Category: Africa

An intro class lecture: New languages- the example of Sheng

Several years ago I wrote a lecture for my “Introduction to International Studies” course that looked at the emergence of new languages.  While people are aware of language loss, fewer people know that new languages are also forming. So I used this lecture as a means to talk about cultural globalization.  I’ve talked about Sheng …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2020/07/cultural-globalization-and-language-the-example-of-sheng/

Ethiopia, Innovation and COVID-19

One of the realizations that has come with COVID-19 is that the old binary between developed and developing countries is deeply flawed. Some nations that are less wealthy (Vietnam, Thailand) have succeeded very well in limiting the virus’s spread (at least in June 2020), while some wealthier countries (the United States and Great Britain saw …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2020/07/ethiopia-innovation-and-covid-19/

Venezuela and Zimbabwe

Last weekend 7.6 million Venezuelans voted to reject a new Constituent Assembly called for by President Nicolas Maduro. Desperate to prevent the Assembly from taking place, the opposition’s leadership have also called for a mass strike this Thursday, and may appoint their own Supreme Court. The Venezuelan military is deeply tied to the current regime …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2017/07/venezuela-and-zimbabwe/

Endless war in the Eastern Congo

The Council of Foreign Relations website has useful background reports on a number of major issues, such as cyber security, but by far the best is their report on the Eastern Congo. This conflict has taken more lives than any other conflict such World War Two, and at times threatened to destabilize much of Africa. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2016/03/the-eastern-congo/

South Africa and Nuclear Security

Terrified of outside intervention, the South African military created six atomic weapons, which were dismantled after the collapse of apartheid. The nuclear material, however, was preserved, despite requests (by the United States and others) that the South African government convert this material into a less-dangerous form. This material is stored at a site called Pelindaba, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/05/south-africa-and-nuclear-security/

NPR’s “Life after Death.”

I know that people may be tired of hearing about Ebola, which is a painful topic. Still, I have to strongly recommend a new storyboard by NPR reporters called “Life after Death,” which describes one village’s experience with the outbreak. The storyboard combines audio interviews and stunning photographs to create an account that is moving, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2015/02/nprs-life-after-death/

Ebola and Air Travel

One of the most controversial questions during the current Ebola outbreak has been whether restricting air travel to West Africa is more of a help or a hindrance. There have been passionate arguments on both sides, and the question has become politicized. For a balanced look at the question, see this recent National Geographic article. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2014/10/ebola-and-air-travel/

Ebola and “exponential growth”

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has not received the resources it merits, in part because other Ebola outbreaks proved relatively easy to contain. Those epidemics, however, tended to take place in a rural context, and Africa has changed profoundly since the 1970s. The urbanization and transportation networks that are remaking the region have also …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2014/09/ebola-and-exponential-growth/

Ebola update

There is a great deal of news today about Ebola, which has now spread to Senegal, the fifth country in West Africa to be affected by the outbreak. The nation has tried to protect itself by banning flights from affected countries, but this is unlikely to be effective given that most people cross the border …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2014/08/ebola-update/

Ebola and Culture

A crowd of men recently overran an Ebola clinic in Liberia, after which 17 patients disappeared. One of the factors driving this event may have been a sense of denial that Ebola exists. Such concerns led to an improbable new pop culture hit in West Africa: a song titled “Ebola in Town.” In recent article …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.introtoglobalstudies.com/2014/08/ebola-and-culture/