African Studies Center - TUFS will hold the 19th ASC Seminar on June 29, 2018. The speaker is Dr. Horman Chitonge, a professor of University of Cape Town, who will visit Japan from June to July as a visiting professor of ASC - TUFS. Dr. Chitonge will examine whether the positive stories on Africa in recent years are really warranted by any reality in Africa.
◆Speaker: Horman Chitonge (Professor, Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town / Visiting Professor, African Studies Center - TUFS)
◆Date & Time: Friday, June 29th, 2018 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
◆Venue: Room 327, Research and Lecture Building, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
◆Title: Is Africa Rising: Changing Fortunes or A Bleep on the Screen?
The second half of the first decade of the 21st century is witnessing a change in the tone of media and public discourse on Africa. Although there are sceptics who do not believe in the possibility of sustainable progress in Africa, many commentators (scholars, investors, media experts, politicians and artists) are depicting an Africa that is beaming with hope and confidence. There are several factors cited for this optimism, including the sustained economic growth reported in most African countries between 2002 and 2015, the reported improved macroeconomic policy environment and management, the growing middle class, the 'reverse of the brain drain', the spread of mobile phones, discovery of new minerals and other natural resources in a number of countries, the increasing flow of foreign direct investment, the quick rebound of African economies after the 2008/09 financial and economic crisis, and the improving perception of the continent mostly by international investors. Other factors mentioned include what has been called the third wave of democratisation and the seemingly improving governance performance and state capacity in most countries. Several metaphors such as "the rise of the phoenix", "the second China" the African take off" the "African lift", the "African Lion", have been used to portray an Africa that is on a positive trajectory, not just in economic terms but broadly. While there are all these positive stories on Africa, it is important to assess what is behind these stories. This paper seeks to critically engage with this narrative, focusing on whether the sudden shift in the tone and direction of stories on Africa is really warranted by any reality on the ground.
◆No pre-registration is needed.