Accepted Paper:

has pdf download The 'CUDA' associations in West Cameroon : between autochtony and transnational virtual communities  

Author:

Jean-Pierre Warnier (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales)

Paper short abstract:

Over the last fifteen years, the kingdoms of West Cameroon have fostered the development of local associations. Their acronyms end up with CUDA (Cultural Development Association). Making use of the internet, they have succeeded in including transnational diasporas.

Paper long abstract:

Over the last fifteen years, the kingdoms and other societies of West Cameroon have fostered the development of local associations. Their acronym is made of the first letters of the society's name followed by 'CUDA', meaning 'Cultural Development Association' (ex. : MACUDA for 'Mankon Cultural Development Association'). Their goals are manifold : promoting local development, lobbying in favour of the local community, enhancing the power of their leaders in national or local politics, etc. However, thanks to the internet, they came to assume another role of growing importance : they assimilate transnational diasporas and maintain them within the virtual limits of their kingdom or community of origin - especially as regards transnational elites. This role, in its turn, has taken up a new dimension with the booming politics of autochtony before and after the UN Declaration on the rights of autochtonous peoples (October 2007). In the context of contemporary Cameroonian politics, these associations increasingly tend to mediate citizenship at the local and transnational levels, to achieve the closure and exclusiveness of local identities, and to give access to globalized resources. The paper will analyze the dynamics of those associations in the context of local politics and transnational migrations.

Panel W004
Mobility, transnational connections and sociocultural change in contemporary Africa