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The Challenge for Africa
 
 

The Challenge for Africa [Kindle Edition]

Wangari Maathai
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Review

"I hope the world will support her vision of hope" (Nelson Mandela)

"From one of Africa's most positive and far-sighted thinkers comes a wonderful book combining an elegant critique of Africa's troubled past with a rallying cry for how Africans can use culture, nature and self-belief to reverse their continent's decline. The Challenge for Africa is a milestone in African writing that both educates and inspires" (Tim Butcher)

"Penetrating. . . a 21st century manifesto for Africans, drawing on her own experience as a worldly Kenyan, street-fighting activists, member of parliament and, from 2003-2006, government minister. Her analysis is thorough. She reaches into African history, culture, psychology, contemporary politics and fragile ecosystems" (Financial Times)

"Like a Nelson Mandela or a Mahatma Gandhi, Maathai stands way above most mortals" (The Guardian)

"Wangari Maathai is a prophet for our time" (Alexandra Fuller)

Book Description

Nobel Peace Prize-winner Wangari Maathai offers a manifesto for C21st Africa.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 876 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (24 Nov 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0034FJGAS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,375 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She Hit it Right! 16 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
Prof Wangari Maathai is a visionary to say the least.She weaves through the history,the politics and economic facts very well and truth be told I could not put the book down.I really was challenged as i read the book to help in bettering my country and my continent.The title is truly befitting and all Africans,African leaders and the people need to read this and oh the Bonos as well especially as regards aid.
Simply put amazing,if we all do our part as she says Africa shall surely emerge victorious!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Unrealistic African Challenge 18 May 2014
Format:Paperback
Maathai's "The Challenge for Africa" is, as I see it, a disappointing read. Deeply biased, not only does it pin Africa's current woes on colonialism but also perceives post-independence African leadership as a mere "change of the guard" and as entities that warranted business as usual by upkeeping and enhancing the alleged malpractices of the colonial administration. Seems that the colonial period does not hold any good practices and standards at all!

On the other hand, it fails to put the African independence trend of the late 50's, early 60's and 70's into historic context, particularly Southern Africa: the context of the Cold War and the Sino-Soviet regional expansionism back then. Thus, that the Liberation Movements were not only (mostly) Soviet and Chinese backed, but that by pushing for a communist post-independence Africa they embodied a new era of "freedom", development and everlasting happiness! So, not a mere "change of the guard", rather a revolutionary future ! As for the outcome of this "glorious" promised future, considering a few decades have elapsed since then, we all know the story.

"The Challenge for Africa's" political correctness does not stop here. It also works its way into changing Political Science's concepts as in "tribe" which it replaces by "micro-nation", considering the former negative.

All in all, Maathai's book proposed solutions for Africa within the Three Legged Stool, - democratic space, sustainable and accountable management and the adoption of "cultures of peace", is just wishful thinking. A continent devastated by recurrent instability, save a few exceptions, is ages away from democracy and what it entails!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wangari has the problems in Africa nailed, but her ideas on the solutions focus on the institution that are manifestly weak. Surely there needs to be more attention given to removing criminals from Leadership positions rather than hoping for the best.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this complex book because it was written by someone I respect. May she rest in peace. The book covers a lot of topics in detail that affect Africa including its colonial past. There was not much that I didn't already know but I am glad that it was written by a Nobel prize winner, so that it is taken seriously.

From an African point of view, I agree with her points and solutions when it comes to political and economical issues facing Africa today. Good governance and self sustenance is the way forward, although one solution will not apply to all 54 countries. Having said that, I am still of the view that aide is very important in some sectors e.g. health.

If you are interested in African development, this book is for you.
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3.0 out of 5 stars somewhat interesting but too generic 9 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
for a first time reader on African politics this would be a great place to start, or if you need a refresher then its great too. The format of most chapters is to spend 17 pages addressing the many problems of the particular topic, which have been stated many times before, then 1 or two pages suggesting policy recommendations. The balance was not quite right therefore but the book was interesting none the less.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a must read 26 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Clear, incisive and a must read for everyone who cares about Africa and the future of the world written by a strong woman with vast experience.
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Popular Highlights

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Africans have been obscured from themselves. It is as if they have looked at themselves through another person's mirror—whether that of a colonial administrator, a missionary, a teacher, a collaborator, or a political leader—and seen their own cracked reflections or distorted images, if they have seen themselves at all. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
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Without community buy-in, donors come to be seen as Santa Claus, bringing with them money, materials, and inputs. &quote;
Highlighted by 3 Kindle users
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the rich world. He points a finger at a number of problems: lack of political will, weak institutions, a shortage of skills, too many ties to former colonial powers, and inadequate infrastructure, transport, and communication networks. Moreover, African economies have &quote;
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