By Daniel Park
Dr. Stephen Appiah-Padi, a native of Ghana who studied in England for his masters, hosted a dialogue in Arches Lounge last Friday on modern Africa. It was the first of many discussions the University is hosting as part of the Global Conversations Dialogue Circle of 2012. It dealt with topics ranging from the workings of the economy to the seemingly ubiquitous corruption associated with African politics.
“Awareness has been growing due to the usage of internet,” Appiah-Padi said.
One of the problems Appiah-Padi pointed out that is plaguing the continent today is ignorance on the part of both foreign countries as well as African countries.
“One of my friends, who was from a populated city region within Africa, did not know of the troubles that her country was experiencing because she had always spent her time within the city, not knowing the vast poverty that existed on the outskirts,” a student in the audience said.
He explained that colonialism has left a deep impact holistically on the African mindsets and is partially the root cause to the vast political corruption in the “democratic government.”
“Colonialism is the biggest concept held in Africa. After Britain had left, Africans wanted to live like them by amassing wealth,” Appiah-Padi said.
The last topic discussed within the dialogue session was on other potential conflicts and resolutions that can reshape the inefficient governments in Africa.
“All educated Ugandans leave to other countries for jobs since the market opportunities in Uganda is miniscule. This ultimately dilutes a potential diverse economy,” Appiah-Padi said.
An example he brought up was a comparison between the number of Ugandan doctors in England, New York and Uganda. There are more Ugandan doctors in the United States than those in Uganda because the risk of being a doctor in Uganda is exponentially higher than being a doctor in the United States.
The majority of those who attended were University faculty members, including Dr. Xiannong Meng, professor of computer science, and Julie Rowe, assistant to the director of the Office of International Education.