Why Study Africa?

Africa is a vital region with some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Africa is a continent of thousands of languages and cultures, unparalleled eco-diversity, and over a billion vibrant and innovative people. The relevance of African issues is apparent in our everyday lives; we use African products, exports, or mineral resources, sometimes unknowingly -- and unaware of the consequences for people and the environment. Studying African history and politics gives us a deeper understanding of world history and especially of current events. For instance, the profits the United States reaped from the trans-Atlantic slave trade jumpstarted our industrial revolution and laid the economic foundations of this nation. Right now, African immigrants are establishing more communities in America, enriching American culture, which puts the study of African issues and cultures at our front doorstep. African Studies are important to students who want to understand their neighbors -- and themselves. You become a better-informed global citizen when you study Africa.