The panel invites to scrutinize African Experts (with the imprecision of the label) as co-producers, as well as a relevant manifestation of, what we call the "International Government of Africa", where diverse forms of government interlace and produce policies, regulation and political orders.
This panel stems from a research program that explores the interlaced forms of government into the African continent, where the activities of international and national/local actors from diverse social and professional fields overlap, connect and compete, as to produce policies, regulation and transform political orders. The panel invites to address this view through the study of the African Experts, from specialized analysts, consultants, to international organizations (IOs) professionals and national civil servants, who are involved in the making of this International Government of Africa. Scholars have already explored the role of international experts and expertise in the local fabric of the African state. Some point at the nexus between knowledge and power in the way IOs have been mobilizing experts in order to enforce structural adjustments policies in Africa. Others stress the disturbing disconnection between international expertise and endogenous knowledge. However, the presence of a growing number of Africans among international experts is rarely considered. In what ways do these experts play a different role? Are they producing a different kind of expertise? Are their personal trajectories different from their counterparts (in terms of training, career, relation to political offices and political networks)? Moreover, African experts are not necessarily "local experts" as most work for IOs as expatriates. Therefore the question of their relationship to the local fabric of governance appears particularly uncertain. Where do they locate themselves in the complex relationship between African states and IOs? What is "African" in an African expert?