Hi everyone,

Filipe Calv√£o (Graduate Institute, Geneva), Matthieu Bolay (Graduate Institute, 
Geneva) and I have co-organized a panel (Anth45) titled "Ethical certification 
between traceability and transparency: the future of digital technologies in 
Africa" for ECAS in Edinburgh this June. The abstract is copied below. We hope 
you'll consider submitting a paper and sharing the call with any colleagues 
working in this area. Feel free to email any of us with questions 
 mbar....@cbs.dk<mailto:mbar....@cbs.dk>). Thanks, Matthew

Africa has been at the forefront of certification initiatives for traceability 
and transparency in mineral and agricultural supply chains. Presented as the 
silver bullet to the problem of record-keeping in commodity transactions, the 
growing role of paperless certification and digital-based traceability, as in 
recent blockchain-based pilot projects, raises questions on the participatory 
nature of data creation for producers across the continent. If these 
initiatives render ethical qualities visible to consumers, who rely on 
certification standards like those developed by the Kimberly Process and the 
Rainforest Alliance to assess the moral attributes of consumer goods, the move 
toward digital traceability raises specific challenges for African producers. 
It is now widely accepted among social scientists that processes of 
certification and the bureaucratic regimes that accompany them have tended to 
increase the divide between producers and consumers, replacing personal 
relationships by the mediation of paper technologies. Digital traceability and 
transparency programs, however, promise to strengthen the interconnections 
between regulated market economies and the marginalized realities of local 
producers. How can these new technologies and digital interfaces generate new 
modes of interaction and connection between African producers and consumers in 
the North? How to ensure open, inclusive, and collaborative certification? This 
panel problematizes these innovations by placing at center stage the social 
context, practices and the material bedrock bolstering digital transparency, 
certification and traceability mechanisms. We invite papers that examine how 
emergent technologies of certification may foster transactional relationships 
or enable new value-creating opportunities for local producers.

Assistant Professor


Dalgas Have 15
2000 Frederiksberg

Tel.: +45 38153246
Email: mbar....@cbs.dk<mailto:mbar....@cbs.dk>

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