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African Friends and Money Matters: Observations from Africa (Publications in Ethnography Series, Vol. 37) Paperback – 1 Nov 2001


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: SIL International (1 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556711174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556711176
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. E. A. Willoughby on 5 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I spent over 3 years living and working (as a volunteer) in Uganda. Despite all my preparations and a very open mind I still found the Ugandan attitude to money bewildering. Why were they so reluctant to show me bank statements? Why did everyone, and I mean everyone - strangers, friends, employers, think it was OK to ask me for money? What was the problem with keeping clear accounts? How could they use NGO money for personal needs? Towards the end of my stay I was lent this remarkable study. In it I found all of my experiences analysed and discussed in a clear, thoughtful and logical way. There was little that was new to me, the richness was in the clear analysis. I am now working with a small development charity in UK and as I talked with volunteers and Trustees it became clear that they needed this analysis to support our development work across Africa so I bought my own copy. They are squabbling over who reads it first.....
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David J. Garrard on 5 April 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is a must for anyone working in cross cultural contexts on the African continent. It explains the reasoning of both African and Western logic in the entire area of money and friendship and can save many a heart ache even for those who are long established workers in Africa. Both professionals and practitioners and especially those from the West need to work through the issues defined in the clear chapter headings of this book Dave Garrard (A Westerner born and brought up in Central Africa with more than 45 years experience on the continent)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BettyB on 13 Jun. 2013
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I read this book in preparation for my first trip to central Africa in April, where I went to consult on accounting matters for a local financial institution.

Its primary objective is to inform the 'Westerner' visiting Africa ('a person from Europe, North America, and elsewhere in the industrialized world' or 'any person with European or European-derived culture') so that they may better understand - and have respect for - African 'economic and social systems' at the personal and family level.

It is centred on ninety observations of typical African behaviour which are contrasted with the prevailing attitude of Westerners. The author uses his experience of working as an anthropologist in Africa over a quarter of a century to provide illustrations through personal anecdotes and to suggest explanations as to how some of these differences in behaviour are consistent with other aspects of African (or Western) culture. An additional benefit of this structure is that the book may also be useful to Africans wishing to consider the different behaviours of Westerners.

David Maranz uses a style that is partly informal, partly academic. And the proof of the pudding is in the eating. During my visit there were many occasions when I noticed myself making use of the cultural information I had learnt from this book. In the office, around town and in the market I found that it helped me both in understanding indirect communication from Africans and in getting my own message across in an effective and - I hope - polite manner.

I would recommend this book to any 'Westerner' who would like to be prepared to make sense of African behaviours that they may intuitively find odd or even alarming. As Maranz points out: 'The outsider finds [such behaviour] strange...only because he...doesn't understand the people's logic'.
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A great resource for those living or have lived in Africa to understand how the African mind relates to money and its value.

Will use it as a reference in future - thanks
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