Repatriating Africa: old challenges & critical insights!

The arrival of African researchers and Africanists in Lubumbashi to celebrate the 10th anniversary of ASAA is highly symbolic and significant for the pan-Africanist impetus in the debate on the restitution of African cultural heritage.

On the one hand, ASAA continues to expand, after its first four editions held respectively in Ibadan (2015), Accra (2017), Nairobi (2019), and Cape Town in 2022 (but which was delayed by six months due to the Covid pandemic), English-speaking countries. Holding its 5th biennial conference for the first time in a French-speaking city, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is a major linguistic and geopolitical challenge. It is also an opportunity for the Association to grow. Lubumbashi is a dynamic city, on the border with Zambia, and the hub of most mining companies. Lubumbashi is also the historic site where pan-Africanist leader Patrice Emery Lumumba was killed.

In addition, this 10th anniversary celebration will join forces with ICAADS to mark the 60th anniversary of the African Union and the founding of the Institute of African Studies. Together, topics relating to reparations, repatriation of African artefacts, neo-colonialism, pan-Africanism, gender and sexuality, re-engagement of the 6th region of the African Union, citizenship, state and police in Africa, environment and public health, status and treatment of African migrants inside and outside the continent, African positions on international conflicts, etc. will be addressed.

ASAA therefore looks forward to this unique moment that will bring together a dynamic and diverse community of researchers, intellectuals, policy-makers, activists, artists and others to discuss pertinent issues affecting the future of the continent, but above all for the production of knowledge about Africa and for Africa.

In the context of imbalanced knowledge and the challenges of its production, circulation, and conservation, ASAA is a space to directly engage stakeholders in developing a new imaginary to protect and promote the well-being of the peoples of Africa, through multidisciplinary, transdisciplinary and multisectoral intellectual participation that privileges Africanist perspectives.

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