Destitution and despots.,
This review is from: Ten Weeks in Africa (Hardcover)
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I can’t praise this book enough, it kept me up through the wee hours wanting to know what happens next and I was sorry when it ended. From start to finish, there isn’t a dull page in the book.
Ed and Sarah Caine and their baby son are about to land in Kisuru, East Africa, where Ed is the newly appointed Director of the Global Justice Alliance. Ed has been given control of a big aid budget in order to oversee the building of a clinic and a school. Within days of starting his new job, Ed discovers that a huge part of the money has vanished. The building work hasn’t begun and a significant portion of the money seems to have disappeared into thin air.
This is a tale of high-level, widespread corruption and greed in an African state at the expense of people, the majority of whom live in abject poverty. Fear and intimidation prevent most of the honest politicians from speaking out. However, one brave minister and his courageous daughter join forces with the Caines and, together with a very unlikely hero, they try to unravel the complex trail that leads to the money.
This book is not just about the misappropriation of millions of pounds of aid money. It is a revelation into the futility and frustration faced by those trying to improve the lives of the poor. There are explicit scenes of violence and warfare where the majority of the people, innocent and living hand to mouth, are powerless and unprotected victims. Towards the end of the book, even the privileged lives of the Caine family is at risk.
Although set in Africa, the scenario described in this book could be about any corrupt country led by despots and their acolytes. It highlights the need for charitable donations, but also serves as a warning to choose your charity carefully. This is a first rate read and would make an excellent film.