African Resources and Development (3) Ecological and cultural factors in the geography of Africa; natural resources and development.
GEOG (AFR) 444 African Resources and Development (3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
This course is designed to analyze the ecological, economic, political and cultural factors, which influence development in sub-Saharan Africa. The traditional system, colonialism, modernization, post-colonial philosophies are four conceptual artifacts used to address some of these issues. Within these broad frameworks, the course focuses on existing debates surrounding key development ideologies and narratives in the region, including, poverty, conservation, population, debt, food security, land reform, foreign intervention and global politics. The topics and texts for the course are chosen carefully to provide general factual material as well as exposure to the major discourses surrounding the region’s development. The views of many Americans concerning Africa are often both unitary (Africa is a country) and unidimensional (Africa is a place of conflict, poverty, corruption and crisis). Assuming that a number of students are likely to join the class with this general background, the main objectives of the course will be : (i) to provide a broad geographic and historical tutorial to dispel myths and stereotypes about the region; (ii) to explore the literature, which analyzes the historical, geographic and political factors that underlie the region’s present status in the global economy; and (iii) to gain insights into the intellectual and ideological dimensions of the ‘raging’ debates surrounding issues like environment, conservation, population, corruption, and poverty in the region. By the end of the semester, students should have acquired the skills to accomplish the following goals:
• develop a ‘mental map’ of the broad physiographic, ecological, economic and political zones (blocs) in the region;
• be able to discriminate between stereotype and reality on information pertaining to the region;
• be able to interpret and analyze the internal (national, regional) dynamics of the region’s development;
• be able to interpret and analyze the global factors, which influence the environment, economy, and politics of the region;
• develop an informed background on the ideological narratives that guide policy in the region, for example, population, sustainable development, post-colonialism, ‘empire’ (whether, American, European, Indian, Chinese, South African?).
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.