Texas A&M University-Kingsville

South African Professor to Discuss Challenges Facing Africa

KINGSVILLE - February 08, 2010

Contact: Adriana Garza
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361.593.4979

Scholar, poet and former South African political prisoner Keith Gottschalk will discuss the relationship between South Africa and the United States and meet with Texas A&M University-Kingsville students bound for study abroad in Botswana, Friday, Feb. 19.

Gottschalk, a Fullbright Scholar currently at the University of Oakland in Michigan, is an expert in South African Party Politics, the African Union and space policy. Gottschalk also serves as senior lecturer in the department of political science at the University of the Western Cape in Capetown, South Africa. Gottschalk will discuss some of the most daunting challenges that Africa faces in the 21st century.

The community is invited to attend Gottschalk’s free presentation to the A&M-Kingsville International Affairs Group at noon, Friday, Feb. 19 in the Founders' Room of Eckhardt Hall.

“What if in 1788 the 13 Colonies had failed to federate?  What if, even worse, their customs union had broken up with each state falling back on protectionism? Africa is now balkanized into over fifty countries, contrasted with barely a dozen in South America. These are some of the challenges which our African Union now confronts,” Gottschalk said.

Africa is home to more than 650 million people, a wealth of social issues and growing environmental concerns, yet it was one of the least understood parts of the world, said Dr. Nirmal Goswami, Texas A&M University-Kingsville Political Science Professor.

“We don’t have too many experts on Africa come this way,” Goswami said. “This is one way to familiarize our student with that part of the world.”

Goswami will be taking 14 A&M-Kingsville students to Botswana in July as part of a field trip-based course on Africa. Students will attend classes at the University of Botswana in Gaborone, Botswana. He hopes meeting with Gottschalk will help prepare students for the trip.

During the day, Gottschalk also will discuss space policy in developing countries with A&M-Kingsville engineering students.

For more information on the International Affairs Group presentation, contact Dr. Nirmal Goswami at 361-593-3506.

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