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Who is Africa? – October (Discussion Series @ Belfast Free Library)

October 7, 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

|Recurring Event (See all)

Popular portrayals of Africa invoke images of Jungles, Dramatic Landscapes, Big Game, Blood Diamonds, Poverty, Famine and Genocide. While undeniably part of the fabric of Africa, limiting our understanding of Africa to these popular images is like defining America as Manhattan, Gun Culture, Epidemic Obesity, Hip Hop and some dramatic Imagery of the Rocky Mountains. Not wrong, but not accurate or useful either. So what is the real Africa? What are the forces that have shaped and continue to affect the cultural, political and economic landscape of Sub-Saharan Africa. And, why should we care? We will explore these questions in Part One of Our Discussion Series.

Suggested Readings


Viewpoint: How tribalism stunts African democracy, by Calestous Juma,, November 27, 2012

Sheds light on the impact of socio-political ties that influence economic and political development in modern Africa

African Development Bank Group-Briefing Notes for AfDB’s Long-Term Strategy

An overview of demographic trends with a few useful charts


A Brief History of South Africa with Dave Steward

Despite the Ivory Towerish and certainly Anglocentric slant, this is a good description of the politcal, social and economic history of South Africa that is potentially useful in regarding our expectations of all of the African Continent.

‘Transition is taking its time’ in South Africa, De Klerk says, by CNN Wire Staff

An interview with FW De Klerk, last white president of South Africa, and Nobel Prize Winner with Nelson Mandela which explores the shortcomings of democracy in South Africa but has relevance for the rest of Sub Saharan Democracy as well.

Supplemental Readings

The Fate Of Africa: Martin Meredith; Public Affairs; Third Edition 2011. Ch 35 Out of Africa

A fairly comprehensive, somewhat dire overview of the recent history and current state of affairs in Modern Africa.

Africa: Altered States, Ordinary MiraclesRichard Dowden;Public Affairs; 2009. Ch 18 The New Africa

A more ground level and somewhat more positive overview of the state of affairs in Africa today


October 7, 2015
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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Belfast Free Library
106 High Street
Belfast, ME 04915 United States
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(207) 338-3884
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