Community Politics of the Mining Industry in the Sahel and North Africa
CCAS and African Studies present this talk with Dr. Khaled Esseissah on “The Community Politics of the Mining Industry in the Sahel and North Africa,” moderated by Dr. Noureddine Jebnoun. Dr. Esseissah will speak on how the mining industry in Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and Senegal affects the Harāṭīn, a diaspora of people native to this region. What do recent discoveries of oil and gas in Mauritania and Senegal means for these countries relationships to each other as well as their economic development? How are local communities benefitting by using the mining industry to find agency to hold their governments and energy companies accountable?
Dr. Khaled Esseissah specializes in modern African history, with a special focus on the social,
intellectual, and religious initiatives of African Muslims. His current book project concerns the
social transformations associated with the abolition of slavery in Mauritania, with a focus on the
recent history of the Harāṭīn community and its diaspora. The Harāṭīn diaspora originated and
developed out of the trans-Saharan slave trade with the dispersion of sub-Saharan populations
across North and West African regions. In this project, he aims to show how Harāṭīn socio-political actions over the past hundred years have changed their status in northwest African hierarchies, and how their engagement in religious practices has strengthened their sense of community and political visibility. He also illuminates the growth of Harāṭīn Muslim consciousness and to analyze interconnections between religious practice and assertions of social equality.