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SENEGAL – CHEICK ANTA DIOP: A fireball savant in the African sky

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I’ve been wondering for days where I’m going to go after this monster. And until tonight, I haven’t been able to do it. But you have to. My career as a two-bit columnist depends on it. So I am going to throw myself on this random monster, blindly and it will please the public to tell me, if I could grasp it by the best of the tips.

Don’t worry! The monster I want to attack is not a mythological beast straight out of Hogwarts, the universe of Harry Potter. He is one of the most contested African thinkers of the late twentieth century: he is the author of “Negro Nations and Culture”, “Anteriority of Negro Civilizations”, “Genetic Kinship of Pharaonic Egyptian and Negro-African Languages… As you may have guessed, I mean Sheikh Anta Diop, this Egyptologist of rare culture concerned to look for traces of melanin under the bands of Egyptian mummies. All his life, this obsession haunted him. 

Cheikh Anta Diop is a Senegalese thinker of global scope who has set himself the challenge of setting the record straight. The culmination of his theory could be summed up in these words: “The first inhabitants of the Nile valley, our ancestors, were all black. All the white people tell us is bullshit, bullshit, wolf balls. The image of the Egyptians they created had only one purpose: better we screw the guys, with the complicity of mectons like Senghor. I tried a little on the familiar register. In any case, it could not be clearer. Sheikh Anta Diop brought a dialogue of cultures in the world with new pungent observations: the black origins of the Egyptians. He is one of the most curious and singular minds of our time. There is a certain heroism, a certain donquichottism, to row against the current of the river of life with its vertiginous maelstroms. While he could close it and walk in the furrows dug by his predecessors, he exerted a rare energy to rearrange the orders of thought that had prevailed until then. This ball of fire, with its sonic growls, threw fragments of doubt on accepted certainties. The echoes of his sound statements continue to resonate today in the scientific community.

Controversial ideas
“The pharaoh was black!” A thunderclap that makes the hair of the hair on the head rise. Fear and stupor in the scientific world. If this had been launched by one of those New Age illuminators who distribute the good news like Kalashnikovs in wartime, no one would see any interest in it. But it comes from an academic, from one of them: Sheikh Anta Diop. These new and iconoclastic ideas put the scientific community in turmoil. A new debate is taking place. On the one hand, precisely in Africa, they praise him, they throw flowers at him, they greet the birth of a new African scholar; the new torchbearer of Pan-Africanism. On the other side, his peers nailed him to the piloris: they shouted at the imposture of a deranged imagination. They deplore this attack on scientific thought, rigorous. A stabbing, in short.

@Page Facebook Cheikh Anta Diop

Diop-Senghor, a crypto-personal opposition 
Despite the many points of convergence that they had together, however, in common, these two men had a strange and deep resentment for each other. They were like inbred brothers fighting over a paternal inheritance. They couldn’t feel it. Coming out of French universities, universities and politicians in their country, these two men committed visceral hatred to each other. They spent their lives fighting each other. While Diop accuses Senghor of destroying the true African culture, he closes the doors of the university and recruits researchers within Diop’s own political party. Thus, he prepares the ground for his break-up. Senghor is a singer of the Francophonie; Diop an Afrocentrist. Both can, by definition, not agree. The hope of a collaboration between these two men would have been nothing but utopia.

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EDUCATION

AVERROÈS – The first Muslim school under contract in France, is under threat

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Founded 20 years after the ban on veiling in schools, Averroes, the first Muslim high school under contract in France, is threatened, with a favourable opinion on the termination of its contract with the State having been delivered Monday. 

A consultative committee chaired by the Prefect of the North voted on Monday in favor of the termination of the association contract linking the State this Muslim school located in Lille, the big city of northern France, told AFP two sources close to the file, this Monday, November 27, 2023.

Under the terms of this contract, signed in 2008, the teachers of the school are paid by the National Education and the extracurricular staff by the Region. The last word now goes to the prefect, who must make his decision on the future of this contract “in the coming days”, said one of the two sources.

Since 2019, the local authorities have refused to pay the subsidy provided under this contract with the State, accusing Averroès of a Qatari donation of 950,000 euros in 2014.

In filigree is also pointed out the historical link of Averroes with the Muslims of France (ex-UOIF), organization stemming from the Egyptian movement of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

The idea of creating a Muslim high school dates back to 1994, when 19 girls were excluded from a Lille public high school for refusing to remove their veil to go to school, despite a circular prohibiting “ostentatious religious signs”. 

The Lycée Averroès opened in September 2003 with about fifteen students in the premises of the mosque of the working-class district of Lille-Sud, with the support of the UOIF. 

With more than 800 students, including 400 under contract, Averroes remains by far the largest of the six Muslim institutions under contract in France. Only high school is recognized, not college.

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EDUCATION

SENEGAL – UCAD Academic Council decides to continue the year with online courses

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The Academic Council of the University Cheikh Anta DIOP of Dakar, which met on Monday, June 12, 2023 under the chairmanship of the Rector, Professor Ahmadou Aly Mbaye, has decided that the 2022/2023 academic year will continue with online courses for students, “After examining and analysing the situation resulting from the destruction of educational facilities and the entire University’s car fleet on Thursday, 1 June 2023, and anxious to safeguard the achievements of the process of regularizing the university calendar, the Board made the following decision: the resumption of pedagogical activities (courses, TP, TD) in distance education format,” reads in the communiqué of the Communication Directorate of the UCAD.

The academic calendar was established for the rest of the year: «from 15 June to 15 July 2023: first semester; from 24 July to 31 October 2023: second semester; beginning of November 2023: beginning of the academic year 2023-2024».

Also, the document stresses, the practical modalities of this complete changeover will be specified by the institutions. Students can benefit from technical assistance for the activation of institutional accounts by sending an email to (support@ucad.edu.sn)».

It should be noted that the investigation opened following the violent demonstrations that broke out at the University Sheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (Ucad), has already led to the arrest of three individuals. We’re talking about two infiltrators and a student at medical school. According to the investigation, these three individuals were referred to the prosecutor of the Republic, before joining the prison of Rebeuss with a charge followed by a warrant of committal on 13 June 2023.

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EDUCATION

GUINEA – The death of a young man rekindles social tensions

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Thierno Mamadou Diallo was 19 years old. Candidate for the patent examination, he will unfortunately never get this parchment. The young man was shot in the head in the margins of protests against rising fuel prices in Hamdallaye, Guinea on Wednesday, June 1, 2022. 

The clashes between demonstrators and the Guinean security forces in some areas of Conakry have revived the discontent of a part of the population and the political class against the power of Colonel Mamady Doumbouya.  The Guinean Minister of Security, Bachir Diallo, quickly stepped up to the front from the city of Kankan where he is staying to ‘strongly condemn’ these actions that lead to the deaths of men’. ‘The government is not part of this logic’, he insisted. 

It will take much more to mitigate the fracture between the CNRD of Colonel Mamady Doumbouya who took power on 05 September 2021 and a part of the Guineans. According to the FNDC, an opposition coalition that fought the power of Alpha Condé, there is indeed a gap between the promises of the CNRD ‘putschists’ who had pledged not to commit the same killings as his predecessors ” and the actions they are taking today. 


The death of young Thierno Mamadou Diallo comes on the eve of a CNRD statement banning all demonstrations. This decision, considered as a restriction of public freedoms, had been strongly protested by certain political organizations and human rights associations. 

Let us recall that the power of Conakry has already initiated legal proceedings against twenty dignitaries of the former regime including President Alpha Condé and his Prime Minister Ibrahima Fofana Kassory. The former governing party, RPG ARC-EN-CIEL, has claimed to be the victim of a witch hunt. 


We are therefore far from the popular joy aroused by the advent of Colonel Mamady Doumbouya at the head of the Guinean state. Some of his decisions are considered out of step with the national reconciliation to which the whole country aspires. Apart from that, this power must face the African Union and the international community which deems the duration of the transition set by the military junta unacceptable. 
The CNRD would benefit from the dissipation of these tensions for peace in this country already weakened by many social crises. 

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