Chapter 6: Africa in the World Today



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Regional and Global Issues
Chapter 6: Africa in the World Today

Lesson Questions

How do the goals of the Organization of African Unity reflect the interdependence of African nations?

Why do African nations take an active role in the United Nations?

How did African nations respond to Cold War issues?

How are Africans using science and technology to solve problems?


Chapter Themes:

1) Through regional and international organizations, the nations of Africa have worked for peace and economic development.

2) Although African nations generally remained nonaligned, Cold War politics had an impact on them.

3) Under internal and external pressures, South Africa has taken steps to end its policy of racial segregation

4) African arts and literature blend traditional and modern influences


  1. Regional and Global Issues

    1. Regional Cooperation

      1. Pan-Africanism led to the creation of individual nation states

      2. OAU – Organization of African Unity, formed in 1963 was focused on maintaining peace and settling internal disputes

      3. AU – African Union replaced OAU in 2002 because members thought the organization had too much power in internal affairs

      4. the AU focuses more on attracting foreign investment

      5. Africa also has economic organizations such as the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) and Economic Community of West African States (ECWAS)

    2. International Ties

      1. Many nations have joined the United Nations to develop their countries

      2. OPEC – the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries, Algeria, Libya, and Nigeria are all members

      3. also most belong to the British commonwealth of nations

    3. The Cold War and After

      1. most nations chose nonalignment

      2. both sides sometimes supported opposing sides in the civil war

    4. Debt and AIDS

      1. money is needed to educate Africans about the spread of AIDS

    5. Ongoing Challenges

      1. farming and distribution of food

      2. disease control

      3. implementing technology

      4. limiting family size

Lesson Questions

What was the purpose of apartheid?

How did apartheid affect the lives of South Africans?

Why did South Africa move toward democracy?




  1. The Republic of South Africa

    1. A Policy of Forced Segregation

      1. 1910 – G.B. granted South Africa self rule

      2. Until 1994 a small white minority governed the state (16% of population were white)

      3. Apartheid was implemented in 1948 by the Nationalist party which drew support from white settlers

      4. The policy set up strict laws of separation ranging from white only or black only restaurants, park benches, busses, schools etc.

      5. blacks could only live in certain areas unless they had a pass

      6. 4/5 (80%) of the most fertile farm land was controlled by whites

    2. Struggle Against Apartheid

      1. Leaders such as Albert J. Luthuli and Archbishop Desmond Tutu led a policy of non-violence

      2. Nelson Mandela led the ANC (African National Congress) from jail for almost thirty years

      3. student protests, women protests, and international economic sanctions via the UN put pressure on changing Apartheid

      4. South African were even banned from the Olympics

    3. Steps Toward Change

      1. 1989 – South African President F.W. de Clerk lifted the ban on the ANC and in 1990 freed Mandela

      2. the country then wrote a new constitution

      3. Mandela became president until 1999 (retired) when Thabo Mbeki took office

      4. South Africans fight today to maintain basic human services and political equality

Section 3: Literature and the Arts

How do themes in African literature reflect African life?

How has African art influenced other cultures?



What are the unique features of African music?


  1. Literature and the Arts

    1. African Literature

      1. story telling is an integral part of African history

      2. a griot is a story teller

      3. oral tradition was always important to history and culture

      4. Hamidou Kane wrote Ambiguous Adventure – about an African who studied in Europe and loses his heritage

      5. Chinua Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart which focuses on an African village losing its traditional culture

    2. Dram and Film

      1. Yaaba depicted an African legend about a witch

      2. Ama Ata Aidoo – wrote the Dilemma of a Ghost; student who returns to his village with an African-American wife

      3. Sembene Ousmane – wrote The Camp at Thairoye; focuses on massacre of African soldiers by the French in 1944

    3. Modern Art

      1. Africans make crafts and sculptures

      2. most modern art reflects African problems

      3. Kane Kwei – makes coffins in the shape of particular objects

      4. mbira – the thumb piano is popular in southern Africa



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