African Borders and Borderlands, Territorialised Nationalism and the Possibility of Decolonised Borders

Dr. Inocent Moyo
Panel Code

In an African setting, whose borders are a colonial and racial outcome of the Berlin Conference of 1884-85, the fixation with the rigid maintenance of borders through securitised nationalism against fellow Africans is problematic because it may be considered to be anti-African and assaults the very idea of integration and the Pan African identity integral to it. This is important to emphasise because African borders and borderlands are not only securitised and territorialised by countries who pursue and are an integral part of and have committed to participating in regional integration schemes and the continental integration project, which are precursors to Agenda 2063, but also that these borders are contiguous and share centuries long histories of cultural, linguistic, social and other interactions. Against this backdrop, debates on issues relating to borders, borderlands, migration, immigration and regionalism come to the fore. This, because of the extent to which they reflect on inter alia, citizenship (broadly defined), the decolonisation of African borders and borderlands and the manner and/or nature that this should take. To this can be added the very idea of a united Africa, as immortalised in the principles that underpin the Continental Free Trade Areas (CFTA), African Economic Community (AEC) and Agenda 2063. The implication is not that borders in an African context should be obliterated, because that will be impossible but rather, that there needs to be a change in the way that they are managed. Therefore, this session invites papers that respond, but are not limited but related to the following:
What is the nature and dynamic of the interface between securitised borders and the different levels of regionalism and integration? What are the scales, spatialities and temporalities of this dynamism?
What are the material manifestations and consequences of the negative impact of anti-humanist African borders?
How and why African do borders still matter, despite increasing migration and obsessive regard for territorialised (even if this is fictional, if nothing else apocryphal) nationalism?
Are decolonised African borders even possible? What should be nature, dynamic and trajectories of this decolonisation?
What are the current challenges and problems with the management/governance of African borders and borderlands?