JONATHAN LEDGARD, Africa Correspondent, The Economist; Author, Giraffe in conversation with LAURA SYDELL, Correspondent, National Public Radio
TITLE: Africa, 2007
The Ethiopian invasion of Somalia, genocide in Darfur, and controversies over recent celebrity adoptions have brought Africa back into Western headlines. However, the inner workings of the continent's politics are not widely known or understood. Drawing on his decade of journalistic experience in Africa, renowned international correspondent Jonathan Ledgard will shed light on current affairs and crises in the region and provide an in-depth analysis.
Marginal and impoverished stretches of the continent, from Mauritania to Somalia, are being pulled into tribal wars and fights over water, cattle, and land. Swelling populations, flood and drought cycles exacerbated by climate change, overgrazing, and the proliferation of guns and weaponry are fuelling the instability. Ledgard will explore the question of whether collapse is inevitable in Africa, as well as, suggest possible solutions for the problems in the poorest parts of the region.
Ledgard is currently an Economist correspondent based in Central and East Africa. He has also covered Afghanistan, Central and Eastern Europe, Los Angeles, and Texas, and was one of the first correspondents to travel with George W. Bush. Ledgard is the author of Giraffe, a novel which has been translated into several languages. He also served as a human rights researcher on Tibet for Jimmy Carter in 1991. Ledgard was born in the Shetland Islands in 1968 and educated in Scotland, England, and the United States.
This program was recorded live on March 22, 2007