Saturday, March 19, 2011

New Generation of Africans

The African Studies Centre at the Univ. of Oxford have helped organise a conference on Pan-Africanism for the New Generation. To be held 4 June 2011. See the link below which contains an email address for information. African heads of state will be invited along with researchers to address changes in Africa within the context of so many students of African and Caribbean descent studying abroad and facing changes at home.

It sounds fascinating and perfectly in tune with the changes we are seeing in developing countries populations uprising. In tune in the sense of changes that can potentially force us all into a new way of thinking and dealing with some African countries. I am not, per se, a proponent of Pan-Africanism, whatever that is. It has extreme political connotations of Africa at Independence with new revolutionaries ousting the Empire. That is simply too outdated a concept to be helpful.

The focus of any meeting of minds on developments in Africa must include, and the Oxford on does, the students over here in the UK doing research and then what.....

I sadly missed the opportunity to do a Graduate Seminar on my research topic at the Univ of Warwick this week. That School of law has a historical connection to Africa, and particularly East Africa. There are students doing dissertations on every topic including things such as Private Equity, Rule of law and (of course) corruption. I may try to come back in May and do that presentation and also meet up again (I did a similar presentation last year...or two years ago perhaps) with so many East African students who have definite opinions of what is happening there and what might need to be done. This is a new generation of leaders for Africa. Which is primarily the focus of the Oxford conference.

This is such an interesting way to explore moving forward in the region given the recent upheaval. I love the UK for taking responsibility in this way.

I am headed home to Orange County now. My trip here has been very productive. Next weekend, I present at the Africa in World Politics Conference at the University of Texas in Austin.

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