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This is your last chance to make a first round contribution to the newsletter. (See address at left.) Since the inception of the newsletter in September '99, ninety-three of you have contributed a total of $1,965 to meet its costs.
|Newsletter Finances: Expenses, mostly printing and postage, for the first seven newsletters total $1,692.71, or about $250 per issue at the present time. Contributions following the last issue fell off markedly to only $30, so I expect to ask for a second round contribution soon. Note that contributions are voluntary. Thanks to all of you who have contributed in the past, and, at least for this issue, please do not send additional funds if you have already contributed. Also, if you are getting the USPS version of the news letter, but could be getting it by email, please let me know. The cost of each printed mailing is about $1.50.|
TEA/TEEA members are invited to submit articles and news items to the newsletter. Submission by disk or email preferred, but typed or handwritten is ok, too. Length should be modest and generally not exceed two pages, single spaced. Content should reflect current or past African experiences or research.
In this issue: We begin with a paper presented by Ward Heneveld to an international forum on education in Dublin in the fall. Ward notes, `[the paper] presents my personal observations on the developed nations' goal to have all children in the world completing primary school by 2015. Most of the international debate is about why the rich countries haven't coughed up enough money to achieve this objective. My take is that there are lots of more difficult problems to achieving education for all.'
|Brooks Goddard gives an update on reunion plans. You'll find articles by Harry Stein, Dean McHenry, and Joan Schieber that come from recent trips each has made to EA. You'll also read responses from my email to the electronically connected asking for books, periodicals and websites of general interest to our readers. The order of articles in this issue is as follows:|
|The Challenge of Quality Education for All
|Brief biography of Ward Heneveld: Over the last thirty years Ward Heneveld has been a secondary school teacher, a headmaster, a teacher trainer, a college president, an officer in two international foundations, and an advisor in education planning to governments. He has worked in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, the United States, throughout francophone and anglophone Africa, and in other countries. From 1990 until the end of 2001 he was with the World Bank, his posting on retirement last year being the Education Sector Team Leader in India. Ward has a diploma in Education from Makerere University College (TEA-Wave 3), Kampala, Uganda, and a doctorate in Education Planning from Harvard's Graduate School of Education.|
|Background information for the paper which follows: The Education for All movement began in 1990 with an international conference in Jomtien, Thailand that called for all children to be able to complete primary school by 2000. Needless to say, this did not happen, so this large group met again in Dakar in 2000 to reiterate the goal of primary education for everyone, this time with a bit more realism about what's required and at least a political commitment from the rich countries to provide sufficient funding. My paper tries to point out that the issue is a lot more complicated than the broad pronouncements from meetings like these are able to take into account.|
The Challenge of Quality Education for All:
Notes for a Presentation to the Ireland Aid Education Forum.
Dublin, 4th October 2002.
I'm going to reflect on four questions that I've taken from the title
for this talk:
The Dakar Declaration includes the following as one of the world's six millennium goals for education:
By 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, (will) have access to and complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality.While the priority seems to be on girls, the term `children in difficult circumstances' suggests other groups that will need special attention if all children are to complete primary education. I think that this term is generally understood to include refugee children, special-needs/handicapped children, children from war zones, and possibly orphans. But there are many other groups who may be in difficult circumstances in different settings -- overage children who didn't start school on time, children who speak a language other than the language of instruction, children from families whose social position puts them at risk, and all rural children compared to their urban counterparts. Think of a Luo youngster growing up in the Kikuyu heartland of Kenya, of the son of the sweeper of the majority-group mosque in a Pakistani village, of the successful farmer's offspring who lives in an unwired village 10 kilometers or more from a junior secondary school, and of this child if he or she is from a village where the language and script of instruction has been different than what is offered in secondary school. Getting them all into school will be hard enough. Seeing that they all complete primary education requires that what they find when they get to school is useful and rewarding enough to keep them there.
Once all the children have access to school, if even 5% of them who enter school drop out each year in a six-year primary cycle only 80% will complete the cycle, and nearly 20% of the all the children who should be there will not be in school at any given point. For example, in India now the data on enrollments from a variety of sources suggest that close to 100% of the children enter school at some time. That is, access is nearly universal. However, when the data from these same sources are massaged to allow enrollments by age cohort to be compared to population data, it appears that at most 70% of the children in the age group are actually in school. Therefore, if the world's goal of getting all the world's children through primary school is to be achieved, the experience provided by the schools must be very attractive.
What is the `EDUCATION' that is to be provided?
The education to be provided has two aspects: what is to be learned and the environment in which it is learned. If everyone is to receive `a primary education of good quality', there needs to be some agreement on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will be accepted as signifying completion. The Millennium Goals for education from Dakar summarize this as `literacy, numeracy, and essential life skills.' The details of what would constitute learning in these three areas is, of course, a national or even more local concern. Still, I think we also need some consensus across locations operationally on what knowledge and skills indicate that primary education has been completed. This is difficult to define. A couple years ago I visited a village in Assam near the Bhutanese border where India's largest `tribal' group the Bodo lives. In an isolated rural schol of 100-plus students and 5 teachers, about half the students were learning in Bodo using the Hindi script and about half were learning in Assamese using the Bengali script. At least two operational definitions of literacy had to be operating in this community, and neither of them would be helpful to a person who wanted to succeed at a national level in India where English is required for advancement. `Essential life skills' are even harder to define. Should agricultural skills be taught to rural students, thus ensuring that they are not equipped to compete with their urban counterparts at the secondary level and beyond? Should they be taught to use a computer knowing the infrastructure that these skills require? I've just come from Romania where it's reported that only about 1% of the university students come from rural areas when close to 50% of the population lives there. What should be taught in rural schools to address this inequity?
Not only is defining the knowledge and skills to be learned difficult. Primary education systems are also expected to instill attitudes, complementing or extending the values and behaviors that children learn at home. In many places much is made of the school's role in developing ethical values, habits of hard work and initiative, a sense of national belonging, and self-confidence. The debate continues on whether school is, or can be, a liberating experience or whether it is one that teaches the majority to fit in, to be followers. I believe that successful education, at all levels, helps each learner feel more powerful vis-a-vis the world around him/her as a result of their learning. In settings where the `children in difficult circumstances' find themselves ignored or criticized by teachers, put down by their peers, and starved of equitable resources and attention, one can only expect that they will leave school with negative expectations for themselves. Education for all should seek to empower all children to better themselves after school, not just to teach them literacy, numeracy, and life skills. However, the development of self-efficacy requires local sensitivities and responsiveness that social relations make difficult and that many governments would just as soon not have to deal with. As important as developing self-efficacy or self-confidence may be, I have to conclude that it is probably appropriate that attitudes are not included in the `what to teach' of the Education for All goals.
Besides what is to be taught, education needs to define the environment in which it occurs. Categories to consider in defining the environment include the learning activities undertaken, the learning resources used in these activities, the staff that provides the learning experiences (both teachers and others), the physical environment in which learning activities occur, and the community and its involvement in the learning environment. There also needs to be a management and administrative infrastructure that supports these categories of the environment that directly touch the learners. All education systems have all of these elements, even where a school is chalked out on the ground, only a few dog-eared old textbooks are available, and a couple local primary-school graduates serve as teachers; and we each have our own images of what constitutes a quality learning environment. Most of the attention in educational reform to pursue Education for All focuses on these elements, particularly the physical environment -- classrooms, latrines, teachers' rooms, and teaching aids; even though their combined influence on learning in any given setting is usually not considered carefully. If we paid closer attention to the extent to which the various elements of a school contribute to student learning in a given setting at a given time, investments could influence learning outcomes more effectively. Those of us who have worked on this issue over the last ten years in Africa believe that clear operational definitions of how the environment influences learning is the key to providing quality education.
What constitutes `QUALITY' in education?
The following definition of quality in education has helped me think about this issue and what it implies for policy and programmes that seek to improve educational quality. Quality in education is:
`An improvement in the environment in which the student work(s) with the aids to learning provided for that purpose by the school system (such that there are) detectable gains in the knowledge, skills, and values acquired by students.' (Kenneth N. Ross & Lars Mahlck (1990): Planning the Quality of Education: The Collection and Use of Data for Informed Decision-making. Paris: UNESCO/Pergamon Press, p. 6)
You will note that the two parts to this definition are the ones I covered in the last section: what to learn and the environment in which it is learned. Changes in the environment should produce improvements in learning, otherwise there is no quality. It's worth noting that this definition does not include any standards that `indicate' quality in education. Rather, the emphasis is on change, on improvement. I'd argue that a school with excellent examination results that was not passionate about improving its learning environment is not really a quality school. Similarly, a poorly endowed school that is striving to improve itself and that shows improved examination results from year to year would be a quality school. Quality, therefore, is defined by what one is looking at. During a training course on school quality in francophone Africa, a group of us from the course visited a three-teacher, three-room, 6-grade primary school where each teacher was teaching two grades at the same time. The teachers had prepared well for our visit, though the old building situated right on the village green needed repairs. The lessons were well-constructed and crisply delivered. Assignments for each side of the room were on the board, and students worked hard on them when the teacher was with the other grade. Our group of training-course participants then met another group at the school they had visited, a new, modern, well-lit building with a classroom for each grade. My group's members had a quick look around and reported back that this school was not nearly as good as the one we'd just visited. The teachers here weren't as well prepared or trying as hard!
The training course I just mentioned was run to share a framework for looking at school quality that a group of us had developed at the World Bank. A copy of the general framework of about sixteen factors that influence a school's effectiveness is attached here. For each of the factors there are also definitions and indicators that we gleaned from research results to make these factors operational and observable phenomena. Since those days, a number of countries have created their own frameworks in order to decide which characteristics are of priority concern now in their system. Once a country group has done this, they've gone on to plan interventions that will change the environment for learning with an explicit expectation that the changes invested in will improve student learning. The framework and some of the country-specific experiences are described in `Schools Count: World Bank Project Designs and the Quality of Primary Education in Sub-Saharan Africa', Ward Heneveld and Helen Craig, Technical Paper No. 303, World Bank, 1996.
What's the `CHALLENGE'?
So, what are the challenges in providing quality education to all school-age children in the world? The central challenge is to find solutions to complex problems everywhere when these problems are probably only really solvable locally. How everyone gets into school and through the first five or six years depends on who the `everyone' is, community by community. What and how everyone is taught is conditioned by the neighborhood, the teachers, and the children's peers, albeit in the context of a national system's needs and resources. And the priorities for improvement this year in a given school are unique to that school. In general, systems have to think and act locally to ensure that a quality education is provided to all children.
There are technical, administrative, and human issues related to thinking and acting locally. Technically, most countries have found ways to offer a possible educational experience to all children close to their homes and to get them into school through enrollment campaigns, feeding schemes, and even payments to parents. Also, we have rich enough research results around the world to suggest what in general the most productive areas of investment will be. For example, it's accepted that providing textbooks, requiring homework, and training teachers well in subject-matter will increase student learning . The World Bank's `Priorities and Strategies for Education: A World Bank Review' (1995) provides an example of the kind of general guidance on these factors, and my framework offers a more detailed definition. But, when one talks about localities like the one with Bodo and Assamese youngsters together, these general guides only provide rough guidance. Local decisions on priorities and resource allocations probably produce better learning environments.
Organizationally, Ministries of Education want to maintain control and direction of educational resources and activities. The tendency to centralize authority over the detailed allocations of resources and over technical guidance of the system (which textbooks, how to teach, etc.) may have a rational basis, but these conditions do not bode well for achieving quality Education for All. I think that the general movement towards decentralization around the world is a tacit recognition of this dilemma. In education, this awareness has also been manifested in the many school improvement and school development grant programs that have proliferated in places as diverse as Chile, Guinea, India, and Romania. However, we have not yet conceptualized well how a whole education system can maximize the space for authority and the capacity of schools and communities to allocate resources to improve the quality of education in their place. I think this is in good part because of the time it would take to bring about change. In my own country, in the 1950's a Columbia University professor reviewed the history of innovations in education and concluded that the average length of time required for full adoption of a successful innovation in education (the blackboard, for example) is about fifty years. More recently, two eminent American educators, David Tyack and Larry Cuban, concluded in Tinkering Towards Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform (1995) that change in American education has been very limited during the last one hundred years, despite recurring ambitious national movements for educational reform. Their conclusion: Whatever comes from above, teachers continue to do what they know they can do well once they're in their classrooms with their children. They'll only make changes that they have been consulted on, allowed to try, and been convinced are worthwhile for their students without increasing their workload beyond acceptable bounds. So, if Education for All is to be achieved, education systems need to give the time for the system to build a capacity for local control of how to improve student learning through changes that teachers and the community have themselves decided upon.
There is also a human challenge in the pursuit of quality education for all. That is the challenge of treating every one of the children, without exception, with the care and love that fosters self-confidence and achievement. Given the quantity of `children in special circumstances' and the variety of reactions people from different groups have to each other, this is perhaps the greatest challenge. When a high caste Brahmin primary school teacher in India refuses to call on a low caste six-year-old in class, how long will that child stay in school? When a middle-class urban graduate of a teacher training college sees her class as dirty, malnourished children, how high will her expectations be for them? When an African headmaster sees his girl students as people to be exploited, will they learn to read and write as effectively as their male peers? The list goes on, and it extends to relations outside the school, as among non-local, foreign-language-speaking teachers and the communities they teach in and between a government dominated by one racial, ethnic, or religious group and the other groups they are supposed to serve. Unless this human propensity to objectify the other, to treat them as alien to us, is also confronted, I suspect that quality education for all will not be achieved. Paulo Freire had it right when he admonished us all to help those we educate to become their own agents. Without that goal obtaining more currency than it now has, I cannot see education for all being achieved.
So, while I applaud the vision `quality education for all' I doubt the target `all children completing primary education by 2015.' The world is too varied, the problems are too complex, and humans are too contrary. Still, the effort is worth it, but we need to temper our expectations with patience and humility as we place our faith in the belief that communities and teachers (when allowed, trusted, and supported) can eventually provide a quality education for all their children.
|A Report on Kampala-03
We have 30 people signed up for the Reunion and 9 more sittting on the
fence. I am very excited that we have had such a good response, and I
hope that more folks will now jump on the bandwagon. For reminders,
Kampala-03 will begin Sunday, June 9, 2003 and end in Arusha on the
morning of June 21. After that folks will be on their own. We have even
made provision for partial participation. Get your tickets
now and visas in April. You may know that a three-person film crew has a
proposal to tell the TEA/TEEA/TEAA story and plans to accompany us from
Kampala to Arusha to safari.
I have recently telephoned Mike Rainy via mobile miracles, and Mike is ecstatic about the changes brought already by the new Kibaki government in Kenya. He says that it has been a literal transformation of which Uganda and Tanzania are envious. Nairobi is clean, and education is on the front burner. We reviewed itineraries and safaris, and he wanted you to know that there is great uncertainty in field prices for lodging and transportation. Therefore, we felt that asking all participants for an additional $150 contingency fee is appropriate (please send this $150 now to
6400 Wynkoop Blvd.
Bethesda, MD, 20817-5934
If prices remain as we have estimated, your money will be returned to you. Also, participants on the Rainy safari might think in terms of an additional $75-100 (please understand that the Rainy contingency amount is Brooks' estimate and not a figure solicited by Rainy). Please also know that the Rainy safari will involve two plane rides: Amboseli to Nairobi to Mara and Mara to Nairobi. Additionally, the national park entry fee for foreigners is now $30 per day (Bill Jones just says that he's still teaching in Kakamega!). The Rainy safari is now full although you may request a place on the waiting list. FOR ALL ACCOMMODATIONS WE ARE COUNTING ON FOLKS DOUBLING OR TRIPLING UP. IF YOU NEED A SINGLE ROOM, EMAIL BROOKS ASAP.
Fawn Cousens has been very busy completing arrangements for Kampala and Uganda. Charles Wabwire is assisting mightily, and Brooks had a fine conversation with Kate Parry, who is now in NYC (she will be in Kampala by late May). Dudley Sims and Lee Smith have been doing great service organizing the Arusha Conference and including the US government and the 3 US embassies. Vince Battle has lent a hand as well. Frank Ballance hopes he can rework his DC contacts to help matters, too. Gene Child has set up a great chat room for those going on the trip; he'll add folks whenever Henry H tells him that your money has come in. Here is the email address: TEA_2003@yahoogroups.com . With any luck there will be some techies along who send back images for Henry to put on the site.
More and more connections are being made, and I just had tea with the chair of the Friends of Uganda. As you may know Peace Corps volunteers have set up these organizations which are not limited to RPCVs, and you may find allies in these groups wherever you live. Trying to sort out the bewildering number of NGO projects is staggering, and this is where our trip will be doing research. While Kampala 03 may be a glamorous demonstration of TEAA's commitment to its former mission, there are many other possibilities for advocating for Africa, East Africa, or your favorite country. I hope some people will take up this kind of charge and initiate activiities other than the reunion kind (OK, which one of you said DC05 ?).
The easiest way to access all info about Kampala03 is to go to the TEAA website:
In short, K03 continues to come together, and we remind you that this venture is a mutual one that several people have spent considerable amounts of time and leverage to make a total success. We hope, therefore, that your memories of traveling in Africa are sufficiently fresh that you will understand that glitches might in fact occur. In that event, we will need everyone's help in problem solving if said glitches threaten the smooth, flawless operation of the adventure that we have tried so mightily to safeguard. Despite world events that have been and continue to be problematic, we have continued faith in the goodness of all peoples, that K03 will be ever so much the success that DC01 was, and that the missions of our lives will see new horizons. (Once the reunion has started we hope to have daily reports on the website. You can check for these beginning around June 9. -Ed)
|International Political Science Assn. World Congress
|If the TEA/TEEA reunion is to be held in Kampala in June, some people might want to coordinate a visit there with the International Political Science Association World Congress being held in Durban, South Africa 29 June to 4 July 2003.|
|TEAA Tax Status
|We have obtained a US (IRS) tax number and our Articles of Incorporation have now been signed by all 7 members of the Steering Committee and mailed to the Maryland Dept. of Assessments and Taxation. 501c3 status from the US should be forthcoming not too long after the Maryland process. Maryland was chosen because its rules are easy and I live there. Joe Malloy, TEA 1A, now living in California, is the guru of this phase of our operation.|
|Thoughts on Present Day Education in East Africa
I was in Kenya for 3 weeks in Oct-Nov 2002. Following are thoughts and
observations about education gleaned from the trip. First some context:
I was a highland person. That is, I spent my three years in Kenya, and
later 7 years in a U.N. project in the `highlands' of eastern and
southern Africa. My Kenyan posting was in Kapsabet in Nandi District,
30 miles southwest of Eldoret. Now to the comments.
1. What is the biggest change over the past 40 years? In the mid-60s as both headmaster and teacher I never saw one parent of any student. Today, every high school in Nandi District -- in my day there was one and now there are over 30, private and public -- has parent associations which influence principals and teachers. At high schools in the most rural parts of Nandi, principals told me that 60% of their form I students had parents who had finished at least O levels. At Kapsabet, the premier school in the Rift during the 50s and 60s, the figure is over 90%.
2. Blue socks and shoes: Drive along a rural road in Nandi during the 60s and you would see children walking home from school. They were invariably shoeless and subject to certain infectious diseases. Today, invariably they have school uniforms, pants and shirt, as well as shoes with matching color socks. 25% have backpacks. The standard of living and health has risen, and the amount of money invested by parents in school kit has increased. Again, I note I have a highlander mentality. Nandi is 7000 feet andon the equator.
3. In the 60s, class size in forms I-IV was never over 30. Now, it is never under 40 in government schools. 132,000 took the O level form 4 exams.
4. Examinations: during the 60s the exams were air freighted in from London, sent upcountry in police cars, and delivered in red sealing wax envelopes which were put into a safe until exam day. Now, the exams come from Nairobi and are secured. But, from the day the exams begin to the day they end, there is an armed policeman on school grounds to ensure their proper movement. `Armed' means automatic weapon, not a rungu.
5. Nairobi and education $. Many highly qualified Kenyan graduates now leave the country for higher education. Two hundred million dollars per year leaves Kenya for their support. Nairobi is also a magnet for education dollars. Many students from Uganda and Tanzania, as well as other English-speaking countries, come to Nairobi for education.
6. The ubiquity of English. In every restaurant i entered with Kenyan friends I saw Kenyan families with children. All conversations were in English. There was some language switching between Swahili and English during conversations between children and their parents. Children spoke to other children in English. Of course, given the restaurants, these were families with some discretionary money. The sites were in towns, Nairobi, and even a small hotel in the Rift between Tambach and Kabarnet. `Ubiquity' and social class are the parameters of language use. I am sure that children and parents in poorer communities or village restaurants would use more Swahili or a local language, but I am also sure that some English would occur regardless of social setting or economic status.
7. Salaries. There is such an overabundance of talented university graduates that a high school principal can hire a graduate to teach English or History for $50 a month plus housing. Government salaries would start at $120, but the principal cannot get government authority to hire. He needs to staff the classes, and he uses local fee money to hire. Science and math teachers get a bit more, but $50 a month for a University graduate is a shattering thought. Government elementary teachers start at $90 a month, but there is a hiring freeze there, too.
8. A white flower. I was staying at a middling type of Nairobi hotel, a few miles from the city center, when I noticed a white flower on the hallway floor leading to my room. It was from a reception being held to raise money for a young woman who had a place in an American college but could not get the necessary I-20 from INS because she needed a bank deposit for reserve purposes. This reception is known as a `harambee,' let's pull together, effort. The family gets important friends to act as sponsors, prints cards, hires a hotel reception room, gets people to come for a buffet meal, and then, after introducing the student, solicits funds for her I-20. Some families have enough money to get the I-20. Others save and then go `harambee' for the remainder.
9. The numbers. In Nov 02, 134,000 took the O level exam, 34,200 passed at acceptable university level, 9600 were accepted into the 6 public universities in Kenya, and maybe 5000 more will get into the 6 private universities. Leaving 18,000 university qualified to go where? What of the 100,000 who did not pass at a sufficient level for university admission? Those who go abroad cannot be considered as `brain drain,' as in the 60s.
10. The quality of education in Kenya. Following are some arithmetic questions from an exam for 5 and 6 year olds at the Nandi Academy. There are 40 children in the class. The room has a blackboard and a piece of chalk. As you glance at the questions ask yourself where in American schools are these skills encountered. The questions: 1) 13+10+16= ___ , 2) 13 books - 10 books = ______ books, 3) 11, 13, 15, ____, 4) A year has _____ months. Write your answer in words.
|Personal Reflections on Tanzania over a Period of Forty Years
Dean E. McHenry, Jr.
Morning had broken when the up-train on Tanzania's Central Line reached
the Gulwe (Mpwapwa) station last May. It had been forty years since I
first arrived at that station and the rush of memories from my
increasingly forgetful mind was intense. The whole first TEA group had
met at Columbia Teachers College in New York so long ago; Julius
Nyerere, who had been at the UN, came one evening to talk with us and
inspire us; that long flight, including the flat tire in Kano and the
chance to go up a minaret in the great mosque there; the classes at
Makerere; the vacation trip by car up to Karamoja, through West Nile,
into the Congo and back to Kampala; practice teaching at Kapsabet
Secondary School in Kenya; and then the boat and train down to Mpwapwa.
Those of us in B-Group were not the TEA pioneers at Mpwapwa Secondary
School. Joe Brady and Alex Cutrules were already there. Joe put us up
for quite a while until other houses became available. Like many
others, the experience molded much of what was to follow in my own life.
It was partly the historical period. When Tanganyika became independent, our group was at Makerere watching the fireworks and riding through Kampala in lorries with great hopes. No, it was more than hope, it was an assurance that the good life was going to come to our East African friends. So fascinating was the political change that I decided to shift from an undergraduate major in geology to do graduate work in political science with a focus on Africa.
But, when my term at Mpwapwa was over at the end of 1963, I took nine months getting home before starting graduate work at Indiana University. Most of those months were spent hitchhiking down to South Africa, catching a freighter from what is now Maputo to Dakar and traveling by local transport across West Africa, back to East Africa and down the Nile before heading east across the Middle East. It all intensified my sense of appreciation for the immensity of Africa and my sense of humility about what I knew of that continent.
I went back to Tanzania to do my dissertation research on development in Kigoma Region and taught a year at the University of Dar es Salaam before taking up a position at the University of Illinois. In a course I co-taught with Seth Singleton, an American Fulbrighter, was the head of the Revolutionary Front on campus, Yoweri Museveni, Uganda's current President. Unlike my TEA days, the vision of a socialist society had been developed, and radical voices echoed across the university. A couple of years later I was back for more research and spent two years in the mid-1970s at the University of Dar es Salaam. My research was on Ujamaa Villages and I had a little Honda CT-90 pikipiki that got me to villages all over the country.
After finally getting married in 1981, I immediately dragged my wife to Nigeria where I taught for a year at the University of Calibar. When my wife got pregnant she left three or four months before I was able to do so. Three years later I got a Fulbright to teach at the University of Dar es Salaam again. This time it was luxury as the university put us up - along with many Tanzanian faculty members - in the Africana Hotel. Our three-year old son was a wonderful companion and my wife loved Tanzania.
Then there was a long period during which I studied Tanzania from a distance. I published a book in 1994 titled `Limited Choices, The Political Struggle for Socialism in Tanzania.' Not many copies were sold, but I felt an obligation to my Tanzanian friends to complete it. By the mid-90s the socialist era of Tanzania's history had passed and a multi-party system was being born. Reviewing the effort to build socialism was thought by many people to be a waste of time as a new era was beginning. Shortly afterwards, the Tanzania Studies Association was formed as an Affiliate of the African Studies Association, and I happened to be elected its first President - an undeserved honor but one that would not have occurred had there been no TEA.
Two years before he died, we brought Julius Nyerere to Claremont Graduate University (CGU) and gave him an honorary degree. The story is a TEA story, in a sense. One of my pupils at Mpwapwa Secondary School was a boy named Mustafa Nyanganyi. I recalled taking a picture of him in his white shorts and shirt standing on a poached elephant during a geography club field trip. To make a long story short, he became Tanzania's ambassador to the U.S., a post he held until early this year. We met and he graciously said he would get Nyerere to come to CGU - which he did. Nyerere was as sharp and as charismatic as he had been that night at Columbia Teachers' College.
As the train moved west from the Gulwe (Mpwapwa) station, the rail line and countryside looked much as they were years ago. But, so much else had changed. Dar es Salaam is a huge city; there are supermarkets and Western-owned hotels; the confidence we had on December 9, 1961, that Tanzania would build the good society in our lifetimes has gone; the great ujamaa vision is now a target of bitterness; there are some very rich people, but also many, many very poor. Still, there is a spirit and beauty that remains -- I'm not sure whether this is wholly real or whether my eyes are distorted by the memories as well as by my age.
|Traveling to Lokitaung; A Journey of Contrasts
Our three-day journey to Turkana was challenging and filled with
contrasts. During our first twenty-four hours, we moved from large,
modern, technological JFK airport through the equally large, modern,
cosmopolitan European hub of Amsterdam to small, basic,
under-reconstruction Nairobi International airport. Our passage through
immigration and customs was cursory and uneventful. No questions. No
need to show our Kenya Visas nor proof of the immunizations we'd so
diligently obtained. Our first real obstacle was fitting the nine of us
from the Brooklyn Oratory with our luggage AND the things we were
carrying for the Mission at Lokitaung into the single van with a very
small luggage compartment sent to meet us and take us to our hostel for
the night. This was the beginning, the first "opportunity" to adjust
our way of thinking about comfort and expectations and time and the way
things are done!
In the dark that first evening in Kenya, we were not able to get much of a feel for Nairobi, but the next morning, as we prepared our vehicle to continue the journey and began our drive westward, we got the sense of crowds and poverty, food stalls and garbage, slums and pollution surrounding the city. It was a city, to be sure, with a skyline of a modest number of tall, modern buildings concentrated in one area. And it had unbelievable traffic - and traffic jams! On the outskirts of the city, we saw donkey-drawn, person-guided carts moving along the roadside and began to become aware of the manualness of life in Kenya, life propelled by human energy. This was a theme which would reoccur throughout our stay.
Our two day drive from Nairobi to Lokitaung brought us from a population of approximately 2.5 million people to one of a few hunded. We traveled past large then moderate then small then minuscule population centers, and as we went, the distances between centers grew significantly until the last ones, Lodwar and Lokitaung, were about 100 miles and, for us, 6 hours apart. In Nairobi, we began at about a mile above sea level. Coming from New York, you could feel that difference in the cooler temperature and the effect it had on your breathing. We climbed and descended and climbed again while traversing the Great Rift Valley and we passed farms that looked quite prosperous in the orange-red earth. Maize, yams, and other vegetables as well as papaya and banana trees were growing plentifully. The produce for sale at the side of the road confirmed that agriculture was thriving and had moved beyond subsistence to approach a market-orientation, at least in that area. Trees, hills, and mountains made up the landscape and it had a green and lush appearance, more so as the miles and time went on. Further on we crossed the Equator, from south to north, and stopped to document the occasion with photos at the marker. Not an everyday experience! By nightfall we had climbed to 7000 feet above sea level at Eldoret, in the Highlands. Rain clouds threatened, the last ones we'd see for the next two weeks. The air was fresh, cool, damp and the vegetation abundant from the frequent rains. Green predominated. We stopped for the night at a small hotel, covering our vehicle with a tent to protect our luggage and the groceries we'd purchased along the way from the enveloping mist and rain.
We were up before light the next morning to get an early start on the second day's long drive, a precautionary measure because we would cross through the Pokot-Turkana border area where there are sometimes "problems.' This would give us the possibility of joining a truck convoy to provide safety in numbers. We ate a quick, nourishing breakfast but needed sweatshirts and long pants for warmth. Africa, equator, cool? Again we climbed further into the mountainous, volcanic area to the west of the Rift Valley, passed farms and natural vegetation, coffee bushes and tall trees, before beginning the descent eastward again into the vast desert terrain that makes up the Turkana region of Kenya. During the morning, as we descended the mountain pass, the temperature began to climb. The dominant colors evolved from greens to browns. Trees became less plentiful, less leafy, and the hills and mountains like rocky outcrops. At the bottom, thorny acacia trees and cactuses prevailed.
As the landscape changed, everything changed. It became hotter, drier, dustier, more sparsely populated by ALL living things. Where we had seen cattle on one side of the mountains, we now saw numerous herds of goats, occasionally sheep, and smatterings of donkeys and camels, all foraging for livelihood. This land did not give much. Water, or lack of, was clearly the difference. Population settlements were smaller and farther apart. The Turkana are by culture and custom nomadic, not agricultural. When an area of land no longer supports their herds, they move on. Settlements, clusters of dwelling places, are fairly temporary and thus built out of materials not required to survive over time. While the roads had deteriorated gradually during our first day's drive, now they were unpaved and severely pot-holed and rutted, a bit like washboards. Riding, especially in the back of the vehicle, was a jarring experience. We spent as much time on the shoulder of the road as on the road itself. This definitely felt like a place untouched by the passage of time. We crossed endless numbers of dry waterways, or luggas, which in rare moments of rain carry water toward Lake Turkana but otherwise are dry and stony. But always on the horizon, sometimes to the east and sometimes to the west, were craggy mountains which added a lovely, purplish strength and dimension to the landscape. It was discernibly quieter in Turkana - with less of everything except space.
Lodwar, our lunch stop, was yet 2 or 3 hours away through landscapes that remained much the same and over roads that jostled and bumped the riders every mile of the way. Lodwar: a settlement, a town, an airstrip, a cathedral, shops, residences which appear to have permanence. Very hot. Flat. Isolated. It is the major inland town in the Turkana territory. The contrast in look and feel between our breakfast and lunch places was dramatic. We had a little time in Lodwar for nourishment and to freshen up, that is, to wash the build up of dust from our faces and limbs and to change into lighter clothes. It was a welcome respite from what was becoming "life in the vehicle!' A quick visit to the cathedral where the beautiful Stations of the Cross were painted with local images, and off again, for we were to participate in a baptism service "up the road a bit" sometime around 4:00.
For a brief time of relative ease, we traveled the paved road maintained by the UN between Lodwar and the refugee camps at Lokichoggio, but soon turned off toward Millematatu, the mission outstation of the baptisms, on the dustiest, ruttiest track yet. Better to call it a track than a road! And this was to continue for the rest of the afternoon and into the dark of night until we reached Lokitaung, our home for the next two weeks, six hours later. To be truthful, we did have a little break, for we managed to reach Millematatu for the baptismal mass at about 5, just in the knick of time. But as the inside-riders climbed out of our vehicle, we were aghast at the appearance of those who had been riding in the back. They were coated all over in light brown dust, and their faces looked blurred and distorted with only the holes for their eyes and mouth showing through. Such a sight we were as we entered the baptism ceremony. And though we tried to slip in to the back of the small church quietly, it would have been impossible not to notice us! Fortunately the music and the spirit of the occasion swept us away and we were drawn in to the celebration of the sacrament in a special way. It was actually quite a special occasion, sharing the celebration of the baptism of 25 adults. And the singing and the welcoming spirit of the people surrounded and embraced us and were a wonderful introduction to life "off of the road,' in Turkana. In a landscape which appeared, to the eye, to be inhospitable, we found people of great warmth.
But Millematatu was still a couple of hours away from Lokitaung and it was dark by the time we climbed back into the vehicle for the remaining part of our journey. We would have to drive north and then loop around to the southeast again to get there. There were still adventures ahead, and Father Albert, pastor of Lokitaung Parish and our mission partner, led the way in his vehicle. The most recent rains, about three months before our journey, had played havoc with the luggas. We came to an unexpected fork in the road and in the dark it was difficult to tell which path to take. Following Father Albert's initial exploration, we took the left fork, bumped and creaked over ruts, turned to avoid rocks, swerved and slid through the sand in the bottom of the lugga, let me repeat "in the dark of night,' only to find that the bank on the other side was much too steep to climb. What to do! Reverse our path back across the riverbed, swerving and sliding, turning and bumping, looking for tire tracks, moving bigger rocks out of the way by hand. In the dark and being travel-weary, re-tracing our path turned out to be more of an obstacle than under ordinary circumstances! Back to the fork in the road, we started down the right-hand path. It was slow going as it was a new and not yet well-traveled path, but we made it and managed to climb up the opposite bank at a different spot.
There were a few more steep climbs up the far banks of the luggas before nine bedraggled people wearily disembarked at the mission in Lokitaung. We were more than an hour late for dinner, almost more tired than hungry, but happy to have arrived, to be on solid ground, and to be out of the vehicle at last. We were a LONG way from Brooklyn!
|A Sunday Afternoon Outing
After our challenging, three-day journey to Turkana and our first week
of physical work on the Natoo Nursery School project, we were more than
ready for a little bit of a change of pace. A Sunday afternoon hike to
an observation point with a wonderful view, all the way to Ethiopia,
sounded like just the thing. We consulted with Father Albert (pastor of
Lokitaung Parish and our mission partner) to assess the walk's length
and degree of difficulty and were assured that it wasn't much more
strenuous than the Stations of the Cross walk, which some of us had
already done, and that it could probably be completed in a couple of
hours. We already knew that we had to multiply Father Albert's
estimates by at least half again, but even so, this felt doable! Of
course we are not all in the shape we once were, and I told the group
that if I found the going to be too difficult, I'd find a place to rest
and wait for them to return.
And so in the middle of that Sunday afternoon, five Oratorians began the journey. Father Albert bid us farewell, feeling assured since we had a young man from the mission to guide us, and off we went on our great adventure! We weren't even off of the mission grounds before a cluster of the boys who were always around joined the group. Five - became seven - became fifteen - and counting! Over the first hill, we passed the local primary school where another group of young boys were in the midst of a makeshift soccer game. Intrigued by the procession, they joined in. Jeremiah, whom we met during the week at another school visit, came along and was my companion. He had never been to the top of the mountain we were to climb and looked forward to the prospect of doing so with great enthusiasm. At every bend, it seemed, the ranks of the hikers swelled until there had to be at least 25 or 30 people in the group. We trooped through a rocky, dry riverbed (or lugga as it is called in Turkana) and scraped by thorn bushes, which clung to our shirts or scratched our arms and legs and hands, chattering away and having a good time. After a while, perhaps a quarter of the way along the hike, we came to a hill which was a bit steep and covered in loose rocks. The barefoot children who accompanied us scampered up over the rocks, nimble and sure-footed. Others in our group found the hill more or less difficult, but I found it to be a warning of things to come. I didn't feel confident that I could keep up the youthful pace nor make it the whole way, so I decided to sit under a tree at the top of the hill and rest and wait. A cluster of young children chose to stay with me. Realizing that I wasn't going to be alone, and with my firm assurances that I'd be okay, the slightly-reduced-in-size group continued on.
So here I was on my hillside perch surrounded by a group of Turkana children. I was concerned that they wouldn't just want to sit there and asked them if they needed to go back to their families. A couple of the very young ones eventually did go back down the hill and homeward, but six boys remained to keep me company the entire time. I wondered how we were going to entertain each other while the walkers continued their hike. We didn't really have a common language, at least not a verbal one; how would we pass the time together? In fact, this turned out to be a very heartwarming experience. Can you imagine a group of active young New York boys being willing to keep a stranger company for an afternoon? Without being asked or pressured into it? With no obvious reward or benefit to them? These boys were quite okay with the idea - and they were charming and funny and exuberant and curious and polite and caring.
My companions were John, Simon, Kennedy, "Simba", Bromley, and another boy whose name I could never quite catch. They were in grades 2, 3, and 4. John, the oldest and thus the one having had a bit more exposure to English, started out to be the more vocal bridge among us. In time, everyone became quite chatty. Simba was slight and a bit shy and smiled a wonderful, shy, warm smile when called by his nickname, which means lion, clearly a little play on words. Kennedy had a kind, round, open face with wonderful big eyes. Simon, probably the youngest, was small, thin, and precocious and could make wondrous, deep, funny sounds with his voice. I asked the boys to tell a story in Turkana, intending for them to at least be able to entertain each other. But they resisted at first. We shared a package of chiclets, one chiclet each. Passing them around was a moment's entertainment! We practiced the alphabet in English and sang the alphabet song, counted in English, Swahili, and Turkana, practiced each other's names, sang a couple of other songs. I tried to teach them the hand motions to The Itsy Bitsy Spider song and told the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, adding sound effects related to the sizes of the characters and the actions. After this, the boys began a little improvisational story telling with sound effects of their own -- and made each other, and me, laugh. Hearing some noises in the distant trees, we took turns looking through the telephoto lens of my camera and they were amazed to see images change with the zoom lens. Of course that prompted a round of picture taking, and so my six caretakers have been recorded for happy remembering.
Gradually, discernibly, the light began to change and the shadows to lengthen. More than an hour had gone by. My companions had remained faithful without question. Eventually a walker came back down the hills past us. I reiterated to him my concern for the boys and said that if they needed to go home they should feel free to do so. He spoke to them in Turkana, but they all insisted on staying with me. I must say, I was quite touched by their generosity and good spirit. After a little while,the rest of the group appeared, exhilarated by their exertion and the views and the success of their journey. My companions and I joined them again for the last leg of the journey home. Although I missed the 360-degree views into distant lands and the baboons and birds sighted along the way, my adventure was equally rewarding. I continue to be amazed, impressed, and filled with joy by the generosity and compassion shown by my six young Turkana caretakers and I am truly grateful to them all.
|George M. Fleming. Edythe (Mae) Fleming has sent a note informing us of the death of her husband on 9-29-02. The Flemings were stationed at Butere, Kenya from August ‘67 to May ‘69. Edythe writes, `Being there was the highlight of his teaching career. Our entire family loved being in East Africa. Please keep sending your newsletter.' Edythe (Mae) Fleming can be reached 819 Sharon Way, El Cajon, CA 92020, 619-449-1719|
|We've Heard from You|
Dale Brinker. I just returned from Tanzania and a trip up Kilimanjaro
and a trip to Tarangire National Park with my sons, Geoffrey and
Forrest. Geoffrey has just completed 3 years teaching with Peace Corps
in Burkina Faso and Forrest is a senior at University of Colorado at
Boulder. I brushed up on my Kiswahili and we had a great trip. I met,
and married, my wife, Margaret at Korogwe in 1970. She was a British
VSO teaching at the Girls' Secondary School. Our boys were very happy
to visit some of what we had seen 32 years ago.
Jean Sorensen. Dear Ed, Thank you for following up on my address. I am
interested in hearing about alums. Since I went long ago (1966-1968) I
have lost touch with the program. I was thrilled to see the letter from
Joel Reuben. He referred to my husband, Don Sorensen, who taught at
Minnesota State U.-Mankato, (then Mankato State U) . Don passed away in
1983. We had gone back to Tanzania in 1976 for one year and lived three
miles north of Arusha in a restored German farmhouse. Don did a pilot
study which explored the adding of technical training for the many
students who do not reach secondary school. This was a project of the
Ministry of National Education-Tanzania, the Community Development Trust
Fund, U.S.AID, and Operation Bootstrap-U.S.A. We worked and lived near
missionary families both in the 60's in Marangu T.T.C. and for the year
in 1976 and I maintain close contact with many of them, yet. Our time
in Tanzania made a major impact on the lives of my family. My son,
David, attended mission schools while there and is now a minister in
St. Cloud, Mn. He and my son, Jay, as adults went back to Tanzania to
make a fundraising video for the Bootstrap school building program.
Other teacher family members make good use of their memories in the
The experiences I had encouraged me to continue exploring world cultures and I received a fellowship from the Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs and went to Japan for a 16 day study-travel tour in 1984. It was co-sponsored by the National Council of Social Studies Teachers. I had been teaching a unit on Japan to my first grade students. I returned to Japan in 1988 with a US-Japan Foundation grant and for three years gave workshops and wrote curriculum with other members of the group. This led to the development of a 15 year homestay progam in Mankato.We (my Japanese teacher friend and I ) have brought hundreds of Japanese students to our area for a three-week stay with families and together with their Mankato buddies they attended enrichment classes. We traveled to lakes, farms, Minneapolis museums, etc. with our students ages 6 to 20. For 11 of those years we have coordinated a return trip with the Japanese children. We have taken students and adults, and our Japanese friends have hosted us for 2 weeks. I am now retired, but I still love to travel.
I think back to our TEEA days as the highlight of our lives.
|Ronald T. Tempest. I was in the last TEEA group to head for East Africa in 1969- WAVE VI. Accompanied by my wife Hildegund and 1 year-old son Christopher, we located at Kinyamasika TTC where I was in charge of the science programs and related teacher-training topics. I was part of a staff that included other TEEA people- James and Kathy Barker from Vermont, Lois Carwile from LA and Pat Regan from the Boston area. Over the next 25 years after leaving Uganda, I was fortunate enough to be able to return to various countries in Africa to do voluntary work in agriculture and animal technology for Heifer Project International. This work included a return to Uganda in 1984 for a 9 week stay during the intermittent hostilities between the Obote government and that of the "rebel,' Musenvenyi, now Uganda's President. After 33 years, we continue to maintain good contact/correspondence/support with several Ugandans including former staff and students as well as Lois Carwile.|
|TEAA Resources for Pleasure, Information and Study
|In early January, I sent an email asking for resources on Africa. The responses follow. If you have other suggestions, please send them along to me, and I'll include them in a future issue. Thanks to all who responded. -Ed|
I just finished "Abyssinian Chronicles" by Moses Isegawa. About Uganda during Amin, Obote II, and afterwards. Fiction. Very moving in parts. -Ross Coates
`Black Livingstone,' by Pagan Kennedy, Viking, Jan. 2002. First Black American to explore Congo in 1870's; William Sheppard was an adventurer at heart who went to Africa as a missionary, but lived the life of an adventurer even as the Congo was being annexed by King Leopold of Belgium. A must read. -Lloyd Sherman
The "must read" which I assign students in all courses re: "development" is Walter Rodney's classic "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa." -Joyce Kramer
Two books I've read in the last few years that I think are good reads are: "Leopold's Ghost" by Adam Hochschild, a history of the appalling treatment of the Congo by Leopold and the Belgians after the partition in 1885. "Masai Dreaming" by Justin Cartwright, a novel about an English screenwriter/historian on assignment in Kenya who is trying to write a screenplay about a German Jewish female anthropologist from the thirties who spent time with the Masai and was then killed in a German concentration camp. Lots to think about with respect to value systems and relationships. The Masai values rang true for me, but Michael Rainy could tells us whether they are valid. If anyone who's lived in Africa and had servants has not read Nadine Gordimer's "July's People" it's a must. In this novel, the apocryphal "revolution" comes in South Africa and a liberal white family ends up in their servant's village treated as they had treated him. -Ward Heneveld
We enjoyed the IMAX film about Kilimanjaro recently and the book, `Kilamanjaro, to the Roof of Africa,' by Audrey Salkeld, brought back many memories . -Kevin Barker
A good read is John le Carre's "The Constant Gardener.' It is a moving novel, set in Kenya and Central Africa and deals with environmentalism, the pharmaceutical companies, expatriates, and government bureaucracy. -Ken Kelsey
We have just bought a book containing a cross-section of African writers. The Foreword was written by Chinua Achebe - someone many of us read during our East Africa days; e.g. "Things Fall Apart.' Haven't read the new book yet, but it looks interesting. Sounds like the stories are somber in tone. Title: "The Anchor Book of Modern African Stories" -Joan Schieber
Basil Davidson's `The Black Man's Burden: Africa and the Curse of the Nation-States' is a fine book by a longtime and important observer of Africa and African history. -Mark Helbling
`The Famished Road' by Ben Okri, a brilliant Nigerian writer, who has won the Booker prize. -Edward Hower
I am co-coordinating a seminar on contemporary Africa for retirees at Brown University next semester and while we are not using any one text, here are a couple of decent books on recent Africa developments: `Africa since 1940, the Past of the Present,' Frederick Cooper, Cambridge University Press, 2002. `The African Inheritance,' Ieuan Griffiths, 1995, Routledge, London. `Africa Since Independence,' Colin Legum, Indiana U. Press, 1999 -Rod Hinkle
Try Aminatta Forna, `The Devil that Danced on the Water' and Bill Berkeley, `The Graves are Not Yet Full: Race, Tribe and Power in the Heart of Africa.' -John Bing
There's a thinly disguised memoir as novel called `Rules of the Wild' by Francesca Marciano, Pantheon Books, NY 1998 ISBN 0-375-40358-2 that at times is a delight, always evocative of Kenya. It's a tale of expatriates there in the early nineties when the westerners are mainly journalists, UN, somehow connected to happenings in Somalia. A time gap, except for the opening paragraph which could have been written in the1960's. -Mary Hines
Those interested in reading about contemporary art in Africa would do well to pick up Sidney Littlefield Kasfir's `Contemporary African Art,' a Thames and Hudson publication. It is a 1999 publication that has the advantage of avoiding some of the shortcomings of a number of related texts that examine the same terrain. East Africa, for instance, is not given short shrift. Language is not weighted down with artspeak. While Kasper does not tell the whole story, I have not come across another general text that is as accessible. -Bill Jones
We think Barbara Woods' "Green City in the Sun" gave one of the best treatments of colonialist-native relationships in Kenya. We have been giving copies to everyone travling to Kenya for years. It is available in both hardcover and paperback. -Gene Child 1. `Teaching African Literature' by Eliz. Gunner, pub by Heinemann. 2. African Novels in the Classroom, ed. by M. Hay, pub by Reiner . 3. `Great Ideas for Teaching About Africa' ed. by Bastian & Parpart, pub by Heinemann. 4. `The Diligent' by R. Harms, pub by Basic Books (mercantilism, slave trade, all based on journals). 5. `Problems in African History', trilogy by Collins, pub by Markus Weiner, get updated versions (great resources)6. `African History in Documents' trilogy ed. by Collins, pub by MW (great resources) 7. `King Leopold's Ghost' by Hochschild, pub by Houghton Mifflin (very readable, about the rape of the Congo) -Brooks Goddard
Classics include Chinua Achebe's novels, including "Things Fall Apart." -Joyce Kramer
Central Africa serves as a focal point for publishing these days, and several recent books stand out of particular interest. One is a novel, by Barbara Kingsolver, entitled `The Poisonwood Bible.' It is a fascinating and vivid portrayal of a missionary family in the Congo at the time of decolonization; while not "true" to history in every regard, it is nonetheless authentic in the way it captures the flavor and the characters of the day. And it is written in a wonderfully engaging style.
A second is not a novel but a biography, almost a case study of Kingsolver's novel: "Black Livingstone," by Pagan Kennedy. This is a popular/trade biography of William Henry Sheppard, an African-American missionary in the Congo in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He worked in Kasai, an area utterly devastated by the policies of rubber collection and human exploitation under King Leopold's "Congo Free State." Written in a most accessible fashion, this is a powerful commentary on racist elements to Sheppard's US experiences as well as on evangelical practices and challenges in colonial Congo.
A slightly older book in a similar vein, but this time on Ota Benga, a Congolese Mbuti ["pygmy"] brought to the US by missionaries to perform [that is the proper word] in the St. Louis World's Fair, and later abandoned; he ended up encarcerated in the primate cage in the Brooklyn Zoo, until freed through the efforts of an African American pastor in New York. It is a depressing true story that goes beyond our comprehension today, of the horrors of paternalistic racism of a century ago. The book is "Ota: The Pygmy In The Zoo," by Phillips Verner Bradford & Harvey Blume.
The entire sordid history surrounding these two last books is summarized in Adam Hochschild's "King Leopold's Ghost: A story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa." While the material is not new, it is a very poweruful summary of the "Red Rubber" regime in Congo and the people behind it--as well as about those who opposed these horrors, in what amounted to the first global human rights campaign, led by E. D. Morel of Britain, but drawing on the work and observations of many courageous people in the Congo at the time, include Roger Casemont, George Washington Williams, and Sheppard himself. King Leopold is the centerpiece, not the people of the Congo, but it is a riveting read.
For more recent material, Ludo de Witte's book, "The Assassination of Lumumba," is a powerful indictment and evocation of the decolonization period. It is almost a day by day (and, tragically, "blow by blow") account of the events leading up to, and through, Lumumba's assassination, focusing particularly on the role of Belgians in the process. It does not concern itself so much with the wider Congolese aspirations, struggles, and tribulations, or the multiple political currents swirling through the region during the "Congo Crisis," but it is excellent at showing that Congolese history is not simply the history of Congo alone: its history has had a lot of input from the outside (and that continues still today). Very focussed but a very powerfulread.
Of course there are whole libraries on the recent politics. But for reliable accounts of several recent political struggles in Africa--including a chapter on Congo and one on Rwanda--written in a style which provides easy accessibility for a popular audience--I suggest Bill Berkeley's "The Graves Are Not Yet Full : Race, Tribe and Power in the Heart of Africa."
And finally, for a series of rather selective sketches of the last years of the Mobutu regime one might look at Michela Wrong's "In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz : Living on the Brink of Disaster in the Congo."
And this is just the recent stuff! Hope this is helpful, at least for Central Africa. -David Newbury
My head is on other things than Africa these days. Primary sources remain NYTimes & NPR/BBC. -Berkowitz, Marvin
I used to read AF Press Clips done by the Department of State. I have not done anything with Africa for so long, don't know if that pub is still done. -Ken Griffin
The group may want to read in The Times (London), Thursday, January 2, 2003, the cover story: A Model African Leader: A Rebel With a Capitalist Cause. It is a well written article about President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, highlighting his views and his Philosophy on African Developmental Needs, etc. Perhaps you can get a copy from the internet. I have a hard copy. -Moses Howard
I would suggest is what lots of people will, also suggest, I hope, and that is the Economist. -Reed Stewart
The Washington Ofice on Africa publishes a hard copy newsletter entitled "Washington Notes on Africa," which can be obtained free by contacting them at 212 East Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20003. Their email address is email@example.com where one can join their Rapid Response Network and receive emails on current issues. -Joyce Kramer
The TEAA newsletter!
A site I've used is http:/allafrica.com . It deals with all of Africa but gives the ability to narrow your scope to a specific country - or perhaps even a specific topic. -Joan Schieber and others
An outstanding web site for photographs of EA birds and mammals is http://www.birdingafrica.net/ . Hundreds of photographs by Ron Eggert with whom we travelled last summer in Tanzania. -Miles Paul
My principal electronic sources are the Africa Policy Information Center and www.africaaction.org (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). -Joyce Kramer
The Uganda Monitor Newspaper's web address is: www.monitor.co.ug The Kenya Daily Nation Newspaper's web address is : www.nationaudio.com -Gloria Alibaruho
The Nation newspaper is available on the web. -Gene Child
Here are a couple of web sites that should be of interest: http://www.nationaudio.com/News/EastAfrican/current/index.html http://www.nationaudio.com/News/DailyNation/Today/ -Miles Paul
My daughter introduced me to africana.com as a resource. We've been following the recent Kenyan election that way. -Diana Nyangira
In preparation for our trip to Kenya last summer I used these: www.cdc.gov for health considerations and immunizations. This site had links to the State Department and other places where additional information, such as info about travel safety, could be found. www.kenyaembassy.com for information about Visa requirements for Kenya and links to East African news sources. We did a brief visit to Masai Mara - and I believe the
Several Kenyan newspapers (and probably those of the other EA countries) are available online. I got to them through google.com. -Roz Blanck
1. AFRICA BUREAU BRIEF USAID (current periodical): www.afr-sd.org and www.usaid.gov.regions.afr
2. AFRICAN BUREAU INFORMATION CENTER (current periodical) email@example.com
3. AFRICAN RECOVERY UN (current periodical)
4. BBC website is awesome.
5. See stuff I put on the TEAA website. -Brooks Goddard
A writeup on theTEAA reunion of 2001 in DC and a brief history of TEA and TEEA published by Teachers College is on the web at http://www.tc.columbia.edu/newsbureau/tctoday/winter2002/w02tea.htm. The site acknowledges help from TEAArs Ed Schmidt, Kay King and Freeman Butts. I have also added direct links from our homepage to the national webpages of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. All of these links are embedded in the text. -Henry Hamburger
The Africa Action site I previously mentioned has a journal which can be reached: