Into Africa: A Guide to Sub-Saharan Culture and Diversity provides valuable advice for those who are interested in doing business or working with organizations in sub-Saharan Africa, for professors of African studies, for trainers and development assistance professionals and for anyone else who wishes to learn more about this dynamic part of the world. In this thorough, lively and carefully researched book, authors Yale Richmond and Phyllis Gestrin explore the complex cultures of contemporary Africa and bring them to life. This book examines the significance of community, ethnicity and language when doing business and establishing professional relationships in African countries. In addition, it explores regional differences, offers detailed guidelines for conducting workshops and training programs in Africa and examines issues that reflect the complex interrelationships involved. Into Africa is the perfect companion for anyone wishing to gain a more rounded perception of Africa and its diverse cultures.
Contents Preface Acknowledgments Introduction 1 The African Community 2 Face-to-Face with Africans 3 Doing Business 4 Regional Differences 5 Working the Workshops 6 Tips for Travelers Conclusion Afterword Appendix A: Countries, Capitals, and Languages Appendix B: Recommended Readings Appendix C: Internet, Fax, and Telephone Connections for Information on Africa The Authors Index
Yale Richmond, a specialist in intercultural communication, served in the U.S. Foreign Service for 30 years as a cultural and information officer with postings abroad in Germany, Laos, Poland, Austria and the Soviet Union. During the detente years of the 1970s, he was director of the Office of Soviet and East European Exchanges in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. He retired in 1979 as a deputy assistant director for Europe, U.S. Information Agency. Phyllis Gestrin, PhD, a specialist in international public health, worked for some 20 years on African programs for UNICEF, the U.S. Peace Corps and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Dr. Gestrin has worked in and visited 29 countries in Africa. During her five years as a project officer for UNICEF in Somalia, she helped develop a primary health care program for a large area in the northwest, as well as oversee community health worker training in 35 refugee camps. Subsequently, she served as a project officer for UNICEF in Zaire where she provided technical assistance in the design, monitoring and evaluation of nutrition, agriculture and income generation programs for women. Prior to her assignments in Africa, Dr. Gestrin served 10 months as a UNICEF project officer on the Thai-Cambodian border, monitoring the condition of Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees. Dr. Gestrin is a graduate of the University of Chicago, from which she received bachelor of science and master of science degrees in mathematics in 1960; the University of Washington_Seattle, from which she earned a PhD in physiology and psychology in 1970 and Harvard University, from which she received her MPH in 1979. Dr. Gestrin also taught for four years at the University of Texas_Austin in the department of psychology. In her spare time, Dr. Gestrin plays the cello. After retirement, he served three years as a staff consultant to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Congress), and eight years as a senior program officer with the National Endowment for Democracy, which gives grants to nongovernmental organizations around the world in support of democracy. In 1983, he was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Madrid review meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. Mr. Richmond is a graduate of Boston College, from which he received a bachelor of science degree in 1943; Syracuse University, from which he earned a bachelor of electrical engineering, magna cum laude, in 1947 and Columbia University, from which he holds a master of arts in history (East European), in 1957.
"Into Africa was recommended to me by an American teaching in sub-Saharan Africa. I read it in preparation for my own sojourn to Africa University in Zimbabwe. The authors paint a splendid view of pan-African culture and also point out, as much as possible in 250 fast-reading pages, some of the cultural differences within specific areas. The greater value, however, is not the well-written, snap-shot glimpse of African culture, but the differences to be seen by those of us who are products of North American social norms. Into Africa is more than just a way to prevent social gaffs. It provides understanding of otherwise-frustrating experiences, an appreciation of African social roots, and, above all else, an understanding of one's own social/cultural background. Reading Into Africa is as essential to the Africa-bound traveler as getting all those nasty vaccination jabs - and a lot more pleasant." - Reader review, www.amazon.com "An invaluable source for anyone wanting to experience Africa. The authors begin with a subject of unimaginable scope and somehow make it concise and comprehensible - a truly magnificent work for both scholar and novice." - Warren M. Robbins, Founding Director Emeritus, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution