A historian of development, Dr. Bekeh Utietiang Ukelina is an Assistant Professor of History and the Associate Director of the Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies at the State University of New York, Cortland. His research examines the ideologies and practices of development in Africa, south of the Sahara. He focuses primarily on understanding how the interlocking layers of exploitation in the colonial period and the neoliberal policies of the post-political independence period have shaped African relations with the Global North and created conditions of underdevelopment on the continent. Bekeh’s work is policy relevant as it helps development experts tasked with designing and implementing policies and schemes to identify some of the pitfalls during the planning process, thus leading to better outcomes for inhabitants of Africa who are often living in terrible conditions partly because of planning failures.
Dr. Ukelina writes and speaks passionately about Africa’s development crises because his research addresses real and practical problems that over a billion people face. His most recent book, The Second Colonial Occupation: Development Planning, Agriculture, and the Legacies of British Rule in Nigeria was published in August of 2017 and it won the 2018 NYASA Book Award.