Umeme: African Flashpoints is a new public talk series organized by the Institute of African Studies at Carleton University.

Umeme is KiSwahili for lightning, the perilous bolt of electricity flashing across the sky which demands attention and reactions. We at the Institute of African Studies are strongly cognizant that the events in Africa which do grab the attention of the wider public in Canada and elsewhere tend to obscure the lives of the vast majority of Africans who are not adversely affected by political violence, horrendous pandemics, economic meltdowns, environmental disasters or other catastrophes.

Nonetheless, it is important to provide informed discussion of these calamitous events affecting some Africans and which demand the mobilization of a range of resources and energies on an international scale. Umeme: African Flashpoints brings together experts in a roundtable format to discuss such current experiences which confront the people in different locations in Africa, and which roll across media screens and pages across the world.