Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization: Conference Announcement and Call for Papers

Article excerpt

Multiculturalism and the Prospects for Africa and African Diaspora Development, State University of Bahia, Salvador Bahia, Brazil, November 8-10 2011

Introduction

Many of the intractable problems of nation-building and national development in Africa centre around the inability of States to accommodate and manage primordial differences accentuated by slave trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism, westernization, foreign religion and globalization. No doubt, these have hindered the possibilities of harnessing the gains of Africa's rich multicultural heritage.

Multiculturalism essentially refers to the appreciation, acceptance and promotion of multiple cultures within a society, though the debate is yet to be resolved. The effective management of diversity can enhance accelerated growth and development. However, the reality in Africa is different. Although, the continent has the largest concentration of ethnic nationalities in the world (with some countries having over three hundred ethnic groups), regrettably, the manipulation and failure of the management of pluralism in the continent is a major factor engendering developmental challenges such as chronic poverty, decaying infrastructure, infant and maternal mortality, preventable diseases, communal violence, internecine and secessionist conflicts which have continued to have negative consequences on the lives of people in Africa and the Diaspora.

Again, Africans and African descendants in the Diaspora have been at the receiving end of racial discrimination, identity crisis and are victims of economic, social, political and cultural marginalization. It is in recognition of and the need to address the above that the United Nations declared the Year 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent. Given this background, the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), Nigeria, in conjunction with the Pan-African Strategic and Policy Research Group (PANAFSTRAG), Nigeria; the Special Secretariat for the Promotion of Policies on Racial Equality (SEPPIR), the Presidency, Brazil; the State University of Bahia; Bahia State Cultural Secretariat (SECUT); the Palmares Cultural Foundation and the Pedro Calmon Foundation is organizing its 7th International Conference on the theme:

"Multiculturalism and the Prospects for Africa and African Diaspora Development". The conference to be held at the State University of Bahia, Salvador Bahia, Brazil November 8-10 2011 is expected to bring together Pan-Africanists, historians, academics, activists and other experts within Africa and the Diaspora.

Objectives

i. To examine the extent to which multiculturalism has promoted or hindered development in Africa;

ii. To promote research and scholarship on multiculturalism in Africa and the Diaspora;

iii. To foster understanding of the relationship between multiculturalism and identity politics in Africa and the African Diaspora;

iv. …