Le rôle oublié des africains dans le débarquement en Normandie au cours de la IIe guerre mondiale

Jean-Marc Soboth rappelle la contribution largement oubliée des africains au moment de la libération de la France suite au débarquement de Normandie.


L’oeuvre de Fanon célébrée à Alger

Mouloud Idir s’entretient avec Aziz Fall sur un récent colloque qui s’est tenu à Alger, soulignant les écrits de Franz Fanon.


Remembering Amilcar Cabral

Amílcar Cabral was a Guinea-Bissauan and Cape Verdean nationalist thinker and politician assassinated on 20 January 1973. GRILA’s Ameth Loo speaks to Amandla’s Gwen Schulman about his legacy on the 40th anniversary commemoration of his assassination.

L’héritage de Joseph Ki-Zerbo, historien burkinabé

Mouloud Idir s’entretient avec Amzat Boukari-Yabara, de retour du Burkina Faso où il a participé à la première Université Hivernale du Comité International Joseph Ki-Zerbo. Quel est l’héritage de cet historien et homme politique burkinabé? Comment l’oeuvre de Joseph Ki-Zerbo peut-elle servir à repenser le développement et la vision de l’Afrique dans la mondialisation?

Émission Amandla du 8 août 2007/ Amandla show from August 8th 2007

Voici les thèmes qui ont été abordés pendant l’émission Amandla du 8 août 2007 sur les ondes de CKUT 90.3FM (Montréal). Vous pouvez la télécharger ici (lien valide pour deux mois seulement).

Émission en anglais.

Alfie Roberts publicationCélébrations du 169ème anniversaire de l’Émancipation à Montréal. Le 1er août dernier, des célébrations se sont tenues dans la Petite Bourgogne (Montréal) pour marquer le 169ème anniversaire de la libération des Noirs de l’esclavage dans les colonies britanniques. L’événement a été animé par “l’Universal Negro Improvement Association of Montreal”, la plus vieille communauté noire de Montréal, ainsi que par l’Institut Alfie Roberts et Umoja Concordia. Musique, lecture, discussions et poésie ont marqué les célébrations tout en donnant un hommage à Alfie Roberts, un visionnaire et activiste de la communauté noire de Montréal. Le reportage peut être téléchargé ici (en anglais).

L’aide du Royaume-Uni à l’Afrique en baisse. L’aide britannique à l’Afrique, malgré toutes les promesses, a chuté de 1% entre 2005 et 2006. Commentaires de Doug.

Politique namibienne et la bande de Caprivi. Commentaires sur la lutte du mouvement pour l’indépendance de la bande de Caprivi menée par la Caprivi Liberation Army. Des membres de ce mouvement ont été condamnés à 32 ans de prison par le gouvernement namibien.

Here are the subjects that were addressed in the August 8th 2007 Amandla radio show on CKUT 90.3 FM (Montreal). You can download the show here (link valid for two months only).

Show in english.

169 th Emancipation Day Celebrations in Montreal. On august 1st, people gathered in Montreal’s Little Burghundy neighbourhood to celebrate emancipation day and mark 169 years of black African freedom from bondage in the British colonies. The Montreal event was hosted by the Universal Negro Improvement Association of Montreal, one of Montreal’s oldest Black community, as well as the Alfie Roberts InstituteUmoja Concordia. with music, readings, talks and poetry, it marked emancipation day while paying tribute to the late Alfie Roberts, a visionary Montreal Black community activist. The reportage can also be downloaded here.Caprivi strip and

UK’s aid in Africa dropping. Despite the promises, the UK’s aid dropped 1% from 2005 to 2006. Comments by Doug.

Namibian politics and the Caprivi strip. The fight of the people from the Caprivi strip (Caprivi Liberation Army) against Namibia. Today, fighters from Caprivi were sentenced to 32 years in jail by the Namibian government. Comments by Doug.

Tombouctou, ville fabuleuse/ Timbuktu, the legendary city

(Lien en anglais/ Link in english)

Puisque la ville de Tombouctou, au Mali, est candidate pour devenir l’une des sept nouvelles merveilles du monde, nous vous présentons un article du Guardian de Londres qui décrit la richesse culturelle que la ville recèle (voir article plus bas):

Since Timbuktu, in Mali, is a candidate city to become one of the new seven wonders of the world, we present an article about that city from the London Guardian:

In fabled city at the end of the earth, a treasury of ancient manuscripts

In Timbuktu the race is on to preserve papers that document a west African golden age

A hot wind stirred up the desert sand. Fida ag Muhammad, a wispy man with a blue-grey turban, hurried across the street. Reaching a mud-brick building, he quickly unlocked its corrugated iron door and pushed it open. A beam of soft early-morning light pierced the darkness. On a metal table covered with a red bath towel sat half a dozen leather-bound manuscripts. Carefully untying the string around a small weathered pouch, Mr Muhammad pulled back its flaps to reveal a sheaf of yellowed papers. Their edges had crumbled away, but the neat Arabic calligraphy was still clear.

“A Qur’an,” he said. “From the 1300s.”

For an outsider, such a remarkable find might seem extraordinary. In Timbuktu and its surrounding villages like Ber, where Mr Muhammad lives, it is commonplace. After centuries of storage in wooden trunks, caves or boxes hidden beneath the sand, tens of thousands of ancient manuscripts, covering topics as diverse as astronomy, poetry, music, medicine and women’s rights, are surfacing across the legendary Malian city.

Their emergence has caused a stir among academics and researchers, who say they represent some of the earliest examples of written history in sub-Saharan Africa and are a window into a golden age of scholarship in west Africa. Some even believe that the fragile papers, which are now the focus of an African-led preservation effort, may reshape perceptions of the continent’s past.

“It has long been said that there was only oral history in this part of the world,” said Salem Ould Elhadje, 67, a historian in Timbuktu. “But these manuscripts come from an African city, a city of black people.”

The Timbuktu of myth is a place at the end of the earth. In reality its location was the key to its development nearly a thousand years ago. With the Sahara directly north and the Niger river south, it was established as a rest stop for travellers and a trading post for gold and salt. By the late 1500s, however, when it formed part of the powerful Songhai empire, it had become known as a centre of great learning.

Books became hugely prized. Travellers from as far as the Middle East brought manuscripts to Timbuktu to sell. Using paper manufactured in Europe, scholars in the town produced their own original work, which was then copied by their pupils. Commercial transactions were recorded – slaves and ostrich feathers were among the goods traded – as were the pronouncements of learned men on everything from the environment to polygamy and witchcraft.

“Every manuscript contains surprises,” said Shahid Mathee, part of a University of Cape Town team studying the manuscripts. “We have even found texts where scholars offer advice on overcoming erection problems.”

Timbuktu’s decline began in 1591 with a Moroccan invasion. But the practice of writing, copying and storing manuscripts lived on here and in other west African cities such as Gao and Kano.

It was not until 1964, at a Unesco conference, that Timbuktu’s literary wealth was recognised. Still, it took a further 37 years for the campaign to document and preserve them to gain momentum.

On visiting Timbuktu in 2001, the South African president, Thabo Mbeki, was shown some of the manuscripts held at the Ahmed Baba Institute, named after the city’s most famous scholar, including a copy of Islamic law dating to 1204. Mr Mbeki was so impressed he declared them to be among the continent’s “most important cultural treasures” and pledged to set up a project to help properly conserve the manuscripts.

After centuries of exposure to the harsh desert climate, abrasive sands and hungry termites, many of the manuscripts are badly damaged. Even those intact, such as Mr Muhammad’s Qur’an, are so fragile the pages may disintegrate when handled. “Every minute, every second, part of a manuscript is being lost,” said Mahmud Muhammad Dadab, a scholar who compares their value to the works of Victor Hugo and William Shakespeare.

With South African money, a £3.5m home for the Ahmed Baba Institute, featuring a museum, archive and rooms for scholars, is being built in the heart of the city, and will open next year. Meanwhile workers are trying to safeguard the institute’s growing stock of 30,000 manuscripts.

In a large room with fans whirring overhead, a team is building made-to-measure cardboard boxes for every manuscript that will provide protection from the dust. Fragile pages are being carefully affixed to special Japanese paper to stop them crumbling.

Across the courtyard, researchers sit in front of computers documenting the contents of each manuscript. Then, with the help of computer scanners, ancient knowledge is uploaded into the 21st century. “We are creating a virtual library,” said Muhammad Diagayete, 37, a researcher who was busy documenting a 1670 text on astronomy written in blue, red and black ink. “We want people all over the world to be able to access these manuscripts online.”

Private collections are also being restored. Outside interest, and funding, has helped to create more than 20 libraries in Timbuktu, from tiny collections with a few hundred documents to Ismael Haidara’s Fondo Kati Bibliothèque, which has more than 7,000 leather-bound manuscripts dating back to 1198. Many were brought from Andalucia, Spain, by his ancestors, who came to Timbuktu in the 15th century.

A few doors down is the Mama Haidara library run by Abdel Kader Haidara, no relation to Ismael, the best-known curator in the city. With funding from US foundations, he is also digitizing his 9,000-document collection, and is building extra rooms for scholars and tourists, as well as an internet cafe.

Before opening the family library, he helped to build up the Ahmed Baba Institute’s collection, travelling all over the region by camel, canoe and car to try to persuade families to part with their manuscripts in exchange for livestock or printed books.

It was a difficult task. Though many families cannot read Arabic, the manuscripts are regarded as precious heirlooms that cannot be sold.

In Ber, a two-hour drive from Timbuktu, Fida ag Muhammad spoke of valuable caches of manuscripts buried in the desert by families fearful that outsiders would try to prise them away.

As a result, experts believe that hundreds of thousands of manuscripts remain in private homes across the region, and the quest to find and conserve them will go on for many years.

“We have to persuade people that they need to be protected and documented,” said Abdel Kader Haidara. “If we don’t read what our ancestors said, we cannot know who we really are.”

Vous n’avez jamais vu Tombouctou? Voici une petite vidéo, assez touristique, de la ville dans ses plus simples attraits, ceux de la vie quotidienne de ses habitants. On y voit, bien sûr, l’architecture typique de la ville, en articulier celle de la mosqué Sankoré. (vidéo de Judith Porter)

Never saw Timbuktu? Here is a small “touristic” video  showing the city and the daily life of its inhabitants. The typical architecture of the city can be seen, particularly the Sankoré Mosque. (video by Judith Porter)

Émission Amandla du 6 juin 2007/ Amandla show from June 6th 2007

Voici les thèmes qui ont été abordés pendant l’émission Amandla du 6 juin dernier sur les ondes de CKUT 90.3FM (Montréal). Vous pouvez la télécharger ici (lien valide pour deux mois seulement).

Spécial en français/ Special in french.

Sommet Altermondialiste de Sikasso, au Mali – Ce Forum des Peuples s’est tenu en parallèle avec celui du G8 en Allemagne. Les problèmes du continent africain sont souvent abordés en tant que sujets lors des sommets du G8 (ex.: Kananaskis, Gleneagles…). Mais l’Afrique décrie l’inaction qui suit les promesses faites à ces différents sommets. Les altermondialistes qui ont assistés au sommet de Sikasso proposent la création d’une Banque Mondiale du Sud qui ferait contrepoids à la Banque Mondiale actuelle; une “banque des pauvres” selon Barry Aminata Touré qui serait une alternative à la “Banque des riches” qui devrait être dissoute.Xavier Harel, livre

Présentation et analyse de l’ouvrage de Xavier Harel: Afrique, pillage à huis clos : Comment une poignée d’initiés siphonne le pétrole africain – Harel est un journaliste spécialisé dans les questions pétrolières. Selon lui, 1000 milliards de pétrodollars pourraient s’abattre sur le continent, d’ici 2015, mais pour ensuite se réfugier dans des paradis fiscaux provoquant la pauvreté sur le continent. Détournements de fonds et dépenses titanesques des dirigeants d’États pétroliers africains sont de mise… Avec une complicité de l’Occident incluant États, institutions internationales et mafias!


La ville de Tombouctou (Mali – voir photo plus bas) candidate pour devenir comme une des sept merveilles du monde moderne – La New7Wonder Foundation, organise la sélection de sept merveilles du monde et un vote se tient jusqu’au  7 juillet 2007, pour les choisir. Des sept merveilles connues jusqu’à présent seules quelques unes existent encore aujourd’hui. C’est pourquoi, un concours de “Merveilles modernes” est organisé. Tombouctou est la seule candidate provenant du continent africain (mis à par les pyramides d’Égypte qui sont la première merveille du monde antique). Tombouctou a une architecture particulière et est un haut lieu de culture mondiale depuis le moyen-âge. Vous pouvez voter au: www.n7w.com.

Présentation du Site www.parolesdesclavage.com – Site créé par Serge Bilé qui pousse au travail de mémoire historiquepuisqu’il relate un sombre passé de l’histoire de l’Afrique, celui de l’esclavage. Selon Bilé: “J’ai crée ce site pour donner la parole aux « anciens » afin qu’ils disent l’esclavage tel que leurs grands parents et arrière-grands-parents l’ont directement vécu et eux-mêmes raconté à leurs enfants et petits-enfants d’alors, devenus aujourd’hui septuagénaires, octogénaires, nonagénaires et centenaires. Avec Daniel Sainte-Rose et sa caméra, nous avons sillonné la Martinique et recueilli ces témoignages uniques pour qu’ils servent à l’Histoire“.

Actualité du continent africain – Le Canada interdit Winnie Mandela d’entrer au Canada à cause de son casier judiciaire. – Pfizer, l’entreprise pharmaceutique, est accusé d’avoir utilisé des enfants comme cobayes.


Here are the subjects that were addressed in the May 23rd Amandla radio show on CKUT 90.3 FM (Montreal). You can download the show here (link valid for two months only).


Alternative summit of Sikasso, in Mali – This Forum des Peuples was held in parallel with the G8 summit un Germany. The problems of Africa are often the subjects of discussion during the several last G8 summits (ex.: Kananaskis, Gleneagles…). But Africa complains about the lack of actions following the promises done during those summits. The people who attended the Sikasso summit proposed the creation of a World Bank for the South that would counterbalance the actual World Bank. According to Barry Aminata Touré, such a “bank for the poor” would be an alternative for the “bank for the wealthy” that would be dissolved.

Presentation and analysis of the book: Afrique, pillage à huis clos : Comment une poignée d’initiés siphonne le pétrole africain written by Xavier Harel– Harel is a journalist specialized in the world oil economy. According to him, 1000 billions of petrodollars could “fall”on the continent from now to 2015. But this money will flee to fiscal paradises afterwards, creating poverty in Africa. Embezzlements and huge “shopping sprees” by corrupted head of African oil producing States is common place… With the complicity of the West including States, international organizations and mafias!

TombouctouThe town of Timbuktu (Mali – see left) is a candidate for the New seven Wonders of the World contest – The New7Wonder Foundation organizes a contest where 7 new Wonders of the World will be selected through public vote which ends on July 7th 2007. From the 7 “old” Wonders that exists, only a few remains standing today. That’s why such a contest takes place. Timbuktu is the only candidate from Africa (of course the Pyramids in Egypt are the first Wonder of the world but it was selected during the Antiquity). Timbuktu has a special architecture and is an important cultural city of the world since the Middle ages. You can vote there: www.n7w.com.


Presentation of the Website www.parolesdesclavage.com – This site was created by Serge Bilé. It shows us the part of the African history which was the period of the slave trade.


Other news from the African continent – Canada blocks Winnie Mandela from entering in the country because of her criminal past. – Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company, is accused by the Nigerian governement of using children as guinea-pigs.


Émission Amandla du 30 mai 2007/ Amandla show from May 30th 2007

Voici les thèmes qui ont été abordés pendant l’émission Amandla du 30 mai dernier sur les ondes de CKUT 90.3FM (Montréal). Vous pouvez la télécharger ici (lien valide pour deux mois seulement).

Entrevue avec l’auteur Bernard Nantet – en français. Bernard Nantet est écrivain, journaliste, archéologue et photographe de profession . Son expérience dans le monde de l’éducation en Afrique et son désir de montrer au monde la richesse de l’histoire africaine on fait de lui un auteur incontournable pour quiconque veut se renseigner sur l’histoire de ce continent, qu’il soit africain ou non. Voici quelques livres écrits par M. Nantet:

Au coeur de l’Afrique, Milan Jeunesse, 2004, 255 pages

Dictionnaire de l’Afrique, Larousse, 2006 (nouvelle édition), 303 pages.

Le guide de la Mauritanie: sur les traces des nomades, Ibis Press, janvier 2007, 250 pages.

Actualité africaines – En français. On y traite, entre autres, de l’accession au pouvoir de Umaru Musa Yar’Adua comme nouveau Président du Nigéria et aussi de la création de le première chaine africaine d”information continue: CNBC Africa de Johannesburg.Simon Mann

Extradition du mercenaire Simon Mann vers la Guinée Équatoriale – en anglais. Le mercenaire sud-africain d’origine britannique Simon Mann (voir image) est accusé d’avoir dirigé un groupe de mercenaires pour exécuter un coup d’état en Guinée Équatoriale. Lui et son groupe s’est fait arrêté au Zimbabwe le 7 mars 2004. Il doit être extradé vers le Guinée Equatoriale pour être enfermé dans la sinistre prison de Black Beach.

Here are the subjects that were addressed in the May 23rd Amandla radio show on CKUT 90.3 FM (Montreal). You can download the show here (link valid for two months only).

Interview with the author: Bernard Nantet – in french. Bernard Nantet is a writer, journalist, archaeologist and photographer. His teaching experience in Africa and his desire to show the world the richness of african history makes a him “must-read” for anybody, African or not, who wants to learn about Africa. Here’s a short list of some the books written by Mr. Nantet:

Au coeur de l’Afrique, Milan Jeunesse, 2004, 255 pages.

Dictionnaire de l’Afrique, Larousse, 2006 (new edition), 303 pages.

Le guide de la Mauritanie: sur les traces des nomades, Ibis Press, january 2007, 250 pages.

African news – in french. We talk about Umaru Musa Yar’Adua sworn as the new President of Nigeria and the creation of the first African business news channel: CNBC Africa in Johannesburg.

Extradition of Simon Mann , the mercenary, to Equatorial Guinea – in english. Simon Mann (see picture above), the south-african mercenary of british origins is accused of leading a group of mercenaries to execute a “coup d’état” in Equatorial Guinea. He was arrested in Zimbabwe on March 7th 2004. He will be sent to Equatorial Guinea and will be imprisoned in the infamous Black Beach prison.

Émission Amandla du 9 mai 2007/ Amandla show from May 9th 2007

Voici les thèmes qui ont été abordés pendant l’émission Amandla du 9 mai dernier sur les ondes de CKUT 90.3FM (Montréal). Vous pouvez la télécharger ici (lien valide pour deux mois seulement).

Interview avec la présidente d’AMARC-Africa (World Association ofGrace Githaiga Community Broadcasters (AMARC) Africa): Grace Githaiga (photo ci-contre) – en anglais. Elle est aussi directrice-exécutive d’Econews Africa. Elle nous parle de l’impact des radios communautaires en Afrique de l’Est (Ouganda, Kenya, Tanzanie). Elles opèrent dans différents contextes politiques et abordent les sujets liés à la justice sociale.

Analyse sur une division au sein du parti d’opposition zimbabwéen, le MDC – en anglais. Analyse tirée du New-York Times. Le Movement for Democratic Change vit un tumulte interne, alors que la situation sur le terrain s’aggrave. En effet, depuis longtemps déjà, la population du Zimbabwe est affamée et rien n’est fait pour améliorer sa condition (voir Zimonline).

Mini-revue de la musique ghanéenne – en anglais.

Les agro-industries, nourrir la planète ou gonfler les profits?- en français. Analyse de l’industrie agro-alimentaire tirée du site d’Agoravox. On s’inquiète de la mainmise des multinationales de l’alimentation qui contrôlent la chaîne alimentaire et qui transforment la faim en marché.

Scandale à la Banque Mondiale – en français. Analyse du pétrin dans lequel Paul Wolfowitz, président de la Banque Mondiale s’est mis.
Here are the subjects that were addressed in the May 9th Amandla radio show on CKUT 90.3 FM (Montreal). You can download the show here (link valid for two months only).

Interview with the president of l’AMARC-Africa (World Association of Community Broadcasters (AMARC) Africa): Grace Githaiga (see picture above) – in english. She’s also the executive director of Econews Africa. She talks about the impacts of community radios in eastern Africa (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania). They operate in different political contexts and are located in places where there are no other radios. They address social justice issues which makes them popular and the public response is important.

Mini-review on music in Ghana – in english.

Analysis of a split within the MDC, the zimbawean opposition party – in english. Taken from the New-York Times. A split occurs within the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) while the situation in Zimbawe worsen. People are starving and nothing seems to be done.

The agrobusiness, feeding the world or pumping up profits ? – in french. Analysis of the agrobusiness from the Agoravox website. The influence of that industry is worrying. The agro-multinationals control the food chain and turns hunger into a market.

Scandal at the Worldbank – in french. Analysis of the trouble that Paul Wolfowitz, president of the Worldbank, has fallen into.

L’ancien royaume de Shoa retrouvé en Éthiopie?/ Has the ancient Kingdom of Shoa been found in Ethiopia?

Sociolingo nous parle de la découverte d’anciennes cités datant du 10 au 16ème siècles qui auraient pu constitué le royaume islamique de Shoa en actuelle Éthiopie.

Sociolingo tells us about the discovery of what could by the ancient kingdom of Shoa. Cities dating from the 10th to 16th centuries were discovered lately and could indicate the existence of such kingdom in today’s Ethiopia.