For the first time in modern history, a substantial number of African students and scholars are privileging connections with counterparts and their institutions not based in Western Europe or North America. This trend not simply results from the exponential increase in economic ties with global Asian and Latin American partners such as China, Japan, India, Turkey and Brazil. It reflects a deep-seated interest among African intellectuals to break with a hitherto almost exclusive engagement with the West and the continuation of often one-sided interactions inherited from the colonial period (and their restrictive epistemic choices). The Africa-Asia, A New Axis of Knowledge initiative led to the establishment of the African Association for Asian Studies (A-ASIA), and the organization of a triennial international conference, first in Ghana (2015), in Tanzania (2018), in Senegal (2021?). As such, it constitutes an original attempt at decentring and diversifying routes of collaboration in global knowledge production. The A-A platform, involving a number of institutions in Africa and Asia also includes partners from Europe, North (and Latin) America. It also ensures that Asian and African multiple realities are represented, beyond a few countries or subjects of interest in an historically contextualized fashion. For an Asia-focused European organization like the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), the objective is to contribute to a more globally connected approach to the development of knowledge on and with Asia, in the world. This panel will serve to present the Africa-Asia A New Axis of Knowledge initiative in some of its local and international iterations, with perspectives from Asia, Africa, and Europe.
This Panel has so far received 2 paper proposal(s).