Posts tagged ‘IFRA’

Tanzania at the Crossroads – Assessing the Oct. 25 General Elections, Nov. 3 2015 @ IFRA

with Cyrielle Maingraud-Martinaud & Murithi Mutiga

Date and Time: Tuesday November 3, 2015 at 4pm
Venue: IFRA

On 25 October, Tanzanian held its 5th general elections since the reintroduction of multipartism. If final results are not yet known at this time, it is clear that their outcome will be of tremendous importance for the future of the United Republic, which is considered to be one of the most stable countries of the region.

Several factors have made these elections the most competitive since 1992: the alliance of main opposition parties under the banner of Ukawa, the defection of former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, the divisions among the ruling party CCM and the habituation to democracy of Tanzanian citizens.The demand for change, especially from urban and young voters, has constituted a serious challenge to the ruling party and has already lead to the defeat of high profile CCM parliamentary candidates ; on the other side, CCM has been able, with the reputation of its candidate John Magufuli, to campaign on a strong anti-corruption agenda, undermining a traditional advantage for the opposition.

This seminar will investigate the implication of the proceeding of these elections on Tanzanian political dynamics as well as for East Africa.

October 29, 2015 at 1:22 pm 1 comment

Applications for (Re)searching the Middle Class in Nairobi, for Sept. 28 – Oct. 3 2015 @ IFRA

Information on the poster.

August 18, 2015 at 5:38 pm Leave a comment

Book Launch: Kenya’s Past as Prologue – Voters, Violence and the 2013 General Election, Jun. 25 2015 @ IFRA/BIEA

Book Launch: Kenya’s Past as Prologue. Voters, Violence and the 2013 General Election,” edited by M-A. Fouéré, S. Mwangi, M. Ndeda & C. Thibon (2015)

Date: June 25, 2015
Time: 3 pm

“During the run-up to Kenya’s 2013 general elections, crucial political and civic questions were raised. Could past mistakes, especially political and ethnic-related violence be avoided this time round? Would the spectre of the 2007 post- electoral violence positively or negatively affect debates and voting? How would politicians, electoral bodies such as the IEBC, the Kenyan civil society and the international community weigh in on the elections?…The book’s centre stage tries to explore Kenya’s inescapable past and whether it would prepare the scene for a new political order.”

Published by Twaweza Communications

June 17, 2015 at 9:15 am Leave a comment

IFRA Seminar: Beyond Sex & Money – Thinking Culture In Afro-European Intimacies, Jun. 16 2015 @ IFRA/BIEA

by Dr. Altaïr Després – Univerity Paris 1 Sorbonne

Date: June 16, 2015
Venue: IFRA
Time: 11 am
Entry: Prior RSVP – at:

Focusing on the case of Western women travelling to Zanzibar, this paper seeks to explore how sexual intimacy with indigenous men can be a space for cultural transactions. While the economic issue is currently at the heart of the anthropological and sociological understanding of “transactional sex” or “sex-tourism” in Africa, little consideration is given to the role of symbolic and cultural resources in the economy of transnational sexuality and desire.
My hypothesis is that in a globalized sexual market not only do cultural stereotypes shape desire (intimate tourist encounters sometimes originate in racial stereotypes about the sexual performances of African men for example), but sexuality can also be a means to access cultural resources. By focusing on cultural transactions, the paper examines how, on the one hand, Western women engaged in intimate relations with African men discover local practices which are less accessible from ordinary tourist circuits, as their African boyfriends play the role of “cultural brokers” and teach them about local customs. On the other hand, this paper analyses to what extent, through intimacy, Western women also act as brokers, mobilizing their (cultural) skills for their partner by teaching him a foreign language or using their knowledge to formalize a business.

June 12, 2015 at 1:55 pm 1 comment

RWANDA UNDER THE RPF: Assessing Twenty Years of Post-Conflict Governance, May 30 2014 @ IFRA/BIEA

Date & Time: Friday, 30th May 2014, 6.00PM – 7.30PM
Venue: British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi

Panel discussion and journal special issue launch.

1. Jason Mosley (Research associate, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, and managing editor, Journal of Eastern African Studies)
2. Phil Clark (Reader in comparative and international politics, SOAS, University of London)
3. Yolande Bouka (Researcher, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis Division, ISS Nairobi)

This panel discussion – which serves also as a launch of a special issue of the Journal of Eastern African Studies (JEAS) on the same topic – will debate the nature of Rwandan politics under the RPF and its impact on the post-genocide reconstruction process, regional relations and the well-being of everyday Rwandans.

For more information on the event, please click this link.

PS: Remember to RSVP by sending an email to

May 28, 2014 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

BIEA Seminar: Rain, Power, Sovereignty & The Materiality Of Signs In Southern Zimbabwe, Apr. 16 2014 @ BIEA / IFRA

Rain, Power, Sovereignty and The Materiality Of Signs In Southern Zimbabwe

Date: Wednesday 16th April 2014
Venue: British Institute in Eastern Africa, Laikipia Road, Kileleshwa, Nairobi
Time: 11.00 am
Entry: Prior RSVP. For more information please contact or call +254 735 260 004

Seminar by: Joost Fontein, University of Edinburgh
Chair: Sinoxolo Neo Musangi, British Institute in Eastern Africa

In 2010 a government meteorologist revealed that for much of the last decade, the Zimbabwean weather forecast had been censored on a daily basis by agents of the President’s Office. ‘This information’ he said ‘was seen as sensitive’. What this ‘sensitivity’ amounts to is the subject of this paper. It is hard to make sense of the government’s impulse to censor the weather forecast in the 2000s without reference to the localized re-configurations of authority over land and ‘re-making’ of the state that fast track land reform provoked. To the extent that fast track offered new opportunities for the realization of a diversity of localised aspirations and imagined futures that turned on access to land and fertile soils in divergent ways, the recurrent droughts and failing harvests of the early 2000s were politically significant because they called into question the legitimacy of land reform, and the broader ‘thirdchimurenga’ project constituted around it. But across Zimbabwe, and the region, rainfall and drought have long been measures of contested political legitimacy in more complex ways not limited to the politics of food, famine and agricultural production. In southern Zimbabwe, this is true not just for spirit mediums, chiefs and other ‘traditionalist’ authorities for whom rainmaking practices are well-established means of demonstrating ‘autochthony’, sovereignty and legitimacy, but also for war veterans, new farmers, government technocrats and others involved in land reform during the 2000s. This is what I examine here. Whilst I focus particularly on rainmaking practices, encounters with njuzu water spirits, and national biras that took place in the 2005-6 when research was carried out, the larger point I pursue is that water acts as an index of power – of the entangled but contested play of legitimacy and sovereignty – across many different registers of meaning and regimes of rule. In making this argument I engage with Keane (2003; 2005) and Engelke’s elaboration of Peirce’s theory of signs (1955), and build upon others (James 1972; Jedrej 1992) who have long argued that rainmaking ‘traditions’ across eastern, central and southern Africa are less a form of applied meteorology and more an idiom of politics and power, in order to argue that they are necessarily both at the same time.

April 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

Conference: Crisis in the DRC’s two Kivus, new context & emerging Issues, Sept. 12 2013 @ IFRA

Great Lakes region
Date: September 12, 2013
Venue: IFRA
Entry: Prior confirmation at

Presentation by Gerard Gerold and moderated by Thierry Vircoulon and Musembayi Katumanga


September 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

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