PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] - On May 26, the White House Chronicle, a Washington talk show that airs on a number of PBS stations, featured PSTC Associate and Brown University Associate Professor of Anthropology Daniel Jordan Smith as part of a discussion titled, “Some good news from Africa.” The broadcast addressed the growing African economies, particularly the entrepreneurial economies, and the “sense of aspiration among ordinary Africans,” as Smith described.
Smith noted that 60 percent of Africans are below the age of 30, and many want to be “citizens of the world,” which is being made possible through education and teleconnectivity. “This is a real moment of opportunity,” Smith said in regard to the relation between demographic change and development. With a younger population able to contribute to the work force, there are economic opportunities in Africa that could lead to dramatic economic growth.
Participation in this discussion comes on the heels of the publication of Smith’s latest book, AIDS Doesn’t Show Its Face: Inequality, Mortality, and Social Change in Nigeria (University of Chicago Press, March 2014). In the book, Smith draws on twenty years of fieldwork in Nigeria to tell the story of dramatic social changes in the midst of inequality and the presence of AIDS.