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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Generational Shifts in African Politics: Prospects for a New Africa


The past haunts Africa. Futuristic policies on Africa are based on critical assessments of present possibilities rooted in Africa’s rather unique and rich history and geography. Therefore, Africa appears to be a continent with a past but not a future. As the 21st century and the third millennium loom on the horizon, it is an auspicious time for a fresh examination of the past, present and future prospects of the human condition in Africa against the background of relevant positive and negative international developments. A fresh understanding is needed of what is happening in Africa today and what it will mean not only for the continent but also for the rest of the world in the next century and beyond. The quest for that understanding defines the context of this essay’s focus on the social history of four generations of Africans and how the latest among them is poised to socially reconstruct a new Africa with far reaching implications on community and national life in Africa and on international politics in the next century and beyond.

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