East Africa Through the Eyes of Megan


Megan Cutler, our beloved ISSA Africa Ambassador, gave us a alternative viewpoint on East Africa two meetings ago.

She took her first trip to Africa in June 2008 and experienced much of its beauty, culture, and history that is often concealed by news which usually only cover the poverty and war in Africa.  Megan shared with us some of Africa’s history under colonialism and how the effects of colonialism has led it to its war-torn states and poverty, the leaders who have revolutionized the restructuring of Africa through Pan-Africanism, and the beauty and happiness she had encountered in East Africa.

Interesting Facts about East Africa:

 Ethiopia and Liberia were never colonized! They remained independent states during the “scramble for Africa,” where European imperial powers colonized

Colonial “artificial boundaries” were created by the colonizers resulting in the countries we see today in Africa. The result split ethnic groups between different countries and forced separate ethnic groups together, often times causing social tensions between groups.

Jomo Kenyatta was Kenya’s first prime minister and President. He played a key role in reviving the Swahili language during the Pan African movement of unifying native Africans and of African heritage into a global African community.

Julius Nyerere, Tanzania’s first President also played a key role in Pan Africanism. He led a socialist movement inspiring his people to return to their traditional roots and ways of life. He was fondly referred to as “Mwalimu” (“teacher”) or “Baba wa Taifa” (“Father of the nation”).

Uganda, formerly known as Buganda, was once a prosperous nation rich in resources and plaintains.

Megan is planning on re-visiting Africa this upcoming winter. We’re looking forward to hearing more stories about her African adventures! If you have any questions about Africa, feel free to e-mail Megan at issa.africa@gmail.com


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