African Women Voices
My father arrived in Europe thanks to a scholarship that allowed him to study there. What if he would have wanted to go studying in Japan? Or China, back in the 80s? As for many Europeans, it would have been much more expensive maybe and at the time the relationship between Africa wasn’t as close as now, where Chinese are moving to Africa and Africans to China.
The economical relationships between African countries and the rest of the world have also ruled on the education many Africans have received or are still receiving. Just in these days in Istanbul we’re meeting many Africans from Burundi, Congo Brazzaville etc who arrived in the Turkish city thanks to a university scholarship specifically thought for Africans. There’s nothing bad in this, if anything, this is a very good news for people who want to improve their education outside their own country. But let’s put something in the picture: few years ago Turkey declared the “African Year“, which was meant to strengthen the relationship with the African continent.
What doest that mean? It means: higher numbers of Turkish embassies in the African countries, a huge development company settling on the African soil, more flights operated by Turkish Airlines from Turkey to Africa, Africans buying from Turkish etc. These are economical agreements that usually benefit smaller portions of the population and that from an educational point of view and on a bottom-up level it translates with offer from Turkish universities to African students, which in the end translates in the canalisation of students from African in certain countries. I’m sure something similar is either happening or it will in China and Japan, that have a growing interest in Africa.
Again, I’m not saying this is not good for Africans, indeed it is. But two thoughts come to my mind: first, it is great to have the opportunity to study abroad but it’s as equally important to know the political and economic reasons that led to that scholarship to even exist; second, wouldn’t it be nice for once if the Africans were to rule and decide before someone else takes interest in their countries?