"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


about Laura Seay

I am an assistant professor of government at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where I teach courses on African politics, conflict, and international affairs. My primary research interest is in the ways that communities respond to state weakness in sub-Saharan Africa. I'm involved in several research projects relating to this general theme, including a book project on civil society organizations that substitute for the state in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. You can read more about my research and professional work here. From 2009-13, I taught at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

I have been studying central Africa since 1996 and conducted extensive dissertation fieldwork in the Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I've also lived, worked, and/or studied in Kenya and Cameroon, and traveled in much of the central, eastern, and southern portions of the African continent.

I started this blog in 2005 as a way to keep in touch with friends and family while I was in the D.R. Congo, and have maintained it since as a way to keep track of news and commentary on politics in African states and development issues. The topics discussed here reflect my research interests in state-building, security, and humanitarian and development policy. Opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone (with the exception of those expressed by invited guest bloggers) and in no way reflect the official positions of Colby College or any other organization.
  • Got a comment or complaint? Email me. Please be aware that I do not generally reply to hateful email.
  • I am happy to run constructive rebuttals from organizations whose methods or projects I criticize. Please email me with your concerns.
  • Click here for information on my areas of expertise.
  • I occasionally provide expert witness testimony in asylum cases involving persons from the Kivu provinces. Email me for more information.
  • Interested in what it's like to live in the ungoverned spaces of the eastern DRC? Here are some reflections from my 2006 and 2007 sojourns in the Kivus.
  • I try to catch and correct factual errors as soon as possible. If you see one, please leave a comment on the appropriate post and I'll look into it.


Blogger ORANGEHOUSE said...

I like you already.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 10:57:00 PM

Blogger MaryAnn Mease said...

i totally get that statement you made:
"I miss Texas when I'm in the Congo and the Congo when I'm in Texas."

africa is hard to get out of your heart...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008 5:12:00 PM

Blogger David James said...

Great blog. Thanks for the interesting posts and your passion.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008 2:41:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 10:21:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

love the blog man. good stuff.

Sunday, December 14, 2008 9:54:00 AM

Blogger drkeith said...

Saw the name of your blog and had to share this with you. I shot it in Tema, Ghana. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXlK4wXZROk

keith +

Monday, April 06, 2009 5:19:00 PM

Anonymous kari said...

I'm also an American living in Africa (what a beautiful country!) and Austin, TX was my loved last stop. I have friends in Congo, but haven't been yet. I'm in Senegal. Anyway, cheers.

Monday, April 20, 2009 1:15:00 PM

Anonymous Halala Mama said...

Wow - I am looking forward to reading your blog. My husband is Nigerien and I teach about Africa, but have yet to visit. I hope to some day soon.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009 4:53:00 AM

Anonymous dearafrica said...

Dear Laura,

I have just learned about your blog through Jeune Street. I will try to follow your posts from now on, as much as possible.
Africa is a very dear subject to me, since I was born and raised there until my early teens: Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique and Rhodesia, sorry, Zimbabwe - I cannot seem to get it...
It just brakes my heart to think what these places, where I lived so happily, became into.

Sunday, November 22, 2009 7:41:00 AM

Blogger Ron Rollins said...

I've spent time more south of where you were, particuarly Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia.

Do you know of any good blogs covering those coutnries, or the the more southern states?


Thursday, March 18, 2010 1:32:00 PM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Ron, I really don't. Sean Jacobs covers South Africa a lot over at http://africasacountry.wordpress.com
I'll keep an eye out and link if I hear about any.

Saturday, March 20, 2010 6:35:00 PM

Blogger Sarah Brierley and George Ofosu said...

hi. My friend wrote to me to say you may be looking for help with research in Ghana. Please may you forward me the details: sabrierley@gmail.com.
Many thanks.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 2:34:00 PM

Blogger Ali Ambrosio said...

I started my blog "Austin to Africa, Brasil to the Bay" when I moved from Austin to Mozambique back in 2005. I really, really appreciate your posts and opinions (probably because they so closely mirror mine). Thanks for such a great blog.

Monday, May 10, 2010 8:54:00 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Would be great if you could activate your RSS feed. Any chance you could add this to your blog?

Monday, January 31, 2011 11:25:00 AM

Blogger Steven Gowin said...

I was poking around for pictures of Bukavu and found your blog. I'll bookmark it.

I spent a couple of months at Peace Corps training at what used to be the College down on the lakefront across the water from Mobutu's old Bukavu residence.

Although I only spent six (eight?) weeks in Kivu, it left a huge impression. It was my first stop in Africa, so I suppose that's natural. And, I was posted in Butare, Rwanda, not so far as the crow flys from Bukavu.

Bukavu is such an incredibly beautiful and sad place, the whole African Great Lakes region for that matter. If you're interested, here's a short short story, I recently wrote.


Thanks for looking after Kivu for us.

Steven Gowin

Tuesday, February 08, 2011 8:03:00 PM

Blogger Panther Trainer 1 said...

Hello...love the blog...
My husband and I have been nominated by the Peace Corps to serve in Botswana this coming August. We are looking for information (beyond the tourist, and Peace Corps information). What additional information do you suggest before we take the final step; getting sworn-in and ready to go? Botswana newspaper? radio? Thanks and Namaste,
Claudia G.

Monday, February 21, 2011 9:59:00 AM

Blogger Doug Smith said...

Your blog is now an inspiration for my own writing on Congo (DRC). I'd appreciate your sharing with your readers the address and at least some of the following announcement (I'd email this but couldn't access your address):


One year before the presidential election scheduled for November 2011, this blog is created for those who believe in the possibility of a truly independent Congo in which its people share in the nation’s incomparable wealth while living in peace. It is created to strengthen the ties of villages in the Congo with “villages” overseas as the lokole “talking drum” helps to maintain solidarity among villages in Congo.
NOTE; You are invited to contribute anything on Congo you would like to distribute through the Lokoleyacongo blog network. Send an email to dsmithy1@verizon.net with your article, commentary, book review, etc. etc. Whatever goes beyond a “comment” as allowed by the word press format of the blog should be sent to the email address.

The archives of the blog comprise 65 postings of photos and articles written by the blog’s editor, Doug Smith, during a two month stay in Congo mid June to mid August of 2010. Nothing I do could repay the generous hospitality bestowed on me by the Disciples Community during my stay in Mbandaka.

Friday, March 25, 2011 4:48:00 PM

Blogger Conrad Lane said...

Hello everyone! I wanted to know if anyone knew where to find any information on the province of North and South Kivu in the DRC. I've recently started researching the area and I wanted some input on what were some great resources to utilize (books, websites, articles, etc.)

I have found a plethora of information on the violence and human rights abuses in those provinces however, finding other information about the area is hard to find. Any sources that would help me understand the culture of the people in the area would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance!

Friday, June 17, 2011 11:55:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job you are doing about Congo.
I will follow your works.

Thursday, October 06, 2011 9:32:00 AM

Blogger Kabeermenon said...

Question - why has Mugabe not been indicted by the ICC ? Isn't he one of their easiest targets?

Thursday, March 08, 2012 10:30:00 AM


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