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BOOK REVIEW: Pathways To Nigeria’s Future: A Review Of Toyin Falola’s Understanding Modern Nigeria



In Understanding Modern Nigeria, Falola Directs Our Noble Cause
Raheem Oluwafunminiyi


Raheem Oluwafunminiyi

Nigeria has often been of keen interest to the international community. It is the most populous black nation in the world, has a vast deposit of oil and mineral resources, a sizeable youthful population, and despite its constant flip-flops remains one of the largest economies in Africa. Given its backward turn of fortunes for much of its post-military trajectory, one is not sure whether the country can still be regarded as the Giant of Africa. A look at recent happenings in the country would tell even the most disinterested mind that all is not well. The escalation of the Boko Haram insurgency, which is now over ten years and still counting, appears to have overwhelmed the Nigerian military with mixed fortunes recorded in its fight against the deadly group. The relentless killing and destruction left by marauding herdsmen across the country also leave a sour taste in the mouth. That would have been enough to nip in the bud if secessionist tendencies in the southwest and southeast of the country had not also left unnecessary destruction of properties and wanton killings of unknown proportion in its wake. Although temporarily halted by the barrel of the gun, the mother of it all was the #EndSARS protest that rocked Lagos, especially, and other parts of the country in 2020. This was at the time Nigeria was battling with how to manage the deadly pandemic inflicted transnationally by COVID-19.

Apart from the fact that Nigeria suffers an acutely debilitating security challenge, there is a reason to believe that the country is deliberately sabotaged on all fronts; otherwise, what could have emboldened bandits to the extent of kidnapping citizens, including corps members, and demanding a huge ransom with little or no intervention by the state? In any case, there have been fears within the international intelligence circle as far back as the early 2000s that Nigeria may witness yet another military coup, and in the event of one, the likely consequence would be a humanitarian catastrophe of huge proportion. It is nearly two decades since these fears first emerged, yet Nigeria somehow retains its unity, although predictions of impending crisis cannot be overruled. To think that these current challenges emerged in recent times would be to make a mockery of Nigeria’s turbulent history. It is on this premise that the book, Understanding Modern Nigeria: Ethnicity, Democracy, and Development, written by Professor Toyin Falola and published by Cambridge University Press, comes at an auspicious time.

Falola is a renowned Professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, the University of Texas at Austin, United States. His intellectual oeuvre is not one for debate, as one may be surprised to discover something new today while counting. His works on virtually all aspects of Nigerian everyday life remain unparalleled, and because they are highly regarded at home and across the Atlantic for their rich interventions in the African Question, they are counted as classics. In Understanding Modern Nigeria, Falola gives us a 672-page book, which is not only the most voluminous single-authored book on Nigeria’s postcolonial history, but it also virtually touches on and critically analyses three fundamental issues that have often eluded Nigeria’s path to progress.

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Ethnicity stands out first as one of the most serious spectacles that emerged in the closing decades of the colonial period and played a very huge role in the sad political tragedy that befell Nigeria only six years into independence. On the one hand, the democratic experience failed woefully, not lasting up to six years after independence and stretching on to close to five decades after. Until 1999, Nigeria had witnessed seven military administrations which returned power to civilian rule, which the country has enjoyed for more than two decades now, although with continued threats of cracks. On the other hand, development is a relative term used in relation to how Nigeria has fared in economic, political, and social terms. The author analysed each of these three terms – ethnicity, democracy, and development – to make sense of how to “understand” how Nigeria reached its peculiar state of global concern.

What makes the book unique, unusual, and different is that it diagnoses several and very germane issues that confront Nigeria as a country and then does not leave the reader hanging. Rather, policies are prescribed to mitigate these challenges. In other words, Falola has written a book that is critical but highly beneficial for the Nigerian political leadership at all levels of government. It comes as a “first opinion” away from and outside the opinions served by public servants working in government that the present and successive administrations could use to gauge the feelings and feel the aspirations and pulse of the citizenry.

Divided into six thematic parts, Parts I and II both dovetail with one another. Part I introduces the reader to the intricacies of the book itself. Part II provides a historical context to understanding Nigeria from its colonial phase, which was marked by zealous nationalism and introduction of regionalism to the independent phase that triggered one of the most brutal civil wars in the mid-20th century, a post-civil war phase that grounded military dictatorship upon the country, and then a post-military civilian phase since 1999, which has left some distressing imprint on the country. Part III discusses ethnicity, democracy, and governance, three very disturbing themes that have become a stumbling block to Nigeria’s progress for much of its political history.

What later became known as Nigeria was previously an aggregation of diverse peoples who lived under different suzerains, empires, and kingdoms. While some had existed even before the creation of modern states in Europe, others emerged from the ashes of the fall of empires. Falola observes that the sad trajectory of ethnicity in Nigeria found its origin with the creation of regions and political parties. As he rightly claims, these political parties, brought about by heightened nationalist fervour, were nothing more than ethnic champions led by sons-of-the-soil. As the country became independent, these parties continued to play the ethnic rather than national card, causing internal crisis and schisms. The military had little choice but to dissolve what it viewed as cankerworms.

READ ALSO: Musa Adedayo And Alaroye: The Future Of Yoruba Language

In Falola’s view, the Nigerian political class did not appear to learn any useful lesson from its experience and continued to strengthen the chord of ethnicity during the brief democratic experiment between 1978-1983. It is unlikely that any other lessons will be learned, given recent happenings in the country, at least since the 1990s. The book points to the fact that since ethnicity plays a major factor in successive governments’ decision-making, the governance of the country has been retrogressive. States like China and Myanmar, where state-sponsored killings target Rohingya Muslims in Southeast Asia, are clear examples of what Falola calls the calamitous experiment in ethnic performance, which is used as the basis for crimes against humanity. This part of the book is a must-read because it pays very strong and detailed attention to how the early political leadership missed the opportunity to set Nigeria on a sound footing after independence. The integration of ethnicity into the rubric of Nigerian politics can be a positive force. This is possible when the country’s diversity is harnessed by a leadership with a broader, nationalistic, and political mindset. A country that prides itself as a melting pot can, thus, benefit from a structured political process even if ethnicity comes to play.

Part IV shifts its analysis to the consequences of democracy and governance. The points of discussion here are ten-fold. Falola explains the corrupt turn Nigeria has taken, particularly with the country’s newfound oil wealth. As oil created the nouveau-riche, so did power become concentrated in the hands of a few. Criminality and theft surged even as governance became even more centralised. The country’s administrative structure changed from three regions to thirty-six states with 774 local governments, which pushed the grassroots farther from their representatives. Here, Falola shows that power was not used to develop the people and the country but rather helped reproduce underdevelopment. This explains why despite Nigeria’s abundant wealth, its citizens wallow in abject poverty, which has given rise to violence, all kinds of organised crimes, and consistent resistance against the state by very powerful non-state actors. Without overstating the issue, this part of the book is highly revealing as it touches the very heart of Nigeria’s development crisis. There is no better way to understand Nigeria than this.

In Part V of the book, readers are taken into discussions surrounding reforms and revolution, and here, I find the analysis on youth and politics quite interesting. The book highlights the fact that active youth participation in any society is often a determining factor in the socio-economic and political progression of such a society. This has been a difficult path for Nigerian youth, who are usually side-lined by the more wealthy and elderly political class and have been rendered weak and vulnerable to political machinations at all levels of governance, resulting in political apathy among them. Falola advocates for a more flexible system that would include the active participation of the youth in the governance of the country. He believes that this would help to ensure that vital issues concerning them are adequately addressed. There is so much to unpack in this part of the book, which is quite understandably so. The #EndSARS protest that rocked the nation in 2020 is a reminder that the youths, when provoked, can change the political configurations of the state. Falola makes it clear that protests are no longer called with a megaphone. Governments could either be removed or restored, not through the barrel of the gun this time around, but through social media. Several examples abound across the world. We are reminded that social media forced a Nigerian minister out of office recently following the allegations of a forged NYSC certificate.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 Vaccination Or Anti-Social Behaviour ‘Vaccination’?

Part VI concludes the book with “Pathways to the Future.” In the author’s view, the book reveals different components that are responsible for, and have a compelling influence on, the development of Nigerian society. It then moves on to identify the ways through which the country can reverse itself to strengthen its prospect. One of the pathways suggested by the author is for Nigeria to return to the secularist philosophy that should govern the conduct of a multi-ethnic, multireligious, and multicultural community. Within this pathway are several solutions that Falola identifies to guide Nigeria back on track, whether in mechanised agriculture, youth inclusion, friendly business environment, cultural revival, the collaboration between government and the citizenry, and most importantly, the eradication of corruption. Falola recognises that Nigeria’s challenges are daunting, yet they can be addressed with serious leadership convinced of the need to build transparent institutions that promote social justice and human rights, irrespective of status, age, or position.

Falola’s Understanding Nigeria does not give the reader a glimpse but rather a robust insight into Nigeria’s past and present. Due to his vast grasp of what makes up Nigeria today, the reader can now understand where Nigeria’s future lies only if we can look into the very rich recommendations highlighted in the book and make use of them. Whether one holds a political position or not, the book speaks to every Nigerian citizen who yearns for a better country. That the biggest supporters of government agree that the country seems to be on the brink of a dangerous situation indicates that drastic steps are required immediately to salvage the situation. By reading Understanding Nigeria, it is hoped that everyone concerned will be fully informed of their role in transforming the country for the better.

One of the main pluses of the book is its very robust use of sources that are directly related to the arguments raised in each of the themes. It is also written in very lucid language, and as much as possible avoids any kind of speciality. The author says it as it is and does not pretend to be all-knowing but rather allows the facts to speak for themselves. Not only are very concise and easily readable maps scattered across the book, but they also puncture very captivating pictures that help connect with the ideas spelt out in the book. These, I suspect, are deliberate attempts to make the book easily accessible and understood by all categories of people and ages. Now that, as part of government policy, history is taught in many Nigerian schools, this book will serve as an intellectual building block for young minds to know about their country’s past and present. It will also easily complement the work of geography instructors, but most importantly, the book is for a general readership. It is often touted that citizens are affected by collective amnesia because we lack a sense of history. This has led to the unfortunate retention of people with questionable characters in the corridors of power, despite the crimes they once committed, which are detrimental to the progress of the state. The book, therefore, makes for an interesting read for policymakers, political leaders, instructors, students, and virtually anyone who wishes to understand where we were, where we should be, and where we will be in the not-too-distant future in Nigeria.

To quote the author, “The objective of this book is to present the challenges of postcolonial Nigeria against the background of the expectations of its people.” If this has not been duly justified in a 672-page book, particularly one written by Africa’s most published scholar and one of its most distinguished intellectuals, anyone who feels otherwise should give us a far superior version of Understanding Modern Nigeria. Until then, Falola has given us one of the most authoritative histories of postcolonial Nigeria in recent times, for which we cannot but be thankful.

Raheem Oluwafunminiyi, an independent scholar, writes from Osogbo and can be reached via


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Toyin Falola, Memories Of Africa: Home And Abroad In The United States



Dele Jegede In Conversation With Prince Yemisi Shyllon
Prof. Toyin Falola

By Olusegun Olopade

Toyin Falola, Memories of Africa: Home and Abroad in the United States (Atlantic Migrations and the African Diaspora) | © March 2023

Book Details

Publisher‏: ‎ University Press of Mississippi (March 24, 2023)

Language‏: ‎ English

Paperback: ‎ 256 pages

ISBN-10: ‎ 1496843487

ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1496843487


Memories of Africa: Home and Abroad in the United States suggests a new lens for viewing African Diaspora studies: the experiences of African memoirists who live in the United States. The book shows how African Diaspora memoirs beautifully and grippingly depict the experiences of African migrants over time through political, social, and cultural spheres. In reading African Diaspora memoirs from the transatlantic slave trade period to the present, a reader can understand the complexity of the African migrant legacy and evolution.

Author Toyin Falola argues that memoirs are significant not only in their interpretation of events conveyed by the memoirists but also in demonstrating how interpersonal and human the stories told can be. Memoirs are powerful because they are emotionally captivating and because important themes and events circulate around a particular person (in this case, the memoirist).

Undoubtedly, a memoir is significant because it can teach anyone about a part of the human experience, even if the “facts” are not described without bias. Through this sort of narrative, the reader cannot help but enter into the memoirist’s mind and, therefore, feel more empathy for them. In doing so, the reader can “feel” what the memoirist feels and “see” what the memoirist sees as clearly as is humanly possible. In this way, the historical events and life lessons become tangible and poignantly real to the reader.

Editorial Reviews

Memories of Africa makes a significant contribution to the study of the African Diaspora, African intellectual history, to our understanding of African autobiography, and more importantly to life studies. Falola provides fresh insights that will reinvigorate the field. — Olabode Ibironke, author of Remapping African Literature.

Memories of Africa opens a new dimension to the understanding of the experiences of home, space, and place, and their interactions in African and diaspora studies. — Adetayo Alabi, author of Oral Forms of Nigerian Autobiography and Life Stories.

Toyin Falola is Professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. He has received over thirty lifetime career awards and sixteen honorary doctorates. He has written extensively on the African Diaspora, including The African Diaspora: Slavery, Modernity, and Globalization.

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12th Toyin Falola Annual International Conference On Africa And The African Diaspora (2023 TOFAC) Set To Hold



Dele Jegede In Conversation With Prince Yemisi Shyllon
Prof. Toyin Falola

Second/ Extended Call for Papers


July 26 – July 28, 2023

Venue: University of Abuja, Main Campus, Giri-Airport Road, Abuja Nigeria

Purposeful leadership and inclusive political and economic institutions have been identified as necessities for Africa and all Africa-related peoples and regions to begin to address past failures, confront present predicaments and chart a credible course for the future. Unfortunately, Africa’s leaders have largely failed to transform the African state and its institutions into agents of development for the benefit of the citizens. Several explanations have been adduced for the observed leadership deficiencies that have become almost permanent narratives of Africa. Such explanations have often included, but not limited to, externalist arguments that point to the legacies of colonial exploitation and its neocolonial challenges, the sustained colonial legacy of economic dependence on foreign powers, as well as contemporary global events that systemically constrain Africa’s opportunities for growth and development. There are also internalist explanations that attribute Africa’s leadership conundrum and institutional failures to successive African leaders’ rapacity and irresponsible choices. Whatever these explanations may be, there is an emerging consensus that real progress cannot happen until Africa addresses its leadership questions and transforms its weak and predatory institutions into inclusive and formidable ones.

The 2023 TOFAC Conference will critically examine Africa’s political leadership and extant institutions vis-à-vis the continent’s history of underdevelopment, present challenges, and future trajectories within the global political economy. Scholars are invited to interrogate the nature and evolution of leadership and institutions in Africa from the pre-colonial era to contemporary times. Institutions in this context are broadly defined to include formal and informal institutions, including the people’s history, traditions, religion, and culture. Arising from this, there are underlying questions. Is it leadership that shapes institutions, or do institutions determine the quality of leaders that emerge? How can African states achieve the leadership and institutional transformation necessary to address the perennial development challenges of the continent? Are there lessons that could be drawn from the experiences of the pre-colonial era to inform contemporary issues of leadership?

We invite proposals for papers, panel presentations, roundtables and artistic works/performances that critically examine these and other related issues on Africa’s leadership and institutions. As in years past, participants will be drawn from around the world. Graduate students are encouraged to attend and present papers. The conference will allow scholars from various disciplines and geographical locations to interact, exchange ideas, and receive feedback. Additionally, selected papers will be published in a series of book volumes. Finally, submitted papers will be assigned to particular panels according to similarities in theme, topic, discipline, or geographical focus. Panel proposals (of 3-5 presenters) are especially encouraged.

We invite submissions that include but areI Inot limited to the following sub-themes and topi Institutions Conceptualized

· The nature and role of formal and informal institutions

· Institutional path dependency

· Institutional change and transformation

· Incentive structures and the choices of agents

· Institutions and Economic Performance

· Policy institutions

· Institutions and enforcement mechanisms

· The state, its institutions and the citizens

· People as institutions

Leadership and Institutions in Pre-colonial Africa

· The nature of leadership in pre-colonial Africa

· The role of chiefs, kings, monarchs and other authority figures

· The interface between culture and leadership in pre- colonial Africa

· The evolution of culture from the pre-colonial era to the present

· The society and the citizen in the pre-colonial era

· Traditional institutions versus contemporary systems

· The position and influence of religion in pre-colonial political institutions

Leadership and Institutions in the Colonial Era

· State formation in Africa

· The nature of colonial institutions

· Interactions of colonial institutions and pre- colonial systems

· Constitutional development in colonial Africa

· Africans input in the development of colonial institutions

· The rise of new elites

· Integration of indigenous leaders in colonial administration

· Dislocations, transformations, and modernity

· Nationalism and new trajectories

Colonial Legacies

· Colonial exploitation and the emergence of predatory state-society relations

· Neocolonialism

· Postcolonial economic models and African dependency

· Western democracy and the conflict of culture

· Foreign institutions and the problem of adaptability

· Rural-urban divide and the challenge of active citizenship

· Education, culture and the leadership question

The Nature of Political Leadership in Postcolonial Africa

· The role of Africa’s independence leaders in setting leadership standards

· Leadership recruitment processes

· The role of culture in determining the type of leaders that emerge

· Religion and leadership

· Foreign interventions in domestic policies

· Education, training and leadership

· L e a d e r s h i p , E t h n i c i t y a n d Separatism/Secessionism

· Democracy and accountability

· Citizenship, expectations, and civic engagements

· The role of civil society in holding leaders accountable

· The role of the media in African politics

· Class and the political economy of leadership recruitment

· Africa’s Big Men

· Patriarchy, gender and the leadership question

Institutions in Postcolonial Africa

· The nature of political and economic institutions

· Evolution of institutions in postcolonial Africa

· Colonialism and the legacies of exploitation and expropriation

· Military intervention and role in the development and growth of institutions

· Examination of critical institutions of the state – public service, the Police Force, etc.

· Constitution development in postcolonial Africa

· Property rights institutions

· Anti-corruption crusades and institutional reforms

· Law enforcement and the judiciary

· Economic systems, financial institutions and systems

· Election institution, concept, process, outcomes, and consequences

· Law enforcement and anti- corruption institutions

· Institutions and informal politics and spaces

· The future of traditional institutions in Africa

The Cold War and Africa’s Postcolonial Leadership

· Africa’s decolonization and the Cold War

· The impact of the Cold War on Africa’s independence leaders

· The nature of foreign interventions during the Cold War

· The Cold War and the emergence of violent political culture

· International legitimacy versus domestic popularity for African leaders

· The Cold War and Africa’s political institutions

· Post-Cold War transformations of African leadership

Multilateral Institutions in Africa

· The role of the World Bank and IMF in Africa’s economic systems

· Public debt and the choices of African leaders

· Foreign interests and interventions in leadership selection

· Economic development ideologies versus local realities

· The futility of universal recipes in economic policies

· Foreign aid and leaders’ responsibilities

· Conditionalities and citizens’ welfare

· The future of development assistance to Africa

· The effect of foreign aid on institutions

· The influence and contribution of ECOWAS, A U , a n d o t h e r  r e g i o n a l / c o n t i n e n t a l oragnizations

· Commonwealth, UN, and other international organizations on African politics

Information Technology and Social Media

· Social media and citizens’ demand for leadership accountability

· Dissemination of government programs

· Social media and government transparency

· Information technology and the election process

· Leadership recruitment, retention and removal

· Citizenship participation in the governance process

· Public engagements and institutional change


· Education and citizenship rights

· The relationship between education, industry and bureaucracy

· State involvement in education

· Quality and availability of basic and compulsory leadership education

· History, leadership and the African state

· The role of the media in institutions building

Creativity and Performance of Leadership/Institutional deficits

· Creative governance

· Leadership Accountability

· Models of institutional checks and balances

· Governance peer review mechanism

Each individual proposal must include: 1) title of the work and an abstract of 200 words, 2) the name of the presenter (with the surname underlined). 3) mailing address, 4) number phone, 5) email, 6) institutional affiliation, and 7) three to five keywords that best characterize the themes and topics relevant to your submission. Participants are encouraged to abide by these guidelines.

Proposals for panels (3-5 presenters) must include: 1) title of the panel and a collective summary of 250 words on the panel’s theme, including the title of each individual work 2) a 200-word abstract for the presentation of each speaker 3) mailing address 4) phone number 5) email and 6) institutional affiliation of each presenter. Panels with four presenters or less may be completed with other relevant presentations.

Proposals will further be accepted till July 10, 2023 and should be sent to uof

A mandatory non-refundable registration fee of $100 dollars for scholars (or the Nigerian equivalents in Naira) and $50 for graduate students (or the Nigerian equivalents in Naira ) must be paid immediately upon the acceptance of the abstract. This conference fee includes a conference bag, admission to the panels, workshops, special events, and transportation to and from the hotel and conference events.

Confirmed key Note and Lead Speakers at Plenaries/Members of LOC:

1.-Key Note Speaker -Professor Eghosa Oseghae-Director, Nigerian Institute for international Affairs, Lagos

2. First Lead Paper Presenter -Professor Jibrin Ibrahim-Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD),Abuja 3.Second Lead Paper Presenter -Professor Uchenna Okeja-Rhodes University,South Africa

4. Professor Lawrence Ogbo Ugwuanyi-Department of Philosophy, University of Abuja-Member, Organising Committee

5. Professor Philip Akpen-Department of History, University of Abuja- Member, Organising Committee 6.Dr.Umar Kari-Department of Sociology, University of Abuja- Member, Organising Committee

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Kenyatta University Holds Toyin Falola At 70 Conference



Kenyatta University Holds Toyin Falola At 70 Conference

The Department of History, Archeology and Political Science of the Kenyatta University is set to hold a Toyin Falola at 70 Conference.

The conference with the theme “Post-Colonial Africa: Historical and Contemporary Realities” is scheduled to take place between May 10 and 12, 2023 at the Kenyatta University.

Modern African economic, socio-cultural, and political realities have been considerably influenced and defined by colonialism. Colonialism created the foundation of the post-colonial. Since the start of the post-colonial and (especially) the post-cold war era, there has been increased academic interest in colonialism– both in the classic and the neo-colonial forms. There have also been considerable academic and non-academic efforts at decoloniality and decolonizing Africa. These efforts have led to studying and documenting African pre-colonial history, literature, and cultural intricacies to achieve self-determination and re-establish the African identity. It is, therefore, necessary and logically consistent with the above to study Africa’s past in relation to its present. Essentially, it is important that aside from examining the print of colonial pedagogy, methods, and philosophies, Africa is studied in the light of its actions, attempts at self-governance, and realities defined by its stakeholders.

READ ALSO: Toyin Falola Donates Over 500 Books To Kaduna State University Library

A considerable effort has been directed at researching, documenting, and analyzing Post-colonial Africa across different fields of the Arts and the Humanities. Through such efforts concepts such as neo-colonialism, political hegemony, economic instability, societal disillusionment, administrative lapses among others that touch on the African post-colonial condition have been explored by several researchers and academicians. However, the very basis of the evolution of knowledge and the foundation of the academic world is the consistent evaluation of knowledge, theories, and philosophies. As much as there has been enhanced scholarship around the aforementioned issues, there are still thematically important aspects of Post-Colonial Africa that are relatively unexplored or under-explored. New concepts, skepticism, and relatively new subject matters have developed with the continent’s evolution – particularly concerning socio-culture, administration, globalization, conflicts, diplomacy, and ideological paradigms. For instance, it may be important to define the extent to which pre-colonial Africa influences the post-colonial realities of its nation-states, regions, and Sub-regions, as it applies across respective fields.

Other relevant aspects of the post-colonial African reality like identity dynamics and minority politics, institutions and sub-institutions in Africa, diaspora dynamic, administrative evolution in Africa, Post-colonial gender dynamics in Africa, intercultural realities of distinct nation-states in Africa, cultural awareness, and preservation in Africa, decolonial legal education and practice, ideological politics in post-colonial African, among others. The COVID-19 pandemic presented new dynamics to interpret and understand the place of post-colonial Africa in the world in light of global power politics and diplomatic spate over the causes of COVID-19, vaccine politics, and international travel restrictions. COVID-19 highlighted the need to rethink post-colonial Africa’s readiness to respond to global challenges independently.

The Department of History, Archeology and Political Studies through the Research and Innovation Committee (DRIC) plans to host a conference that is directed at answering the conceptual questions that underline some key aspects of post-colonial Africa – as defined by the necessary contextual factors and underlining theories. The conference is expected to feature different themes and introduce concepts, arguments, and theories that are well-adjusted to current African realities.

The department also wishes to use the occasion to celebrate the 70-year life journey of Professor Toyin Falola, a world renowned Distinguished Professor of History and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Falola has dedicated his entire academic life, with over 150 titles under his name, reflecting on the African condition both in historical and contemporary terms. In March 2022, the Department hosted Professor Falola, who gave thought provoking lectures on “Decolonization of Africa Studies”. As a department, we are keen to use the conference to continue enriching our conversations around this and related themes, enhance our scholarly connections and collaborations, establish new research and publication partnerships as well as strengthen existing ones.


The conference sub-themes will include but are not limited to the following:

  • Decoloniality, and decolonization, as it intertwines with post-colonial studies
  • Internationalization in the African region – key factors for consideration should include Pan-Africanism as examined through the lens of its basis, the status quo, and possible ways forward.
  • Post-colonial economy and the role of the nation-state in establishing independent regional control
  • Resource control as it affects neo-colonialistic affiliations and European hegemonic influence in Post-colonial Africa
  • Liberal ideological predispositions and the socio-philosophical future of the African Nation states – with considerations to the influence of the youth demography
  • Developmental politics in Post-colonial Africa
  • Gender dynamics and politics in Post-colonial Africa
  • Post-colonial Literature and the future of the arts in Africa
  • Migration, conflicts, and peace actions in post-colonial Africa
  • Regional collaboration and diplomatic politics in Post-Colonial Africa

The conference is expected to attract participation from academicians, researchers, experts and practitioners in the area of African history and other related humanities and social science disciplines. These shall be drawn from mainly Kenyan and other African institutions as well as from outside the Africa continent. The conference will allow for a blended mode where some participants will be present on-site at Kenyatta university while others will present online.

READ ALSO: Where Did All The Money Go?

Prospective participants are encouraged to send abstracts of between 250 and 500 words, including their full contact details (title, name, address, email address and telephone number) as well as their institutional affiliation by 30th February, 2023 to:

Final Output
Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by 5th March 2023 and asked to prepare full papers to be presented during the conference. The official language of the conference will be English. Papers presented at the conference will be peer reviewed and published in an edited volume.

Important Dates

27th January, 2023: Call for Papers/Abstracts
30th February, 2023: Deadline for Receipt of Abstracts
5th March 2023: Notification of Acceptance of Abstracts/Papers
15th April 2023: Deadline for receipt of Full papers
20th April, 2023: Registration begins
1st May, 2023: End of Registration
10th to 12 May 2023: Conference Dates

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