Monday, February 11, 2013

Africa? Where's that?

When I was an undergraduate, a political science professor told us the saddest thing was when Africans saw movies about America they could never hope to have such a society because they were resource poor.
I'm not sure if that affected me, but I could tell you where Tianjin is in China, that the Czech republic is made up of Bohemia and Moravia, but I didn't know where the hell Mali was.
When I looked on the map I was surprised to see that it was right below Algeria. I'd helped get the University of Missouri portfolio out of South Africa, had great students from Ethiopia and Nigeria, but I was an African dunce.
I have a feeling that because of their involvement there that Chinese students know where countries are located on the map of Africa.
Let's have a little poll. How many people knew Mali was contiguous with Algeria? Okay I'm counting. Three?
America has never put any emphasis on Africa. We may be supporting a child in Africa through one of those programs, but we probably don't know exactly where he or she lives.
It's time we stepped up to the plate and learned African geography. As it is, Bill Gates seems to be the only person who knows where to go there.

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