Episode 74 of Africa Past & Present was released on May 14. Special guest is Prof. Abdi Samatar, Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota and current President of the African Studies Association (ASA) in the United States. During his visit to MSU, Samatar gave the African Studies Center Annual ASA Presidential Lecture titled “The Politics of Piracy off the Somali Coast.”
In the podcast interview with Peter Limb and Peter Alegi, Samatar explores the social, political, and economic complexity of pirates in Somalia. He describes four different classes or types of pirates operating in Somalia and their impact on Somali culture and society. Samatar also examines common misconceptions and misrepresentations about pirates in both the media and the academic literature. The interview ends with a reflection on “Africa’s First Democrats” and the future of Somalia.