Atra in Horizon 2020

Due to its recent, colonial and post colonial history Africa, together with Asia, represents an important attraction for all EU countries. If on the one hand the struggle for existential security brings year after year an always larger number of immigrants on the EU territory, on the other hand the crisis of the global market leads a growing number of public and private investors to create cooperative project with / in developing countries. International cooperation in Africa is often a problem due to political, economic and demographic instability of partner countries and the first step towards a sustainable development should be to eliminate the reasons of this instability and to create the right conditions to enable the shaping of inclusive, innovative and above all safe society. This is also one of the specific aims contemplated in Horizon 2020’s priority Challenges of Society. Given that ATrA will focus on all the factors involved in the construction, re-shaping and modification of ethnic and social identity in the hot zones of Africa, its aim perfectly meets the priority of Horizon 2020. All the case studies we ought to investigate in fact, tuned on the aims of Horizon 2020, will bring to light important data on three of the issues underlined by the EU program, that is: 1) health, demographic changes and wellbeing (above all case studies 3, 4 and 10 on the Tira of the Nuba mountains, on Juba Arabic of South Sudan and on the Okiek of Kenya) 2) food security and sustainable farming (above all case study 5 on the Saho of Eritrea, 8 on the contacts between the Eritrean lowlands and the river valleys of the highlands, and 10 on the Okiek of Kenya); 6) inclusive, innovative and safe societies (all our case studies because this is ATrA’s main interest). ATrA is also to be seen as a project useful for international cooperation, which is one of the issue specifically mentioned in Horizon 2020. Africa is in fact among the third group of countries (the developing ones) for which the EU program envisages specific engagement. The most recent approaches to integration and cooperation to development have two fundamental key modalities: on the one hand there is the reinforcing of the promotion and safeguard of human rights and, on the other hand, the active and conscious participation of the local components to the various projects (empowerment). ATrA researchers are sure that the safeguard of identity, above all in the areas of transition (peripheral and therefore more fluid, less stable and, above all, less studied and less precisely predictable) and in the confrontation between local and global world is one of the major challenges of our time. Going ahead of the tensions caused by such situations represents a pre-condition for international security. Efforts in this direction have to be necessarily accompanied and sometimes preceded by a clear linguistic and anthropologic analysis of the problem in all its aspects. Understanding how a multiethnic, multi-linguistic and multicultural identity can become a sympathetic entity, due to the choice of the single group or to a mere necessity, and divulge the obtained results, promoting the knowledge of its linguistic and cultural members, is important to go ahead the stereotypes deriving from approximative categories and reach a real and positive innovation in a new society. Only knowledge, together with a correct understanding of the different identities involved, can lead to fair cohabitation, based on reciprocal respect and on the safeguard of the weakest part. The results of our researches will be divulged and available at different levels, so that the diffusion of knowledge can contribute to evaluate more correctly and under new points of view also very debated current political issues. To suggest to other experts new modalities of mediation and integration could be an interesting contribution to reduce the risk of conflicts raising from the claim for rights which should nowadays be universally respected, particularly in areas subjected to continuous tensions going back in time.


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