AFRICA AND THE CHALLENGE OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT Book Project in Honour of Emeritus Professor Akinjide Osuntokun

Bernard Fyanka's picture
Call for Papers
February 12, 2018
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, Ethnic History / Studies, Humanities
Book Project in Honour of Emeritus Professor Akinjide Osuntokun
From Walter Rodney and Franz Fanon to Claude Ake, generations of African academics have critically engaged the subject of underdevelopment in Africa with an overly heavy emphasis on colonial antecedents of underdevelopment. The challenge of going beyond this paradigm and charting a new course for development studies is one of the key motivations behind this book. Underdevelopment is not the absence of development because every society has developed in one way or another. Underdevelopment makes sense only as a means of comparing levels of development. The stark reality is that Africa still lags behind other regions of the world in achieving development.  Africa, a continent endowed with immense natural and human resources as well as great cultural, ecological and economic diversity, remains underdeveloped.
Confronting underdevelopment as a precursor to development represents an essential approach in critical research in the field of development studies. Africa’s development can only be achieved by first identifying present structures entrenching underdevelopment. Even the prevalent throwback of the dependency theory in critical research should be re-examined in the light of the economic success of the “Asian Tigers”. How can Africa successfully cast off the shackles of the past instead of using them as hang-ropes? A paradigm shift in academic inquiry will represent a critical ingredient in addressing underdevelopment itself.
The problems faced by African nations are legion. These include: military dictatorships, corruption, civil unrest and war, all of which impede efforts geared at development and instead generate deep poverty. Majority of the countries classified by the United Nations as ‘least developed’ are located in Africa. Numerous development strategies have failed to yield the expected results. The continent of Africa has constantly drawn global attention, most especially for both human and natural disasters – intractable conflicts, desertification, droughts, and extreme weather conditions. What forces perpetuate underdevelopment in Africa, despite the proliferation of development initiatives and rhetoric? 
The questions we investigate must also be accompanied by deeper analysis of Western overtures at assisting development in the global south. The true nature of development aid should be revisited. Is there a truly global vision for assuaging underdevelopment? Is Africa’s underdevelopment really a balancing act of economic engineering?How much of Africa’s underdevelopment emanates from African peoples own actions or inaction? Can Africa truly proffer solutions to global problems considering our marginal transition from agrarian to modern industrial economies?
This book interrogates the tenacity of underdevelopment amidst calls for Africa to arise from its stagnation and reclaim its position in global affairs as the mother continent of humankind. It contributes to the ongoing debate on why Africa remains trapped in the clutches of underdevelopment many decades after the purported end of colonialism. It is expected that this collection of essays will not only reflect prevailing circumstances but also chart a viable course for the future development of the continent.
Professor Akinjide Osuntokun CFR, OON is an Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Lagos and the Redeemer’s University Ede. He was the first Nigerian Ambassador to Unified Germany and has continued to serve on and off as presidential adviser on foreign affairs. He is also the Bapitan of Oyo. A philanthropist and scholar per excellence, his contribution to the Lagos School of History is unparalleled. His passionate commitment to the ideal of a developed Nigeria and indeed Africa has birthed several books, speeches and research papers. This book will be a salute to the legacy of a great intellectual and diplomat.
 Abstracts can address, but need not be limited to the following sub-themes:
Theoretical and Philosophical Foundations of Underdevelopment
History of Underdevelopment and Development
Environment and Underdevelopment
Local and International Politics of Underdevelopment
Conflict and Underdevelopment
Poverty and Underdevelopment
Religion and Underdevelopment
Health and Underdevelopment
Gender and Underdevelopment
Education and Underdevelopment
Crime and Underdevelopment
Demography and underdevelopment
Culture and Underdevelopment
. Economics and Underdevelopment
Submission Procedure
If you would like to contribute, please submit an abstract of your proposed paper and a brief biodata outlining your expertise. Please email your abstract of not more than 300 words on or before 12 February, 2018 to Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by 15 February 2018. Full papers are expected to be submitted by 12 April, 2018. For all enquiries please call any of the following phone numbers: 
Professor Olufunke Adeboye (08023939229) 
Dr Benjamin Anaemene (08033349445)Dr Lawrence Alo (07058564815) 
Dr Bernard Fyanka (08032226424)
Contact Info: 



Professor Olufunke Adeboye (08023939229) 
Dr Benjamin Anaemene (08033349445)

Dr Lawrence Alo (07058564815) 
Dr Bernard Fyanka (08032226424) 


Contact Email: