Kenya Today: Breaking the Yoke of Colonialism in Africa

Kenya Today: Breaking the Yoke of Colonialism in Africa

Kenya Today: Breaking the Yoke of Colonialism in Africa

Kenya Today: Breaking the Yoke of Colonialism in Africa

Synopsis

This is the story of modern Africa: the reality of poverty, underdevelopment and the donor community. Are governments using politics and imported culture to trap ordinary Africans in a weakening web of international "friendship" and "economic partnership," cemented by "developmental assistance"? The author analyzes modern African history to identify the reasons for conflict, economic collapse and other disasters, revealing a world of victims and executioners. The process of selection and emphasis in history inevitably entails taking sides; this work is skeptical of governments whether domestic or foreign. Mwaura tells the story of the brief but bloody 1997 war in Congo (Brazzaville) from the standpoint of the oil connection, not the ethnic aspect that is usually given broader coverage. Similarly, he presents the dismal objective results of various events that have been painted as cultural but the impact of which - and the underlying causes - have been economic, and initiatives that have been promoted as being for the "welfare" of Africans while in fact worsening their plight. The author strives to cover all major topics, problems and trends as they affect the central questions of poverty and inequality, and tries to anticipate a new future as well as to propose solutions. Part One is an investigation of the historical roots of African underdevelopment. Part Two traces the mechanisms by which poor African countries become trapped in their backwardness, including aspects of domestic and international politics which frustrate positive reform through political instability and war. This work is a prism through which the complex direct and indirect effects of global policies may be viewed, raising questions as to results and intentions, and stimulating a subtler appreciation of the consequences of international politics. The book will be indispensable for students, academics, and policy makers interested in African Affairs, Development issues, American fore

Excerpt

Development and underdevelopment are two terms that have found common usage in Africa. In Kenya, nearly all politicians plead their cases by promising to bring “development” to the people. Although there is no fixed meaning of the term, development can be described as the capacity to deal with the environment. The ability to fully comprehend science and apply this knowledge in the production of tools, which are then used to deal with the environment, is economic development. An underdeveloped country is one which has an untapped potential for using more capital or more labor or more available natural resources to support its present population on a higher level of living .

Western propaganda uses the term “developing” instead of “underdeveloped” to describe Africa, in order to give the false impression that African countries are making progress, moving away from a state of economic backwardness, and that they are freeing themselves from the relationship of being exploited by the countries of Europe, North America and Japan — which is simply not true. In fact, exploitation of African countries increased in the last decades of the 20th century and first part of the 21st century, both in scope and degree.

1. Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Heinemann Kenya Limited, Nairobi, 1992.

2. A. N. Agarwala and S. P. Singh (eds), The Economics of Underdevelopment, Oxford University Press, New York, 1963.

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