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Black History Month. Talk: New Wine in Old Wine Skins: Philanthropy, Investments, and the New Scramble for Africa by Dr. Ukelina.

Dr. Bekeh Ukelina is an African developmental historian. He is a Professor of History and Africana Studies at the State University of New York, Cortland, where he is also the director of the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies.

This presentation explores the dynamics of Africa’s relations with global powers, arguing that the interests of these powers on the African continent today are neither altruistic nor mutually beneficial but exploitative. Like the old European imperialism, which cloaked the exploitation of African people behind the mantle of mission civilisatrice, these neocolonial powers use terms such as “investments,” “development aid,” and “cooperation” to cover up their agenda of extracting and exploiting African resources to the detriment of the African people. In the end, Africa remains a project for them, and the African people are objects of exploitation. Nothing changes because of the rigid grip that colonialism and its structures has on both the economy and the mentalité of the African people. As a Sierra Leonean proverb says, “No matter how long a stick may stay in a river, it will never change into a fish.”

Organized by the Black and Africana Studies Program and the Center for Interdisciplinary Programs with the support of the Provost’s Office.

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