The panel will explore how old-standing connections between Africa and the Indian Ocean world have changed with globalization. What new possibilities and restrictions for development in African countries have the intensification of globalization in the Indian Ocean introduced since the early 1990s?
Historically, the Indian Ocean has both separated and united geopolitical entities - empires, religions and cultures - and has represented fundamental divisions as well as dynamic connections. It has provided a space for expansion, mobility and investment for traders and colonizers, and has been the site of dramatic contestations between religious and cultural agendas. It has enabled transportation, migration and settlement of slaves and labourers between China, Indonesia, India, the Arab world and the African coast and its islands, and given rise to new self-understandings of belonging and notions of citizenship. Since the end of the Cold War, it has provided an arena for greatly intensified and globalized connections and disruptions at both economic, political and cultural levels. The panel will explore how interactions in the Indian Ocean have changed with globalization, and how African societies been affected by these changes? In what ways was the earlier global history of the African Indian Ocean different from current dynamics of globalisation? What are the most important ways in which Oceanic connections between Africa, India and China have changed, and what new possibilities and restrictions have the hegemonies of globalization introduced for economic, political and cultural development in African countries?