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<email@example.com> CALL FOR PAPERS "Being a child in Africa" Ahmadou Kourouma dedicates his latest novel, _Allah n'est pas oblige_, to the children of Djibouti. If he gives a very young child the opportunity to speak (as does Ken Saro Wiwa in Sozaboy), it is because these children, whose plight has been forgotten by the world, specially asked him to speak in their name. In this sense, Kourouma's choice is not so much literary but rather a dreadful acknowledgement of the state of Africa today, well encapsulated in Ryscard Kapucinski's Ebene: "In areas where fighting has been going on for decades ... the majority of the adult population has long been dead, killed on the battlefields ... Only children are left and it is now they who are fighting the war". These child soldiers even attempt military coups, whilst other starving children, oblivious to national borders, roam the continent and are left to the mercy of slave traders. Tanella Boni comments: "Children and teenagers grow up before their time. The weight of events obliges them to open their eyes to a world which fears neither God nor man. Like Birahima, they can see for themselves that Divine justice is unrelated to worldly justice. And so, children become mutants who have lost all points of reference and who must devise new ones". The purpose of this issue of Mots Pluriels is to critically analyse this problem from the points of view of various disciplines and perspectives, keeping in mind the rich diversity of the African continent where disparate situations exist side by side. To what extent is it possible to present a positive view of childhood in today's Africa? To what extent is the place of children in today's African society different from that of the past? What are the factors which determine the future for children growing up in Africa today? (In collaboration with Madeleine Borgomano). Deadline for submissions: April 15, 2002. Contact: THE EDITORS, Dr. Jean-Marie Volet <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Madeleine Borgomano <email@example.com> "Mots Pluriels" http://www.arts.uwa.edu.au/MotsPluriels/MP1801index.html#proch