Southern Africa

Southern Africa

Southern Africa

Southern Africa

Synopsis

Southern Africa surveys the contemporary history of the whole region encompassing economic, social, political, security, foreign policy, health, environmental and gender issues in one short succinct volume.

Positioning the collapse of Portugal's African Empire in the context of the region's history since 1945, Farley asserts that this collapse set in motion a train of events that eventually led to the transition of power from minority to majority rule in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. He examines the experiences of these countries as well as the former High Commission territories of Swaziland, Botswana and Lesotho to analyse the kind of states that evolved and shows how Southern Africa's present problems are the inevitable result of a long history of white rule. The book assesses the challenges faced by Southern Africa's political leaders up to the present day and discusses how these problems might be successfully addressed in the future.

With maps, a chronology and glossary, this is a valuable resource for all those interested in African history, politics and culture.

Excerpt

Perhaps no other continent than Africa has seen greater political change during the past half-century. When Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne in 1952, only Liberia, Ethiopia, Libya and Egypt were ruled by people of Arab or African origin. By the end of the twentieth century, the whole of the continent had come under indigenous rule: indeed, even before the end of the 1950s, much of the Maghreb, Ghana and the Sudan had achieved statehood. These were followed early in the 1960s by the remaining British and French colonies in West and East Africa and by the vast territory of the Congo, the colonial preserve of Belgium. Only Portugal chose to defy the ‘wind of change’ which was by then blowing through the continent.

In Southern Africa, the pattern of European domination was rather different. Here the colonists were settlers, not, as pertained in most of Africa north of the Zambezi, administrators on contract. Like the indigenous inhabitants, they regarded these countries as their own. Their lives, emotions and aspirations were all bound up in these lands: both psychologically and financially, detachment was impossible. For the British in Nigeria, the French in Senegal and the Belgians in the Congo, detachment was perfectly possible because their lives were centred elsewhere – in Devon, Provence or Flanders as the case might be. They did not own or farm vast tracts of land, as did their counterparts in Southern Africa. Indeed, in many European colonies with the striking exception of Kenya, ownership of land by colonists was discouraged, if not indeed forbidden by law. In many, too, notably in West Africa, the climate was such as to render prolonged or permanent residence both unwise and unattractive with malaria and other tropical diseases a constant hazard.

None of this applied in the countries of Southern Africa. In most, the climate was benign and the anopheles mosquito, the carrier of malaria, did not operate with the same degree of efficacy and sometimes not at . . .

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