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Africa: A Focus On The Southern Cone

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.146.1 - 6.146.9



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Arthur Gerstenfeld

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2793

Africa: A Focus on the Southern Cone Arthur Gerstenfeld, Ph.D. Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA 01609


The purpose of this paper is to discuss an innovative project, partly based on a recently passed law entitled "Africa Growth and Opportunity Act" and to show how this presents opportunities for universities and for businesses. The first part of this paper discusses some of the background regarding U. S. and Africa. The second part of the paper describes a project starting in summer 2001 that we believe may impact many students and faculty at our university and at others. The final portion of the paper presents a view of the future role of teaching in terms of Africa and other developing nations.


The purpose of this paper is to show the importance of increasing our focus on Africa rather than avoiding it. There are enormous problems that exist on the continent but unless we make attempts to work with this part of the world, those problems will become worse and there is no doubt that the problems will spread to other countries in other parts of the world, including United States. In this paper the emphasis will be on Namibia and South Africa.

There are increasing expressions of Africa indignation at Western countries tepid response to local efforts to turn around the Africa economies.i Foreign investment in sub- Saharan Africa increased by 17 percent during the 1900’s to reach $6 billion in 1999. However that is now flattened off. Colonial rule ended in Namibia in 1990 while apartheid was dismantled in South Africa in 1994.

Until the end of the Cold War, American policy toward Africa was largely political in the sense that it aimed at containing communism in the African continent. It tended to support those African leaders who were Western supporters, even if they corruptly exploited their own countries. The American support of Mobutut Sese Seko, the late president of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), is an example of a beneficiary of American support, which involved millions of dollars.ii

In this paper we intend to show that the time is right for U.S. universities to start to develop linkages between themselves and their counterparts in Africa. This paper describes a new program with exactly that objective.

Prodeedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition 190 Copyright O 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Gerstenfeld, A. (2001, June), Africa: A Focus On The Southern Cone Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8896

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