A Brief Book Review
Title of the Book: African predicaments and the method of solving them effectively
Name of the Reviewer: Mulugeta Damie (PhD)
College of Business & Economics
Mobile Phone: +25124370625
Date of submission: August 19, 2019
Statements of the Reviewer:
As an Ethiopian and an African, it is an honor for me to get a chance to review this book. This book has provided critical assessment and analyses of African problems and suggested novel ideas on what African and their governments should do solve these problems. The writing skill of author in English is beyond my imagination. After reading the book, one can easily notice that the author has well accumulated knowledge on social, economic, political, cultural, legal, institutional, and ecological make of the African continent and its societies. The author has taken good account of the various developmental stages the African continent has evolved through. The author paid good attention to the various programs western powers have experimented on Africa in the name of development while their hidden agenda is to promote their own interests at the
expense of Africa’s interest. Without exaggeration, the author must have put tremendous efforts for many years to produce such a book that provides the root causes of the continent’s problems and practicable solutions for the problems. I have no doubt; this book will be liked by Africans in all walks of life and their friends as the book narrates about African predicaments and provides a toolkit of remedies the predicaments.
The author is so logical while presenting each of his arguments in ways that convince the readers. Most of the presented predicaments for Africa’s underdevelopment and backwardness are quite real and conceivable. For instance, the author mentioned that African countries lacked intellectual movements that are capable to bring about renaissance, reformation and enlightment to continent. African leaders and intellectuals failed to put Africa on its own path. None of the documented breakthrough innovations that have changed our world were made by an African intellectual or leader on the African soil. The way the author analyzed Structural Adjustment Policy (SAP) was also amazingly super. The SAP which was present to African Countries as panacea to their web of problems by the Bretton Woods Institutions was not at all served that way as boldly said by the author. The author has rightly said it failed because SAP was not contextualized to the internal realities of the African Countries. This is just to mention these sample cases to support my strong and reflections on the quality of the book. The flows of ideas of the author are quite smooth and constructive and strongly justify each and every identified predicament.
Moreover, the author was efficient in his choice of words and effective in communicating the theoretical concepts and his point of views. Though the book is not a big volume, the content speaks and is worth more than its volume. The author was able to address several issues in a book with small-size and less-volume (i.e. 200 pages). The size and volume of a given book, though not considered as such, is one of the attractions for the potential
readers. I would appreciate the author’s talent of presenting several issues in a vivid manner within a book with of such small-size and less-volume.
The author has a firm stand that African countries should try to address their problems through their own home made solutions. The author clearly stated that Africa countries cannot come out of the vicious circle of poverty that they are trapped in unless they pay due attention to the use of scientific, technological and innovative methods/techniques for the development of their own industries. Otherwise, the developed nations are always crafting strategies that make African countries remain as exporters of raw produces at very cheap prices and import industrial products produced by the developed world from further processing of these raw agricultural products at prices damn expensive while the value addition is quite cheap to them. The developed countries are doing these in the name of free-markets under trade terms/agreements that look as if favoring for Africa’s development which practically are not. The author has critically analyzed the predicaments of the continent and provided wonderful and unique recommendations of his own as to how African should overcome its multifaceted developmental problems. The book is indeed a remarkable contribution to the continent and can for sure provide clear insight to policymakers at continental platforms for framing policies at that level which can, in fact, be cascaded to each and every county of the content through available or new modalities.
The only minor noticeable problems throughout the book are the author’s attempt to look at the African countries with different historical backgrounds and different contexts and stages of developments through the same lens and provide blanket recommendations for their predicaments. For instance, the fact that a given African country had been colonized by a certain colonizer could have its own contribution to type and severity of the predicaments. The same is true for the difference in the culture, religion, openness to the outside world etc. of the countries. If the author includes these variables into his model of analysis, it might put additional flavor to the taste of the book.
Finally, I would like to express my strong appreciation to the author, Dr. Fekadu Bekele, for his authorship of such an invaluable book for the large community of the continent of Africa which is a pride to all of us as citizens of Ethiopia, the Africa continent and the world at large.