‘Africa's time is now’ says Director of Royal African Society at talk on Britain and Africa

The Director of  the Royal African Society, Richard Dowden, said: “This is Africa's time to flourish,” at a talk held in Cardiff at the Temple of Peace last Thursday.

Richard Dowden gave an account of Britain and Africa's shared history, dating back to the 1800's and King Leopold's take-over of Congo. As a journalist in Africa during some of its most prolific recent events, Dowden commented on the politics that have arisen between the two nations as a result of such a close colonial relationship. Reflecting upon the future, Dowden was optimistic that continued trade with Africa on an equal level, will improve its standing as a free, independent nation. “This is Africa's moment,” he said.

The talk also invited Edwin Egede, a senior lecturer in International Relations at Cardiff University and experienced Barrister and Solicitor in Nigerian courts, to discuss his experiences of Nigerian politics. He spoke of the history of colonialism in Nigeria, suggesting that the Anglo-Nigerian relationship has been impacted a great deal by the “dark hand of colonialism.” He argued this is currently receding as Nigeria tries to engage with other states, such as China and the US.

The talk and discussion, 'Britain and Africa: after 50', was the first of three on the topic of Britain and Africa relations, examining the relationship between Britain and Africa 50 years on from Malawi and Zambia's independence.

Held by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA) it was a free opportunity for those who attended to hear about and discuss Britain's past history with Africa and what role we can and should play in helping Africa's development as a nation today.

Free wine was kindly supplied by Barefoot Wines.

Georgie Cella

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