Africa: The State of the Continent Fifty Years after the Liberation

Olayiwola Abegunrin, PhD (Editor)
Professor of International Relations & African Studies, Howard University, Washington, D.C., USA

Series: African Political, Economic, and Security Issues
BISAC: POL053000

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This book is one of the latest attempts to chronicle the problems and prospects of Africa. However, this is done differently from many others that have come before it. What makes this book a compelling read for everyone and particularly students aspiring to be introduced to African studies is its comprehensive approach to the study of the continent. It takes the student literally by the hand and leads him or her through a rather complex historical, economic and of course political account of Africa and its peoples in a way that is detailed but yet not cumbersome, especially for the beginner’s mind. It is about the trials and tribulations of an aspiring continent, whose high hopes will soon collide with the harsh realities of domestic and global politics. More importantly, it strikes an optimistic chord for the future of the continent, thus not only just looking forward, but doing so with positivity, something many books of its genre fail to do.

Could we have had a United States of Africa given the prevailing circumstances? It is hardly imaginable today, especially to the New Generation and the Millennials, who may not have learned about the political prowess of leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah but will from now on thanks to this book. A post-Nkrumah era was not exactly what the “radicals” envisaged. Instead of the United States of Africa, they got first the Organization of African Unity and then the African Union, while the best shot at economic integration is anagrammed ECOWAS. This book explains why many of these attempts at political integration may not have been Africa’s best bet.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the book is its constant juxtaposition of the good, the bad and even the ugly. The reader is introduced to an Africa which has made progress in democratizing itself especially in the last two decades, but through that same journey learns that the continent, thanks to political violence in the likes of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan and now Mali, may very well be contending for the world capital of disease, rape and ethnic cleansing. Indeed more shocking for the prospective learner is the fact that the continent is unequivocally one of the richest in the world in natural and (yes) to some extent in human resources but nevertheless is host to some of the world’s poorest countries. Yet, this same continent has fought through it all surviving colonialism, the Cold War, apartheid and has even managed to produce Nobel laureates and a country (Ghana) that as of 2012 leads the rest of the world in economic growth. That is the Africa brought to you by this book. (Imprint: Nova)

List of Tables

Acknowledgements

List of Abbreviation

Notes on the Contributors

Introduction

Chapter 1. Fifty Years of African Liberation: Promises, Challenges and Failures
(Sabella Ogbobode Abidde, Department of History and Political Science, Alabama State university, Montgomery, Alabama, USA)

Chapter 2. Reexamining the Victory of the Battle of Adwa: A Pan-African and Post-Independence African Perspectives
(Getachew Metaferia, International Studies, Department
of Political Science, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

Chapter 3. Half a Century of Pro-Democracy Uprisings in Africa’s Experience: From Sharpeville to Benghazi
(Ali A. Mazrui, Humanities Department, Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York, Binghamton, New York, USA)

Chapter 4. Liberia and Africa since Decolonization, 1950s to 2012
(D. Elwood Dunn, Political Science Department, The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, USA)

Chapter 5. The Politics of Land Reform in Zimbabwe: Problems and Prospects
(Charity Manyeruke, Department of Politics and Administrative Studies, Faculty of Social Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe)

Chapter 6. The New South Africa and Africa: Almost Two Decades after Liberation
(Abiodun Alao and Joseph Aihie, African Leadership Centre, King's College, London, UK and others)

Chapter 7. Sudan: Peace, Development and the U.S. Constituency for Africa
(Mae C. King, Department of Political Science, Howard University, Washington, D.C., USA)

Chapter 8. African and African American Perspectives on Race and Human Rights Discourse
(James Pope, Department of African American Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA)

Chapter 9. The Historical and Strategic Significance of Africa in the World Affairs
(Olayiwola Abegunrin, Professor of International Relations & African Studies, Howard University, Washington, D.C., USA)

Selected Bibliography

Index

“This is a very interesting and welcome addition to the literature on the discipline. The author/editor and contributors have done a wonderful and marvelous job of updating what readers need to know about the ‘State’ of the Continent since the year of independence. I recommend this addition to the literature to students of African Politics and Africa’s International Relations, and for general audience on African Politics.” - Professor Adeoye A. Akinsanya, Professor of Political Science, at Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria (author of "Multinational in A Changing Environment: A Study of Business-Government Relations in the Third World.")

“Whether you are a policy maker, diplomat, teacher, student or just a curious learner, there is something for everybody in this book. It is eloquently written, well documented; certainly a welcome addition for Africanists, a perfect fit for the beginner and a must-read for anyone who is seeking to self-educate on Africa.” - Professor Olusoji Akomolafe, Department of Political Science Norfolk State University

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