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By Howard W. French

Africa first captivated New York instances journalist Howard W. French greater than twenty-five years in the past, yet his wisdom of and keenness for the continent has the intensity of an entire life organization. His reviews there woke up him as not anything sooner than to the selfishness and shortsightedness of the wealthy, the discomfort and dignity of the negative and the makes use of and abuses of energy. And during this powerfully written, profoundly felt booklet, he offers us an unstinting account of the disastrous outcomes of the fateful, centuries-old come across among Africa and the West.

French delineates the betrayal and greed of the West–often aided and abetted via Africa’s personal leaders–that have given upward thrust to the expanding exploitation of Africa’s traditional assets and its people. Coarse self-interest and outright greed as soon as generated a necessity for the continent’s rubber, cotton, gold and diamonds, let alone slaves; now the sights comprise offshore oil reserves and minerals like coltan, which powers mobile phones.

He takes us within Nigeria, Liberia, Mali and the Congo, analyzing with strange perception the legacy of colonization within the lives of up to date Africans. He appears to be like on the tragedies of the AIDS epidemic, the Ebola outbreak and the genocide that led to hundreds of thousands of deaths in Rwanda and the Congo. He makes transparent the systematic failure of Western political leaders–the nurturers of tyrants similar to Mobuto Sese Seko and Laurent Kabila, whose tales are informed right here in complete detail–and the brutal excesses of the CIA.

In aiding us to raised comprehend the continent, and certainly Africans themselves, French is helping us see besides the desire and risk that lie within the myriad cultural strengths of Africa.

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1 MARXISM, CLASS, AND RESISTANCE IN AFRICA Leo Zeilig and David Seddon F or almost forty years the ideas of Marxism were seemingly omnipotent in Africa. They dominated every serious intellectual debate about the continent and occupied the minds of those who sought independence. It was assumed that the poverty and underdevelopment of the continent could only be reversed by the application of socialism, or more specifically the Soviet model of economic development, state capitalism. The speed with which the leaders of national liberation movements proclaimed their faith in scientific socialism, or extolled the virtues of African socialism, or saw the future of Marxism in the new governments of China and Cuba, was enough to confuse the most levelheaded.

45 Nowhere has this process been clearer than in the extraordinary wave of protest and strikes that has swept Egypt in the last two years. Mentioned in the chapter on Egypt in this book, which refers mainly to popular protest between 1977 and the 1990s, Egypt has been the setting since 2000 for major demonstrations, one of the most significant of which has been that of the democracy movement that pulled in a INTRODUCTION: RESISTING THE SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA 21 range of opposition groups under the slogan “Kefaya” (“Enough”).

The Portuguese revolution that followed a military coup in 1975 was both precipitated and inspired by the struggle for national liberation in Africa. Elsewhere in Africa, the early and mid-1970s also seemed to mark a period of political transformation. The strikes, protests, mutinies, and demonstrations that gripped Ethiopia in 1974 turned Addis Ababa into “a permanent seminar. ”32 The unrest spread from the capital to provincial cities, where the demand grew for the dismissal of government officials and even the senile emperor, Haile Selassie.

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