FISH Seminar 1 June 2016 – The Ideological Scramble in Africa by F. Gerits
The Ideological Scramble in Africa
How the Dream of African Development shaped a Continental Cold War (1945-1966)
NRF/ University of Free State
How could Africa in the mid-1960s become a Cold War battle ground where proxy wars festered up until the 1990s? The colonial experience had made the first generation of African leaders suspicious of outside interference while national development was the top priority. Comprehending this evolution forces us to consider the Ideological Scramble in Africa, a competition between the United States, the Soviet Union, France, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Belgium, Ghana and South Africa. Against the background of a smoldering Cold War these countries worked to convince the leaders and peoples of Sub-Saharan Africa of a pan-African, capitalist, communist or white settler plan for the continent as well as a reformed imperial vision for Africa’s future. Specifically, this presentation will focus on South Africa and the way in which Apartheid drove efforts to mould global norms in Africa’s perceived image.
Frank Gerits was a postdoctoral fellow at New York University (2015) and currently an NRF Innovation fellow of the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein (2016). He has published in international journals and is the editor for history, politics, IR and social science at the European Journal of American Studies.
Legend: This map was produced by the French military staff and depicts the different threats to the French presence on the continent, namely communism, pan-Arabism, and pan-Africanism (Fermentation africaine). Where Ghana, Guinea, the Belgian Congo and Nigeria are seen as strongholds of pan-Africanism, Nasser’s Egypt is seen as a mixture of pan-Arab and communist influences. It was these types of maps that French officials gave to the British to convince them to form a joint front.
Wednesday 1 June 2016, 15:00
Conference Room, 62 Juta Street, 1st floor, Braamfontein, Johannesburg