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Summary Report of the JSAS Research Seminar held on April 15th, 2023, at the University of Tokyo.

Focus on the "Pearl of Africa."

Many thanks to our co-hosts, the SDGs collaborative research unit, Institute for Future Initiatives, UTokyo. A vote of gratitude too, to Muyun Wang (Makkie) who organized the event and kindly prepared this report.

(Japanese follows English)

On April 15, 2023, the SDGs collaborative research unit of the Institute for Future Initiatives (IFI) at the University of Tokyo held a research seminar in collaboration with the Japan Society for Afrasian Studies (JSAS).

To begin with, the moderator, Prof. Vick Ssali, (outgoing JSAS President/lecture at Aichi Gakuin University), explained the purpose of the seminar. He explained that as the search for true independence in Africa in the post-colonial world is an on-going struggle, the aim of this seminar was to examine the theme of governance in Africa, and to establish the historical and social platform for discussing and co-creating a better future for this continent. The seminar focused on Uganda, and Dr. Wakiko Ohira (Visiting Fellow at Harvard University) and Dr. Ian Karusigarira (lecturer at National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies) gave presentations based on their respective doctoral theses.

In the presentation by Dr. Ohira, the focus was on increasing influence of “traditional authorities”—such as kingdoms and chiefdoms—after their resurgence in the 1990s. Traditional authorities had weakened during the period of independence but have regained influence since the 1990s. Specifically, the report examined the case of the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom (BKK) in western Uganda to unravel the mechanism behind this phenomenon. The results of semi-structured interview survey and document analysis are as follows. Under Museveni regime, local governments have become highly politicized and does not function well in providing public services. This has led to dissatisfaction among people who had high expectations of the local governments. As a counterreaction, people's expectations of the BKK increased. In response to people’s higher expectations, the BKK impartially advocates issues of education, health, and other social issues and provides access to the government. The conclusion of this study that strong administrative presence of the state resulted in empowering "traditional authorities" challenges conventional understanding of weak-state theory.

In Dr. Karusigarira’s presentation, he interpreted the construction, maintenance, and strengthening of the Revolutionary Regime (Musevenism) in Uganda from the perspective of (re)production of culture. Specifically, through field surveys in the Luweero Triangle Death Zone, Dr. Karusigarira revealed the political nature of the state's power to manipulate individual, familial, and collective memories related to war, nation, and ethnicity. Because of the intertwining of representations related to the past, nationalism, state repression, corruption, protests, a cultural system that successfully supports the regime's dominance has been created. The representation of the Ugandan state is influenced by selective forgetting along with records, as well as echoes of colonialism. On the other hand, the people have also participated in the reproduction of the regime, such as the culture that seeks a strong leadership figure and the regeneration of the regime through protest activities. In this way, while power has already penetrated every corner of local society, not only political reform but also cultural deconstruction is required.

Both presentations vividly depicted how the continuity and discontinuity of Uganda's history and current situation have been constructed through institutional and cultural restructuring in response to social change from their respective angles. During the Q&A session, discussions were held on the details of Uganda's government operations and the validity of the concepts used by the presenters, as well as the attitude towards historical destiny and the uncertain future faced by Africa. Criticizing or praising the temporary closeness or openness of local societies in Africa is not the solution. It can be said that it is the responsibility of everyone that cares about the future of Africa to engage politely with its experiences.


2023 年 4 月 15 日、東京大学未来ビジョン研究センターSDGs協創研究ユニットは日本アフラシア学会(JSAS)と連携し、「日本アフラシア学会(JSAS) 研究セミナー」を開催しました。



大平氏の報告は、ウガンダにおいて王国や首長制などといった「伝統的権威」が独立後の期間には廃止されたものの、1990年代以降復活し、さらに地方政府における影響力を増大している現象に着目しました。具体的には、そのメカニズムをウガンダ西部のブニョロキタラ王国(Bunyoro Kitara Kingdom: BKK)が地域社会で力を持つようになった事例から紐解きました。インタビュー調査とドキュメント分析の結果は以下です。ムセヴェニ政権下で、地方議会(Local Councils: LCs)が政治化されたことにより、LCsの公共サービスを提供する機能が低下しました。それにより、本来は地方分権化への期待が非常に高かった人々の不満を招きました。その結果、LCsを補完するアクターとしてBBKへの人々の期待が高まり、人々の期待に応え得るべくBKKの制度的変容が起きました。人々の声を代弁し、ブニョロ地域の教育・衛生等の課題を非政治的な目線で政府に提起できる伝統的権威への期待が高まっています。アフリカ農村部における国家のプレゼンスの高まりが結果的に伝統的権威の影響力を強化させているという本研究の結論は、既存の弱い国家論を刷新するものと言えます。

カルシガリラ氏の報告は、ウガンダにおける革命体制(ムセヴェニ主義) の構築・維持・強化を、文化の(再)生産の角度から解釈しました。具体的には、ルウェロ・トライアングルでの現地調査を通して、戦争・国家・民族をめぐる個人的・世代的・集団的記憶を操作する国家の力の政治性を明らかにしました。戦争をはじめとする悲惨な過去、国家主義、軍事的支配、腐敗、抗議・暴動にまつわる表象と政権が絡み合った結果、体制の支配を成功させる文化的システムが生み出されたと言えます。ウガンダの国家表象は、選択的な忘却が記録とともに行われ、さらに植民地主義の残響も入り混じっています。他方、民衆も政権の再生産に加担してきました。強いリーダー像を求める文化や、デモをはじめとする抗議活動の中で政権は再生してきました。このように、権力性はすでに現地社会の隅々に浸透している中、政治体制の変革だけではなく、文化的な脱構築も求められています。


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