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Preparing Africa for the twenty-first century : strategies for peaceful coexistence and sustainable development /
edited by John Mukum Mbaku.
Aldershot : Ashgate, 1999.
xviii, 357 p. ; 23 cm.
More Details
Aldershot : Ashgate, 1999.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-09-01:
Mbaku (economics, Weber State Univ.) has published widely on African economic and political issues. Preparing Africa is a collection of 13 chapters written by eight African-born scholars, aimed at improving the policy environment on the continent. Mbaku wrote the introduction, conclusion, and three other chapters; Julius Ihonvbere wrote two others. The range of subjects includes property rights and resources, development, democracy, structural adjustment, ethnicity, human rights, regionalism, civil-military relations, women, and state-society relations. The essays are critical: Africans as well as various external agents, both historical and contemporary, share the blame for Africa's ailments and still face daunting challenges in pursuing peace and development. The general prescription is "reconstruction of the neo-colonial state" into "more accountable, transparent and participatory governance structures and resource allocation systems that enhance wealth creation." The variety of subjects makes for a good sampler, but the volume offers little originality and covers much the same ground as many others on contemporary Africa. Recommended for collections specializing in African studies and international development. Graduate students, faculty, and practitioners. J. P. Smaldone; Georgetown University
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2000
Choice, September 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Written by seasoned African scholars this significant contribution to the debate on peaceful coexistence also looks at sustainable development to provide practical and effective policy options for Africans.
Long Description
Preparing Africa for the Twenty-First Century is written by seasoned African scholars and is intended to make a significant contribution to the debate on peaceful coexistence and sustainable development in the continent. The book contains a very refreshing, rigorous, informative and multidisciplinary analysis of the transition in Africa and provides practical and effective policy options for Africans. It breaks new ground in that it emphasizes the importance of institutions to economic growth and development in Africa. As such, it differs significantly from previous efforts which have tended to blame Africa's underdevelopment on incompetent, ill-informed and poorly educated leadership. While agreeing that the shortage of competent and skilled technocrats has been a significant problem for many African countries during the last four decades, the contributors argue that the most critical determinant of poverty and deprivation in the continent has been the absence of institutional arrangements that enhance the creation of wealth and also allow ethnic and other social cleavages to live together peacefully. Thus, as Africans prepare their societies for the new century, the first line of business should be state reconstruction - a task that was supposed to have been undertaken shortly after independence but was never accomplished. The main purpose of such an exercise is for each African country to design and adopt institutional arrangements that enhance peaceful coexistence of groups, the creation of wealth, and sustainable development.
Main Description
'Preparing Africa for the Twenty-First Century' examines the struggle by Africans to provide themselves with more effective governance structures and economic infrastructures that enhance wealth creation. It provides useful lessons that can be used by Africans as they prepare for the new millennium.
Table of Contents
General introduction
Property rights and the exploitation of Africa's environmental resources: preparing for the new millennium
Africa in the twenty-first century: the challenges and opportunities
Development in the New World Order: repositioning Africa for the twenty-first century
Democratization in Africa: a balance sheet
A balance sheet of structural adjustment in Africa: towards a sustainable development agenda
Ethnicity and democracy in sub-Saharan Africa
The future of human rights in sub-Saharan Africa
Regionalism and the politics of collective development in Africa
New patterns of civil-military relations in Africa
Woman: the other variable in Africa's development struggle
Making the state relevant to African societies
Conclusions: looking forward to the new century
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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