Africa and Beyond
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Africa and Beyond
Africa, the Middle East, Food, Agriculture, History and Culture
Curated by diana buja
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Rescooped by diana buja from Geography Education!

Portraits of Reconciliation

Portraits of Reconciliation | Africa and Beyond |
20 years after the genocide in Rwanda, these perpetrators and survivors are standing for forgiveness.

Via Seth Dixon
Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:35 PM

Rwanda is a genocide that many people don't even know about. Regardless of whether someones heard of it, they should still be aware of how people have lived their lives from that time. Some looking to forgive the people who did this, and others looking to gain forgiveness from those they hurt.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:17 PM

You hear about how people in Rwanda forgiving the perpetrators that killed their families, parents, husbands, and children.  They can say that they have fully forgiven them and that they are on good terms with each other or they forgave someone and that was it.  Seeing the body language that these people have together really makes it real.  Some people are seen awkwardly next to each other while others are touching, even holding hands.  Seeing the pictures of both perpetrator and survivor together after forgiveness has been granted can do a lot more than words can in telling what kind of relationship these people have together twenty years after the genocide. 

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:17 AM

In an almost unthinkable arrangement, these pictures feature victims of the Rwandan genocide standing with the perpetrators who often killed their families. In a genocide where most of the killings were committed with machetes and perpetrated by neighbors attacking neighbors, it is difficult to imagine how the survivors feel and how they can stand to forgive the killers. It brings up the question of what right do these killers have to ask forgiveness from their victims?

Rescooped by diana buja from My Africa is...!

Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | Africa and Beyond |

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."

Via Seth Dixon, gawlab
diana buja's insight:

Well, so - now we are to call languages that were introduced in the 19th century *and some earlier * by colonialists - BUSINESS LANGUAGES.  ...

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 10:46 PM

This map is a simple but powerful one. Africa is the continent that contains the most nations (53), yet it uses only six languages for business. Not surprisingly, all of the languages (with the exception of Arabic) are European in origin. Clearly, the effects of colonialism are still felt around the world in former colonies. The languages that were forced upon various African countries by their colonizers have endured and become the main languages of business in their respective countries. What is just as unfortunate as the roots of colonialism holding fast, if not more so, is the absence of any indigenous languages being used as the language of business in any of the countries of Africa. While using a business language that is spoken by much of the world is surely a matter of practicality and logistics, it is still robbing African countries of their heritage and culture to some degree.


This brings up the issue of globalization and how it is constantly at odds with the preservation of culture and tradition. In order for Africa (or any continent or region or country) to function in the modern world, it must be capable of conducting business in a language that is spoken by its business partners. The ability to do business with virtually any person, company, or country in the world is an obviously invaluable one. At the same time, however, it allows for the subtle and gradual erasure of unique culture and traditions. So while it would be ideal for cultural preservation for countries to conduct business in their indigenous languages, it seems to be a necessary evil for smaller and less influential countries to adopt the languages of their more powerful and influential business partners if they wish to survive in today's world. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 29, 4:24 PM

The lingering effects of colonialism, so strongly relevant in every aspect of African ways of life, are perhaps most evident in the "lingua franca" of African nations today. With a multitude of different ethnicities and languages in use in every African nation today, the result of the arbitrarily drawn national borders made by European colonizers, necessitates the use of the one language that's commonly spoken across every independent nation- a European tongue. This system, while a necessity in today's world, is a solution that no one is quite happy with. It reminds Africans of all ages of the power still held by their colonizers over their everyday lives, a stark reminder of the horrors of the previous century at every business meeting and every exchange of goods. This harms the national psyche of each nation, as well as undermining the importance and pride Africans deservedly maintain in their own native languages. European-made borders, however, make it difficult to find another, native language that every ethnic group can agree upon. As a result, the European languages are still in use in Africa, and will most likely still be in use for some time to come. It's a system that no one likes but, for the time being, everyone must accept as reality.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 7:26 AM

This map is a great resource in showing the diversity of language in Africa. Of course, this map discounts the many native African languages. It instead focuses on the language of business in the continent. That language, has been influence by the European colonization of Africa. The chosen language of business is often tied to the colonizer of the region. The diversity of language in Africa is staggering to say the least.  

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The world map of chocolate (made out of chocolate)

The world map of chocolate (made out of chocolate) | Africa and Beyond |
You may be focussing on chocolate over the weekend - but where does it come from? A global trade analysed. In chocolate (this is what maps are made for!


What is the geography of chocolate like?  There is a dark side (no pun intended) to the production of cocoa in many places such as West Africa. 

Via Seth Dixon
ethne staniland's curator insight, May 16, 2013 11:33 AM

Interesting for our KS1 chocolate topic.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 10, 2013 5:43 PM

We all love chocolate.  We all love diamonds and jewels.  In western worlds, these items are easily come by in grocery stores and elsewhere, but what got them there was a challenge.  People in poorer tropical regions around the world worked to get the raw goods of these delicate items we all enjoy.  The payout difference is immense from cocoa to chocolate.  It is sometimes a very crooked market where if it wasn't for the hard working people who get the raw ingredients, chocolate as we know it wouldn't be the same.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 11:06 AM

I hope the production keep growing up. We need more chocolate and specially in Africa. 

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Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile?

Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile? | Africa and Beyond |

"Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (known as Gerd) is now about 30% complete.  Once completed, in three years, it will be Africa's largest hydropower dam, standing some 170m (558ft) tall."

Via Seth Dixon
diana buja's insight:

Egypt and Sudan have their own considerations in this dam issue.  Here in Burundi all countries that share the Nile watershed  - Burundi being the most southern point - meet regularly here to discuss these and related issues, though how  their respective politicians / governments act may be a different question.

Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 1, 2014 3:06 PM

In an area fraught with political instability, non state actors, and rebel groups all too willing to fight for power and the wealth that comes from it - it will be interesting to see how the conflicts shift over time as this dam gets closer to completion. Will Egypt attempt to sabotage it or will they take a more diplomatic approach and try to work with the Ethiopian government diplomatically again?  Perhaps Egypt will whisper in to the ear of Sudan or the various "rebel" groups in the region, considering diplomatic means have apparently failed so far. With Sudan's use of the Blue River also going to be affected by Ethiopia's damming, it will be interesting to see if a cooperation between Egypt and Sudan occurs. Perhaps Ethiopia would like to see a deeper conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, keeping their affected neighbor off balance.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 16, 2014 6:47 PM

It is extremely difficult to divide a river. The Ethiopians will benefit immensely from this project but the Egyptians could lose everything if the Nile dries up. This is going to be a difficult problem to solve.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:45 PM

There is no way the whole Nile river is going to be dried up because of this damn. Ethiopia won't let that happen. To say that the river is going to have the same amount of water in it, thats not going to happen. Obviously the Gerd is going to have a huge impact on the water supply of the Nile but it definitely isn't going to dry up the whole thing!

Rescooped by diana buja from Geography Education!

The 2011 Failed States Index

The 2011 Failed States Index | Africa and Beyond |

How can political stability and security be measured?  What constitutes effective governance?  Foreign Policy, in conjunction with the Fund for Peace, has created a statistical ranking to measure the lack of effective political institutions.  For the 4th year running, Somalia has been statistically measured as the most failed state on Earth. Chad and Sudan are respectively ranked as the 2nd and 3rd most failed states.The 12 metrics that are a part of this index are:

•Demographic Pressures 


•Illegitimate Govts.

•Brain Drain

•Public Services


•Group Grievances

•Human Rights

•Economic Decline

•Security Forces

•Factionalized Elites

•External Intervention

Via Seth Dixon
Don Brown Jr's comment, July 16, 2012 9:57 PM
The global fallout of the Arab revolutions may be largely determined by demographics and political stability. Unlike Somalia for example which is in total anarchy, the Arab Spring uprisings occurred in more stable but oppressive governments. So this brings up the question, can a failed state rescue itself?
Derek Ethier's comment, November 5, 2012 2:35 PM
Althought sub-Saharan Africa has 5 of the 10 most quickly developing countries, they still lag very far behind the rest of the world in quality of living. Somalia, Chad and Suda are the most failed states on Earth, in order. The governments are unable to protect/provide for their people, brain drains suck the great minds to more developed countries, income inequalities ravage the nations, basic human rights are denied and the economies are pathetic. Overall, it is a sad story as many of these African nations also suffer from drought, famine and massive food shortages.
Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 29, 2013 4:11 PM

 I wonder why it is difficult for states to be formed. I would think it would be great because the village people won’t be forced to make big decisions they can just hire someone to do it for them. But in the other hand there would be other people who will make it difficult for them and will ruin it for everyone else. Becoming a state can change there live. They should have approved to become a state.