Vol. II, Issue 1 (Winter, 1994-95): Focus on the Horn of Africa

Table of contents

Editorial: Focus on the Horn of Africa

by Prof. Gloria T. Emeagwali

chief editor of AfricaUpdate

Central Connecticut State University was host to over one hundred scholars and students on the 19th of November 1994, at a Conference on "Conflict Resolution in the Horn of Africa."

The Keynote Address was delivered by Ambassador David Shinn of the Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. He focused on various aspects of U.S. foreign policy in the Horn of Africa. Ambassador David Shinn has served in various capacities in ten African countries including Burkina Faso, Mauretania, Cameroon, and Somalia.

Nine other scholars presented papers on a range of issues including a general background of the Somali-speaking peoples, African Americans and the Somali crisis, the role of the IMF and the World Bank and the logistical needs of Somaliland. Speakers included the former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Abdirahim Abbey Farah; Dr. Julius Ihonvbere of the University of Texas; Dr. Amina Adan of Central Orange College, California; Dr. Hussein Adam of Holy Cross College, Massachusetts; Dr. Walton Brown, Central Connecticut State University; Dr. Stacey Close, Eastern Connecticut State University; Osman Ali, Editor of the Horn of Africa; Isak Warsame of Philadelphia and Abdulrahman of the Department of Health, Massachusetts.

Amongst registered Conference participants were scholars from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, the University of Hartford and Harvard University. Contributing members of the CCSU faculty were Doctors Haines Brown, Felton Best, and Evelyn Phillips.

A conference of this nature required not only financial support but also the good will of the administration. Dr. Karen Beyard, Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Dean Clarke of Arts and Sciences and Dr. Tim Rickard of the International Affairs Center, Central Connecticut State University assisted in various ways and deserve special thanks. We will always be grateful to Ambassador David Shinn of the State Department for agreeing to give the Keynote Address. What is equally noteworthy is that the Ambassador accommodated an avalanche of questions and observations with the utmost tact and patience and stayed on to the very end of the conference.

Special thanks and acknowledgements must go to the Members of the Somaliland Committee: Ahmed Jamal (Chair), Mohamoud Dualeh (Liaison Officer), Abdulla Hussein (Secretary), Ahmed Abdi and Ahmed Ahmed (Finance and Accounting), Abdi Musa and Kaysi Gedi. Without their assistance the conference would hardly have been such a great success. We at CCSU believe that collaboration with various African communities here in the United States or elsewhere is a pre-requisite for genuine intellectual and social interaction. African programs must not alienate themselves from the people whose history and civilisation are being celebrated.

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Everyone has heard about the crises in Africa. Some of the worst news comes from the Horn of Africa. Periodic famine throughout the Horn, a failed state in Somalia, a civil war in southern Sudan, ethnic clashes in Kenya, problems in northern Uganda, and dissident activity in Djibouti.

The bad news is so noisy, it is hard to hear the good news. But there are a few quiet successes and some progress to report in the Horn. Uganda is moving ahead economically and politically at a brisk pace. Kenya remains economically important and continues to pursue economic policy reform. New governments in Eritrea and Ethiopia, where peace has returned after many years of war, are grappling courageously with the same issues. Starvation has ended in Somalia and crop production is 75 percent of pre-war levels.

Both the problems and the progress ignore borders. Refugees, for example, cross borders by definition. Four years of intermittent civil war in Somalia have forced thousands of Somalis to flee their country to the relative safety of Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

What can we do about this and the other huge costs--human and material--of ethnic strife? We can try to prevent the strife in the first place, working with regional organizations like the organization of African states, intergovernmental authority for drought and development, individual governments and non-governmental organizations to reduce and eliminate the causes of conflict in the region. We call this crisis mitigation and it is a very important part of our job.

When--despite our best efforts--a crisis erupts, we work to get the parties off the battlefield and into negotiations. Again, we work with the O.A.U., the United Nations, regional states, and anyone else who can help get the fighting stopped and the talking started.

Economic reform is important throughout the Horn of Africa. Kenya and Uganda are at different stages of transition to market economies. We are helping wherever and whenever we can for we believe that this is the only route to economic development and stability in those countries. This commitment dovetails with our active support of U.S. commercial interests in the Horn and the efforts of our embassies to promote U.S. trade.

On the political side, we are actively supporting the wave of democratic reforms sweeping Africa. Kenya had its first free and open election two years ago. Uganda, Ethiopia, and Eritrea are all moving towards elections. Only Sudan clings to military rule, and shows no sign of moving towards democracy while any kind of national government remains illusive in Somalia.

Working with the governments of the greater Horn through the inter-governmental authority on drought and development, and interested donors, we are developing a new strategy to address the problems of the greater Horn of Africa. Food security is key to reducing the economic and political vulnerability of the people of the greater Horn.

In July 1994, US Aid estimated that 25 million people in the region were in need of good assistance. Nearly 14 million of them were refugees and internally displaced persons who fled their homes to escape civil conflict. The other 11 million were victims of drought. This Horn of Africa initiative is designed to develop a joint problem-solving approach that attacks the root causes of food insecurity created by natural causes and man-made civil conflict.

The Ambassador then proceeded to identify specific problems, crises and possible solutions in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda and concluded that the Horn is a reflection of Africa as a whole -- "A region of remarkable diversity where there is some good news to report, some bad and everywhere people struggling to overcome a difficult political past and economic present."

Ambassador Shinn's Focus on Somalia: Some Comments

by Mary Beth Raissen

Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Tufts University

What future for Somalia? In his keynote address Ambassador David H. Shinn, Director, East African Affairs, U.S. Department of State, commented on the U.N. Security Council's recent decision to terminate the mandate for the U.N. Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM), by the end of March 1995. The decision, which has already set the withdrawal of the remaining 15,000 U.N. peacekeepers in motion, was taken in view of "the intractability of Somalia's political problems" and "repeated attacks on relief workers and peacekeepers" as well as "frequent outbursts of major interfactional and clan fighting."

Despite considerable personnel, resource and financial outlay by the United Nations, Somalia has thus far eluded outside attempts to achieve political stability. Given the 1991 unilateral declaration of independence for the "Republic of Somaliland" by the leaders of Somalia's northwestern region, is the two-state solution a viable option?

Ambassador Shinn did not address this question. Instead, he stressed that the goal of the United States in northwestern Somalia, as in other regions of the country, was "to help people and avoid political minefields." Accordingly, he indicated that the United States would not "take any action that might prejudice the future of the region's relationship with other parts of Somalia." In his view such "was an internal matter for Somalis to resolve."

On the question of Somaliland, Ambassador Shinn stressed during the Q and A session that the U.N. political mission for Somalia's national reconciliation, which would continue even after UNOSOM's withdrawal, "had no predesigns for Somalia." Furthermore, the United States "was not going to get out front on Somaliland recognition." Rather; it would follow the lead of regional organizations, particularly the Organization of African Unity, on that matter.

When asked why the U.S. Government had not aided Somaliland directly, Ambassador Shinn explained that the region had experienced "little or no starvation" compared to the south. Even though the original U. N. objective "was to cover the whole country, no one had become deeply involved in the northeast or northwest." However, he indicated that "some work had been done by NGOs." Since the summer of 1991, the United States had provided $6.5 million to NGOs and "a far larger amount to groups like the ICRC, MSF, and UNHCR for regional programs" in Somalia's northwest.

In response to a question concerning U.N. arms control and disarmament policy, Ambassador Shinn observed that disarmament for all intent and purposes had failed. While some heavy weapons had been subject to an arms control policy of cantonment, it remained to be seen what would happen to the weapons held in storage after UNOSOM's departure. He cited three options: destruction; placement in a third party's safe-keeping; return to the Somalis.

Overall, Ambassador Shinn stressed that "the international community, including the United States is not abandoning Somalia." He noted that in the future U.S. activities in that country would "focus on the health and agricultural sectors," with U.S. aid ranging between $31-$38 million during the next two fiscal years.

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The World Bank and IMF in Somalia

by Julius Ihonvbere

University of Texas, Austin

The imposition of IMF monetarist recovery prescriptions in Somalia in 1984-85 did not help matters in any way. Drought had devastated agricultural output in 1978-80 and caused severe strains on foreign exchange earnings. At the same time, the war in the Ogaden had drained scarce resources and diverted money from maintenance of infrastructures and social services to war. In 1981, the IMF moved in and forced the government to create a dual exchange rate, liberalize the economy, privatize / commercialize public services, devalue the currency, impose user-fees on a range of public services, and drastically cut back public sector spending. In themselves, these were unrealistic policies in a poverty-stricken, backward, and fragile economy.

In typical fashion, the IMF had overlooked the specificities of the Somali socio-political terrain; the credibility of the leadership and its ability to impose/implement harsh monetarist policies; the ability of non-bourgeois forces to resist the imposed policies; the character and direction of political contestations; the room for manoeuvre in the global system; prevailing ideological discourses; and the degree of legitimacy and hegemony which the neo-colonial state enjoyed at that moment.

It is not sufficient to bring supposedly well packaged policies from the United States and force them on vulnerable, unstable, foreign dominated and severely distorted political economies and expect miracles to occur. For it to have the required impact, such policies must reflect the specificities and aspirations of the local social formation, and serve the interest of the local economy rather than creditors and other agencies.

The drought of 1984 threw the implementation of the IMF prescriptions off balance. The drought created such pain, tension, uncertainty, and disaster, that the Barre regime could not mobilize the courage to force on the people the difficult medicine prescribed by the IMF. To make matters worse, Saudi Arabia, Somalia's largest market for its livestock exports, imposed a ban on Somali livestock thus effectively halving its foreign exchange earnings. Though Somalia broke with the IMF over the difficulties generated and/or accentuated by the prescription in 1984, it was forced back to implementing the program in 1985.

Like in most cases in Africa, compliance with IMF policies, at great cost to the state and its agencies and agents, did not bring in new money or new investors; neither did it open up developed country markets to Somalia.

In 1987 Somalia broke with the IMF again and refused to continue the imposed foreign exchange auctions. In retaliation, the IMF "stopped all its lending to Somalia." Such an action was enough to signal other lenders, suppliers, credit clubs and donors to terminate support and aid to Somalia. The consequences as described by The Economist was that "shopkeepers cleared their shelves in Mogadishu, and industrial output trailed off due to shortages of raw materials and spare parts, forcing the government back to the negotiating table." At this time, having been forced back to the negotiating table by deepening economic crisis, inflation, lack of credit, and basic goods, Somalia lacked power to argue with the IMF.

A combination of pressures on Somalia not only made the regime more desperate but also destroyed the already fragile basis of the economy and society. As Linda de Hoyos noted, "By the end of 1988, Somalia was forced to impose a new structural adjustment program, this time under the aegis of the World Bank, but with no new funds coming either from the Fund or the creditor banks..." donors and investors kept their distance as Somalia disintegrated politically."

Under the IMF and World Bank, and despite the ruin of the economy, Somalia paid in 1989 a full 47.4% of its export earnings to debt service. Between 1987 and 1989, the currency was devalued by 460%. "The devaluations raised the price of imported goods and food. . ."

It was in the context of these debilitating conditions, and under extreme pressure from deepening economic crisis, a very restless urban population, opposition from neglected clans and communities, demands from creditors, and direct military challenges, that the Barre regime resorted to widespread repression, human rights abuses, and the massacre of defenseless women and children.

Whatever legitimacy the regime had left was eroded by the imposition of the Structural Adjustment program. Policies of devaluation rendered the currency virtually worthless. The program of desubsidization made life difficult for vulnerable groups especially children, women, and the unemployed.

In a poverty-stricken society, this was a prescription for the death of millions who had relied heavily on state support for survival and for access to social and medical services. The cost of food and transportation more than doubled and urban restlessness increased with the implementation of policies aimed at cutting the size of the bureaucracy. The privatization and commercialization program only increased the power of foreign creditors and business interests as they had the foreign exchange to buy up some of the public corporations. This also precipitated a massive lay-off of able bodied workers. In a society without extensive credit facilities and without welfare programs, these policies increased tensions, crime, prostitution, uncertainty, frustrations, and violence.

At the end of the day, neither the orthodox stabilization or structural adjustment packages of the IMF and World Bank could strengthen the state; increase the legitimacy of the government and its agencies and agents; improve trade relations; improve on local productivity; promote a local environment for consensual politics; establish institutions for accommodating the opposition and resolving the national question; and lay the foundation for democracy, accountability, popular participation, empowerment of the people and their communities, and democratization.

Rather, increasing difficulties following the failure of the Ogaden campaign, and the failure of IMF and World Bank programs, made the regime very insecure and desperate. Its response to the situation was massive repression, wanton human rights abuses, attacks against other clans, and the elimination of all real and imagined opposition elements.

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Internet and Africa Studies

by Haines Brown, C.C.S.U. History Department

People look upon the new information age with mixed feelings, for undoubtedly much will be lost as well as much gained.

Ambivalence is particularly manifest with regard to Africa. Unsettled conditions and limited resources in Africa mean that digital communications are less developed than elsewhere. Also, while the cost of computer-based telecommunications might seem modest enough in industrial societies, in Africa its costs are so great that Internet remains inaccessible to the bulk of Africa's population.

Although the direction of current development implies that in not too many years, inexpensive and reliable digital communications will be effectively accessible for the bulk of Africa's population, the problem remains. Telecommunication systems are not owned by their users, and so the issue of control and whose interests are served remains, despite universal access.

Meanwhile, significant resources for Africa studies are appearing on Internet. To illustrate the possibilities, I will mention those available here at C.C.S.U. and briefly describe how to reach them.

This newsletter, AfricaUpdate, is being placed in electronic archives on Internet. To read or download past issues, you must have access to Internet through a university or commercial provider and employ a World Wide Web browser such as Lynx or one of the new graphical browsers (Mosaic, NetScape, WebExplorer, etc.). Web-supported hyperlinks to connect resources has profound implications, and Web access is growing at an extraordinary rate.

A known Internet resource has a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), which identifies its name and location. A Web browser allows you to select or type in a URL so that you can connect to the resource. It is important to type the URL exactly, including case and punctuation. For example, to reach information on how to locate Internet resources, enter the URL:


The URL for the set of AfricaUpdate archives is:


This takes you to a list of the AfricaUpdate issues held in the archives, and if you select one of them, that issue is displayed so that you might read or download it to your computer.

Also, there is here a set of African Studies archives and links to other resources on Internet relevant to African studies at C.C.S.U. The URL of this Africa Studies World Wide Web page is:


Your contributions to these documentary archives and suggestions on how they might be improved are most welcome.

Contact me at:


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Authoritarian Continuity in the Kenyan Election Aftermath

by Frank Holmquist and Michael Ford

Hampshire College

Many people sacrificed a great deal in the process of forcing the political opening in Kenya. Careers were derailed, people were jailed, some were tortured, and some died.

So when the one-party system ended in December 1991, and multi-party elections occurred in December 1992, democracy movement advocates had high hopes for dampening social and especially ethnic tensions, less corruption, and a regime that would better manage the economy, liberate civil society (i.e.. all organization between state and the family), and better protect civil rights. Regime supporters expected almost the mirror opposite -- civil strife, growing ethnic tensions, political instability, and economic decline.

The election brought President Moi back to power with only 36% of the vote. In a winner-take-all Parliamentary structure (unlike South Africa's), the ruling party, Kenya African National Union (KANU), was returned with a solid majority of 108 seats out of 188. The regime and its supporters proved to be better predictors of the election aftermath, in part because the regime helped realize its own worst scenario.

The result was an authoritarian continuity that left opposition supporters and much of the general public disillusioned about the return to democracy. Many people argue that nothing has changed, but the same people invariably acknowledge a more enlivened civil society. If the political opening has allowed more talk but few returns from it, most observers believe the talk, and the organization growing out of it, are necessary precursors to more fundamental change.

Understanding the current social forces at play requires our tracing their role during the opening of the political system in the late l980s. At that time in Kenya, and indeed throughout much of Africa and the Third World, democracy became the dominant "language" of protest. In Kenya this language came to be strongly voiced by so-called establishment churches and the liberal professions, especially lawyers. The latter found themselves dragged into opposition politics as they were harassed, jailed, and worse, when they took on cases of state civil rights abuses. The churches were drawn to opposition politics in the face of state abuse of power that could not be reconciled with deeply held moral beliefs. Like the lawyers, leading churchmen also became objects of regime harassment.

The broad urban middle class and the small African bourgeoisie were also drawn to the democracy movement. The urban middle class expanded enormously after independence largely in state employment, but also in the growing private sector.

By the late l98Os international recession, debt, and local economic stagnation, caused incomes to erode precipitously. With the demise of the political left, the small African bourgeoisie, like the middle class, found no threat to property in the democracy movement.

For some, ethnicity served as a catalyst for recruitment to the democracy movement. Due to a host of historical colonial and post-colonial reasons, ethnic sentiment has been the primary building block of national level political coalitions. The Kenyatta regime's bias toward the Kikuyu was followed by the Moi regime's bias toward the Kalenjin. Thus the predominantly Kikuyu middle class and bourgeoisie became arrayed against a regime that felt surrounded by powerful social forces. The Moi regime all-but-defined civil society organization as Kikuyu-dominated and hence a zone of opposition. As a result state repression grew more intense as the 1980s progressed.

Despite the post-election authoritarian continuity, most opposition leaders remain guardedly optimistic about the future. Most will acknowledge that President Moi is clearly the leading candidate in the next elections, constitutionally required to take place by 1997.

Meanwhile opposition forces are united on the need for a level electoral playing field, the need for a level legal and political playing field which requires a constitutional convention and a new constitution, and a significant diminution of sweeping and repressive presidential powers that were largely inherited from the colonial era. Just how to convene such a conference with results that will have the force of law is a tactical matter over which there is much debate. The operating principle is, however, that while the political opening has had a positive, though limited impact, the problems of partial democracy can only be solved by more democracy.

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African Studies Notebook

A Student View of the Conference of November 19th:


by Agnes Skowron, C.C.S.U.

David Shinn, the Keynote speaker in the conference on the Horn of Africa, addressed the problems and progress of the various countries in the region. His comments on the country of Somalia in particular generated many responses from the audience.

In his address, Shinn noted that Somalia's difficulties can be traced to a series of conflicts which began with the abortive attempt in 1977 to regain the Ogaden from Ethiopia. Perhaps this disastrous event may not have occurred had Somalia remained a country ruled by a civilian (and representative) government. Therefore, it may be argued that Somalia's troubles were initiated by Muhammed Barre, who came to power in 1969 in a military coup. His Somali Revolutionary Socialist party, created in 1976, formed the executive branch of government.

Armed domestic opposition to Barre began in the north in 1988 with the Isaak-based Somali National Movement (SNM) and was brutally suppressed. Other clan-backed groups joined the anti-government struggle, which caused Barre to flee on January 27th, 1991. However, the factions which collectively fought against Siyord Barre and his government turned against each other and created division in the country.

In May 1991 the northwest part of Somalia ceded from the country. Calling their country the Republic of Somaliland, the people concluded that after events such as the bombardment of Hargeysa by Barre's army, they could not remain part of a larger Somali state. The Republic of Somaliland, however, has not been recognized by the international community.

In the south, fighting erupted between rival factions including those of transitional president Ali Mahdi Mohammed and rival Mohammed Farah Aidid. Fighting began in the fall of 1991 and has continued, intermittently, to this day.

Food and access to food was a major weapon for the Mogadishu-based clans in 1991 and 1992. By August 1992 up to one-third of all Somali's faced death by starvation due to drought and fighting, which not only kept farmers from planting crops but also denied many access to food. By this time one million people had fled to Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Yemen.

In December 1992, a UN sanctioned and U.S. led deployment of over 30,000 troops began to ensure distribution of food aid. UN mediators in early 1993 attempted unsucessfully to bring together the various Somali faction leaders to restore peace.

Somalia's political problems remain unsolved to the present day. As a result, the UN was prompted to end UNOSOM's mandate by the end of March 1995. Attacks on relief workers and "peacekeepers" and outbursts of clan fighting also contributed to the UN's decision to remove the remaining 15,000 "peacekeepers."

Shinn asserted that neither the international community nor the U.S. is abandoning Somalia. However, he stated that the U.S. does not want to risk the lives of Americans and cannot afford to pay for a military presence which is no longer useful. Instead, U.S. aid will be given where programs can be carried out.

Many members of the audience expressed grievances about U.S. foreign policy toward Somaliland. For one thing, many citizens of Somaliland are angered that their country has not been recognized by the U.S. People were also angry that the U.S. did nothing to help the people of northwestern Somalia when Barre's army savagely suppressed an uprising against the oppressive government. People accused the U.S. of neglecting Africa and focusing instead on helping European (mainly eastern European). Some Somalis believe that the U.S. has an aversion towards Muslims, which prevents the U.S. from helping somaliland. While the U.S. may have had conflicts with fundamentalist Islamic sects, it is doubtful that the U.S. has any prejudices to followers of Islam. However, people are justified in stating that U.S. foreign policy in many African countries has been negligent, if not negligible, and that it has largely been Eurocentric. Perhaps with more information about Africa (attained through education, conferences, etc.), Americans will extend their attention and aid to the struggling countries of Africa.

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African Studies Notebook

by Cazzie Iverson, President of the African Studies Club, C.C.S.U.

I. Reflections on Ambassador Shinn's Remarks

On November 19th I attended the lecture given by Ambassador David Shinn. He gave a very insightful speech on the problems and measures taken to ensure that the Horn of Africa is moving towards free elections and democracy. He also pointed out measures and aid that the United States Government has given to the Horn of Africa.

The problems discussed were famines, a failed state in Somalia, a civil war in southern Sudan, ethnic clashes in Kenya, problems in northern Uganda, and dissident activity in Djibouti.

On the positive side, Uganda is moving ahead economically and politically. Kenya pursues economic policy reform. There are new governments in Eritrea and Ethiopia, where peace has returned after many years of war. Starvation has subsided in Somalia and crop production is 75 percent of prewar levels.

"Both the good and bad problems ignore borders," Shinn said. He pointed out an alternative that would prevent strife in the first place: working with regional organizations, intergovernmental authority for drought relief and development, and individual governments and NGOs to reduce and eliminate the causes of conflict in the region. "We work to get the parties in mediation and off the battlefield." I have a problem with this because Shinn makes it seem as though those who have differences can work together without quarrels. This is a good attempt to illustrate methods of assistance, but as we see differences create problems under democracy and capitalism.

U.S. commercial and trade interests are evident. Politically the U.S. supports democracy and its reforms, but democracy is failing to achieve justice here in the U.S. The poor get poorer, and the rich get richer. A democratic government should be by the people and for the people does it really work as such? Democracy supposedly addresses the problems of the Horn of Africa which colonization started. Shinn said, "food security is the key to reducing economic and political vulnerability" of the people of the Horn, I have no comment! It is said that the Horn of Africa initiative is designed to develop a joint problem-solving approach that attacks the root causes of food insecurity created by natural causes and man-made civil conflicts. People are not fighting because they don't have food in their stomachs, they're fighting because of a divide and conquer ideology instilled in the Horn.

It is said that the U.S. is helping to ensure legislative elections and representative government. Why is the U.S. trying to impose its political values on others? Do they consider them backward and think it's their duty to civilize the backward world, as did the militant expansionist,T. D. Roosevelt? In the U.S. we have an abundance of heinous crime committed every day. What does this say about democracy? Why does Somalia remain the most troubled country on the continent? These problems have existed since colonization and remind me of the U.S. Civil War.

Shinn said, "The Horn is a reflection of Africa as a whole. . . a region of remarkable diversity where there is good news and bad news, and everywhere people struggling to overcome a difficult political past and an economic present." I agree but he didn't point out why these problems still exist, their origins, etc. It takes more than just negotiation to solve conflicts. Resistance, agitation and other revolutionary methods are needed.

II. African Studies Club attends ASA Meeting

The 37th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association was held in Toronto, Canada November 3rd to 7th, 1994. Some members of the African Studies Club attended, accompanied by Dr. Gloria T. Emeagwali and Dr. Evelyn Phillips of the African Studies Committee.

Africa--its past, its present and its future was discussed. Each panel revolved around a specific regional theme. I was specially fascinated by the topic which dealt with colonialism in Kenya. It was pointed out that Kenya was colonized by the British during the nineteenth century. Kenya was attractive and was used by European and American aristocrats for extra curricular activities. Raw materials such as ivory and cattle hide were very popular. The Malibu system was mentioned and reserves were said to play a major role. The problem was that many settlers and foreigners gained African land and its use was strictly in the interest of imperialism. The presenter said that Africans had mobility, although segregation existed and that the system was less oppressive but I wondered whether the inhabitants of the area accepted this situation passively, without resistance.

Generally I enjoyed the trip. It was intellectually stimulating and the panelists showed their expertise in their various fields.

Please address comments to Gloria Emeagwali