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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She Hit it Right!
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...
Published on 16 Nov 2010 by Voicechild

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Unrealistic African Challenge
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...
Published 4 months ago by J.P.Gomes


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She Hit it Right!, 16 Nov 2010
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
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J.P.Gomes (Lisbon, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Good on the problem, not sure about the proposed solutions, 16 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Challenge for Africa (Kindle Edition)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic - written by an African Nobel prize winner, 6 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Challenge for Africa (Kindle Edition)
Fantastic - written by an African Nobel prize winner, clearly argued, broad in overview, says some very honest things, but never in a simplistic way. Unlike any other "problem of aid" books, the author speaks pragmatically, yet with passion and hope, and with the authority and insight of someone born in the continent.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good governance and self sustenance is the way forward, 6 May 2014
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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
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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
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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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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading, 21 Sep 2013
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A book that all people interested in helping African countries should read - before they "wade in" with their help.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read, 24 Mar 2013
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This book covers well the various issues facing Africa today, in particular corruption and ethnic conflict. Since the author is Kenyan, many of the case studies are on Kenya and I would have preferred a bit more variation, but this is not a massive problem. Definitely worth a read for those who want to know the reasons for why Africa is like it is today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Challenge for Africa, 20 Mar 2013
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This woman changed the whole aspect on RETURNING nature to it's roots - so many have been busy denuding it which I was always against for many years. My only disapointment with this book, is that it doesn't have one photograph of the author which is so important as Wangari won a Nobel Peace Prize! I'll be honest, I went onto wikileaks to put some photographs of her in it!
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The Challenge for Africa
The Challenge for Africa by Wangari Maathai
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