Thursday 11 February 2021


Zeinab Badawi

Broadcaster and Chair of The Royal African Society

Africa - past, present and future

Africa has the world’s fastest growing population. Its 1.34 bn people represent 18% of the global population today – this will become 25% by 2050 when its population will reach 2.5bn.

It has a long, rich and complex history. Yet that history is neglected and overlooked, and what we are presented with often projects a distorted and partial picture. Few people are more knowledgeable or better placed to discuss Africa’s past, present and future than Zeinab.

Zeinab Badawi

Zeinab was born in the Sudan – her family moved to London when she was two years old. She studied PPE at Oxford University and gained an MA in history at SOAS. Zeinab has worked extensively in the British media for four decades and is now best known for her work in the BBC’s international division at BBC World News TV and BBC World Service Radio on programmes such as ‘Hard Talk’, and ‘Global Questions’ as well as a major 20-part tv series on the history of Africa.

Zeinab is the current Chair of the Royal African Society, a member of the International Advisory Board of Afrobarometer and of MINDS – the Mandela Institute for National Development, a trustee of Historic Royal Palaces, BBC Media Action, the Royal Opera House, and Hampstead Theatre in London. She is also a member of the Rhodes Commission and joins the AHRC – the Arts Humanities and Research Council in April.