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Africa’s ecological futures - contestations of economics and politics of sustainability 
Rejoice Chipuriro (Bournemouth University)
Kezia Batisai (University of Johannesburg)
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Economy and Development (x) Violence and Conflict Resolution (y)
Philosophikum, S68
Wednesday 31 May, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

This panel explores Africa's ecological futures by unpacking contestations on the "resource curse" discourse and its competing alternative of the “Africa rising” mantra in reflexive ways that call for a nuanced understanding of Africa’s conflicts and how its resources can be sustainably utilised.

Long Abstract:

Africa has seen a new wave of land grabbing prompted by an increased demand for land investment post world financial crisis of 2008. These land grabs have created a lot of tensions and re-ignited the “resource curse” debates where Africa’s resources are linked to its conflicts. Alongside the resource curse discourse is its competing “Africa rising” mantra which has sought to place Africa as a continent with vast potential encompassed in its young population and natural resources. Tensions arise from these ideals over who and under what circumstances can Africa's resource be optimised. Violent conflicts linked to capital exploitation over agrarian and extractive sectors. These conflicts offer lenses to discourses about the economic and political power which challenge unequal access to resources and exclusive economic enclaves. Resource conflicts equally propel thinking about Africa’s ecological futures in reflexive ways that call for a nuanced understanding of how Africa’s resources can be best utilised for the benefit of its habitants. This panel seeks to explore future visions for Africa, to navigate both conflict lines and opportunities for transformation. The panel invites papers that speak to politics of violent resource conflicts, livelihood vulnerabilities, agrarian politics, rural development, and climate induced migrations. Discussions articulating sustainability discourses as part of climate change debate and wider future ecologies are encouraged. Papers that are grounded in empirical evidence from the lived realities of struggles and localised agency of those impacted by current ecological crises will be prioritised.

Key words ecological crisis, climate change, resource conflict, sustainability,

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -