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AFRICA AT NOON: “DEMOCRACY IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: PROSPECTS FOR REAL CHANGE AFTER THE 2018 ELECTIONS”
October 21 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pmFree
In December 2016, the second and constitutionally last mandate of President Joseph Kabila expired. On 30 December 2018, with two years of delay, the elections were finally organized, with unexpected results. On 24 January 2019, the elected president Felix Tshisekedi was inaugurated, but his predecessor kept a firm grip on the country’s institutions, including the electoral commission and the constitutional court. What are the perspectives for the change the people of Congo so desperately desire?
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In Congo’s Violent Peace, leading DRC expert Kris Berwouts provides the most comprehensive and in-depth account to date of developments since the so-called ‘Congo Wars’ – from Rwanda’s destructive impact on security in Eastern Congo to the controversial elections of 2006 and 2011; the M23 uprising to Joseph Kabila’s increasingly desperate attempts to cling to power. “This is an invaluable manuscript, which will become indispensable reading for those seeking an understanding of the two decades of sporadic civil strife in the eastern borderlands of Congo…Thoroughly researched, this prospective volume is beyond dispute an authoritative work.” Crawford Young
Dr. Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka is a lawyer, political scientist, lecturer, and post-doctorate researcher. He received his doctorate degree from the School of Political and Social Sciences of the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium. His doctoral dissertation focused on land grabbing by local elites in the African Great Lakes region: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Rwanda), particularly on issues of power and resistance in relation with access to natural resources in this region. In addition to natural resources, his current postdoctoral research focuses on issues related to the peasantry and armed groups in the region, and critical Afro-diasporic thinking. Nyenyezi Bisoka is involved in collaborative projects at the Catholic University of Leuven (where he is also a visiting professor and a post-doctoral fellow/researcher), the University of Antwerp, Wageningen University, Cambridge University, Ghent University, and the London School of Economics. He is also an assistant professor at the Catholic University of Bukavu and is affiliated to the Higher Institute of Rural Development in the DRC, and the University of Burundi. He is therefore involved in teaching and coordinating research projects in Rwanda, Burundi and DRC. In addition, Nyenyezi Bisoka has co-constructed the Land Rush Theatre method, and tested it out in various settings. Before starting his doctoral studies, he was involved with cooperation for development in Africa projects, especially with the Belgian development cooperation agency, Swiss agency for development and cooperation, and the European Union. He is also a researcher at the Reference Center for Expertise on Central Africa based in Belgium), a forum for dialogue and synergy in order to strengthen North-South cooperation. Nyenyezi Bisoka is currently working on projects on land issues and governance with the European Union and the World Bank. He is co-editor of the Conjoncture de l’Afrique Centrale, a peer reviewed book published annually on developments in Central Africa. Many of his scholarly writings are published internationally in French and English in highly reputable journals. Aymar has won several international awards, including the Young African Researcher Award of the Review of African Political Economy in 2014, the Individual Research Grant of the African Peacebuilding Network (APN) in 2017, and the Individual “Meaning-making Research Initiatives” (MRI) Grant of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in 2018. He has recently received two fellowships for research visits to Oxford University in 2019 and Cambridge University in 2020.
Kris Berwouts studied African languages and history. For 25 years, he worked for different Belgian and international NGOs focused on building peace, reconciliation, security and democratic processes. Since 2012, he has worked as an independent expert (for USAID, DFID, Amnesty International, and others) and writer on Central Africa and in 2017 published ‘Congo’s violent peace. Conflict and struggle since the Great African War’.