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Course Description: This three-week course focuses on African development engaging the interface between the UN 17 SDGs and AU Agenda 2063, its 7 aspirations, 20 goals, and their respective priority areas. In the past few years there have been simultaneously discourses about whether Africa can claim the 21st century and a strong narrative of Africa rising. African governments have identified general goals and specific objectives towards the transformation of their respective states into emerging economies, medium-income or newly industrialized countries with quantifiable indicators in terms of GDP or GNI per capita. However, they have been advised, and they are aware, that the path to closing the development gap must be different from the one taken earlier by the currently industrialized countries. A different paradigm must be adopted for them to compete on a global scale as articulated in the African Union’s Agenda 2063 “the Africa We Want.” The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer recommendations for more human-centered, equity driven, and environmentally responsible nations. The purpose of this course is to offer students a platform for a critical examination of the political, educational, social, and economic conditions of African countries. The topics will range from eradication of poverty, access to nutrition, health care, clean water and energy, education, elimination of inequality with a special emphasis on gender equity, sustainable and environmentally sensitive industrial development, responsible consumption, protection of land and life below water, promotion of sustainable communities and global peace and partnership. Of critical importance is the issue of how African states can achieve culturally relevant development goals.

The course counts toward the 120 credits that Cornell undergraduate students must earn for graduation. Depending on a student's college, the courses may also fulfill other requirements for electives, distribution requirements, or majors.

Course expectations

You'll be expected to:

  • Attend class daily.
  • Complete all assignments in a timely manner.
  • Read assigned materials in advance of each class period.
  • Participate in class discussions, case studies, seminars, and field trips.