Designing West Africa: Prelude to 21st Century Calamity by Peter Schwab

By Peter Schwab

Many African international locations at the moment are defined as "Fourth international nations," ones which primarily don't have any destiny. How may possibly this have occurred? throughout the scope of the Sixties, the 1st decade of African independence, Peter Schwab offers a compelling and provocative resolution to this query. Designing West Africa tells the tale of a pivotal decade in African historical past, whilst the destiny of the continent used to be made up our minds. concentrating on the six such a lot obvious leaders of the period--S?kou Tour?, Kwame Nkrumah, and others--Schwab exhibits how Africa served as a grounds to play out better overseas conflicts, specifically the chilly conflict. He doesn't fall again exclusively on blaming non-African involvement for the failure to construct a conceivable management for the continent; quite, he opinions the African leaders themselves for his or her person failings.

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President George W. Bush, however, insisted that Taylor leave Liberia upon the arrival of the peacekeepers. Taylor appointed Moses Blah, his vice president (and like him, a student of Libya’s military college), to succeed him until the appointment of a transitional administration, and he was granted asylum in Nigeria. He fled to Nigeria on August 11, one week after the appearance of the joint military group. By mid-October a transitional government, led by the Liberian businessman Charles Gyude Bryant, took office for a two-year period, after which time elections are to be held.

27 32 / DESIGNING WEST AFRICA As president for 27 years, Tubman had the opportunity to alter the political dynamic so as to alleviate the economic, social, and political distress experienced by Liberia’s ethnic groups. Had he done so he might have precluded the mess that the continued pursuit of the conservative and class-based design generated. But he did not. Born in Maryland County, in the southeast of Liberia, of ancestors repatriated from Georgia, in the United States, Tubman studied at a Methodist seminary in Cape Palmas, eventually moving on to become a lawyer and senator, as well as an officer of the Masonic Order.

That was always their rationale. They were wrong. But their activism spelled the end of politics for almost all the countries of West Africa. It was not the end of ideology, but it was the end of politics and political ideology. The armed forces provided their own essentially pro-Western military gospel, but their creed also foundered. One military or rebel junta replaced another, ousting, jailing, exiling, or murdering the prior rulers, and then creating hell on earth for their people. Unable to provide adequate leadership, the soldiery gangs, with their guns and desire to remain in power, became only more despotic and brutal toward their own people.

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