Africa’s Traditional Kingdoms: What role today?

Image: Getty, Anthony Pappone
Image: Getty, Anthony Pappone

Our Western Cape branch invites you to a webinar with Dr Jan Erk on Africa’s traditional kingdoms.

Do the Kingdoms of Ashanti, Buganda and Lozi of Barotseland under modern constitutions provide lessons for the continent? Can they serve as homegrown safeguards against Absolutism and Populism?”

This event is based on a study of the status of traditional kingdoms in Africa under modern constitutions and their role in holding the centre to account. The examples of Ashanti in Ghana, the Bugandan Kingdom of Uganda, and the Lozi Kingdom of Barotseland, Zambia, are used to distill comparative lessons for the continent. Can they serve as homegrown safeguards against Absolutism and Populism? 

Dr Jan Erk is currently Visiting Professor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.

In 2017 he was the SAIIA Bradlow Fellow at Witwatersrand University. This is Jan’s fourth talk to SAIIA’s Western Cape Branch. In 2018, Jan spoke on the resurgence of traditional authorities across sub-Saharan Africa. In 2019 he spoke on secessionist and separatist movements in the West and reflected on whether similar demands for self-determination and border change existed across Sub-Saharan Africa. For the April 2021 lecture, he spoke on the complex case of multi-ethnic, federal Ethiopia and the current national crisis sparked by the separatism of one of the regional states of the federation.

Jan holds a PhD in Political Science from McGill University in Canada. He has held teaching positions at the University of Toronto, Central European University, and the University of Leiden. He is recurring Visiting Professor at the School of Law and Governance of Addis Ababa University since 2012. Jan is the author of numerous scholarly articles, chapters, and books. His most recent books are The Ethnopolitics of Ethnofederalism in Ethiopia (London: Routledge 2018), Decentralization, Democracy, and Development in Africa (London: Routledge 2018), and Federalism and Decentralization in Sub-Saharan Africa (London: Routledge 2018).

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Watch the webinar on YouTube:

19 August 2021
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5:00 pm – 6:15 pm
Pippa Segall
+27 (0)11 339-2021


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