Transnational Citizenship On The Borderlands: Towards Making (Non)Sense Of National Borders In Africa

  • Edem Adotey University of Ghana
Keywords: borders, abolition, sovereignty, citizenship, transnational citizenship


This paper uses citizenship as a lens to explore abolishing national borders in Africa within discussions on the coloniality of these borders. What meanings have post-colonial governments attached to the borders? What are the concepts and constructions of citizenship by the borderlanders? How can territorial sovereignty be reconciled with citizenship as the African Union seeks to integrate the continent ultimately? It problematises concepts such as sovereignty and citizenship vis-à-vis the lived experiences of borderlanders to highlight the crisis of citizenship on the borderlands. The paper proposes a form of flexible citizenship, built on cross-border cultural and historical relations, that reflects life on the borderlands to decolonise the borders: transnational citizenship. In other words, it proposes an adjustment to the meaning of national borders as they operate in the African context, rather than the abolishment of borders altogether.