemuel Ode (University of Ilorin), ‘The Challenge of Poverty in Africa: The Nigerian Experience’.
Christopher Lee (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), ‘Between a Moment and an Era: The 1955 Asia-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia’.
Paul Akanmidu (University of Ilorin), ‘Forced Migration: The African Dilemma in the 21st Century world History’.
Papers prepared by delegates unable to attend:
Marika Sherwood (University of London), ‘Africans in Britain from c. 55 BC to the 19th century’.
Leslie Witz (University of the Western Cape), ‘African in World History: A view from Anniston, Alabama’.
Olawale Albert (University of Ilorin), ‘Rethinking the Challenge of Irregular Transnational Mobility in Africa’.
Vijay Kumar Thangellapalli (College of Arts and Social Sciences, Mainefhi, Eritrea), ‘The Impact of British Colonialism in India: Drought and Famines in Andhra, 1858-1900’.
Soji Oyeranmi (Olabisi Onabanjo University), ‘African History in a Globalised Academy: the task before 21st Century Nigerian Historians’
Raphael Njoku (University of Louisville), ‘African Masking Tradition and the African Diaspora Masquerade Carnivals: History, Memory, Symbols and Transnationalism’
Amy Niang (University of Edinburgh), ‘History-writing and the identity dilemma: Panafricanism as method and praxis according to Joseph Ki-Zerbo’.
Closing Reception (11 December), University Auditorium Basement
Hosted by Vice Chancellor Is-haq Olarewalu Oloyede.
Working sessions included delegates to the conference. In addition, the final working session included participation by additional members of the Department of History at the University of Ilorin. The statutes were signed by those delegates who participated systematically in the working sessions.
First working session (9 December). French Department conference room.
Conference delegates were introduced to the Dean of Arts and to members of the university administration, including the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Management Services), the Registrar, and the Bursar. Discussion focused on the name of the organisation, the details of conference activities, and the affiliations of the organisation with CODESRIA, AAH, and national historical societies.
Second working session (10 December). Royalton Hotel.
Discussion centered on the name, the statutes, officers, the selection of an executive secretary and the venue for the first triennial conference.
Third working session (11 December). University Auditorium Conference Room
Participating in the session were delegates to the conference and members of the University of Ilorin Department of History: J. Ige, K. Aiyedun, S. Omoya, R.A. Olaoye, I.A. Jawondo, and translator Y. Tijani. This session brought final decisions by delegates on each of the main issues. The name was agreed upon (in both English and French); the statutes were adopted and signed (though with the noting of some necessary editorial changes); and officers were elected. Elected as officers were Peter Adebayo (Ilorin), President; members of the Board of Directors Abdouraman Halirou (Ngaoundéré), Roukhaya Fall (Cheikh-Anta Diop – Dakar), Patrick Manning (Pittsburgh), Yakubu Ochefu (Benue State), and Leslie Witz (Western Cape). The board selected, as Executive Secretary, David Blanks (American University in Cairo). The next board meeting was set for Amsterdam in August 2010, at the CISH congress. The first conference was set for Cairo in September 2011, hosted by the American University in Cairo. The theme for the Cairo conferences is anticipated to focus on comparison among African experiences as a step toward global interpretation of the African past. Invited to participate will be scholars based in Africa, scholars based in nearby regions (including the Middle East and Europe), and scholars based anywhere with interest in African and global history.
December 11, Office of the Vice Chancellor.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Is-haq Olarewalu Oloyede, met with Patrick Manning, Peter Adebayo, and Bolade Eyinla.
a. The Vice Chancellor reaffirmed the Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Pittsburgh.
b. The Vice Chancellor congratulated the ANGH on its formation.
c. The Vice Chancellor expressed pleasure at the selection of Cairo as site for the ANGH conference of 2011.
d. The Vice Chancellor volunteered to join with ANGH officers in applying for funding of the Cairo conference, especially by applying to ECOWAS/CEDEAO, to the African Union, and to the Association of African Universities, of which he serves as current president.
e. The Vice Chancellor also noted the anticipated affiliation of ANGH with CISH at the August 2010 meeting in Amsterdam.