University Crisis and Student Protests in Africa
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University Crisis and Student Protests in Africa

The 2005 -2006 University Students' Strike in Cameroon

Edited by Francis B. Nyamnjoh, Walter Gam Nkwi, Piet Konings

Faced with a deepening crisis in their universities, African students have demonstrated a growing activism and militancy. They have been engaged in numerous, often violent, strikes for improvements in their deteriorating living and study conditions and the introduction of a democratic culture in the universities and society as a whole, including the right to express their views, organise in student unions and participate in university management.

This book focuses on a recent violent strike action in Cameroon’s state universities, with special attention to the University of Buea – the only English-speaking university in the country between 1993 and 2011. Such a detailed study on student strikes is still rare in African studies, and maybe even more important, this book pays special attention to certain elements that have been of great significance to the strike but are often overlooked in narratives of other student actions in Africa, namely the use of cell phones, differences in gender roles of student activists, the religious dimensions of the strike, the central role of some public spaces like bars and cafés for the planning and execution of student strikes, and the power of the photocopier.

The book goes far beyond simply documenting the various protest actions of students against the state and university authorities. It also provides ample room for comments from journalists and other civil-society members and groups on various aspects of the strike.

ISBN 9789956727070 | 342 pages | 229 x 152 mm | 2012 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback

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About the Editors

Francis B. Nyamnjoh

Francis B. Nyamnjoh has taught Sociology, Anthropology and Communication Studies at universities in Cameroon, Botswana and South Africa, and served as Head of Publications with the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar, Senegal. He is currently Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

Read Barbara Harlow in Race and Class as she looks at Francis Nyamnjoh's take on mobile phones in Africa here. Visit Francis Nyamnjoh's blog here.

Walter Gam Nkwi

Walter Gam Nkwi is a historian who graduated from the University of Buea, Cameroon with a Masters in African History. He is currently a Research Fellow at the African Studies Centre, Leiden, University of Leiden, The Netherlands, where he is currently writing up his PhD on the “Social History of Communication Technology, Mobility and Social Hierarchies amongst the Kom of the Bamenda Grassfields of Cameroon from1928-1998”. Nkwi, has published extensively and variously, including on ethnicity, football, art, social movements and elite associations in Cameroon.

Piet Konings

Piet Konings is a sociologist of development and a senior researcher at the African Studies Centre in Leiden (The Netherlands). He has published widely on socio-political and economic developments in Ghana and Cameroon. His most recent books include Trajectoires de Libération en Afrique Contemporaine (Karthala, 2000), Negotiating an Anglophone Identity: A Study of the Politics of Recognition and Representation in Cameroon (Brill, 2003), and Crisis and Creativity: Exploring the Wealth of the African Neighbourhood (Brill, 2006).

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