This is the 4,000th post at Texas in Africa. To say that I am astonished that this blog is still going - and that people actually read it - would be an understatement. TiA started off four years ago as a blog for family & friends about my fieldwork in the DRC (which I semi-jokingly referred to as the "I'm still alive" site). It then became my online filing cabinet for stories and thoughts on African politics as I tried to process all I'd seen and learned in the Congo.
Today, Texas in Africa is part of a great community of people who are writing and thinking about development, public services, and security issues on the African continent and beyond. We've managed to create spaces where aid & development workers, advocates, scholars, public officials and interested observers can discuss and debate important questions together. I really do believe we're coming up with better ideas by challenging one another through these non-traditional fora. And who knows, maybe one day these informal debates will translate into ideas that can be implemented as actual policies. I am humbled to be a small part of it, and honored that you all keep reading.
For the fifth year of Texas in Africa, I'm hoping to focus a bit more on current academic research on African politics by providing reviews here and there of important work that can be translated into language that you don't have to be a political scientist or development economist to understand. (Look for one on Guinea later this week.) The new "What Works" series was really popular, so there will be more from whence that came. I'll also keep up with current events and the ever-popular link posts a couple of times a week. One of these days I will finally get around to a much-needed blog redesign & updating of the links list. And I'm hoping that a few of us academic types can arrange a meetup at ISA in New Orleans this winter. (Anybody? Anybody?)
Thanks again for reading. Here's to year #5.