African states have been imposing restrictions to human trans-border flows.Yet, actual mobility of different groups incessantly puts the very notion of borders into question through moving spaces represented in exchange of ideas, knowledge, technologies, and the construction of porous spaces of flow
This panel aims at conceptualizing the difference between a kind of mobility in Africa, which is traditional and of pre-colonial origin, and a newer kind that is currently taking place across the borders of post-colonial nation-states. With the advent of the nation-state and its generalization as from 1945, mobility has often been restricted through the creation of new territorial boundaries, the related introduction of travel documents (for instance, passports, visas, etc.), and the splitting among diverse spaces of previously connected cultural identities as well as various economic dynamics. There are also the diverse initiatives to promote the sedentarization of nomadic societies that have become "transnational" in the process, i.e. "transborder" as they now live across state boundaries. Within nation-states, there are attempts to redefine cultural identities as well as introduce changes to traditional spaces of mobility. Yet the actual mobility of different groups of people incessantly puts the very notion of state borders into question through the construction of porous spaces of flow. At the same time, several actions on the part of the State - including the perpetration of violence - in its attempt to control borders and its own territory may lead to the eruption of new conflicts and even wars.