Fidelis Allen, coordinator of the Right Livelihood Campus Port Harcourt, contributed a chapter to the book “Decolonizing the University, Knowledge Systems and Disciplines in Africa” edited by Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni and Siphamandla Zondi. In his chapter “Decolonising African Political Science and the Question of the Relevance of the Discipline for Development” he argues that American Political Science still dominates the field of Political Science worldwide even though analyses based on these dominating western political theories often fail to connect with African reality. He calls for a new understanding of development and political science by critically reflecting Western methodologies and complementing them by new scientific approaches.
Alyn Ware, 2009 Right Livelihood Laureate, delivered a Right Livelihood College annual lecture in Nigeria on May 25, and participated in the special event organised the day before (May 24) by the RLC campus Port Harcourt and the Centre for Conflict and Gender Development Studies to commemorate International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament.
Alyn used the occasion to release Women leading for Peace and Disarmament (see below) a joint statement of members of the World Future Council and laureates of the Right Livelihood Award from around the world.
Women leading for Peace and Disarmament
May 24, 2017
‘Involving women in peace and disarmament processes elevates the prospect of their success’, according to recipients of the Right Livelihood Award and members of the World Future Council who released a statement today – Women Leading for Peace and Disarmament – to commemorate the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament.
‘We highlight the success of peace and disarmament initiatives in which women have played an important role, including in Bougainville, Colombia, Iran, Liberia, Mexico, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Sierra Leone, and other regions around the world.’
Coming just two days after the tragic terrorist bombing in Manchester UK, the statement condemns terrorist acts and any other forms of indiscriminate violence, including the use of nuclear weapons.
‘We express concern over the existential threats to humanity and the planet from climate change and the increased threat of nuclear war – a situation which has moved the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to move the Doomsday Clock to 2½ minutes to midnight. The threats to our planet – of climate change, environmental degradation, poverty, terrorism and war – can only be overcome by nations and the global community working in cooperation – something not possible while nations maintain large and expensive militaries and threaten to destroy each other, including with nuclear weapons.’
The statement highlights the opportunity for progress on nuclear disarmament provided by the negotiations by non-nuclear States which will take place in June-July this year on a draft agreement to ban nuclear weapons, and the UN High Level Conference on Nuclear Disarmament which will take place in 2018 and will include nuclear armed and non-nuclear States.
‘UN High Level Conferences in recent years have achieved success, including agreements on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants,’ says Alyn Ware, one of the Right Livelihood Laureates endorsing the statement. ‘So we hope for similar success on nuclear disarmament at the 2018 UN High Level Conference. We also support the Women’s March to Ban the Bomb being held in New York to promote the UN nuclear ban negotiations.’
‘And we highlight the possibilities to invest in peace and sustainable development if we re-allocate just a small portion of the $1.7 trillion spent globally on the military. As such we call on governments to support the Kazakhstan proposal to reduce national military budgets by at least 1% and reallocate these resources to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.’
Dr. Fidelis Allen is director of the Center for Gender and Conflict Studies of University Port Harcourt.
Recently Fidelis Allen has published an articel
“Partnership For Peace, Tackling The Threats And Raising The Prospects for Raising For Justice in Rivers State” in Advances in the Social Sciences Research Journal.
You have the opportunity to read the article
Partnership For Peace here.
On July 23, to mark the UN International Year of the Soil and the decades long struggle against oil extraction in the Niger Delta, 1993 Right Livelihood Award Laureate, Vandana Shiva, will give a lecture at the Right Livelihood College in Port Harcourt. The event, organized in collaboration with Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and 2010 Right Livelihood Award Laureate, Nnimmo Bassey, will be followed on July 24 and 25 July seed democracy workshops in collaboration with women in Ogoni and in Erema in Rivers State, Nigeria. The visit will be rounded off with a press conference in Abuja on July 27.
The UN has chosen 2015 as the International Year of the Soil with the aim of raising awareness about the importance of soil for human life, food security, climate change adaptation and sustainable development. In the Niger Delta, oil extraction has severely contaminated the soil. A 2011 the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Report assessing the environment of Ogoni found that, in over 40 locations tested, the soil is polluted with hydrocarbons up to a depth of 5 metres and that all the water bodies in Ogoni land are polluted.
“With oil spills occurring with a disturbing frequency of almost one a day, the soil and waters of the Niger Delta are being severely degraded, thus raising challenges for production of wholesome food,” said Nnimmo Bassey, Director of HOMEF. “Vandana Shiva’s visit is timely and we expect that she will raise critical issues on the need to preserve our soils, seeds and food systems, rather than allowing them to be destroyed by the irresponsible activities of oil companies in their bid to extract resources of diminishing value.
Vandana Shiva, a physicist, philosopher, feminist, activist and author, has dedicated her life to defending small farmers’ rights and the rights of people to forests, biodiversity, water, seeds and land. Her organization, Navdanya, which means “nine seeds,” has been actively involved in rejuvenating indigenous culture and knowledge, and setting up seed banks across India, training farmers in sustainable agriculture and seed sovereignty.
“I am honoured to have the opportunity to visit Ogoniland and pay tribute to the many defenders of the earth, including Ken Saro Wiwa,” she said. “We need to move urgently from an age of oil, with its wars and violence against the earth and its people, to an age of Soil – of peace with the earth and between people. Soil, not Oil, holds the future for humanity.”
Dr. Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmentalist, physicist,
Schedule of events
Thursday, July 23, 9 am: Right Livelihood lecture, International Students Conference Hall, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt
Friday, July 24, 9 am: Seed democracy workshop and garden of hope, Ken Saro-Wiwa Peace Centre, Bori, Ogoni
Saturday, July 25, 10 am: Seed democracy, environmental monitoring, Erema, Rivers State
Monday, July 27, 10 am: press conference, Sheha Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja
RLC Campus Port Harcourt is the second RLC Campus on the African continent. It is affiliated with RLA Laureate and environmental activist Nnimmo Bassey. In 2015, the campus was involved in several policy-formulating efforts, with its representatives taking part in a national conference on the environment and producing reports for Nigerian policy makers. A capacity-building workshop for PhD students was also organized. Through these efforts, RLC Port Harcourt is making a direct contribution to combatting environmental pollution in Nigeria.