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Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

I find it interesting to see where certain languages become dominant for business use.  This infographic is very interesting and useful in determining different trends in both the spread of language and the historical factors that spread these languages in this region.

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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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A short, recent history of Congo

Mapping the war in Congo: mineral wealth, militias and an epic march

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

The problems of Congo are exacerbated by the mischief of Rwanda.  When you think about a country that is blessed with such abundant natural resource you would think that economically they would be doing well.  However, the turbulence of politics in this region has caused the opposite to occur.  The country is constantly destabilized by the conflicts in its neighboring counties and constant rebellions and conflict have wreaked and destabilized this country.  The blessings of abundant natural resources has, instead become a curse.

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:39 PM

This is another sad story.  There is fast wealth in this area.  More than enough to get this economy off the ground and be a booming source of wealth for the countries.  Ever since the British, Belgiums, and foreigners created conflict in the area there has been so much unrest. They need to get out of their own ways and elect someone who won't steal millions.  They could get back to the golden days, but not until they have some peace which would then lead to prosperity.  

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:00 PM

once again a recurring theme, greedy and corrupt people running countries. with such immense mineral deposits how can this country not be prospering. because the people of these countries are selfish and once again not nationalistic to the point where people will try to make a significant change.

Brian von Kraus's curator insight, January 12, 6:15 PM

Amazing videographic from The Economist showing the recent history of Congo that explains the current instability of the country. 

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Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave?

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This infographic was very interesting.  By using color coding it highlights the areas of influence the colonel powers still maintain over their old possessions.  This map is helpful in understanding how this affects the politics of theses regions today.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:04 PM

Colony powers are still located within Africa. Just because Africa is technically independent doesn't mean that British Colonial power isn't still in place.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:11 PM

unit 4

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 26, 2015 11:08 AM

This article reminds us all of the growth-stunt that colonialism in Africa brought to the continent.  It is not surprising to see that most African countries still depend heavily on their old colonial masters for survival.  People who may casually follow African politics might think that colonialism started with the Berlin Conference and ended in 1990 or so, but one could argue that it hasn't ended due to the urgent dependency African countries still have on their old colonizers.  Africa might be the most beautiful continent in the world but has the worst story of any in the world.

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‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’

‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’ | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
The filmmakers present a 12-step program to establish the world’s newest country: South Sudan.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video and article highlight the steps a new country takes when it is carved out of an old one.  The problems and tribulations the new country faces and how it responds to the rest of the international community will decide if it will be a long lasting country or just a blip on the road of the original countries history.

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:54 PM

If I was to create my own country, the first thing I'd do is make sure not to shoot down any U.N. helicopters. This video does show the very hard process of creating a country from scratch.  I particularly enjoy the piece in which a government official attempts to explain taxes to folks at the marketplace because I probably had the same expression when taxes were first explained to me. "Why should I pay the government my hard earned money? They didn't do anything to earn it from me."

 

Cam E's curator insight, March 18, 2014 12:51 PM

This is a really interesting dynamic to look into, as it's not everyday the process of founding a country can be seen at work. That's a true once in a lifetime experience for those involved, and is likely one of the harder jobs in the entirety of history.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 15, 2015 6:33 PM

I think building a country from scratch mostly needs a plan for strong governance. Some of the items mentioned in the video would eventually be necessary (i.e. an anthem or a flag), but not exactly a top priority as the country could function without these. Rather the items like taxes and training the police are hugely important. A society needs the revenue to grow and the police to keep order. However, what disturbed me about this video is there were no other real mention of government institutions. Now I am not saying that the Constitution needs to be exactly like the United States, but the following is needed: a plan for how to treat the citizens, implement social programs, create/review the law, get officials into office, etc. Without looking at these basic questions of government, there is no way the country can function because there aren’t actually the procedures in place when problems do arise.

 

After strong governance, I also think that recognition in our globalized world is needed as well. In order for a country to prosper, the country will need to rely on other nations at one point in time for things like trading. If enough countries just refused to recognize the area and as such refused to trade then the country would more than likely fail. Luckily, Sudan is recognized by the United States and the UN did come to speak with the nation. SO that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

 

To me these are the top two things needed and since one is greatly missing, I am not surprised by the problems Sudan has.  

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Oil Pirates and the Mystery Ship

Oil Pirates and the Mystery Ship | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"Forget Somalia, the world's new epicenter of piracy is on the other side of Africa."

 

Some experts believe that the uptick in the number and geographical reach of pirate attacks is due in part precisely to the 2009 government amnesty for the Nigerian militants in the Niger Delta who had justified their attacks on oil infrastructure and their widespread theft of crude oil as a political protest. "With the political pretense lost, there is no longer any need for oil thieves to limit themselves to targets in the Delta," a United Nations study said.


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article points to the little known problem of piracy off the western coast of Africa.  When one thinks of African piracy, one thinks of the Somali pirates it is important to know that piracy is not just limited to eastern Africa.

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Shiva Prakash's curator insight, February 3, 2014 11:20 PM

Technology is changing the shopping habits of buyers. Compete recently conducted a survey that reported a rapid increase in the number of people using their mobile devices for shopping Online shopping which u can buy from home easily with lots of designs of cloths and new technology mobile phones without going out for shopping just click here to go eaZy http://shopdeer.blogspot.in/

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In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
A billion people worldwide live in slums, largely invisible to city services and governments — but not to satellites.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

Slums and squatter settlements are a problem that a lot of the developing world has to deal with.  The unsafe and unsanitary buildings cause headaches and problems for the leaders of the cities they surround.  This story is hopeful in that the city did manage to bring a water line out to get clean water to the people living in this area.  Perhaps this will lead to a better quality of life of the inhabitants of this particular slum.  Also the project of mapping such areas can be a useful tool for city planners to better regulate these areas and help the people that live there.,

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Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, July 25, 2013 7:47 PM

Slums also known as favelas, squatter settlements

John Blunnie's curator insight, July 28, 2013 1:11 PM

Great how tech and globalization can help represed people in other countries.

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 6, 2013 5:07 PM

The slum-mapping movement began in India almost a decade ago and migrated to africa, the idea of this is to make slums a reality to people who have never set foot in one before. The maps can be used in court to stop evictions or simply to raise awarance. I think this idea is on the right track of what needs to be done. These people need help and so many people incuding the governement pretend they arent their but with these maps as proof they can no longer do that.    

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Africa Map Collection

Africa Map Collection | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

It is always informative to look at old maps.  They show how the cartographers saw the world and how the passage of the map makers revealed the passage of settlements in this case of colonel Europeans.

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Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 16, 2014 11:58 PM

This is a fun collection of maps because you can see how the European view of Africa has changed over time. These maps contain nonexistent land marks such as the Mountains of Kong, these are here because cartographers made their maps based off incorrect information and then passed this information on to others who repeated their mistakes. African was known as the dark continent not only because of European racism but because of the lack of knowledge on behalf of the Europeans. 

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 11:19 AM

While most people perceive Africa as a country rather than a continent, European cartographers were even more oblivious to the make up of the continent. How is it possible that a mountain can directly across the continent. This also raises the question, how was conquering the continent possible if this mountain sat at the frontier of the continent? Wouldn't the natives know where to escape when European settlers came to conquer their land?

Luis Cabral's curator insight, March 8, 12:02 AM

This fabulous collection of African maps from 1535-1897 represents an historical geographic vision of both Africa and colonial visions of an imagined Africa.  I chose this particular map to display because it beautifully highlights the Mountains of Kong.  For generations, European cartographers erroneously believed that this long mountain range extended north of the West African coast and across the continent.  Currently this map collection is at Plymouth State, NH, but much of it is archive online here. 


Tags: Africa, cartography, colonialism, map.

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Don't make the same anti-terrorism mistakes in Mali

Don't make the same anti-terrorism mistakes in Mali | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Balancing the interests of stakeholders in the Malian polity will be difficult, however some key steps should be taken.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

Problems in this area will only increase if the powers that be do not take the innocence of the civilian population into account.  When trying to put down a terrorist insurgence it is imperative that a government tries to safe guard the population.  If not it will only drive these people into the arms of the insurgents.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, January 15, 2013 4:46 PM

This is a great article for give to students to provide them with the geo-political context to understand the situation in Mali.  It also give a great reminder for observers and the involved parties to not lump all Tuareg civilians in the north with the Islamists groups that are in control.  "This failure to consistently distinguish between different groups in the North by multiple stakeholders...portends longer term trouble."  For additional reading, see this Geography in the News article on Mali, tailor-made for classroom.    


Tags: Mali, Africa, political, conflict, war.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 8:44 PM

Removing the Mali president was only the first thing French military did to this nation. Mali needs to move forward from anti-terrorism and hopefully they can do so with little difficulty.

Shounam's curator insight, October 8, 2014 6:08 PM

Stop mistaking the image of muslim or islamic people as terrorists.