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A graduate of the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, West Africa, Professor Abaka earned his M.A. degree (European History) at the University of Guelph in Canada and a Ph.D in African History at York. While he teaches the general African history survey classes (History of Africa to 1800 and Africa Since 1800), he offers specialized courses on Southern Africa (up to Nelson Mandela), Egypt and the Nile Valley (Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia), West Africa Since 1800, and Pan-Africanism. His graduate classes include Africa and the African Diaspora, Slavery and Emancipation, European Expansion in Africa: Colonialism and Imperialism, and African Historiography.
Professor Abaka's research interests cover commodities and trade in pre-colonial West Africa, Slavery and Emancipation, and the African diaspora. He has published a number of articles and book chapters on kola (one of the original ingredients for Coca-Cola), the colonial period in African history, and African youth. His book "Kola is God's Gift": Agricultural Production, Export Initiatives and the Kola Industry of Asante and the Gold Coast, c. 1820-1950, is forthcoming in 2005. He is currently working on a number of projects: The Hausa Diaspora in Asante and the Gold Coast 1800-1950, "The Land of Ras Tafari Makonnen": A Socio-Cultural History of Ethiopia, The Gold Coast Forts and Castles as Frontiers of the Euro-African Encounter, and The Return Migration of African-Americans to Africa in the 20th century.