Martin Meredith

Past Global Perspectives Guest Speaker

Most of Martin Meredith’s working life has been spent writing about Africa: first as a foreign correspondent for the London Observer and Sunday Times, then as a research fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and now as an independent author and commentator. He is the author of many acclaimed books on Africa including biographies of Nelson Mandela and Robert Mugabe and a history of the continent since independence, The Fate of Africa. Martin will join the second half of our voyage.

As a young reporter, he witnessed the surge of energy and enthusiasm that accompanied independence in the 1960s and then the wave of wars, revolution and upheaval that followed.

His African experience began as a result of a youthful ambition to travel up the Nile to central Africa, a journey he made in 1964. For fifteen years, based in Lusaka, Nairobi and Salisbury (Harare), he covered events in a score of African countries: the independence era in Zambia; turmoil in the Congo; the eccentric rule of Hastings Banda in Malawi; civil war in Nigeria; Idi Amin’s brutal regime in Uganda; revolution in Ethiopia; socialist zeal in Tanzania; the Yom Kippur war; the collapse of Portuguese rule in Mozambique and Angola; murder and corruption in Kenya; and Rhodesia’s final years. He also wrote about his own journeys: across the Congo by riverboat; through the Okavango swamps by dug-out canoe; and into the Maluti Mountains on horseback in search of diamond-diggers. His latest book is Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life.

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