AZA3643 - Africa in the modern world - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Science


Ms Willemien Strydom

Unit guides


South Africa

  • Summer semester B 2017 (Day)


In March 2004 the African Parliament was formally constituted - the first such pan continental parliament to be so formed. The path from colonies to independent states seeking to control their own destinies within the modern post-World War 2 international context has been a long and challenging one. Tracing developments from colonial regimes through the first independent states to the modern African states, we will see how men and women, political and economic elites, peasants and workers, religious and cultural leaders endeavoured to create new forms of meaning and power. Central themes concern the characteristics of African states, relationships between states, political parties and a growing civil society, developmental paths and the relationships between African states, their subjects and citizens and the complex cross-currents of wider international worlds from 1945 into the current period of globalization.


Upon successful completion of the unit students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. A knowledge of the main events, processes, issues, personalities, ideas and politics in the modern history of Africa
  2. An understanding of the relationships between African states and societies and wider global politics and international relations
  3. Intellectual familiarity with the main theoretical and conceptual issues relevant to the Unit: colonization, decolonization, ethnicity, tribalism, nationalism, liberation movements, one party states, typologies of different forms of states (e.g. crisis, client, failed, gatekeeper and rogue), development and under development, civil society, the Third World and key terms in international affairs: i.e. globalization, unilateralism, bilateralism and multilateralism
  4. An understanding of the main currents in wider political discourses, within Africa and internationally, concerning Africa in the modern world
  5. An understanding of the main currents within academic debate, within Africa and internationally, concerning Africa in the modern world
  6. Experience in working with and understanding the difference characteristics of various forms of evidence, both primary and secondary, documentary, oral and visual
  7. Experience in conducting research using both primary and secondary sources
  8. Improving oral, writing, presentation and debating styles
    1. Students undertaking this unit at a third-year level will be expected to meet all these objective criteria at a higher level of demonstrable and proven competency than those completing the unit at a second-year level


Within semester assessment: 70% + Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


ATS2643, ATS3643, AZA2643