MLK Day Recap: A Summary of “The Decolonization of Africa: Perspectives from the African Diaspora”

The “Decolonization of Africa: Perspectives from the African Diaspora” panel discussion was organized and moderated by the Harward Center’s Assistant Director of Volunteer Programs and Community Partnerships Hamza Abdi as well as Assistant Director of Community-Engaged Learning and Research Sam Boss.

Abdi, who is from Djibouti, began the presentation with a brief overview of some of the historical elements of decolonization in Africa during the mid- to late-20th century and highlighted the roles natural resources and corruption played in the ongoing neocolonialism crisis affecting African nations.

Afterward, panelists Muhammad Ibrahim, Bright Lukusa Musuamba and Prosper Ishimwe described their own experiences with decolonization and their unique points of view as African immigrants now living in Maine.

The panelists each provided some context about the circumstances of colonization in their respective countries — Djibouti, Congo and Rwanda — the effects of those legacies as well as some of their ideas about what’s required in order to dismantle the lasting structures.  

To conclude the discussion, the panelists responded to questions from the audience, which touched on language and the relationship between education and colonization, the impact of colonization on identity and the challenges facing African immigrants living in the United States.