And Now Africa

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prof. dr. R. (Rijk) van Dijk, dr. N.R.M. (Nicky) Pouw, dr. K. (Karen) Witsenburg, dr. C.T. (Karin) Nijenhuis


The course will aim at:

  • Building-up broad knowledge about Africa's recent developments and the socio-economic and cultural context to understand and interpret Africa's current development acceleration;
  • Knowing how to make a multidisciplinary assessment of the various 'frames' which are used by people from different disciplinary backgrounds to assess ‘development’ in Africa;
  • Acquiring a combination of scientific and practitioners’ knowledge, lectures and debates;
  • Providing a solid basis (at Bachelor's level) for continued interest in Africa at Master's level and beyond, or for people who want to use this course to enlighten and inspire their practical engagement with Africa.


The course 'And now Africa!' for students and others who are interested in and want to understand more about current developments in Africa will provide much food for thought about the context of 'Africa Rising', or 'Emerging Africa'. Indeed, the growth figures for Africa have been impressive over the past decade, and despite turmoil and crises (ebola, Boko Haram, ISIS, al-Shabab, Mali, South Sudan, Burundi, etc.) business is thriving and ever more companies and agencies are coming to Africa to explore the new possibilities, also from many parts of Asia and South-America. Europe has to rethink its position towards Africa. Africa is no longer its backyard. Or is it, in terms of sharing Africa's problems?

This course will provide to all those who participate a sense of context: Africa is rising, but for whom? Where and how does economic growth take place and can it be seen as transformation? What about the consequences of continued rapid population growth and urbanization? What about the youth revolution? What about culture and religion?

The course will be a combination of three sources of knowledge exchange: (a) debates on the basis of recent literature, (b) debates on the basis of lectures given by prominent scholars based in the Netherlands (including African scholars), and (c) debates on the basis of public interviews with prominent policymakers and practitioners based in the Netherlands (including African diaspora).

Required knowledge

No prior knowledge required


UvA students can enroll from December 2015 using the course code 5512NOAF6Y in SIS.

Contract students and students from other institutions can enroll through a registration form which will be made available in the same period here below. 


12 sessions


For the most up-to-date timetable visit: Datanose

Study materials

  1. Stephen Ellis: Season of Rains (2012)
  2. Reader with selected articles related to the topics


See  here.


After 12 sessions there will be a final exam.


If you have any questions, please contact the IIS

Conditions for admission
6 ECTS, 15 weeks
Language of instruction
Starts in

Published by  Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies