A new program at Carleton University will generate interest about a continent that generally isn’t well understood.
This fall, the university will be launching a new institute and academic programs in African studies.
“I think there’s an interest in the long ties between Canada and Africa,” said Blair Rutherford, director of the Institute of African Studies.
“There’s such a rich history and culture in the continent. Unfortunately, the pop-culture representation of Africa portrays the culture as victims of starvation and poverty and perpetrators of violence and corruption.
“But there’s a huge part of the continent that’s not in the midst of violence and poverty and people there live thriving lives based on tradition,” he added. “There’s a richness, with diverse cinema, literature and music — and not many people know about it.”
The program will also offer students a window into the history, geography and economics of Africa and explores critical issues the continent is facing, such as poverty, political leadership, HIV/AIDS, war and unequal trading relationships with wealthy countries.
The university is already offering two of the courses in the program, which have waiting lists to get in.