African Interest

African Interest

  • Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo

    Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo

    Ksh 1299

    Brief Summary In the past fifty years, more than $1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. Has this assistance improved the lives of Africans? No. In fact, across the continent, the recipients of this aid are not better off as a result of it, but worse—much worse.In Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo describes the state of postwar development policy in Africa today and unflinchingly confronts one of the greatest myths of our time: that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has helped to reduce poverty and increase growth. In fact, poverty levels continue to escalate and growth rates have steadily declined—and millions continue to suffer. Provocatively drawing a sharp contrast between African countries that have rejected the aid route and prospered and others that have become aid-dependent and seen poverty increase, Moyo illuminates the way in which overreliance on aid has trapped developing nations in a vicious circle of aid dependency, corruption, market distortion, and further poverty, leaving them with nothing but the “need” for more aid. Debunking the current model of international aid promoted by both Hollywood celebrities and policy makers, Moyo offers a bold new road map for financing development of the world’s poorest countries that guarantees economic growth and a significant decline in poverty—without reliance on foreign aid or aid-related assistance.Dead Aid is an unsettling yet optimistic work, a powerful challenge to the assumptions and arguments that support a profoundly misguided development policy in Africa. And it is a clarion call to a new, more hopeful vision of how to address the desperate poverty that plagues millions.

  • Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures

    Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures

    Ksh 1399

    Brief Summary A new kind of war requires a new kind of war story. This scorching, devastatingly honest memoir is a first-of-its-kind confession of love, friendship, and betrayal of ideals from civilians who volunteered to be on the front lines. In the early 1990s, three young people attracted to UN peacekeeping for very different reasons cross paths in Cambodia. Heidi, a new York social worker on the run from a marriage gone bust, is looking for an adventure. Andrew is a young doctor seeking to save lives. Ken is fresh from Harvard Law and full of idealism. The UN organizes Cambodia's first democratic elections, and Phnom Penh is the scene of wild parties, as the international community celebrates the end of the Cold War. There the three become friends for life. Propelled by success in Cambodia, the US and UN sponsor peacekeeping missions to Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia. Ken and Heidi find themselves together in Somalia. They dance on their rooftop to Jimi Hendrix while helicopters buzz overhead so close they feel the heat of the exhaust. "You're listening to 99.9 FM MogadishuRockin' the Dish," American Armed Forces Radio announces, "Keep your head down and the volume up." But after the infamous Black Hawk Down incident when eighteen US Army Rangers were killed in a firefight with Somali militias, a chain reaction of violence breaks loose. As the trio's missions unravel, their bond tightens. Andrew is sent to Haiti, to Bosnia, and then Rwanda where he finds Ken, investigating the mass grave of genocide. Heidi's journey is unforgettablea rare woman in a man's world of conflict and war. The three friends' voices mingle to paint an indelible picture'suffused with tenderness and unexpected humorof life, love, and death in the world's most dangerous places. By day they struggle to bring order out of chaos; by night they use revelry, sex, each otherdesperate measures from faith to flesh and everything in betweento find a human connection in a terrifying world. Graphic, lyrical, and astonishingly urgent, Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures is a celebration of the strength of the human spiritand of the gritty power of friendship to keep you alive.

  • Decolonising the Mind by Ngugi wa Thiongo

    Decolonising the Mind by Ngugi wa Thiongo

    Ksh 2399

    Brief Summary Ngugi describes this book as "a summary of some of the issues in which I have been passionately involved for the last twenty years of my practice in fiction, theatre, criticism and in the teaching of literature.In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Europe stole art treasures from Africa to decorate their houses and museums; in the twentieth century Europe is stealing the treasures of the mind to enrich their languages and cultures...."

  • A Good African Story by Andrew Rugasira

    A Good African Story by Andrew Rugasira

    Ksh 1199

    Brief Summary Since it was founded in 2003, Good African Coffee has helped thousands of farmers earn a decent living, send their children to school and escape a spiral of debt and dependence. Africa has received over $1 trillion in aid over the last fifty years and yet despite these huge inflows, the continent remains mired in poverty, disease and systemic corruption. In A Good African Story, Andrew Rugasira argues that trade has achieved what years of aid failed to deliver, and has provided a tantalising glimpse of what Africa could be.As he recounts the very personal story of his company and the challenges that he has faced – and overcome – as an African entrepreneur, Rugasira discusses the barriers that currently prevent fair and equal trade between Africa and the rest of the world. He sets out the arguments for building a sustainable trade framework and reducing dependency on handouts. And he builds up a manifesto for a revolution in the way that Africa is perceived.This is a book about Africa taking its destiny in its own hands, and dictating the terms of its future.

  • There Was a Country by Chinua Achebe

    There Was a Country by Chinua Achebe

    Ksh 1599

    Brief Summary From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart—a long-awaited memoir of coming of age in a fragile new nation, and its destruction in a tragic civil war For more than forty years, Chinua Achebe has maintained a considered silence on the events of the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering account of one of modern Africa’s most disastrous events, from a writer whose words and courage have left an enduring stamp on world literature. A marriage of history and memoir, vivid firsthand observation and decades of research and reflection, There Was a Country is a work whose wisdom and compassion remind us of Chinua Achebe’s place as one of the great literary and moral voices of our age.

  • The Mayor of Mogadishu by Andrew Harding

    The Mayor of Mogadishu by Andrew Harding

    Ksh 1999

    Brief summary  The Mayor of Mogadishu: A Story of Chaos and Redemption in the Ruins of Somalia. In The Mayor of Mogadishu, one of the BBC’s most experienced foreign correspondents, Andrew Harding, reveals the tumultuous life of Mohamoud “Tarzan” Nur - an impoverished nomad who was abandoned in a state orphanage in newly independent Somalia and became a street brawler and activist.  When the country collapsed into civil war and anarchy, Tarzan and his young family became part of an exodus, eventually spending twenty years in North London. But in 2010 Tarzan returned, as Mayor, to the unrecognizable ruins of a city now almost entirely controlled by the Islamist militants of Al Shabab. For many in Mogadishu, and in the diaspora, Tarzan became a galvanizing symbol of courage and hope for Somalia.  But for others, he was a divisive thug, who sank beneath the corruption and clan rivalries that continue, today, to threaten the country’s revival. The Mayor of Mogadishu is a rare an insider’s account of Somalia’s unraveling and an intimate portrayal of one family’s extraordinary journey. 

  • Little Mogadishu Eastleigh Nairobis Global Somali Hub

    Little Mogadishu Eastleigh Nairobis Global Somali Hub

    Ksh 2999

    Brief Summary Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate has undergone profound change over the past two decades. Previously a quiet residential zone, the arrival of vast numbers of Somali refugees catalyzed its transformation into ‘Little Mogadishu’, a global hub for Somali business. Dozens of malls and hotels have sprouted from its muddy streets, attracting thousands of shoppers.  Nonetheless, despite boosting Kenya’s economy, the estate and its residents are held in suspicion over alleged links to Islamic terrorism, especially after the 2013 Westgate Mall attack, while local and international media have suggested with little evidence that its economic boom owes much to capital derived from Indian Ocean piracy. In contrast to such sensationalized reporting, Little Mogadishu is based on detailed historical and ethnographic research and explores the social and historical underpinnings of this economic boom. It examines how transnational networks converged on Eastleigh in the wake of the collapse of the Somali state, attracting capital from the Somali diaspora, and bringing goods—especially clothes and electronics—from Dubai, China and elsewhere that are much in demand in East Africa. In so doing, Little Mogadishu provides a compelling case-study of the developmental impact Diasporas and transnational trade can have, albeit in a country where many see this development as suspect.

  • The Struggle for Freedom and Justice

    The Struggle for Freedom and Justice

    Ksh 1999

    Brief Summary  Kaggia vividly describes the bitterness of racial discrimination in colonial Kenya during youth and how he joined the British army in 1941 principally to seize the opportunity to travel to Jerusalem and even to England. During the war, he was highly respected by both white and black, but when the World War II was over, he was no longer of use to the colonial government and merely became yet again another African subject to be transported back to Kenya with his fellow Kenyans as if they were cattle.  Back in Kenya he was a confident and changed man fired with the mission to liberate his people from the colonial yoke. When the freedom fighters succeeded in removing the colonial burden, Kaggia genuinely expected that a new era of freedom and justice would dawn for his people, only to see that the new leaders started immediately to grab land and generally to enrich themselves.  After Independence Kaggia fought for the second liberation of his people so that the poor could also enjoy their freedom and eat the fruits of Uhuru. However, during the fight for justice, he hit rocks which proved even harder than the colonial rock. The hard-fought freedom was betrayed Kenya's struggle for Independence and the subsequent betrayal of filmdom and justice by the political leaders are the leading themes in this book.  'Kaggia was the symbol of a society struggling to find its sense of identity and oneness while steering clear of tribalism and corruption.' Achieng' Oneko, freedom fighter and politician —  'Bildad Kaggia was one of the prime architects of today's changing Kenya. Kenyans still find it difficult to forget his steadfast example, his great struggle and his clear beliefs for a truly national politics. There can be no true understanding of Kenya's history since independence without the reading of this biography. The authors have rendered Kenyans and all historians an invaluable service.' Macro: Novrojee, human rights  Kaggia believed in equality for all and in social justice. He was convinced that people came first. For him, governments existed to serve the people not the leaders, which is a sharp contrast with what his contemporaries practiced and which our current leadership has perfected. The authors are to be commended for having provided here a blueprint for authentic leadership. Kaggia was a truly authentic leader.' 

  • Digital Democracy Analogue Politics How the Internet Is Transforming Politics in Africa

    Digital Democracy Analogue Politics How the Internet Is Transforming Politics in Africa

    Ksh 2699

    Brief Summary From the upheavals of recent national elections to the success of the #MyDressMyChoice feminist movement, digital platforms have already had a dramatic impact on political life in Kenya – one of the most electronically advanced countries in Africa. While the impact of the Digital Age on Western politics has been extensively debated, there is still little appreciation of how it has been felt in developing countries such as Kenya, where Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and other online platforms are increasingly a part of everyday life. Written by a respected Kenyan activist and researcher at the forefront of political online struggles, this book presents a unique contribution to the debate on digital democracy. For traditionally marginalised groups, particularly women and people with disabilities, digital spaces have allowed Kenyans to build new communities which transcend old ethnic and gender divisions. But the picture is far from wholly positive. Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics explores the drastic efforts being made by elites to contain online activism, as well as how ‘fake news’, a failed digital vote-counting system and the incumbent president's recruitment of Cambridge Analytica contributed to tensions around the 2017 elections. Reframing digital democracy from the African perspective, Nyabola’s ground-breaking work opens up new ways of understanding our current global online era.

  • Looters and Grabbers by Joe Khamisi

    Looters and Grabbers by Joe Khamisi

    Ksh 3599

    Brief Summary This book is about unbridled corruption, bribery and scandalous financial skullduggery in one of Africa's most promising countries, Kenya.  It is a narrative of money-laundering, mega scandals, and international wheeler-dealing, and describes how Mafia-like lobbyists have been devouring the country's resources with blatant impunity over four regimes since independence in 1963.  It is an important resource for historians, students, researchers, social and political scientists, non-governmental organizations, development and anti-corruption agencies.

  • Making Africa Work A Handbook for Economic Success

    Making Africa Work A Handbook for Economic Success

    Ksh 2799

    Brief Summary Sub-Saharan Africa faces three big inter-related challenges over the next generation. It will double its population to two billion by 2045. By then more than half of Africans will be living in cities. And this group of mostly young people will be connected with each other and the world through mobile devices. Properly harnessed and planned for, this is a tremendously positive force for change. Without economic growth and jobs, it could prove a political and social catastrophe. Old systems of patronage and of muddling through will no longer work because of these population increases. Instead, if leaders want to continue in power, they will have to promote economic growth in a more dynamic manner. Making Africa Work is a first-hand account and handbook of how to ensure growth beyond commodities and create jobs in the continent.

  • Struggles for Citizenship in Africa by Bronwen Manby

    Struggles for Citizenship in Africa by Bronwen Manby

    Ksh 2499

    Brief Summary This book, by an acknowledged expert on human rights in Africa, discusses the hundreds of thousands living as non-persons in the only African state they have ever known.  Not recognized as citizens, they have no access to education, state health services, travel documents, or employment without a work permit. Most of all, they cannot vote, stand for office, or work for state institutions. Ultimately such policies can lead to disaster or war.  The conflicts in Côte d'Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo are at heart conflicts over the rights of divided populations to share fully the rights and duties of citizenship. Bringing together new research from across Africa, this book makes the case for urgent reform of the law.  

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