The department met the challenges of time with innovation in its course offerings through creative adjustments to its curriculum. In the "reorganization" efforts of the curriculum in the late 1980s, the department demonstrated its concerns about development issues in Africa. The faculty researched and developed several new courses that addressed specific questions relating to development planning, public finance, women in development, the role of media in African development, African debt, and the relationship between international donors -- such as the World Bank and the IMF -- and Africa.

After operating for more than twenty years as a graduate degree granting program under the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, an undergraduate degree program was added to the department's academic curriculum in 1990 and brought under the administration of the College of Arts and Sciences. The undergraduate program was introduced formally in academic year 1991-1992 with a satisfactory listing of challenging courses available to undergraduate majors and minors.

Now and in the decades ahead, the United States will be called upon to respond to the triple crisis of world food shortages as well as shortages in human and material resources. All appropriate responses will be interdisciplinary in function and force. The international education dimension, indeed, is extremely significant at this very important time in the development of international cooperation, interdependency, and global exchange. A survey of almost any newspaper, or television reports, demonstrates a clear increase in US interest in Africa and African affairs, the developments in eastern Europe and elsewhere notwithstanding. The most natural ally of the continent is the educated African-American community, which is most notably represented here at Howard University. With such a significant population of African American, African, and African diasporan students, faculty and researchers at Howard, the potential global impact of Howard University's African studies offerings, university-wide, remain extraordinary.


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February 2001