Media Alert

The Collective for the Renewal of Africa (CORA) hosts conversation series to commemorate its launch

12-17 April, 2021 15:00 GMT

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The Collective for the Renewal of Africa (CORA) is a Pan-African intellectual collective of over 100 writers, social scientists, natural scientists historians, medical doctors and artists from across Africa and the diaspora. CORA seeks to promote African knowledge and innovative thinking through the production of quality research, and to influence positive change within African nations and in service of African societies.

CORA seeks to produce knowledge that can help break the cycle of exogenous development models that have perpetuated exploitation and extraction, fostered dependency, generated recurrent crises, impoverished African societies and stifled intellectual, technological and artistic creativity. It is the collective’s firm belief that endogenous knowledge should be at the core of the conception and operation of Africa’s political, social, cultural and economic policies and institutions. Knowledge can develop and contribute powerful and transformative ideas that reframe the terms of Africa’s engagement within the global system.

From 12-17 April 2021, the collective will host a launch series of insightful and stimulating conversations. These conversations are an inter-generational and interdisciplinary dialogue amongst intellectuals and thought leaders including: Senegalese novelist, journalist and screenwriter, Boubacar Boris Diop; Biodiversity scientist and 6th President of Mauritius, Ameenah Gurib-Fakim; Former First Lady of the Malian Republic, historian and writer, Adame Ba Konaré; Kenyan writer and academic, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o; Tanzanian author and academic, Issa Shivji, Professor of political science, Scarlett Cornelissen; President of the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity, Fadhel Kaboub; Professor emeritus in the Africana Studies Center Theophile Obenga; Author of the African Pharmacopoeia, Raphael Eklu-Natey; and many others.

Speakers will be taking a deep dive into the role and responsibilities of African intellectuals in the evolution of the continent and the various ways that knowledge resources can be harnessed in a context of global economic and health crisis and beyond. The CORA Launch Series welcomes individuals, communities, civil society organizations, state and policy institutions as well as members of the press.

CORA is pleased to partner with the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA), the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) the Economic, Social & Cultural Council (of the African Union) (ECOSOCC), and The Rosa Luxemburg Foundationas partner institutions for its launch event series.

Register here


12 April (15:00 GMT) Role and Responsibilities of African Intellectuals.

Building on a long tradition of Pan-African engagement, the panel will reflect on how this time of profound crisis can be seized to rethink a change of direction for Africa and the world, in ways that can radically break with prevailing orthodoxies and help imagine a new future.  Speakers for this session include Boubacar Boris Diop; Issa Shivji; Adame Ba Konaré; Elisio Macamo; Firoze Manji


13 April (15:00 GMT) Africa in the Global (dis)Order.

In a world whereby every region and great power has a vision of its status in the world, and an understanding of how Africa can help them achieve their vision, what should be a vision for Africa from Africa and Africans themselves? Speakers for this session include Abdoulaye Bathily; Siba Grovogui; Samson Okoth Opondo; Scarlett Cornelissen; Ismail Rashid, Lina Benabdallah


14 April (15:00 GMT) Whither Pan-Africanism?

At the time of African independences, the political unity of the continent was perceived by pan-Africanist political and intellectual leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah and Cheikh Anta Diop as the alternative to, and a bulwark against neo-colonialism and political fragmentation. At a time of resurgence of various forms of imperialism, how do we put the pan-Africanist agenda back at the center of the priorities of African societies and popular struggles? Speakers for this session include Theophile Obenga, Odile Tobner; Amzat Boukari-Yabara, Lewis Gordon, David Anthony III


15 April (15:00 GMT) Rethinking African economic development through and beyond Covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the continent’s structural dependency on the global economy. It makes urgent the need for the continent to locally produce all essential goods and services, including basic food products and essential medicines through the mobilisation of local funding. How can the continent best manage the transition the world going through? How can economic structures, economic policy instruments and economic policies be rethought to better reorganize the production and an equitable distribution of resources? Speakers for this session include Fadhel Kaboub, Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco, Lyn Ossome, Nnimmo Bassey, Souad Aden-Osman


16 April (15:00 GMT) The Role of African Languages in Social Transformation

In the dynamics of reconfiguring a grammar of pan-African imaginaries, the neglect of African languages is a challenge that needs to be overcome. How can the teaching and use of African languages be rethought to meet the demand for collective autonomy? More broadly, how can we rethink the inherited colonial education system and its epistèmê in order to make better use of endogenous knowledge in schools and university curricula? Speakers for this session include Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, Boubacar Boris Diop, Ramanga Osotsi, Ezra Alberto Chambal Nhampoca.

17 April (15:00 GMT) Harnessing the potential of Science, Technology and Endogenous Knowledge.

The health crisis has revealed the need for a comprehensive understanding of science in its many forms.  The panel will reflect on how African scientists can participate in the collective effort to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, but also how to strengthen medical and pharmaceutical research capacity and health care on the continent. It will reflect more generally on how Africa can integrate imported and African techniques and technologies alongside non-formalized knowledge including medicinal practices in the search for the development of solutions adapted to African contexts. Speakers for this session include Ameenah Gurib-Fakim; Raphaël Eklu-Natey; Ramadjita Tabo; Lul P. Riek; Mariam Mayet




About the Collective for the Renewal of Africa (CORA)

CORA is a Pan-African intellectual collective of over 100, social and natural scientists, historians, writers, medical doctors and artists from across Africa and the diaspora. The collective is dedicated to promoting African knowledge and innovative thinking through the production of quality research, and to influencing positive change within African nations and in service of African societies.

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Contact CORA

Email: [email protected]