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January 31 2014


January 30 2014


TTBOOK: The Course of Time

Where did we come from, and where are we going? Whether it's the Garden of Eden and Armageddon, or the Big Bang and the Big Freeze, we can't help but ponder our place in the universe. Brian Swimme on Organic Time; Thebe Medupe on Astronomical Legends; Jim Crace on the End Time; Ron Mallett on Time Travel; Fleda Brown's "For My Daughter's 40th Birthday".
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December 11 2013


Africa: Post-Mandela

After Mandela, a look at the challenges and opportunities of sub-Saharan Africa.


Sean Jacobs, editor of the blog Africa is a Country. Assistant professor of international affairs at the The New School’s Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. Editor, “Thabo Mbeki’s World: The Politics and Ideology of the South African President.” (@AfricaIsACountry)

Vera Songwe, World Bank country director for Senegal, Cape Verde, Gambia, Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau and lead economist. Non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative.

Mike Obel, markets editor for the International Business Times. (@MikeObel)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Mandela’s Death Takes Heat Off Zuma – “It is a sharp turnabout for a president who has been under fire during much of his nearly five years in office. The most recent public flap relates to a probe by the government’s anticorruption watchdog into a $20 million security upgrade at his rural home in the village of Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal province. South African lawmakers accuse the president of lying about the upgrades and have threatened a motion of impeachment if the watchdog, the Public Protector, finds that Mr. Zuma used public money for nonsecurity improvements at his home.”

Foreign Affairs: A Cure for Africa’s Common Cold — “The main challenge is coalescing political will to do the job. Despite its tremendous burden on affected societies, malaria, in the most heavily infected places, is considered a ‘relatively minor malady,’ in the words of a 2003 World Health Organization (WHO) report. That might seem counterintuitive, but it is a matter of simple risk perception. In places such as Malawi, where the average rural villager receives hundreds of bites from malaria-infected mosquitoes a year, a child might suffer 12 episodes of malaria before the age of two.”

The Atlantic: Is China Transforming Africa? – “There are both very positive and negative aspects to the Chinese presence in Africa. I think arguments that China’s involvement in Africa is a form of neo-colonialism are both simplistic and prejudiced, but there also plenty of people looking at Chinese economic and political ties to Africa through rose-tinted glasses. It is certainly refreshing for African countries to deal with an enthusiastic new global player with deep pockets and little interest in pushing an ideology. It is up to African political and business leaders to make sure that their own countries do not get a raw deal.”

August 20 2013


Airports | Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Earth Beat, 6 July 2012. We check into the airport environment. How come flying used to be glamorous and now it’s more like being a herded animal? We meet the people trying to lift your airport experience to the next level - come fly with us. http://www.rnw.nl/english/radioshow/airports-0

March 17 2012


Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and How the World Can Finally Overcome It - FPRI

March 14, 2012 Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin tell the surprising story of how Western colonial powers unwittingly sparked the AIDS epidemic and then fanned its rise http://www.fpri.org/multimedia/2012/20120314.timberg.aids.html

February 11 2012


MissionaryBroadcasting.com - Vernon Rosenau: Africa and Europe

Today we meet Vernon Rosenau, missionary in the Central African Republic from 1975 to 1999, and current Administrator for Africa and Europe with Baptist Mid-Missions.

January 12 2012


Rethinking "Out of Africa"

I'm thinking a lot about species concepts as applied to humans, about the "Out of Africa" model, and also looking back into Africa itself. I think the idea that modern humans originated in Africa is still a sound concept. Behaviorally and physically, we began our story there, but I've come around to thinking that it wasn't a simple origin. Twenty years ago, I would have argued that our species evolved in one place, maybe in East Africa or South Africa. There was a period of time in just one place where a small population of humans became modern, physically and behaviourally. Isolated and perhaps stressed by climate change, this drove a rapid and punctuational origin for our species. Now I don’t think it was that simple, either within or outside of Africa. CHRISTOPHER STRINGER is one of the world's foremost paleoanthropologists. He is a founder and most powerful advocate of the leading theory concerning our evolution: Recent African Origin or "Out of Africa". He has worked at The Natural History Museum, London since 1973, is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and currently leads the large and successful Ancient Human Occupation of Britain project (AHOB), His most recent book is The Origin of Our Species (titled Lone Survivors in the US). http://edge.org/conversation/rethinking-out-of-africa

January 03 2012


May 19 2011


Children of Sodom and Gomorrah - RN 360 - 7 May 2011

Sodom and Gomorrah is a hellish place in Accra, Ghana where children eke out a living on a scrap heap of discarded computers that The West no longer needs. They sell the computer parts but the toxic chemicals in the waste are slowly poisoning the children. They dream of escaping illegally to Europe to live like the people whose computers they are harvesting. Producer Jens Jarisch went to Sodom and Gomorrah and then followed some of the children on their treacherous journey across Africa. He also followed the e-waste on its journey from the the docks in Germany to a place that's out of sight and out of mind. This is an adaptation in English of a German program that won the Prix Italia prize for Radio Documentary in 2010. The adaptation was produced by Sharon Davis with narration by Rebecca Massey and additional performances from Josef Ber and Thuso Lekwape. Further Information: Photos of the children at Sodom and Gomorrah(http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-49449.html) The children of Sodom and Gomorrah Further reading from German magazine Der Spiegel (http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,665061,00.html) http://www.abc.net.au/rn/360/stories/2011/3206745.htm

March 21 2011


DocArchive: The Short History of Five Notes: 25 Feb 2011

Dancehall singer Sean Paul, Hip hop star Missy Elliot and Malian singer Habib Koite all use a deceptively simple but hypnotic beat from the heart of Africa in some of their biggest hits. But what is it? Music journalist Rita Ray journeys to Ghana to find out.

March 04 2011


Special Report on South Africa - The Economist

This is a quick documentary made by The Economist magazine, looking ahead to the world cup in South Africa. It's from early last year.

Keeping The Peace

A documentary about Liberia, looking at the peace process since the end of the civil war in 2003.

January 07 2011


Cities - Sydney, Freetown and Cape Town: Convicts and Empire

From http://sydney.edu.au/podcasts/index.shtml A Sydney Ideas Open/Sydney Humanities Salon Co presentation Dr Kirsten McKenzie and Dr Emma Christopher, Department of History, University of Sydney Many Sydneysiders think they know all about the history of their city, but few know that its convict past links it firmly to Africa, a continent many Australians know little about. Emma Christopher and Kirsten McKenzie uncover a forgotten history of abandoned plans and lost hopes, of political objections to sending convicts to Africa and the sufferings of those who were sent there. By revealing the convict connections to Freetown, Sierra Leone and Cape Town, South Africa, they show how very nearly the stories of Africa and Australia came to taking different turns. They are in conversation with Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney and Professor Deidre Coleman, University of Melbourne. September 9, 2010 (Running time 1 hour 21 min, 37.5Mb MP3)

October 04 2010


LSE Lecture - Mobile Phones For Developing Countries

Tags: mobile lse africa

August 26 2010


Interview with Elizabeth Colson

Interview of Elizabeth Colson, conducted by Alan Macfarlane on 11th April 2006 at the ASA Diamond Jubilee Conference, edited by Sarah Harrison. For the full video interview, visit the Anthropological Ancestors website here: http://www.alanmacfarlane.com/ancestors/colson.htm

August 04 2010


Helping Women in Congo

A young American dropped everything to help the women of Congo. We hear her story.

June 26 2010


Building a School, Stone by Stone

We hear the stirring story of a man who built a school for AIDS orphans in Uganda, stone by stone.
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