Despite the fact that Africa has had its share of conflicts in the last decade, there has been a general trend towards greater democracy and better governance. As recent events in the Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Egypt, and currently in Libya show, however, the potential for further conflict remains very much a part of Africa’s reality. For Alfred Nhema and Paul Zeleza, both respected African scholars, understanding why conflicts in Africa occur is essential to their resolution and prevention.
The Shackled Continent remains one of the most substantive narratives of the African plight; bad leadership, corruption, tribalism, HIV/AIDS; but, as some critics have argued, it has little to offer on how to move the continent forward.
Edkin’s book, Britain’s Gulag: The Brutal End of the Empire in Kenya, is the product of nearly a decade’s research. It paints a picture of British colonial rule in Kenya that is deeply at odds with the supposed colonial mission to pacify and civilize the African indigenous people.
Ronnie Kasrils writes lovingly about his wife of 45 years, Eleanor, who passed away in 2009 aged 73. And the picture that comes forth is that of a human being with no airs and graces but one who was comfortable in her own skin.
The book tries to answer the question whether Luthuli, the Nobel Prize laureate and one-time President of Africa’s oldest liberation movement – the ANC – ever believed in violence as a means to overthrow South Africa’s racist regime. Did
Award winning author Hisham Matar, a Libyan himself, is all too familiar with what’s going on in Libya – the fear and caution of people who know that their every move is being watched by government informants. His book, In the Country of Men (published in 2007) reminds us that Libyans have had to put up with this situation for nearly half a century.
In her quest to decipher a pattern in the madness of Zimbabwe’s autocratic leader, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, author Heidi Holland, who has written extensively on the mother continent, speaks to a large number of people who’ve been close to the Zimbabwean President.
Professor George Ayittey is a Ghanaian economist, author and president of the Free Africa Foundation, which is based in Washington DC, USA. Dr. Ayittey is, perhaps, better known for his international activism than for his academic work. He has long argued that “Africa is poor because she is not free”.
In The State of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence, published by Free Press in 2005, Meredith offers an overview of the continent’s history that is both readable and illuminating, starting from the independence era of the fifties and sixties.
Dowden a man who encountered Africa first in 1971 as a teacher, then as a journalist and editor with such publications as The Times, The Independent, and The Economist over a period of thirty years, offers an intelligent blend of anecdote, analysis and history.