Monday, January 23, 2006

"A Few More Details Please..."

Now that I described what that project is about in general and how it came to live, I should give a few more details on how I am going to realise it.

The maybe most importend question regarding such a project is "when", or even better "how long will it take you?". My goal is to have visited all African States until I finished my course of study. That gives me five to six years from now on.

Next question would be "how long per country?". I planned a seven days sojourn per country or longer. I think that is the minimal amount of time you need to get an idea on the situation of the country and maybe a short insight into the culture of the people. Because I know that a country is not a homogene structure I am planing to visit at least two regions during one trip.

"What are you going to do there?" is another very importend question. I do not think that traveling around like a sight-seeing-tourist would be useful. I want to find out more about the people and their situation, so I will have to get involved with them. I will try to do some work for developement aid programms while I am in the country. That will show me the real situatiion of the region and of course it will provide valuable experiences for my course of study. I am hoping that the University of Bayreuth will be able to provide most of the contacts to the projects, but in the time of modern comunication I will be able to search for those contacts myself, too (it´s just a bit more work that way ;-)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Hi Everyone

This Blog is dedicated to the "Africa Alive" project.
The opjective of the project is simple: I am going to travel through all of the 54 African States. Why? Because I want to understand the continent and its people and I think the only way to achieve this goal is to go out there and visit them.

So why am I trying to understand Africa? To answer this question it may be importend to give some more informations about myself.
I am a twenty year old guy from Germany. I finished school with the German A-Levels last year and I am doing 9 months of civil service at the moment. I was always interested in global politics and espeacialy in those concerning the so-called "black continent". Africa has always been some kind of mystery for me. It is situated next to Europe and a long (and often shameful) history links the two continents. It is the cradle of mankind and home to about 14% of the worlds population. And it as the most war-torn region in the world for the last decades as well as home to the poorest states on earth.

But despite all those facts people seem to no nothing about Africa. A normal European could not even name all the African states that are situated at the mediterranean, or the name of one African political leader. And even though every European has full access to an endless amount of information, very few paople are aware, how bad the situation of many Africans is.

But even people like me, who are generally interested in the incidents on our neighbouring continent know surprinsingly few things about it. I was shocked by myself a few months ago when I could not say how many states can be found in Africa.

A few months ago I decided to study "African Developement Studies in Geography". I going to do that to work as an developement aid worker in Africa. But when I talked about this intention with my father he said that I should consider that I am do not really know something about the situation in Africa. And not knowing the situation means that I could do more harm than good. Even after a course of Study (which takes place in Europe) my knowledge of the region may not be adequate to the responsibility. He was the one who made the proposal to fill this lack of knowledge by traveling through Africa (and luckily he offered me his financial support in the same sentence ;-) I was immediately fascinated by that idea.

That the Story how "Africa Alive" was born. But one question remains: Why am I telling you all this? This Blog is something I am doing mainly for myself and my family/friends. They are already scattered over Germany (and beyond). So it is a way to keep them up to date.
But this Blog is also aimed at people who do not know me. All of you are invited to do this trip together with me. And even if everything goes according to the plan (and I am sure that only few things will), I will always need the help and support of other people. The best support for such a project are simple tips. So if you seeing me doing a big mistake, do not hesitate to keep me from doing it. Many thanks it advance :-)

Thats it for tonight. Best wishes to all of you,