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Title: The question of national identity in Equatorial Guinea.
Author: Cusack, Igor Brian.
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 1999
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The newly independent states of Africa came into being at a time when the ideology of nationalism was universally dominant. The ruling elites, presiding over long-term economic and political decay and searching for legitimacy to preserve their power, set about nation-building through the development of various discourses, the indoctrination of schoolchildren, anthems and flag waving. The focus of this thesis is on a number of these discourses particular to Equatorial Guinea, the only Spanish-speaking state in sub-Saharan Africa. Four main themes are identified: firstly, the Hispanic inheritance has been important in the building of a national cultural identity; secondly, the likelihood of the various ethnic groups 'bonding in adversity', as a result of living through the tyranny of Macias Nguema, is explored as are the more recent commemorations of his overthrow; thirdly, those 'on the move' such as the large Equatoguinean diaspora and other travelling groups in the colony and independent state are shown to assist the national project and fourthly, a 'myth' of Bantu unity has been proposed which claims that all the ethnic groups of the state have a common origin. A national identity is being assembled, like a collage or assemblage, out of diverse materials. Finally, it is argued that the appearance of banal, everyday nationalism in written texts in Equatorial Guinea indicates that a sense of national identity may have emerged. Although the small size of the country may have assisted here this does indicate that it is possible for the state in Africa to construct a nation starting from a multi-ethnic base. There are considerable disintegrative forces working on the sub-Saharan states but the evidence presented here suggests a more optimistic outlook for the survival of these states in the next century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; Colonial inheritance