Between 8-12 June 2015, around 500 intellectual figures and decision-makers are expected in Dakar, Senegal for the 14th General Assembly of the Council of the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (Codesria). This year’s theme is ‘Creating African Futures in an Era of Global Transformations: Challenges and Prospects.’ This important gathering will be chaired by the Senegalese President, Macky Sall, during which more than 150 talks will be presented.
On the topic of the 14th General Assembly, Codesria’s ‘Research’ Programme Director, Dr. Carlos Cardodo explained that, “The issue of transformation in African societies has come striding back onto the political agenda. It has even become a recurrent topic in several forums, following the failure of various attempts to promote development in Africa. Many plans have been tried out, the Lagos Plan of Action being one example. By focusing this time on transformation, we are changing the rhetoric. Instead of relying on external aid, whether that be in the form of state aid, foreign investment etc., the focus is on mobilising internal resources managed by policies which focus on transforming African output, i.e. on industrialisation and the creation of jobs.”
Looking to the future, he went on to say, “This will happen, or is in the process of happening, in a new global context in which external partners are looking at Africa in a different light. The rapid growth sustained by a number of African economies over the last ten years means that Africa is viewed with more hope and more interest, as well as with more respect. This evidence also means that, when referring to progress within the continent, African leaders are talking about emerging economies and emerging countries.” He concluded that “In light of this, Africans are now entitled to look forward to building their future and commit to it with a stronger sense of optimism.”
The Codesria General Assemblies remain one of the largest gatherings of key figures in African social sciences. They have two distinct sections, a scientific one and a political/administrative one. One of the highlights of the General Assembly will be the election of a new Board of Directors and the likely adoption of a new ‘charter’, which will take place before and after the scientific section.