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Why Africa’s migrant crisis makes no sense to outsiders

Why Africa’s migrant crisis makes no sense to outsiders | digital divide information | Scoop.it

"Violence and insecurity are so bad that other war-torn countries have become sites of refuge."

 

In 2015, nearly 100,000 Ethiopians and Somalis traveled by boat to Yemen, one of the world's most dangerous countries. Last year, nearly 5,000 citizens of Congo, which is fighting powerful rebel groups, were seeking refuge in the Central African Republic, itself torn apart by civil war. And yet 10,000 Burundians have fled their country's own growing civil unrest for Congo. Thousands of Nigerians escaping the extremist Islamist group Boko Haram have gone to Chad, where different strains of that same insurgency conduct frequent deadly attacks. 

 

Developing countries have long taken in a disproportionate number of the world's refugees — roughly 80 percent, according to the United Nations. But even for migration experts and relief workers, the willingness of refugees to leave one war for another is shocking. It's also proving an enormous challenge for humanitarian agencies, which are already overstretched and often not equipped to welcome refugees in countries that are still racked by conflict.

 

Tags: refugees, Africa, migration, conflict, political, war. 


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This Graphic Of Africa's Actual Size Will Blow Your Mind

This Graphic Of Africa's Actual Size Will Blow Your Mind | digital divide information | Scoop.it
Africa is bigger than China, India, Europe, and the USA. COMBINED.

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Sreya Ayinala's curator insight, March 15, 2015 4:00 PM

Unit 1 Geography: Its Nature and Perspectives

      The visual shows a map of Africa proportionate to other countries in our world. It gives you a better perspective of the actual size of Africa by placing the US, China, India, and much of Europe inside of the Africa map.

      The most common map projection is the mercator map projection which distorts the poles and makes some land masses seem bigger than they actually are, such as Greenland. Most map projections have some flaws and the only accurate representation of the world is the globe.

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Let’s Talk About Geography and Ebola

Let’s Talk About Geography and Ebola | digital divide information | Scoop.it
Why knowing where countries are in Africa matters for how the rest of the world thinks about Ebola.

 

Cultural and media norms that often refer to Africa as one entity rather than an 11.7 million-square-mile land mass comprised of 54 countries and over 1.1 billion people who speak over 2,000 different languages.  This cultural confusion means that, when a dangerous virus like Ebola breaks out, Americans who are used to referring to “Africa” as one entity may make mistakes in understanding just how big of a threat Ebola actually is, who might have been exposed to it, and what the likelihood of an individual contracting it might be.  This Ebola outbreak is wreaking havoc on African economies beyond the three most heavily affected by Ebola, and that damage is completely avoidable. The East and Southern African safari industry provides a good example. Bookings for safaris there — including for the famed Great Migration in Kenya and Tanzania — have plummeted due to the Ebola outbreak. These actions are based in fear, not reality.

 

Tags: Ebola, medical, diffusion, Africa, regions, perspective.


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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, March 18, 2015 9:36 PM

It doesn't surprise me that the average person doesn't know his geography.  It shocks the hell out of me that a college would put themselves in a situation to look that stupid!  Do your research people.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 29, 2015 5:08 PM

This is another example of stereotyping taking its course through Africa.  Even though I am aware of the size and diversity of Africa, I was guilty of associating Ebola with the whole continent and not just the affected areas.  Same thing goes with the AIDS virus and other things, such as poverty.  Articles are great for people in other parts of the world to read to better educate them on the size and diversity of Africa and that there are many different ways of life in its 54 countries.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 12:44 AM

The Ebola epidemic over the last year put everyone in the world on high alert, not just those who lived in Sierra Leone and many countries in West Africa. It is important to understand how the virus spread so quickly and the advancements made to treat the virus. Geography played a big part of the spread of the virus. Because Africa, and the countries are far from modern medical technology, many non-profit organizations like Doctors without Borders were dispatched to those affected areas to help show and train physicians there the proper techniques on how to treat infected people with Ebola. That's why on the map one can see a far range of countries who treated infected people in facilities that were built to handle cases of Ebola.

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Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | digital divide information | Scoop.it

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."


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Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 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, 2015 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, 2015 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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These Amazing Maps Show the True Diversity of Africa

These Amazing Maps Show the True Diversity of Africa | digital divide information | Scoop.it

"African countries are also quite diverse from an ethnic standpoint. As the Washington Post's Max Fisher noted back in 2013, the world's 20 most ethnically diverse countries are all African, partially because European colonial powers divvied up sections of the continent with little regard for how the residents would have organized the land themselves. This map above shows Africa's ethnographic regions as identified by George Murdock in his 1959 ethnography of the continent."

 

Tags: Africa, colonialism, borders, political, language, ethnicity.


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Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:51 PM

We have seen the repercussions of ethnic tensions play out in the Balkans, the Middle East, and even in the United States, and Africa is no exception. Arbitrarily drawn national borders- the remnants of European colonialism- means that there is often significant ethnic diversity within many African nations. Although this creates interesting blends of language and culture, it has often bred violence in many countries, perhaps most notably in South Africa and Rwanda. Although many members of the West like to lump the entire continent into a single category, this could not be further from the truth. The second largest continent with extreme biodiversity, it has bred thousands of languages and hundreds of different cultural backgrounds, sometimes within a single country. It is important for the West to understand the complex make-up of the African continent in order to avoid the Eurocentric assumptions many Westerners make when discussing the continent. There isn't a single "Africa"- there isn't even a single "Nigeria," but rather a multitude of different peoples and cultures, equally as complex as those found in other regions of the world. This map does a very good job at illustrating the complexity and richness of the continent.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:20 AM

People often underestimate how diverse Africa really is. We often have the tendency to lump all Africans together in one large ethnic group. The actual number of different ethnic groups in Africa is rather staggering. This map can also be used as a partial explanation for the amount of ethnic conflict in Africa. Often times, these ethnic groups are squashed together in states with poorly drawn borders. Under that situation, ethnic conflict becomes inevitable.

Patty B's curator insight, February 11, 4:52 PM

This map of Africa not only shows the true diversity of the African continent, but it represents the diversity that truly exists everywhere on a global scale. In many ways, people are the same everywhere you go. But people are also vastly different in a multitude of ways. In a highly globalized society it has become easy to focus on the similarities between the people of different countries, but the fact of the matter is that no matter how far reaching a corporation’s influence is, we are always talking about and dealing the individual lives. Towns, cities, states, countries, continents are all comprised of individuals and our society today makes it difficult to remember that by focusing on group statistics and other forms of impersonal data (not to say those tools are useless, there just needs to be a balance between the tools used). Each person that falls within any group being examined or categorized is vastly unique in a variety of other ways and I think this map brings that notion to light. As someone born in the U.S., I would never think of Africa as such a diverse place. Not even close as a matter of fact. It really is easy to examine Africa as a country instead of a continent. I think that goes for many continents, including Europe. We often think of the U.S. as being the melting pot and the most diverse place, but the article points to the fact that 20 of the world’s most diverse countries happen to be in Africa. 

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The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place

The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place | digital divide information | Scoop.it
   How alarmist, racist coverage of Ebola makes things worse. A dressing down of the latest #NewsweekFail.

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:21 PM

Before I even read the article, my first thought went to the Linneaus classification.  That really damaged history with this one chart.  I think people still think of Africans and blacks(very dark blacks) as dirty or unintelligent.  Which is horrible and couldn't be further from the truth.  Misinforming the public is criminal.  News media and social media need to be careful and educate properly.  I've been asked from a customs offical, "Have you been to Africa in the past 6 months?"  Which is a very blanket question because Africa is a continent.  There were areas that were not hit with Ebola.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:37 PM

Those who deny the continued influence of racism in our society are blinding themselves to the truth. Contemporary influences of the racism that plagued the preceding centuries are still found in most major media depictions of Africa. The Ebola epidemic has served to highlight the bigotry that plagues Western media, as the assumption that all of Africa is diseased and dirty is continuously perpetuated (when, in reality, Ebola only affected a very small part of the continent). Africa is presented as "other," a backwards continent that is in desperate need of Western help and guidance- in what was is that different from the European colonizers who also viewed their actions as benevolent attempts to "civilize" the uncivilized? That mindset has not left Western circles, and yet we continue to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves for suddenly being so tolerant. The insensitivity of Western audiences to the concerns of black individuals both at home and in Africa related to the prevalence of racism highlights how determined mainstream media is to deny the existence of a problem. Until we recognize the Eurocentrism that continues to plague our media and make the necessary moves to correct the practice, harmful depictions of Africa will continue to loom large in Western media and in the opinions of many Europeans and Americans alike.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:12 AM

Africa has long been treated by the western media as a dark , brutish, uncivilized place. Africa is a place were people starve and murder each other in large numbers. There is so much more to Africa than the picture I just described. The problem is, many people just do not accept the existence of a culturally complex Africa. That narrative would destroy the traditional  darker narrative of the past 500 years. A narrative grounded in the beliefs that blacks are inherently inferior beings. During the Ebola crises, the calls to cut off travel to Africa were quick and demanding. Had the crises been in England, would those same calls have been so loud? I think we all can guess the answer  to that question. Much progress has been made, but we still need to change our cultural depiction of Africa.

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What You Need to Know About the Ebola Outbreak

What You Need to Know About the Ebola Outbreak | digital divide information | Scoop.it
Questions and answers on the scale of the outbreak and the science of the Ebola virus.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:11 PM

It's almost ironic that the Western World has chosen to wait so long to get involved and now because of it's spread fear has begun that Ebola might travel to the United States. By not sending aid in a timely fashion the US has allowed the virus to grow to a point that now the US finds itself in danger. To make a historical comparison it's almost akin to the Munich Agreements, France and England chose not to stop a growing and dangerous Germany out of fear of conflict only to find war on their door steps because of it. Why did the western world wait so long? Euro-centric bias or racism? Short sightedness? Regardless of the reason the United States and Western Europe are at risk from a nearly untreatable disease primarily through negligence.

 

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:23 PM

This article shows how the Ebola virus began to spread in many of the countries on Africa and how likely the virus will arrive in the United States. The virus has crossed many borders in Africa already and, according to the article, has infected five people in the United States, but has been quarantined and is currently being treated.  The Ebola virus outbreak has shown how ill equipped certain parts of the world are, in terms of, having the necessary tools for combating a deadly disease. For example, the article provides a map that shows the areas in Africa are more infected with Ebola than others, illustrating how certain parts of the country are becoming more susceptible to the outbreak than others. So geographically, the Ebola virus has gone from a regional outbreak into a potentially global epidemic, what with the cases in the United States.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 9, 2015 3:37 PM

Ebola started in western Africa and it spread overseas to the United States more specifically than any other country. It currently affects over 23,200 people in western Africa. To make sure that Ebola is not being spread throughout the whole United States, eastern United States quarantines any visitors or immigrants from West Africa. Eastern United States seems to have the highest rate of ebola because it is closer to Africa. In that case, it can spread westerly un the United States. Perhaps, it could spread to Canada, Mexico or any other country.

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Photos that bear witness to modern slavery

TED Talks For the past two years, photographer Lisa Kristine has traveled the world, documenting the unbearably harsh realities of modern-day slavery.

 

 


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Kyle Toner's comment, November 6, 2012 12:17 PM
This video truly opened eyes into the conflict of modern day slavery. I had no idea just how prevalent, global and horrible this situation is.
Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 6, 2013 10:51 AM

This is a chilling glimpse into the worst and darkest side of the economic systems of geography and labor in the world. It is estimated that there are more than 25 million people who today live in state that can be described as modern-day slavery. We should not discuss slavery only in the past tense, and yet it conflicts with how most people conceptualize the world today.


Questions to Ponder: How can this even be happening in the 21st century? What geographic and economic forces lead to these situations portrayed in this TED talk? What realistically could be done to lessen the amount of slavery in the world today?


Tags: TED, labor, economic, class, poverty, South Asia, Africa, video.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 31, 2015 4:34 PM

A truly sad reality is exposed in this well-produced video.  Many of us hear about slavery still happening around us but I think most of us brush it off as little more than taboo.  To see these photos and to hear this woman's firsthand account is shocking.  If you are not instantly moved to want to help, I don't know if you're human.  This is atrocious and I only pray that one day this reality comes to an end.