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The Electronic Afterlife

"E-Waste is a growing problem in our consumer-based society. The geography of e-waste is an ‘out of sight out of mind’ problem that we rarely think about but need to due to the ecological impacts of our collective consumption." http://wp.me/P2dv5Z-1LT

 

Tags: pollution, sustainability, environment, resources, Ghana, Africa.


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Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, November 10, 2015 11:37 AM

Maybe getting that new iPhone isn't such a good idea, eh?

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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 is my World | 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.


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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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Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent

Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent | Geography is my World | Scoop.it
What if the Black Plague had killed off almost all Europeans? Then the Reconquista never happens. Spain and Portugal don't kickstart Europe's colonization of other continents. And this is what Africa might have looked like.

 

Tags: Africa, colonialism, borders, historical, map.


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Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 26, 2015 2:26 PM

An interesting fact for a geographer/historian to look at is how different events happening in history can affect a map.  This is very fascinating, because Africa or should I say Alkebu-Lan has very strong looking kingdoms without the Influence of Europe.  Another interesting element of the map is how it is not Euro-centric, Africa is shown as the top of the world.  I guess in this history, Northern Europe instead of being a powerhouse of the world, would be classified as the dark region (like the Congo was in our own world).  It is also interesting how the map is not Euro-centric, but the fact to keep in mind there is the old saying, history is written by the winner.  In this case, the map of the world was drawn by the winning Europeans as well, and this map completely reverses that.  Another interesting fact, is that the Iberian is part of an Islamic Empire.  It looks, as if in this history, Portugal was overcome by the "Arabes" and Spain never even attempted to launch the Reconquista.  History and Geography, especially Political Geography are very closely linked with one another.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 5:00 PM

I found this particularly interesting to read about, as alternative histories fascinate me. The "what if" questions that historians always ask themselves are fun to examine and illustrate, as they are shown in the alternative map of Africa. It's interesting to see just how different this map- drawn from historical accounts of ethnic and linguistic differences between the various African societies- is from the map of Africa we now have today. European colonizers drew borders without any consideration for the native populace, and that is today reflected in the rigid borders of African states that do not match historical ethnic boundaries. The concept of a Europe unable to recover from the Black Death would have serious repercussions for world history. It would allow for the progression of African economies and polities unmolested by European influences and the slave trade, completely reshaping the course of the continent's history. The increased influence of the Arab world would also be a plausible consequence of the decimation of Europe's population. This is an interesting concept, and it is very informative in the sense that it forces us to consider a multitude of factors that played a role in shaping the world as we see and live it today.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:04 AM

Alternative history is always fun. There is no question that Africa would be a different place today, if Europeans had never step foot on the shores of this great continent. Would the great African empires still be alive today? Would Africa be the dominant continent in world affairs? The history of civilization over the past 500 years would almost certainly be radically different. Instead of a Eurocentric world, we may have had an Afrocentric world. What this map really underscores, is the effect that colonialism had on Africa. The Africa we know today is a consequence of that era of European domination. While alternate history is fun, we must always remember the actual history that has occurred in Africa.