Africa Research Paper Topics

“China has drawn attention to Africa’s economic potential, and that’s a really good thing for Africa,” Freeman says.However, one concern is whether African admiration for China’s economic approach will lead to a similar appreciation of its hard-line political system.“In 50 years of independence, the idea of democracy as the legitimizer of African regimes has pretty well penetrated, though this doesn’t mean that the idea of democracy is well practiced.” Indeed, over the last couple of years, elections in Ivory Coast, Guinea, Zimbabwe, and Mauritania, among others, have been disputed, disrupted, or mired in fraud charges.

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“Democracy has a foothold; it’s more than just a toehold,” says William Zartman, professor emeritus at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and former director of the school’s African Studies program.

The United Nations reports that Africa currently has the greatest number of countries with democratic governments since the 1960s, though it’s far from accurate to call the continent a bastion of free and fair elections.

“I say, more power to them.” Last October, Evans was named the national director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, a charity focused on the humanitarian needs of displaced people.

He spent the previous 20 years living in Africa as the organization’s director for Eastern Africa.

“There was very little eating, just more or less inebriation and passing out from lots of alcohol.” Then, in the wee hours of the morning, drummers would besiege the out-cold celebrants, making a huge racket to wake them.

In the resulting hazy moments of hung-over consciousness, statues of the lion goddess would be brought forth.Patrick Bassey, a senior from Lagos, Nigeria, studying economics and psychology at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, has received some curious questions from fellow students once they learn he’s African.“The most ridiculous thing anyone asked me,” Bassey recalls, “was when I said I was from Nigeria and someone said, ‘Oh, do you know my friend in Zimbabwe?In short, a bibulous religious event dating to 1500 B. or earlier where participants pounded beer and tried to score face time with a goddess.Since 2001, Betsy Bryan, a professor in the Krieger School’s Department of Near Eastern Studies, has led excavations at Temple Mut, an ancient Egyptian site that is part of the sprawling Karnak Temple complex near the modern-day city of Luxor.He’s experienced mortar attack, gunpoint imprisonment in a mud hut, and other hardships and violence.Nevertheless, Irish rocker Bono, who is outspoken on a range of African topics including the need for debt relief, has earned Evans’ respect. “Africa has not just been a drop-in, fly-by-night cause for him.” Hollywood’s George Clooney, too, earns accolades, both for his visits to Darfur refugee camps and trips to Washington asking legislators for additional support for the war-torn Sudanese.Then the question becomes not, are there democratic practices, but is democracy being implemented and enforced. What should we make of China’s surging interest in Africa?Although the roots of a Sino-African relationship can be traced back to the 15th century, it’s only recently that China—with its booming economy, brimming coffers, and hunger for oil and other resources—has seen its relationship with the continent bloom into a multi-billion-dollar proposition.Except, that is, in the pages of Western fiction, poetry, and drama up through the early 20th century, says Hollis Robbins, professor of humanities at the Peabody Institute.“For a long time the Western literary tradition didn’t take Africa seriously,” Robbins says.


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