Africa in Perspective

Aug 07, 2003Aug 08, 2003


Session One: Thursday, August 7

Understanding the African Crisis

George Ayittey, PhD

Visiting Associate Professor of Economics

American University

 Session Two: Friday, August 8

The AIDS and Malaria Epidemic: Responses and Solutions

Amir Attaran, D. Phil

Research Fellow

Harvard University

Click here to listen to Audio Archive

 In recent months, the tragic stories of war, massacres, and disease in Africa have swept headlines across the globe.  This barrage of disturbing news has illuminated the challenges of a struggling continent rich in natural resources but unable to achieve prosperity for its people.

One key explanation is public health.  With over 25 million Africans likely infected with the AIDS virus, and 2.5 million dying annually from Malaria, it is exceeding difficult to achieve any kind of stability.

Another major challenge is economic.  USAID, IMF and the World Bank have launched countless programs to stimulate growth with little success.   Since the end of colonialism, Africa’s economic development has remained stagnant, including suffering under both domestic and foreign trade barriers. 

In an effort to begin tackling these problems, African leaders formed the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) to present a “bold and clear sighted African vision of how Africa is assuming responsibility for its development and full integration into the world economy.”    But is this new institution the answer?  Can it harness the resources to bring prosperity to its members?

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is offering this course to provide Congressional Staffers with an economic and historical perspective.  Our faculty will address such questions as:

  • How does Africa’s colonial history and political structure affect its present day problems?  
  • What should be the role of foreign aid in combating AIDS and malaria?     
  • Should the west support the New Economic Partnership for African Development?   
  • What role should the US play in stimulating economic growth in Africa?