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Cluster of Excellence EXC 2052 - "Africa Multiple: reconfiguring African Studies"

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Dr. Ndongo Samba Sylla: Keynote Lecture “Live as African. On the relevance of Thomas Sankara’s agenda for economic liberation”

2022.05.05 14:00 - 16:00
S 135 (NWIII), University Bayreuth / Online

the Cluster’s Junior Research Group “The political economy of monetary and economic sovereignty in West Africa compared” has invited Dr. Ndongo Samba Sylla to Bayreuth to deliver a keynote lecture entitled "Live as African. On the relevance of Thomas Sankara's agenda for economic liberation".

Join us afterwards for a celebratory barbecue and drinks at 6pm in the garden of the Bayreuth Academy of African Studies, Hugo-Rüdel-Straße 10, Bayreuth. Bring your own food, drinks will be provided!


"We must accept to live as African – that is the only way to live free and dignified", said the late Thomas Sankara in his famous 1987 speech at the Organization of African Unity. In this keynote, I will argue that the “Live as African” motto is an early call for the continent to reclaim its economic and monetary sovereignty. Moreover, it sketches the only agenda that is sustainable both for African peoples and for the Planet. What Sankara tried to implement on a daily basis as the head of State of Burkina Faso was established scientifically by Global South thinkers such as Celso Furtado and Samir Amin who criticized, some five decades ago, the view that peoples from the Periphery could one day achieve the same consumption/waste patterns as people in the Center. Nowadays, a growing literature shows why the Western development “model”, due to its ecological exceptionalism, is simply not reproducible elsewhere and why the promise of economic catch-up is illusory. Building on these findings, the keynote will elaborate on the principles of a Sankara-inspired economic model that could deliver a free and dignified life to all.


Dr. Ndongo Samba Sylla is a Senegalese development economist. Dr. Sylla is co-founder of CORA (Collective for the Renewal of Africa). He has previously worked as a technical advisor at the Presidency of the Republic of Senegal. He is currently a Senior Research and Programme Manager at the West Africa office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (Dakar). His publications cover topics such as Fair trade, labor markets in developing countries, social movements, democratic theory, economic and monetary sovereignty. He authored The Fair Trade Scandal. Marketing Poverty to Benefit the Rich, Pluto Press & Ohio University Press, 2014 and La Démocratie contre la République: L’autre histoire du gouvernement du Peuple, L’Harmattan, 2015. He co-authored Africa’s Last Colonial Currency. The CFA Franc Story, Pluto Press, 2021. He is a co-editor of Economic and Monetary Sovereignty for 21st century Africa, Pluto Press, 2021. He is a member of a number of academic and advocacy networks - Politics of Money Network; Tax Justice Network Africa; Positive Money (UK); Money on the Left (USA); Research in Political Economy Series/Edward Elgar Publishing; Bristol University Press Book Series on Business, Finance and International Development; Global Partnership Network of the University of Kassel (Germany). He tweets at @nssylla.

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