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Ethiopia's Dam Problems

Ethiopia's Dam Problems | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Ethiopia is three years from completing a dam to control its headwaters, and while Egypt points to colonial-era treaties to claim the water and to stop the project, the question remains as to who own the Blue Nile."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This 7-minute Geography News Network podcast (written by Julie and Seth Dixon) touches on some key geographic concepts.  85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located  near the border with Sudan.  Egypt is adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan and is actively lobbying the international community to stop construction on the dam, fearing their water supply with be threatened. 


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, development. environment, water, energy, borders, political.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, July 20, 2014 8:00 PM

Option: Inland water 

dilaycock's curator insight, July 21, 2014 9:09 PM

Useful example to illustrate the interactions and tensions between natural resources and political systems.

Kate Buckland's curator insight, July 26, 2014 10:38 PM

At least the Murray-Darling Basin is within one country - even if it covers 4 states!

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China Turns To Africa For Resources, Jobs And Future Customers

China Turns To Africa For Resources, Jobs And Future Customers | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In China's Second Continent, Howard French explores the Chinese presence in 15 African countries. The relationship goes beyond economics: more than a million Chinese citizens have migrated to Africa.


He says there's a debate about the long-term consequences of China's push into the African continent: Will it create development and prosperity, or will it lead to exploitation reminiscent of 19th-century European colonialism?


Tags: Africa, development, China, industry, economic, podcast.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an excellent podcast with many geographic strands running through it. 

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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 10:40 AM

Is good that China decided to make business outside of its territories. With this plan, they are helping they own economic, but also improving other people lives with the airport and highway.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 4:05 PM

Though the age of European Imperialism has long since ended, China is beginning to realize the benefits involved with economic expansion into other countries. "More than a million Chinese citizens have permanently moved to Africa, buying land, starting businesses and settling among local populations." Many are worried that this push into Africa could lead to extreme exploitation and disparity among native Africans while China solely benefits. If you compare this scenario with what is occurring in Myanmar and other parts of Southeast Asia, it would seem that China is there specifically for its own benefit. 

David Lizotte's curator insight, April 5, 2015 1:47 PM

Only the Chinese would see a potential market in Africa...

However, in all seriousness I too see the potential market. The continent is huge. The population is ridiculous and it is only going to keep growing. A population of this magnitude needs goods to live. In turn, China will provide for this demand. However it is blatant that the market (African people) will be exploited at whatever cost. The manufacturing, selling, etc. is being done, according to this article, by Chinese people. These people left China in search of money and perhaps even a place to settle down. China is expanding to Africa so a lot of Chinese people are going to move to Africa for employment. China wins by increasing its economic output and losing its dead weight. By dead weight I mean the chinese citizens whom stem from lower middle class. These people were struggling in China. China could not produce jobs for them. These people then follow the money to Africa and once there "job" is done decide to stay and live in Africa. As stated by the article this is an independent decision being made. I understand that and I recognize it as not being an immediate concern.

What concerns me is the exploitation of natural resources as well as the exploitation of the African market. China will produce goods that they know will be sold in Africa- they will design everything to meet Africa's wants and needs, thus taking there money. An African business will not benefit from this commerce rather a Chinese firm, with Chinese workers. One can argue its business and I suppose it truly  is. China see's a continent that they can invest in. There country will benefit from it as well as its people, whom are finding jobs abroad and continue to work abroad due to the affluent economy. The Chinese see African people as "demand" and they want to "supply" for that never ending demand. 

The article mentions/compares this situation to colonialism. It certainly does seem like a form of exploitation in which the foreign investors make money off of the African people and the regions resources however it is being done in a business like fashion. This could be seen as the more modern form of colonialism. It's not a direct rule over a territory and people rather its a business venture. But couldn't the business venture be seen as a front? 

What's interesting is how China is very much taking a hands off approach in the local politics. They aren't getting immersed in the government rather they see themselves as business people operating in another country...for China's benefit. They aren't there to provide goods for the African people out of the goodness of there heart rather they just want to sell the goods that they know will sell to the massive population. China is setting up shop in a non-democratic way, in which they don't care about the society rather they just care about the financial benefit. The political standing of the country does not bother China. Also, this could be seen as China thinking long term. Instead of thinking democratically and "more fair like" China can focus more on its own business and people and not have to worry about crisis in the country as a whole. 

More than a million Chinese have emigrated to the continent of Africa to start business'. More Chinese will travel to Africa...chain migration... they will develop and make money off of the African market. Chinese will elevate there status in Africa off of the backs of natural resources (in Africa) as well as make money from the African market. A market that will be exploited-whether good or bad- exploited non the less. 

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Egypt to 'escalate' Ethiopian dam dispute

Egypt to 'escalate' Ethiopian dam dispute | Geography Education | Scoop.it

While construction of Africa's largest hydroelectric dam continues apace, downstream neighbour Egypt is crying foul.  Egypt's main concern is water security, as the country faces a future of increasing scarcity. Nearly all of Egypt's water comes from the Nile, and its population of 83 million is growing at nearly two percent annually."

Seth Dixon's insight:

85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located ocated near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps).  As stated in this BBC article (with a nice 1-minute video clip), Egypt and Sudan currently get the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states.  This explains why Egypt is adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan and is actively lobbying the international community to stop construction on the dam, fearing their water supply with be threatened.  Oil might be the most economically valuable liquid resource in North Africa, but water is the most critical for human habitation.   


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, development. environment, water, energy, borders, political.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 31, 2014 12:30 AM

This is interesting, and I found it tough to decide what side I want to take.  For Egypt I could see this as being a very real scare.  Ethiopia is building a dam for a resource for power which will cause less water to get to the people of your country.  This is scary considering the Nile is the only source of water.  Ethiopia on the other hand is just pushing through with the project insisting they will work with Egypt on when they fill the reservoir.  They argue that the loss of water to Egypt will not be a huge loss and people will still be able to go about their business as normal.  I think that production of the dam should be paused for the time being and research should be done as to the effects this dam will have on both countries.  With this if the dam is going to cause too many issues, all the time, effort, and money that went into it wouldn't be wasted.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 26, 2015 2:32 PM

In a complicated geographical issue, both Egypt and Ethiopia have ample reason to oppose the plans of the other concerning the damming of the Blue Nile. The damming of the Nile could prove devastating for Egypt, which draws 85% of its water supply from the river. With an increasing population and issues with water scarcity already abundant, it is clear why Egypt is fearful of the proposed plan, as the ecological effects could be devastating. For Ethiopia, the damming of the Nile could prove incredibly fruitful, allowing the nation to more easily engage in trade and could encourage some serious international investment in the region- a move that would not only benefit Ethiopia, but Egypt as well. It is for that reason that Egypt is willing to compromise on the issue, but until its water supply can be protected and secure, tensions over the dam are going to continue to escalate.

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Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile?

Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"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."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps), Ethiopia plans to dam the Blue Nile before the water heads to Sudan and eventually into Egypt.  As stated in this BBC article (with a nice 1-minute video clip), Egypt and Sudan currently get the majority of the Nile's waters because of colonial-era treaties and Egypt is opposed to Ethiopia's plan, fearing their water supply with be threatened. 


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, development. environment, water, environment modify, energy, borders, political.


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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!

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Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this is not a perfect map, it is still a powerful one to convey several points.  One, the impact of colonialism is still felt in the the cultural, economic and political institutions of Africa.  Two, given that most of African countries have many indigenous languages spoken by the population, the old colonial language remains as a de facto Lingua Franca in most places, especially among the elite.


Tags: language, Africa, colonialism.

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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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Oil Pirates and the Mystery Ship

Oil Pirates and the Mystery Ship | Geography Education | 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.

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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/

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:08 AM

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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Improving Mortality Rates In Ethiopia

Improving Mortality Rates In Ethiopia | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A baby born today in Ethiopia is three times more likely to survive to age 5 than one born in 1990.  This progress isn't a result of expensive international aid or the recruitment of foreign doctors into Ethiopia. Instead, the country has invested in simple, bare-bone clinics scattered around the country, which are run by minimally-educated community health workers."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This NPR podcast shows how local programs that target rural health can have a massive impact on key demographic and development statistics.  This is great news-- infant mortality rates around the world have dropped from 46 deaths/1000 to 35 deaths/1000 in the last 8 years and local programs such as this one have been a major reason why.   


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, medical, development.

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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 5, 2014 2:42 PM

Education makes a huge difference in the health of poor nations. All they needed was to educate a few citizens on the basics of diseases endemic to the region and they have seen significant improvement in the health of the citizens.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:35 PM

This is amazing!  Although Ethiopia still has a long way to go in the medical field they have made major improvements in the last few years.  The building being used as an office is not anything spectacular by any means but it is helping save lives.  Common ailments that used to be the cause of death of young children are now treatable and children are able to live past their fifth birthday.  This is a big deal for the people in Ethiopia.  This is not any expensive program brought in by the United States, but a government run program created in Ethiopia.  Common remedies are given to children as well as vaccines that are carefully documented for who needs what and when by the people that run the facilities.  Although the program is still improving and it may take a long time for it to become top notch, the improvement that has been because of this is stellar for the circumstances.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 8, 2015 12:58 PM

Mortality rates have become overwhelmingly high in many countries. Ethiopia has now found simple health remedies to improve these rates. Many of these poor countries do not have numerous resources or even medication to help them when they are sick. Ethiopia used to have one of the highest child mortality rate in the world. one of the statistics given was very alarming and it stated ""If you were a kid born in 1990 [in Ethiopia], you had a 1 in 5 chance of not surviving to your fifth birthday." This is horrific for children who cannot predict where they are born and raised. Since 1990, Ethiopia has improved that rate by 60%. They havented invested a lot of money but have opened basic clinics with community individuals who are minimumally educated on these matters. Many of these workers have gone through a one-year training but nothing fancy. Many of these clinics have even two rooms and no electricity. Many of these children are finally being treated properly for some basic things that shouldn't be taking their lives. There is a long way to go for improvemnet but as long as their is a will to help these children, this country will vastly improve.

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AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa

AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Despite the gains, more Africans still die from Malaria even as the spotlight remains firmly fixed on HIV/AIDS.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is just the map portion of a very detailed infographic on the medical geographic situation in Africa. Click here to see the full infographic.


Tags: Africa, medical, development, infographic, diffusion.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 10:41 AM

This infographic shows how pervasive disease is in Africa. Though HIV gets a lot of attention, malaria and tuberculosis are just as prevalent as HIV/AIDS. The attention given to HIV/AIDS is reflected in the amount of aid sent to Africa, with a significant amount more being spent to halt the spread of HIV. These efforts are not entirely in vain as there have been decreases for all three diseases, but the funding necessary to make serious progress not on its way.

 

Though there is an even greater need to fight malaria, more international aid for HIV/AIDS is likely because most of the countries sending aid are not as familiar with malaria and HIV/AIDS has become sensationalized.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:52 PM

Disease is a global problem. Not having enough resources to keep diseases such as malaria out of Africa is unfortunate. People are dying every day and in efforts to save these people, it still can't be done. In the past, AIDS was the main disease that killed people in Africa. More recently, malaria is working its way through humans and killing them more than AIDS.

TavistockCollegeGeog's curator insight, July 4, 2014 7:41 AM

Fantastic infographic on health risks in Africa. Particular focus on infectious diseases.

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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 Education | Scoop.it
A billion people worldwide live in slums, largely invisible to city services and governments — but not to satellites.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Most slums are systematically ignored by politicians and public utilities; squatter settlements are not built legally and they are treated as though they did not exist.  Mapping these communities makes them visible, literally putting them on the map can be an important step to legitimize the needs and requests of these poor residents and grant them greater access to public, municipal resources. 


Tagsmapping, GPS, podcast, GIS, poverty, squatter settlements, developmentAfricaKenya.

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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.    

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:24 AM

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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Why these Somali refugees do not want to leave Kenya

Why these Somali refugees do not want to leave Kenya | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"For millions of refugees across Africa life is a daily struggle.  Many dream of one day returning to their homeland while others have spent decades building a new life.  On World Refugee Day, BBC Focus on Africa's Anne Soy visits a Somali family in Nairobi, Kenya, who cannot imagine returning to their roots."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In addition to this video, see this photo gallery of refugees around the world for some additional context of 'regular life' for refugees. 


Questions to Ponder: Is it the duty of a refugee to return to their home country as soon as it is safe?  If you were a refugee, what geographic factors (economic, cultural, political, environmental) would shape you decisions to stay or return?


Tags: refugees, migration, Somalia, Africa,

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 17, 2014 5:04 PM

No matter where you grow up, you form roots to your native land. Times are tough across the globe, especially for those living in Africa. While families plant their roots and look for ways to make things better, sometimes the best way is to leave. What makes people stay when their hometown roots are at rock bottom?

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:59 PM

Some people want to stay close to their heritage and native land. Others have no interest in their homelands and want to get away fast. This family doesn't know anything besides being refugees and they want to stay and build their lives there.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 27, 2015 12:39 PM

No one should have to be burdened with returning to a failed state, which is exactly what Somali is. As the main male figure in this clip mentioned, the conditions of the failed state he left 20 years ago has only gotten worse. It would make little sense for him or his family to return because there is no economic opportunity and no government stability. At least in Kenya, this family now has "a modest living." If this family were to return, the family would struggle to survive. If I were in their shoes, I would feel the same way. A decent standard of living is just as important as a safe community. For even though their is less violence to instantly kill people, starvation and disappear from lack of financial and governmental support would eventually prematurely kill people. So without either, I wouldn't return. Thus, I agree that the decision of a refugee to return should be left up to them as the reparation program between Kenya and Somali are currently doing.

 

Leaving ones country behind is still a tough choice. Abandoning the area increases "brain drain" and the man power to make the situation better. During our class on the Caribbean, it was mentioned that the government of countries facing these problems will try to attract their population back through incentives. In a failed state, the government isn't strong enough to incentivize people to come back. So, who does take care of this region? Someone with a great sense of duty to their country more than likely. For instance, Nelson Mandela was extremely smart and could easily have turned his back on the harsh conditions facing his country. Yet, he didn't and eventually become the leader needed to improve the standard of living in South Africa. Now I realize this was never a failed state, but their were still plenty of problems within the area that made staying harder that it should have been for the citizen of a country. So ultimately, the people who will have the greatest impact are those who have the sense of duty to their country. This isn't something every refugee will feel and as mentioned earlier, I can't blame them. It takes a rare selflessness and strong sense of courage that few people have.  For those that do though, their country will be indebted to them forever. 

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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 Education | 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.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a very intriguing infographic (download high-resolution image here).  How are old colonial patterns a thing of the past?  How do old colonial patterns continue to affect the African continent? 


Tags: Africa, states, language, infographic, historical, colonialism.

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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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Crop Diversification in Malawi

Crop Diversification in Malawi | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The tiny black-eyed pea is about to wage battle in Malawi.  The small country in southeast Africa is the site of a project to help with food security, nutrition and income.  Western University researchers are among those who will work with 30,000 farmers to help diversify crops into protein-rich legumes, such as the black-eyed pea, a popular type of cow pea in Malawi."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Tags: food, agriculture, Africa, Malawi, unit 5 agriculture.

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Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, March 14, 2013 3:48 PM

Review for you!

Seth Dixon's comment, March 15, 2013 8:44 PM
A good friend of mine is currently working for USAID in Malawi. This is what he had to say: I think crop diversification is really important here in Malawi. Most farmers have a heavy reliance on maize,which results in reduced hunger but there continues to be persistent malnutrition among children as their diets consist of mostly maize.Almost everyone here grows maize, you might be a school teacher or a health worker, but you are also most likely growing maize as well. Farmers are very risk averse here, so introducing a new crop takes time, finding the few willing to experiment and then using them to show their neighbors of the benefits. Other organizations are working on crop diversification here in Malawi, the US government, Catholic Relief Services, and other international development partners. Although not spelled out in the article, the majority of farmers are actually women, and agricultural production is typically for household subsistence with minimal cash cropping. As crop diversification increases, cash crops will provide more resources for families to pay for education and health for their families, but probably more importantly families will start diversifying their nutritional intake beyond maize. In a country where 42% of under 5 children are stunted, this will be a positive development. My wife was just out in the South of the country with CRS and was seeing some of the work that they are doing towards crop diversification as a result of USAID funding. She was really impressed to see how different vulnerable groups have been targeted by similar programs. She was able to see changes in rural villages in very insecure food zones. She saw how those lead farmers, willing to adopt new techniques or diversify crops, plant cash crops, etc, are reaping the benefits. Their neighbors are seeing it in action and are now adopting the techniques. It is not an immediate adoption, you have to give it time. These people are very risk averse, when set backs aren't just an inconvenience, but translate into starvation, it is understandable why it takes time. It also makes it more impressive when you find those willing to take the risks and try to set aside some land for a new crop. I am sure my agricultural colleagues would have more sophisticated answers but just some of my personal thoughts/observations."
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Africa Map Collection

Africa Map Collection | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

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 KongFor 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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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, 2016 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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African borders

African borders | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"About the history of the creation of Africa borders and debates about African borders."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Disregard the rough English grammar; this is a nice article to show some of the historical, ethnic, linguistic and political complexities behind African borders.  This would be a great supplemental article to help AP Human Geography students to prepare for Question 2 of the 2014 AP Human Geography Exam that focused on superimposed boundaries within an African context.  


TagsAPHG, language, Africa, colonialism, borders, political.

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MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:50 PM

APHG-U4

David Lizotte's curator insight, April 14, 2015 9:45 PM

In all honesty, the history of Africa intrigues me. I've always tried to expand my knowledge on the subject as well as stay current with its modern affairs (as best as possible). I have had the pleasure of studying abroad in South Africa for a semester as well as taking courses focusing on the vast continent throughout my career as a RIC student. 

Ancient Africa is a topic I know more about than the average person. It's slavery and the effects it had on the realm, followed by Colonialism/Post Colonialism that I like to take pride in knowing best. I've taken different courses focusing on the matter and have done my fair share of research for pleasure. However, I still have a lot more research to do because I have so many thoughts, questions, and comments  (before making a comment on a particular subject I like to research it in depth) to make. 

I have the desire to pursue an education focusing on "Africa" and its colonial aspects. I feel like I would pursue a solid topic of high interest-perhaps even importance- to me and research the dickens out of it. I would prefer it to be an original piece though. Not a blunt history of colonial rule in Africa, whether it be specific or broad. I do not want to reiterate what others have already side. I want to create my own theories on Africa. 

Currently I am quite interested in "Post-Colonial" Africa and the fact that I find this term to be exotic, foreign, and even a facade. There are colonial aspects of Africa that have existed for decades and will continue to do so as long as Western and Eastern (China) "business" is "functioning." "Business" is broad yet it is being used here to describe the basic global economy, producers and consumers thus a subsequent supply and demand. Now, what does the term "functioning" mean? Well, to simply put it, business functions through Africa's exponential amount of natural resources, cheap labor, and corrupt officials. Most of the civilized world benefits from Africa's numerable resources yet the vast majority of African's themselves do not enjoy such pleasures. This is a trend that has existed since the Portuguese appraised the Western Coast of the continent in the early fifteenth century. 

I understand that this basic premise may not be the first of its kind, in general. However, there are specific situations/conflicts that can be researched further towards developing a more unique body of work. If I do pursue a higher education in this area I plan on succeeding in producing a sound body of work that I am proud to put my name on. It would be neat to teach the significance of the three maps displayed in this scoop.it article. 

Emily Coats's curator insight, May 27, 2015 10:20 AM

UNIT 4 POLITICAL 

This article shows many maps depicting the history and creation of African borders, as well as the impact of colonialism on Africa. This shows where different groups resided, and how borders were not properly made to fit one single nation, but mixed together many nations in one region.These maps are extremely useful when trying to learn more about Africa and its history, specifically its boundaries. 

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For the Muslims of CAR, it's 'leave or die'

For the Muslims of CAR, it's 'leave or die' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Thousands of Muslims in the Central African Republic have fled as UN chief warns of 'ethno-religious cleansing'.


Leave or die.  It's come down to this for the Muslims of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.  Muslims here once lived freely among the Christian majority, running businesses and praying in mosques. Now, many of the city's Muslims have fled, and on Sunday about 1,300 Muslims from Bangui's PK12 neighbourhood were evacuated to safety by peacekeeping forces.

Already one of the world's poorest countries, CAR has seen a wave of upheaval and violence in the past 15 months. The 10-month reign of the Muslim-dominated Seleka rebel group inflamed intercommunal tensions in the country, and spurred the rise of Christian militias called the anti-Balaka.  Once the Seleka was forced out of power in January, the anti-Balaka rampaged, targeting Muslims across the country for their perceived support of the Seleka and its bloody excesses.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Also this interactive feature is worth your time...it won't make you feel all sunshine and rainbows, but the hard truth rarely does. 

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David Lizotte's curator insight, April 5, 2015 11:24 AM

This article does a good job discussing the ongoing issues in the Central African Republic. Its horrible to see a religious cleansing taking place at this point in time. One would think religious cleansing by the sword has diminished (perhaps it has in historical terms) but it is still very much alive throughout the world. What's interesting is how once religion is mixed with politics it seems bloodshed always ensues. The changing of presidents reflects the changing of "what group" controls the country/region... 

CAR is located within the struggling Sahel region. Yes, there are ecological/environmental issues that plague the Sahel region and the people whom inhabit it but the region also proposes an intense societal issue. This is the region where Arab Africa meets Black Africa, thus two distinct groups of people with two different faiths. Due to conflicts in neighboring countries, as exemplified in the article through Chad, disruption has led to Arab peoples fleeing South. The displacement of these people has led to a growing muslim population in Christian dominated Central African Republic. Once political order is involved there is always one group of people in charge. The changing of societal leaders has now led to a 15 month disruption which has now evolved into a religious ethnic cleansing. 

The Sahel region is only going to get worse. There is an issue with the climate which is affecting both the people and landscape. There is now a clash of cultures/religions. These two issues are ultimately going to clash. Not only will Christians and Arabs kill each other due to political structure and treatment of each others people but perhaps disputes over fertile land, clean water, droughts, etc... will also lead to conflict. This region of the world is in a tough predicament. The clashing of peoples is not going to improve the situation. 

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:36 PM

The picture is ironic because the one guy in the white tank top is holding up a peace sign and the other is threatening to slit your throat.  Oxymoronic?  I guess you could see it as a V for victory.  Not really sure.  This comes down to an eye for an eye.  The Christians and Muslims will kill each other till one group comes out on top.  I guess historically we learned nothing from the Reformation.  At one point you couldn't be Protestant, then you couldn't be Catholic.  Religious persecution should not be occurring today.  What a waste of human life.  

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:14 PM

Though the Central African Republic is a country that not many people have heard of, it seems that it suffers from some of the same problems that any other country does. CAR is home to a large Christian population, though there is a Muslim minority present within the country. The past two years have seen a Muslim rebel group called Seleka perpetrate a violent reign throughout the country, which in turn has given rise to opposition Christian groups called the anti-Balaka. After the Seleka were toppled from power, the anti-Balaka took out their fear and frustration on the country's Muslim population for perceived support of the Seleka. The anti-Balaka murdered Muslims brutally and indiscriminately, causing many Muslims in CAR to either flee or come together in enclaves for protection and support. 

 

This kind of religious persecution is unfortunately nothing new. The Jews have experienced religious persecution for thousands of years and Muslims were on the receiving end of some particularly brutal persecution during the Crusades. It seems that regardless of the time or place, religious tensions are always present and one religion or another is always ready to persecute the other for their differences, real or perceived. This is a global pattern, not unique to any one country, region, or culture. It is an unfortunate but telling one, as it highlights the tendency of human beings to be at odds with one another over any differences. The situation in CAR is representative of a larger problem of intolerance that may never seen an end. 

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Portraits of Reconciliation

Portraits of Reconciliation | Geography Education | Scoop.it
20 years after the genocide in Rwanda, these perpetrators and survivors are standing for forgiveness.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The idea behind these images is incredibly powerful and heartbreaking.  The horrific genocide turned neighbor against neighbor and tore communities and a country apart.  I can only imagine the pain for the individuals, but also the trauma inflicted on the national psyche. See also the White House's official statement on the 20th anniversary of the genocide. 


Tags: Rwanda, political, conflict, refugees, Africa.

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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?

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How was the AIDS epidemic reversed?

How was the AIDS epidemic reversed? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The breakthrough came in 1996, when a new class of antiretroviral drug called protease inhibitors was launched. These were used in combination with two older drugs that worked in different ways. The combination meant that evolving resistance required the simultaneous appearance of several beneficial (from the virus’s point of view) mutationswhich is improbable.  With a viable treatment available, political action became more realistic. AIDS had been a “political” disease from the beginning, because a lot of the early victims were middle-class gay Americans, a group already politically active. Activists were split between those who favoured treating people already infected and those who wanted to stop new infections. The latter were more concerned to preach the message of safe sex and make condoms widely available, so that people could practise what was preached. Gradually, however, activists on both sides realised that the drugs, by almost abolishing the virus from a sufferer’s body, also render him unlikely to pass it on. They are, in other words, a dual-use technology."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The article in the Economist points to the successes the international scientific community has made to minimize the impact of AIDS, but some doctors have wondered, "but what if AIDS didn't impact the wealthy and politically active?"  In this op-ed, a doctor says that medicine is just for those that can afford it because many pharmaceutical companies aren't interested in developing treatments for tropical diseases. 


Tags: AIDS, Africa, medical, development, diffusion.

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 3:22 PM

As the article states, the AIDS virus was not known to the science community during the diseases' first years of emergance, but thanks to science, research was put on the forefront to stop AIDS. Unfortunately, the Disease is still incurable, but as the author says, some cases of the virus disappearing from the sufferers' body, it gives hope that a cure may be found someday. The AIDs virus will always be a hot topic and is referred to as the "Political" disease and must pose a threat to rich people in order for the pharmaceutical companies to develop cures.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:52 AM

This article discusses the recent treatments and their success in treating AIDs. For many years AIDs spread rapidly across Africa and even today it still spreads, luckily two things have begun to slow down it's advance. Both the increase in the use of contraception such as condoms which protect against AIDs as well as the production of antibiotics  made available to many at risk of AIDs. This shows that with decent government backing it is possible to stem outbreaks such as this.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, March 28, 2015 3:13 PM

In the late 1990s, it is estimated that 15 million of people had died because of AIDS in Africa. As all social classes were  affected by the virus, even political figures, many international organizations and private businesses were integrated into research treatment. However, the main obstacle in combating this disease is that there is not enough money to fund the necessary treatment for people in many African countries. Although, many organizations have embarked on campaigns regarding how to prevent this dreadful disease from spreading further and these efforts have proved successful in the past decade.

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Gambia president rejects English language

Gambia president rejects English language | Geography Education | Scoop.it
President's decision to shift official language from English to local language comes months after its decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Gambia has been showing signs that they want to remove neo-colonial influences.  Last year the President withdrew the Gambia from the Commonwealth (a collection of 54 countries, mainly former British colonies), tired of being 'lectured' about human rights.  Now they have rejected English as the official language.  Mandingo (38%), Fula (21%) and Wolof (18%) are the three most widely spoken languages but it is currently unclear if one of these will become the new official language or if several will receive that status. 


Questions to Ponder: What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the old colonial language as the official language in multilingual African countries?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a local language/languages as the official language?    


Tags: languagegovernance, Africa, colonialism.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:25 PM

Gambia does not want the English language to be the official language that is spoken anymore.  Noting that it reflects the UK and they don't believe that they and the UK have much in common especially on the platform of human rights.  Cutting the English language as the official language continues to cut ties with the UK.  One of the problems with this is if there are multiple local languages spoken in Gambia which one are they going to choose as the official language.  With this more problems are presented, those that do not know the local language that is chosen to be official will have to learn the new language quickly if they want to have any idea as to what is going on in their own country.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 15, 2015 6:32 PM

The president’s reaction is more than understandable. His country is in the midst of trying to heal after de-colonization. His actions show he is trying to cut out the west altogether. It is an extreme move, but if done correctly it could give the country a chance to start over to develop their own culture again. I think having a more local language could have the potential to unite the country. However, given the many dialects spoken in a typical African country, I do wonder what language will actually be chosen. If anything, there might have to be a few official languages so as to keep the peace among the population. Furthermore, English will still need to be learned. As much as Gambia may resent the United States or the UK those countries are too dominant. As such, the nation will have to do business with them or one of the many other countries that speak English. When this happens, English will be the expected language and not an African dialect because Africa doesn’t have the power to really negotiate its terms. Therefore, I think all this will end up being is a symbolic stand as the world is far to interconnected for Gambia to truly cut off ties with the western world permanently.  

 

I can also see where the president is coming from in regards to the human right’s issues as well. I am in no way condoning the countries handling of domestic affairs. I think a firing squad is outdated to say the least. However, being talked down to by a country who egregiously violated the population without ever really making amends is insulting. Furthermore, being reliant on their money is probably insufferable. I would say the country might need the money, but given how aid is improperly implemented in most foreign countries I don’t even think cutting them off matters much. Still, one might think that after experiencing such social injustice the leader would be a little more compassionate to its people. 

Aidan Lowery's curator insight, March 21, 2016 8:46 PM
unit 3
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A short, recent history of Congo

Mapping the war in Congo: mineral wealth, militias and an epic march
Seth Dixon's insight:

To understand much of the political situation in Central Africa, a short history of the recent political and ethnic turmoil in Rwanda and Congo are helpful.  This particular videographic from the Economist is a few years old, but the historical context is still incredibly relevant  This series provides a wealth of information and several will be added to the place-based geography videos interactive map.


Tags: Congo, political, conflict, devolution, refugees, Africa.

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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, 2016 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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South Sudan factional fighting leaves hundreds feared dead

South Sudan factional fighting leaves hundreds feared dead | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Two days of street battles between rival factions in South Sudan's army left parts of the capital in ruins and prompted fears of a bloodbath in the world's youngest country.

UN officials in New York said they had received reports from local sources indicating that between 400 and 500 people had been killed and up to 800 wounded. More than 16,000 people were seeking refuge at UN facilities. What began on Sunday night as an alleged coup attempt now threatens to widen deep ethnic divisions in a country awash with weapons and still recovering from a devastating war that led to its secession from the north in 2011."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Earlier in the semester we discussed how difficult it is to establish a new country in a region with political and economic instabilty.  This is only further complicated by the presence of factional rivalries.  It's a tragedy that these problems are being played out.  


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, Africa, states.

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 24, 2014 9:51 PM

The newest nation in the world still faces hardships today in 2014. In 2013 the country was almost involved with a civil war between the government and rebel forces. One of the reasons for violence occurring was some people who were supportive of the vice president felt the president was acting like a dictator. However, in 2014 a cease-fire was signed between the government and rebel forces, but violence still occurs between those groups of people and over natural resources such as oil.

It is very difficult for the newest country in the world to be successful, as it is politically unstable. 

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 4, 2014 2:37 PM

Wow they just got their own country and now they are fighting amongst themselves. The government said it was a misunderstanding. Sad that 500 people died due to a misunderstanding.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 1, 2014 10:59 PM

Two and a half years as a country and they are already fighting?  With all the instability already in Sudan before South Sudan was created it doesn't help that there are differences between the people of South Sudan to add to the mix.  The people don't even trust their own government as they are flocking in masses to the UN refugee centers instead of listening to the government when they have been assured security.  With any hope South Sudan can get it together, stop killing their own people, and become an example for other countries around them to follow.

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South Sudan’s President relieves VP and dissolves government

South Sudan’s President relieves VP and dissolves government | Geography Education | Scoop.it

July 23, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has issued a presidential decree removing the vice-president, Riek Machar Teny, and dissolved the whole government.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Just today I mentioned in class that South Sudan had some serious issues in establishing effective governance over their territory and building a legitimate government...then I read this.  Starting a new country is difficult, especially with the hand South Sudan has been dealt--stay tuned. 


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, Africa, states.

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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:37 AM

Unfortunately, these actions seem to be the one of a man who is trying desperately to hold on to his power. It is known that there was a power struggle between him and members of his government. It is the last thing this young country needs when it is trying to establish itself.  Hopefully this move does not lead to the very thing South Sudanians were trying to get away from.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 24, 2014 9:59 PM

It is very difficult for a country this young to be politically and economically stable. The president must have a difficult time earning the peoples respect when the country is struggling.  Removing the vice president only upset some locals as they felt he showed signs of a dictator.  

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:56 PM

He wants to get rid of the entire political cabinet. Who does he think he is, Superman? There is no way this president can take on a whole nation by himself. He needs to reconsider his actions and think about South Sudan and its needs.

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T-Shirt Travels

When filmmaker Shantha Bloemen was stationed in a remote village in Zambia as a worker with an international aid organization, she had to adjust to living in a different culture. But one thing struck her as oddly familiar: almost everyone in the village wore secondhand clothing from the West. Bloemen began to imagine stories about the people who used to wear the clothing, wondering if the original owners had any idea that the castoffs they had given to charities ended up being sold to Africans half a world away.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This PBS documentary shows some of the unexpected consequences of globalization and less well-publicized economic interactions.  This online supplemental to the video allows users to track the journey of a T-shirt.  For additional reading on topic, this article shows how some the same process is impacting the those in Haiti.  The complex interactions that stem from globalization never cease to amaze me.

  

Tags: industry, economic, poverty, globalization, Africa.

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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, July 19, 2013 9:48 AM

It's fascinating to look at the effects of globalization, and a great look at how economies change.  When people in the Western world drop a bag of clothes off at a charity, I doubt we think they'd end up in a village in Africa. Warning:  it does get a little preachy at the end. 

Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 8, 2013 12:44 PM

Is direct aid a good thing or not? How does secondhand clothing impact local economies?

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:57 PM

Westernization is a popular theme thats happening in the East. Even though people don't know it, the clothes they give away may be some that are taken to places like Africa. Hand-me-downs are popular in the U.S. but even more so in Africa. The t-shirt you give away to someone might end up across the world. Who knows.

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UN projects Kenya to grow older and healthier

UN projects Kenya to grow older and healthier | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The UN projects Kenya to grow older and healthier
Summary:

  • The number of infant deaths per 1,000 live births currently totals 51.6, and is expected to drop sharply to 12.1 by the end of the century.
  • The country will also grow steadily older, with the current median age of 18 expected to more than double -- to 37 years of age -- by 2100.
  • A Kenyan born this year can expect to live for 61.6 years.
  • The nation's population will reach 160 million by the start of the next century, according to the new outlook.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Tags: population, demographicsmodels, AfricaKenya.

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 17, 2014 4:59 PM

The UN projects that Kenyans will grow older and healthier. Infant deaths will decrease and age expectancy will increase. What will Kenyans have to do to be healthier? Lifestyle changes?

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 25, 2014 1:49 PM

This article provides statistics for the population growth of Kenya and other African nations in relation to the rest of the world. Africa features some of the world's highest birthrates and the world's youngest population. In Kenya, improving healthcare will see the life expectancy rise significantly due to less infant death while the population will become older as birthrates begin to decline, as they tend to do as a nation develops, but not before Kenya becomes one of the more populous nations in the world.

 

Kenya's growing population and increasing median age could mean good things for its economic prospects. Population growth along with maturation means there is a large and capable workforce available, but Kenya must have the resources and abilities to create jobs for its burgeoning population or face widespread poverty.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:01 PM

As the years go on, the world is learning how to live longer. With new medicinal practices and people supplying clean water and food to third world countries, there is definitely room for Kenya to grow old with the U.S. and other countries that have higher life expectancies.

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Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

"Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding."

Seth Dixon's insight:

To gain a global perspective inherently requires understanding multiple perspectives.  Africa is frequently portrayed as 'the other' but also homogenized within a single narrative that 'flattens' truth.  How can we teach and learn about other places in a way that develops geographic empathy and shows the many stories of that can belong to any one place? 


Tags: Africa, perspective, TED.

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 3:30 PM

This video is very interesting, in that Chimamanda Adichie tells the dangers of hearing a one sided story. It is easy to classify a country with the rest, but it is also inaccurate because they are not the same. This video reminds me of another titled "Media and Culture-- Perspective and Bias" which also takes on the idea of knowing only one side of a story or people. It is videos and people like Adichie and Reza Aslan (from the above mentioned video) that implore us to research and make ourselves knowledgable about a subject, culture, or people before making assumptions and making the mistake of grouping them together for the sake of an easy story.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 4, 2015 7:39 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon. This is an eye opening narrative on what it's like to be African. This video really made me question my own cultural biases and microagressions. Powerful piece.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:50 PM

this is a big problem in the world today in my mind. other places do not have the nationalism that is required to thrive. even this woman (who eventually became an exception) started off idolizing western countries. this is not inherently a problem but places do not try to make themselves better, the reason there is the perception of africa that there is, is because people like this woman are the exception. if more people followed her lead than the whole of Africa would not be seen this way.

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South Sudan: The World’s Newest Country

South Sudan: The World’s Newest Country | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This infographic is a great introduction to the historical genesis of South Sudan and the political uncertainty and difficulties that it now faces as an independent country. 


Tags: South Sudanpolitical, sovereignty, Africa, territoriality, states, unit 4 political.

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, March 17, 2014 5:08 PM

South Sudan recently gained its independence from Sudan. South Sudan is now home to 10-12 million people and is the 193rd member of the United Nations. However, just because South Sudan became independent from Sudan does not mean it does not no longer carry some of the remaining issues.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 25, 2014 1:26 PM

This infographic gives an idea of why South Sudan seceded from the rest of the country. Decades of civil war preceded the secession, and it is clear the cultural differences between the two areas were a contributing factor. South Sudan is a part of the fertile Sahel, with the majority of its people Christian, while Sudan is mostly desert, with the majority of its people Muslims. South Sudan, as a new nation, faces a number of difficulties. Its new government needed to remain stable to focus on nation building, but war has broken out between the government and a rebel faction. South Sudan, should it become stable again, should work to improve the education of its people, as the infographic explains, since the vote to secede needed symbols rather than words due to only 15% of its people being literate.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:05 PM

South Sudan has separated itself two years ago from the rest of Sudan. Its powers have become acknowledged by other countries and its messages to the outside world are ones of peace.