African Interest

African Interest

  • Violence in African Elections Between Democracy and Big Man Politics

    Violence in African Elections Between Democracy and Big Man Politics

    Ksh 3999

    Brief summary  The holding of multiparty elections has become the bellwether by which all democracies are judged, and the spread of such systems across Africa has been widely hailed as a sign of the continent's progress towards stability and prosperity. But such elections bring their own challenges, particularly the often intense internecine violence that can follow disputed results.  While the consequences of such violence can be profound, undermining the legitimacy of the democratic process and in some cases plunging countries into civil war or renewed dictatorship, little is known about the causes of this violence. By mapping, analyzing, and comparing instances of election violence in different localities across Africa, this collection of detailed case studies sheds light on the underlying dynamics and sub-national causes behind electoral conflicts.  It reveals them to be the result of a complex interplay between democratization and the older, patronage-based system of "Big Man" politics and offers practical suggestions for preventing such violence through improved electoral monitoring, voter education, and international assistance. Appealing to policy makers and scholars across the social sciences and humanities interested in democratization, peace-keeping, and peace studies, Violence in African Elections provides important insights into why some communities prove more prone to electoral violence than others, and what can be done to help more democracies succeed.  

  • Rwanda Inc How a Devastated Nation Became an Economic

    Rwanda Inc How a Devastated Nation Became an Economic

    Ksh 1899

    Brief summary  Rwanda, Inc.: How a Devastated Nation Became an Economic Model for the Developing World Nearly two decades after Rwanda's horrific genocide, the country has been transformed. High rises are going up in the capital city of Kigali; a newly established stock exchange is attracting investors; and the economy is transitioning from subsistence agriculture to information and communication technology. In pursuit of the alchemy that made Rwanda such an unlikely success story, Patricia Crisafulli and Andrea Redmond interviewed Rwandan government officials, including current president Paul Kagame, as well as business leaders, foreign investors, NGOs, and everyday civilians.  In Rwanda, Inc. they look at the key factors that allowed this tiny country to beat the odds―including Rwanda's efforts to encourage private sector development and foster entrepreneurship, and how Kagame's unique leadership approach led to gains in health, education, and food sustainability.  They also explore what the future holds for this resilient nation, and the steps it's taking to develop the next generation of public servants. With so many eyes on Africa as nations rebuild in the wake of the Arab Spring, this is a timely and fascinating look at what other emerging democracies can learn from Rwanda's triumph.  

  • Heal Our Land By Sam Okello

    Heal Our Land By Sam Okello

    Ksh 2999

    Brief Summary In this book, Heal Our Land, exciting facts about our beloved president will leave millions who read it amazed by how the man is simple, approachable and sociable.  He is a man who charted his own course and did not wait to ride on his father’s fame. He has served as a cashier and truck driver, and funded and ran his own company when he was young. Uhuru Kenyatta knows a thing or two about being the stone that the builders rejected; or even a black sheep. But he also knows that labels don't ever describe a child of destiny.  Mama Ngina may have called him special, but only God knew just how special he was going to be in the scheme of divine planning in Kenya.

  • The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

    The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears

    Ksh 1699

    Brief Summary Seventeen years ago, Sepha Stephanos fled the Ethiopian Revolution for a new start in the United States. Now he finds himself running a failing grocery store in a poor African-American section of Washington, D.C., his only companions two fellow African immigrants who share his bitter nostalgia and longing for his home continent.  Years ago and worlds away Sepha could never have imagined a life of such isolation. As his environment begins to change, hope comes in the form of a friendship with new neighbors Judith and Naomi, a white woman and her biracial daughter.  But when a series of racial incidents disturbs the community, Sepha may lose everything all over again.  

  • Bad News Last Journalists in a Dictatorship by Anjan Sundaram

    Bad News Last Journalists in a Dictatorship by Anjan Sundaram

    Ksh 3599

    Brief Summary In 2009, Anjan Sundaram began a journalist's training program in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Often held up as a beacon of progress and modernity in Central Africa, the regime of President Paul Kagame—which took over after the 1994 genocide ravaged Rwanda’s population—has been given billions of dollars in Western aid.  And yet, during Sundaram’s time there, almost every reporter he instructed was arrested or forced to leave the country, caught in a tightening web of strict media control.  With Bad News, Sundaram offers an incredible firsthand look at the rise of dictatorship and the fall of free speech, one that’s important to understand not just for its implications in Rwanda, but for any country threatened by demands to adopt a single way of thinking.    

  • The Empires New Clothes The Myth of the Commonwealth

    The Empires New Clothes The Myth of the Commonwealth

    Ksh 3199

    Brief Summary In the wake of Brexit, the Commonwealth has been identified as an important body for future British trade and diplomacy, but few know what it actually does. How is it organized and what has held it together for so long? How important is the Queen's role as Head of the Commonwealth? Most importantly, why has it had such a troubled recent past, and is it realistic to imagine that its fortunes might be reversed? In The Empire's New Clothes, Murphy strips away the gilded self-image of the Commonwealth to reveal an irrelevant institution afflicted by imperial amnesia.  He offers a personal perspective on this complex and poorly understood institution, and asks if it can ever escape from the shadow of the British Empire to become an organization based on shared values, rather than a shared history  

  • The Black Jacobins by C L R James

    The Black Jacobins by C L R James

    Ksh 1899

    Brief Summary The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution A classic and impassioned account of the first revolution in the Third World. This powerful, intensely dramatic book is the definitive account of the Haitian Revolution of 1794-1803, a revolution that began in the wake of the Bastille but became the model for the Third World liberation movements from Africa to Cuba.  It is the story of the French colony of San Domingo, a place where the brutality of master toward slave was commonplace and ingeniously refined. And it is the story of a barely literate slave named Toussaint L'Ouverture, who led the black people of San Domingo in a successful struggle against successive invasions by overwhelming French, Spanish, and English forces and in the process helped form the first independent nation in the Caribbean.  

  • Incidents at the Shrine by Ben Okri

    Incidents at the Shrine by Ben Okri

    Ksh 1099

    Brief Summary Incidents at the Shrine is the first collection of stories by the author of 1991 Booker Prize-winning novel, The Famished Road.  Whether the subject is a child's eye view of the Nigerian Civil War, Lagos and the spirit world or dispossession in a decaying British inner city, Okri's lyrical, poetic and humorous prose recreates the known and the unknown world with startling power.  

  • The Black Hermit by Ngugi wa Thiongo

    The Black Hermit by Ngugi wa Thiongo

    Ksh 699

    Brief Summary  Should Remi, the first of his tribe to go to university, return to his people? Or should he continue to be a black hermit in the town?  

  • The Curse of Berlin Africa After the Cold War by Adekeye Adebajo

    The Curse of Berlin Africa After the Cold War by Adekeye Adebajo

    Ksh 3999

    Brief Summary  At the 1884-1885 Conference of Berlin a cartel of largely European states effectively set the rules for the partition of Africa, an event whose historical and structural importance continues to affect and shape Africa's contemporary international relations.  This 'Curse' is a recurring theme in Adebajo's trenchant historical analysis, even though its main focus is on contemporary African issues after the Cold War. The first part of the book examines Africa's quest for security with three essays on Africa's security institutions such as the African Union and sub-regional bodies; another on the political, peacekeeping, and socio-economic roles of the United Nations (UN) in Africa; and a third on Africa's two UN Secretaries-General between 1992 and 2006:  Egypt's Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Ghana's Kofi Annan. The second section of the book focuses on Africa's quest for leadership, and five chapters examine the hegemonic roles of South Africa, Nigeria, the United States, China and France on the continent. The five chapters in the final section of the study analyse Africa's quest for unity, and examine the roles and significance for Africa of six historical figures: Mandela, Mbeki, Kwame Cecil Rhodes, Obama, and Gandhi; as well as assessing the African Union and the EU in comparative perspective.

  • The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa Money War and the Business of Power

    The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa Money War and the Business of Power

    Ksh 3999

    Brief Summary  The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa delves into the business of politics in the turbulent, war-torn countries of north-east Africa. It is a contemporary history of how politicians, generals and insurgents bargain over money and power, and use of war to achieve their goals. Drawing on a thirty-year career in Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, including experience as a participant in high-level peace talks, Alex de Waal provides a unique and compelling account of how these countries’ leaders run their governments, conduct their business, fight their wars and, occasionally, make peace.  De Waal shows how leaders operate on a business model, securing funds for their ‘political budgets’ which they use to rent the provisional allegiances of army officers, militia commanders, tribal chiefs and party officials at the going rate. This political marketplace is eroding the institutions of government and reversing state buildingÑ and it is fuelled in large part by oil exports, aid funds and western military assistance for counter-terrorism and peacekeeping. The Real Politics of the Horn of Africa is a sharp and disturbing book with profound implications for international relations, development and peacemaking in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

  • The Assassination of Lumumba by Ludo De Witte

    The Assassination of Lumumba by Ludo De Witte

    Ksh 3999

    Brief Summary  Patrice Lumumba, first prime minister of the Republic of Congo and a pioneer of African unity, was murdered on 17 January 1961. Democratically elected to lead the Mouvement National Congolais, the party he founded in 1958, Lumumba was at the center of the country’s growing popular defiance of the colonial rule of oppression imposed by Belgium. When, in June 1960, independence was finally won, his unscheduled speech at the official ceremonies in Kinshasa received a standing ovation and made him a hero to millions.  Always a threat to those who sought to maintain a covert imperialist hand over the country, however, he became within months the victim of an insidious plot and was arrested and subsequently tortured and executed. This book unravels the appalling mass of lies, hypocrisy and betrayals that have surrounded accounts of the assassination since it perpetration. Making use of a huge array of official sources as well as personal testimony from many of those in the Congo at the time, Ludo De Witte reveals a network of complicity ranging from the Belgian government to the CIA.  Chilling official memos which detail ‘liquidation’ and ‘threats to national interests’ are analyzed alongside macabre tales of the destruction of evidence, putting Patrice Lumumba’s personal strength and his dignified quest for African unity in stark contrast with one of the murkiest episodes in twentieth-century politics.  

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