Africa's Nuclear Disarmament History


Vincent Intondi is a Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Race, Justice, and Civic Engagement at Montgomery College in Takoma Park, Maryland. From 2009-2017, Intondi was Director of Research for American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute in Washington, DC. Prior to teaching at Montgomery College, Intondi was an Associate Professor of History at Seminole State College in Sanford, Florida. Intondi regularly works with organizations exploring ways to include more diverse voices in the nuclear disarmament movement. His research focuses on the intersection of race and nuclear weapons. He is the author of the books, African Americans Against the Bomb: Nuclear Weapons, Colonialism, and the Black Freedom Movement(Stanford University Press, 2015) and Saving the World from Nuclear War: The June 12, 1982, Disarmament Rally and Beyond(Johns Hopkins University Press, 2023).


Olamide Samuel is a Track II diplomat working on arms control, nuclear politics and international security. Olamide is the Special Envoy of the Executive Secretary of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy. He also leads the NPT Project at the European Leadership Network. He is also a Research Associate in Nuclear Politics at the University of Leicester, after several years as a Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS University of London. While at SOAS, Olamide lectured in the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, teaching MA courses on International Security, and Diplomatic Practice. In addition, Olamideled the university’s global nuclear disarmament programme, SCRAP Weapons, from 2019 to 2021. He led the programme’s efforts to strengthen arms control diplomacy at the United Nations and African Union.

On July 7, 2017, over 100 nations agreed to adopt the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). Four years later it went into force. The Global South, including many African nations, comprised a large majority, in supporting this historic and legally binding treaty that banned nuclear weapons. Along with the Treaty of Pelindaba, African nations are leading the fight to eliminate nuclear weapons. However, like many social movements throughout history, the role of Africa in the struggle to achieve nuclear disarmament began long before. This project will consist of issuing a call for papers that examine the history of Africa and nuclear disarmament. From Libya to South Africa, Ghana to the Congo, we seek to get a wide array of research topics. Once decisions are made on which papers will be accepted, scholars will present their work at an academic conference in May 2024. In addition, select papers will be part of an edited volume/book, which will hopefully become a major contribution to the field. As we move towards the universalization of the TPNW in Africa, our research output will serve as a concrete reminder and encouragement for African hold-out states - that they bear a historical responsibility to disarmament, in line with the immense efforts of their predecessors.