Rethinking African Futures after COVID-19
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This article focuses on the impact of COVID-19 in Africa, describes its effects for ongoing research, and asks how it may impact African studies. In Africa, as elsewhere in the world, the pandemic is changing the way people think about the future. The crisis gives rise to a feeling of uncertainty, while casting doubt on future orientations based on forecasts and planning. This scepticism does not concern the African continent alone, but it is here that the call to open a fresh perspective on the future is expressed most emphatically. COVID-19 reinvigorates the question of how African futures are imagined and shaped in relation to the world at large. Against this backdrop, this article suggests three areas where future-oriented African studies should be revised in response to the current crisis – namely, how to incorporate uncertainty, how to decolonise understandings of African futures, and how to translate these considerations into research practice.