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African Renaissance Roemer Lecture

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 6 months ago

The Roemer Lecture on International Affairs will be given by Nicolas Van De Walle, Director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, John S. Knight Professor of International Studies in the Dept. of Government, Associate Dean for International Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University, and an award-winning scholar on the African continent. Van De Walle’s topic is “Towards an African Renaissance? Prospects for a Troubled Continent.” The lecture takes place from 4-5 p.m. in the MacVitte College Union Ballroom and is free and open to the public.



Please post comment below....


1. cg7@geneseo.edu Charlie Genao 10/12/07



I think the speech was interesting about Africa. First I liked how he pointed out the bias of the media in regards to Africa. Although it is true that Africa is expericencing AIDS crisis and poverty and so forth it is not the only thing happening in Africa. I like that he pointed out that there are some countries in Africa that are very successful and that Washington should pay more attention to it because of its resourses and China gaining influence using it soft power techniques. He also touch on how AIDS is effecting the Continent but he said that rather giving money to Africa for the AIDS victims the aid heshould go to coming up with a cure because that is the only way to really help and I agree with him too. Due to some African Countries corrupt leaders "Autocrats" the aid is not getting to the people who need it because these leaders are taking the money for themselves and causing these countries to go in debt. So when Bono and other famous people say that countries like the U.S should increase its aid they are mistaken because the aid they get is much more then most countries get just increasing will not solve the problems it will just get the autocrats even richer and the common person even poorer. Some how if we are going to help Africa we got to improve the status of women and get these corrupt leaders out of power although I dont know how do this.


2. Ajd12@geneseo.edu Alfred Dilluvio 10/20/07


I thought that this lecture was very interesting because it provided me with something I have never had before. This was a history of Africa as a country with special attention to all aspects of its development. It didnt seem to contain the obvious biases which usually accompany articles about crazy things going on in Africa. The lecturer provided attending students and faculty with an interesting presentation about TWO Africas. He points out that there are certain countries that are experiencing excellent economic development and increased quality of life. Most magazine and newspaper articles only show the visuals which arouse our deepest sympathies. Terrible images of malnourishment, disease, civil war, and terrorism frequently appear in our hearts and our minds when we think of Africa. The lecturer seems to understand that this isn't the only perception of Africa we should have.


[Skye Naslund, sjn1@geneseo.edu 10/23/07]

Roemer Lecture


The most interesting part for me was the assessment of the current situation in Africa. According to Nicolas Van de Walle, despite the fact the most of the governments are elected, they are elected autocracies, not elected democracies. This differentiation between the idea of elections and the idea of a true democracy helps to explain the slow progress that Africa is making. Also the idea that Africans should write their own future, while such a simple and obvious concept, is rarely if ever suggested by people in the west. Most of the west believe that they know better and try to impose structural adjustment programs or NGOs that do not actually meet the needs of the people. This realization is hard to take because so many people want to help out directly, they do not realize that their efforts can actually harm more than help as Van de Walle suggested.

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