Why Africa is not rising: History reproducing?
Guest Lecture by Professor Ian Taylor, University of St Andrews
Africa is said to be rising, with current high growth rates being pointed to as indicators that the continent has turned a corner; that it is in fact, “the next Asia”. Such commentaries, however popular they may be, neglect the deep historical roots of the continent’s underdevelopment and overlook the structural challenges to any notional Africa rising narrative.
This lecture will argue that was has happened over the last 20 years or so (the period upon which the “Africa rising” discourse has been based) has actually witnessed the reproduction and reification of historical tendencies that formerly were held to be indicators of Africa’s maldevelopment. Ahistorical accounts that sweep away the past record of Africa and the transnational linkages that help maintain the continent’s position in the global economy need serious interrogation. Otherwise, history will simply repeat itself.
Ian Taylor is Professor in International Relations and African Politics at St Andrews and also Chair Professor in the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China. He is also Professor Extraordinary in Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, an Honorary Professor at the Institute of African Studies, China, and a Visiting Scholar at Mbarara University, Uganda. Focusing largely on Sub-Saharan Africa he has authored 8 academic books, edited another 8 and has published numerous scholarly articles, chapters in books, working papers etc. He has conducted research in and/or visited 38 African countries.