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Welcome to Introduction to Contemporary Africa

Leslie Dodson: Don't Misrepresent Africa

“Introduction to Contemporary Africa" offers students a view of contemporary Africa as a complex, significant, and richly diverse continent which has been heavily impacted by its colonial history. The course presents an introduction to African history, politics and cultures by drawing on intellectual resources from the continent combined with those from the rest of the world. The course aims to expand students’ knowledge of intersecting cultures, histories, policies, and economics in a globalized world.

The course provides students with an opportunity to deconstruct some of the influences and forces that have shaped and continue to shape modern Africa and thus providing students with an opportunity to investigate, explore and analyze the current local and global issues facing Africa. In this course you will engage with some of the literature about contemporary Africa and develop your skills at reading, analyzing, and writing within the interdisciplinary approach of African Studies.

The overarching goal of this course is to help students understand contemporary African societies and their socioeconomic characteristics. The course provides students the opportunity to investigate Africa’s multifaceted realities, explore: (1) The continent and its history; (2) Africa’s dichotomous political, economic and institutional systems and their impacts and implications for governance and development; (3) The continent’s social and environmental conditions and their impacts and implications on issues, such as demography, urbanization, gender relations public and social services and lastly; and (4) Characteristics of African culture


Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify and explain the historical factors that have impacted Africa’s development since the 1800s.
  2. Identify and discuss the economic and political systems of pre and post-colonial African societies.
  3. Identify and discuss Africa’s current global political and economic position through its international relations policies.




Online Learning Readiness

Are you ready to be an online learner? Review the information on this page and take the optional Learning Readiness Questionnaire to gain insight into your self-directedness, learning preferences, study habits, technology skills, and computer equipment capabilities.

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