Introduction

Authored by: Tanure Ojaide , Joyce Ashuntantang

Routledge Handbook of Minority Discourses in African Literature

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367368340
eBook ISBN: 9780429354229
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429354229-2

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Abstract

The project that resulted in The Routledge Handbook of Minority Discourses in African Literature started several years back as two of us discussed peculiar situations in our respective countries. Joyce is from Anglophone Cameroon and Tanure from Nigeria’s Niger Delta region. Anglo-phone Cameroon constitutes two regions, South Southwest and Northwest, out of the republic’s ten. It suffers marginalization in political representation and economic development from the Cameroonian government, which is dominated by Francophones. The Anglophone area has been so subjected to neglect by the pro-Francophone government that many on that side have called for either an autonomous region within Cameroon as existed from 1961-1972, or a separate independent nation. This situation is compounded by the fact that Anglophone Cameroon is rich in natural resources including oil and is regarded as the breadbasket of Cameroon. The Niger Delta region, geopolitically the South-South in Nigeria, produces the oil and gas whose joint revenues fund the 744 local governments, 36 states, and the Federal Capital Territory, as well as the federal government. In addition to suffering environmental degradation which imperils their health, the Niger Delta people are also helpless as the powerful federal government and multinational oil companies take away their resources to develop other parts of the country and make staggering profits, respectively. This happens as the people of the region remain among the poorest in Nigeria, if not the entire world. The current minority status of Anglophone Cameroon and the Niger Delta dates back to French and British colonial policies which have condemned them to the domination of political units (Cameroon and Nigeria) created for the profit and interest of the colonialists.

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