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The Progressive Economics Forum

Problems of Africa

I have just ordered what sounds like an excellent new book from an old friend and former colleague, Gerry Caplan.

Review from AfricaFiles follows:

AfricaFiles

Title: The betrayal of Africa
Author: Gerald Caplan
Category: Africa General
Date: 4/5/2008
Source: Groundwood Books

Source Website: http://www.groundwoodbooks.com

Summary & Comment: “There is a widespread assumption among rich countries that Africa is the problem and that we in the rich world are the solution. This book turns this complacent, conventional wisdom on its head. It argues that the policies of rich countries, though couched in benevolent terms, are in fact responsible for many of the ills in Africa… For Africa to move forward, the citizens of rich countries must be aware of the false premises on which their own leaders deal with Africa.” DN


The betrayal of Africa

http://www.groundwoodbooks.com/gw_titles.cfm?pub_id=1270

Think Africa, and many people think of brutal war, endless famine, pervasive corruption, unworthy rulers, universal poverty, an AIDS epidemic out of control. These characteristics are both true and a caricature at the same time. While Africa faces a daunting list of challenges, the vast majority of the continent’s citizens live ordinary lives with the hopes and dreams that all of us share.

There is a widespread assumption among rich countries that Africa is the problem and that we in the rich world are the solution. This book turns this complacent conventional wisdom on its head. It argues that the policies of rich countries, though couched in benevolent terms, are in fact responsible for many of the ills in Africa. Every year, contrary to what Western leaders and the media tell us, far more of Africa’s riches flow out to the rich world than we plough into Africa. In this systematic process of exploitation, leaders of the rich world work in happy cooperation with most of the leaders of the African continent, who are ready accomplices in accepting the destructive policies demanded by the outside world.

For Africa to move forward, the citizens of rich countries must be aware of the false premises on which their own leaders deal with Africa. Only by reversing the policies that have done such grievous harm to Africa over the past decades do the continent’s new leaders and activists have the chance of making serious progress.

Reviews of The Betrayal of Africa

“This is a riveting panorama of African history and experience, the best of analytic and polemical writing. The arguments are unanswerable, the depth of feeling unmistakable. Gerry Caplan knows his subject as few others do; he illumines the contours and contradictions of Africa with immense skill. He encapsules superbly, in a short book, the cascading tragedies of the continent. It’s a splendid piece of work and a great read.” – Stephen Lewis, former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa

“Gerry Caplan has written a compelling, comprehensive and swift-moving guide to the politics and challenges of modern Africa. . . fascinating. . .”
– Stephanie Nolen,  author of 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa

A must read for students, scholars, educators and anyone else who cares about the human family, our interconnectedness and our interdependence.  Gerry Caplan cuts through the myths, stereotypes, and platitudes to give both a thoughtful and thought provoking look at Africa, its history, its many peoples, and its role–often as pawn–in world politics. His book details the interference, the indifference, and the utter contempt–often under the guise of “doing good”–that has defined how the world continues to betray Africa.

       Barbara Coloroso, educator and author, Extraordinary Evil, A Brief History of Genocide…and Why It Matters 

Hardcover; maps and graphs
144 pages
Ages 14 and up
978-0-88899-824-8
$18.95 CDN

Paperback; maps and graphs
144 pages
Ages 14 and up
978-0-88899-825-5
$11.00 CDN


AfricaFiles :: Website: www.africafiles.org :: E-mail: info@africafiles.org

A network of volunteers relaying African perspectives and alternative analyses to promote justice and human rights.

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