Join our mailing list

* indicates required

Tags Matching:

Africa


  • Originally published 11/12/2013

    The U.S. Army Discovers Africa

    Africa has many needs. Whether it needs the United States bringing to bear a million American soldiers is doubtful.

  • Originally published 08/15/2013

    Q&A: France's connections in Africa w/ Lansine Kaba

    In January 2013, France sent a few thousand troops to Mali in a bid to combat rebel fighters who had seized control of the north of the country and were threatening to advance on the capital.The intervention shed light on some of France's historical relationships with its former colonies. But what do the country's historic ties with Africa say about its recent political moves?Dr Lansine Kaba is a distinguished scholar, writer and professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar. He is the recipient of the distinguished Melville J. Herskovits Prize for best work in English in African Studies. Al Jazeera's Heather Roy spoke to this leading historian on Africa about the France-Africa connection and what role, if any, this relationship plays today.Al Jazeera: What does the term 'Francafrique' mean?Lansine Kaba: Francafrique involves a complex web of relations that have made France a major player in the affairs of many African countries and even of the African Union. Through the networks of this largely “opaque conglomerate”, France, a founding member of the UN Security Council and the World Bank, can boast a significant global influence that extends far beyond the French-speaking states.

  • Originally published 08/15/2013

    Namibia scraps German place names

    Until recently, Namibia's history as a German colony was emblazoned across its map. Now the government has decided to replace the names of several municipalities with those of a more indigenous origin. But not everyone is happy about the move.Like much of Africa, the Caprivi Region of Namibia has long carried the imprint of European colonialism. Once in the possession of Germany, many streets, towns and regions carry German names. There are Schultzes and Meinerts among the locals, and German is the mother tongue for a local minority.But now, nearly a century after the end of German colonial rule, the Namibian government has decided to replace many of these German names with those of a more indigenous lineage.Caprivi is now Zambezi, after the river that runs through the region. A tropical strip of land that juts off from the country's northeast corner, it was named by the Germans after Count Leo von Caprivi, a Franco-German War veteran who succeeded Otto von Bismark as chancellor of imperial Germany....

  • Originally published 06/24/2013

    Obama leaves father's birthplace Kenya off itinerary for Africa trip

    When President Obama arrives in Africa this week, there will be one notable omission from his travel itinerary: Kenya, the birthplace of his father and home to many of his relatives. Concerns about Kenya's political situation have trumped Obama's family ties. Kenya's new president is facing charges of crimes against humanity in the International Criminal Court, accused of orchestrating the violence that marred the country's 2007 election. Ahead of Uhuru Kenyatta's victory earlier this year, a top Obama administration official warned Kenyans that their "choices have consequences" -- a remark that now appears prescient given the president's decision to skip a stop in his ancestral homeland....

  • Originally published 06/23/2013

    Martin Bernal, ‘Black Athena’ Scholar, Dies at 76

    Martin Bernal, whose three-volume work “Black Athena” ignited an academic debate by arguing that the African and Semitic lineage of Western civilization had been scrubbed from the record of ancient Greece by 18th- and 19th-century historians steeped in the racism of their times, died on June 9 in Cambridge, England. He was 76.The cause was complications of myelofibrosis, a bone marrow disorder, said his wife, Leslie Miller-Bernal.“Black Athena” opened a new front in the warfare over cultural diversity already raging on American campuses in the 1980s and ’90s. The first volume, published in 1987 — the same year as “The Closing of the American Mind,” Allan Bloom’s attack on efforts to diversify the academic canon — made Mr. Bernal a hero among Afrocentrists, a pariah among conservative scholars and the star witness at dozens of sometimes raucous academic panel discussions about how to teach the foundational ideas of Western culture....

  • Originally published 06/07/2013

    Victor Davis Hanson: The Stagnant Mediterranean

    Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. His new book, The Savior Generals, is just out from Bloomsbury Books. You can reach him by e-mailing author@victorhanson.com.From the heights of Gibraltar you can see Africa about nine miles away to the south — and gaze eastward on the seemingly endless Mediterranean, which stretches 2,400 miles to Asia. Mare Nostrum, “our sea,” the Romans called the deep blue waters that allowed Rome to unite Asia, Africa, and Europe for half a millennium under a single, prosperous, globalized civilization.

  • Originally published 06/06/2013

    Did medieval sailors reach Australia?

    Archaeologists hope to unravel the mystery of how coins dating back to the 10th century were found off the shores of Australia.Ian McIntosh, professor of anthropology at Indiana University, will be leading an archaeological search on an island in northern Australia in order to see if evidence of a medieval settlement can be found. This was the same place that nearly seventy years ago several coins were discovered that date back as far as the year 900 AD.The coins raise the possibility of shipwrecks that may have occurred along an early maritime trading route and bring to mind the ancient trading network that linked East Africa, Arabia, India and the Spice Islands over 1,000 years ago. Aboriginal folklore also speaks of a hidden cave near where the coins were found that is filled with doubloons and weaponry of an ancient era....

  • Originally published 05/29/2013

    Timbuktu's manuscripts face new threat

    (CNN) -- For the second time in five months, Timbuktu's treasured collection of ancient manuscripts is under threat.Earlier this year, it was thought that most of the 300,000 precious documents were destroyed by Islamic fundamentalists when the northern Mali conflict entered the fabled city.But as it turns out, only 4,000 documents were burned by the rebels. The rest were smuggled out of Timbuktu six months before the incursion by a team of local families who have long safeguarded their city's famous library, often in their own homes....

  • Originally published 05/29/2013

    African roots of the human family tree

    Johannesburg, South Africa (CNN) -- How would you feel knowing you are related to your boss, your neighbor, or better yet your partner? Don't worry, you may have to go back 1,000, 20,000 or maybe even 100,000 years to find a common ancestor, but generally speaking it is true.Advanced DNA testing combined with recently unearthed discoveries are bolstering the belief that if you look back far enough, all living human beings are the descendents of a small, innovative and ambitious set of people on the African continent.With the mapping of the human genome in 2003, combined with thousands of people around the world submitting their DNA for testing, there's now mounting physical proof we all started in Africa before migrating around the world....

  • Originally published 05/20/2013

    Ancient discovery set to rewrite Australian history

    Five copper coins and a nearly 70-year-old map with an ‘‘X’’ might lead to a discovery that could rewrite Australia’s history.Australian scientist Ian McIntosh, currently Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University in the US, plans an expedition in July that has stirred up the archaeological community.The scientist wants to revisit the location where five coins were found in the Northern Territory in 1944 that have proven to be 1000 years old, opening up the possibility that seafarers from distant countries might have landed in Australia much earlier than what is currently believed.Back in 1944 during World War II, after Japanese bombers had attacked Darwin two years earlier, the Wessel Islands - an uninhabited group of islands off Australia’s north coast - had become a strategic position to help protect the mainland....

  • Originally published 03/07/2013

    Chester A. Crocker and Ellen Laipson: The Latest Front in a Long War

    Chester A. Crocker is professor of strategic studies at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and served as assistant secretary of state for African Affairs from 1981 to 1989. Ellen Laipson is president of the Stimson Center.HISTORY has often shown that military victories do not automatically translate into political success. This is true in the recent military victory of French and government of Mali forces in their fight against radical Islamist insurgents who tried to seize power in the North African nation. The small victory in Mali is just the beginning of what will likely be a very long struggle for control of the Sahel — the trans-Saharan badlands that stretch from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea.We all know now that President George W. Bush was premature when he said in 2003 that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended” as he stood in front of a banner reading “Mission Accomplished.” It would be equally premature today to say that success in Mali signals the defeat of jihadist forces in the Sahel.

  • Originally published 02/25/2013

    Polish archaeologists in Sudan claim 'unique' human settlement discovery

    Polish archaeologists working in Sudan have found remains of human settlements that appear to date back as far as 70,000 years. If confirmed, the discovery in the Affad Basin of northern Sudan will challenge existing theories that our distant ancestors only began building permanent residences on leaving Africa and settling in Europe and Asia....

  • Originally published 02/11/2013

    The Afterlife of the British Empire

    Imperial student at the London School of Economics in 1946. Credit: Imperial War Museum.Most historical scholarship on the decline and fall of the British Empire deals with the diplomatic and political aspects of this transformation and ignores how imperial collapse affected everyday life in Britain after the Second World War. And historians have subscribed to the idea that “postwar” and “postimperial” themes are unrelated.In her new book The Afterlife of Empire (University of California Press), historian Jordanna Bailkin offers an original assessment of postwar Britain that interweaves “postwar” and “postcolonial” concerns while focusing on how the end of empire changed social relations and individual routines in the emerging welfare state.

  • Originally published 01/16/2013

    David A. Bell: The War in Mali is a Reminder of France's Grand Malaise

    David A. Bell is Professor of History at Princeton University. Born in New York City in 1961, he received his A.B. from Harvard and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton.It remains to be seen whether France's military intervention in Mali will be considered a military success, but it already seems possible to count it a political one. The war has earned support from across the French political spectrum, President François Hollande has garnered acclaim for his leadership, and the French public broadly supports the country's stated humanitarian mission. The intervention recalls the days when “la grande nation” laid claim to an ambitious international role, particularly within its former colonial empire.But in today's France, this portrait of unity and resolve is actually something of an aberration. Far from expressing a confident sense of mission, the French public has recently been more inclined to a sense of decline, malaise, paralysis and crisis. And it is at least partially justified. 

History News Network