Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Politicising History in South Africa: Drawing Lessons for Sustainable Development

We were delighted to welcome Dr Matt Graham as our guest speaker on 13th March 2017. His presentation was titled: “African National Congress and the Politics of History in South Africa”. The participants had different backgrounds including politics, law, economics, history, and broadcasting.
Rhiannon Dempsey (left) facilitating the talk and Dr Matt Graham (right) answering questions after his presentation.
Dr Graham traced the history of the African National Congress (ANC), a South African political party that became synonymous with the struggle against apartheid
He examined how the continuing symbolism of the ANC as a resistance to oppression and misrule, was being exploited by key political actors with a view to maintaining a grip on power. The speaker then considered whether there was a link between the pivotal role of the ANC and the reality of current governance issues, political tension, and economic challenges.
Some of the participants. Dr Matt Graham is seated fourth from the left.
These set the stage for several incisive comments and questions from participants. Some contributors explored the possible link between the complicated colonial history of South Africa, the peculiar context in which the ANC was formed, and the current socio-economic challenges. There were also comments concerning the future of the ANC considering the politicisation of history and how such politicisation may influence other countries in the region.

We would very much like to thank Dr Graham for his participation as well as those who attended and contributed to the event’s success.


By Rhiannon Dempsey and Pontian Okoli

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