oa The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning - Role playing African development : an international comparison

Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1818-9687



The African Development Game is a simulation developed from the World Trade Game. It introduces first year undergraduates to the Millennium Development Goals through role playing. Learners are allocated different resources, debt levels and human capacity depending on which of six African countries they represent. They have to produce artifacts such as houses, clothes and food whilst interacting with each other and the World Bank. The World Bank represents the world's economic system, provides resources and administers debt repayments. The game has been played in two different countries, South Africa and Sweden. Student reflections and participant observation have revealed that the game highlights the problems of African countries attempting to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The two groups of students revealed differences in their types of learning and the ways in which they played the game. They all commented, however, on the effectiveness of the role play as a learning tool.

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