Dr Kenneth VickeryDr Kenneth Vickery filled in for George Ayittey during this slot. We would have to wait a little longer for Big Goerge and it would be worth while.

Ken is the author of Black and White in Southern Zambia. The essence of his talk was a quick, very quick history lesson on Africa. He came to Africa about 35 years ago as a young man and was instantly hooked on the adventure. In one incident he ended up having this very involved conversation with the driver who ended up rear ending another car because kept looking back to speak to Ken.

As he travelled widely across the continent he met many people with amazing stories. He quotes Mark Twain as saying history does not repeat itself, it rhymes. There is a Gary Larsen joke, about the Natives American who are waiving at the Europeans leaving and saying to another, “Did you feel nervous when they said, ‘see you later’?” There was a story of a Kongo king in the 1500s, the Ja Ja King of Opobo in the 1880s. The GDP continued to growth in Africa throughout the the 1960s and early part of the 1970s. Africa worked hard at keeping its promises on improving education, etc. To some extent things started to fall apart in the 1970s with the US dollar nearly collapsed, oil prices surged and gold sky-rocketed to $800 an ounce.

For more information on Ken Vickery please visit this information page.

You may also enjoy Ethan Zuckerman’s detailed reporting on this talk here.