Gender Fictions and Gender Tensions Involving “Traditional” Asante Market Women

by Gracia Clark Abstract This paper analyses the changing relations between organised women market traders and rulers in a West African context, from a distant past to the present. It shows how political elites have used market traders as loyal supporters and as scapegoats for many centuries. These relations have taken a convoluted path that […]

The Languages of Childhood: The Discursive Construction of Childhood and Colonial Policy in French West Africa

by Lisa McNee Introduction In spite of the deceptive familiarity of the terrain, childhood, that stage of life that we are all supposed to experience, resists easy definition. Our fascination with childhood experiences has created an international boom in autobiographies and children’s literature, as well as in self-help manuals and in discourses, programs and policies concerning […]

Becoming Local Citizens: Senegalese Female Migrants and Agrarian Clientelism in The Gambia

by Pamela Kea Abstract Drawing on ethnographic research with Senegalese female migrants in Brikama, The Gambia, this article examines local citizenship and agrarian clientelism. Emphasis is placed on female migrants because of the dearth of ethnographic literature on female migrants in West Africa and to highlight the centrality of female migrants to processes of incorporation, […]

The Challenges of Transnational Human Trafficking in West Africa

by Wilfried Relwende Sawadogo Abstract A major challenge to good governance, transnational trafficking in human beings has been a serious problem for years in West Africa. Attempts to understand the phenomenon have then been initiated, which unfortunately have resulted in contradictory viewpoints amongst researchers and the impacted populations. Indeed, seen by some as a mere entertainment, a […]

Sons of the Soil and Conquerors Who Came on Foot: The Historical Construction of a West African Border Region

by Olivier Walther Abstract This article discusses the historical evolution of Dendi, a border region now located across Niger, Benin, and Nigeria. Drawing on colonial literature and mythological accounts collected in the city of Gaya, the article shows that the two subgroups at the origin of the historical identity of Dendi were affected very differently by […]