Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Book Review: Africa in Chaos

Africa in Chaos by George B. N. Ayittey

George Aytittey wrote Africa in Chaos 12 years ago (1998) to explain the reasons why Africa is in a perpetual state of upheaval, death, corruption, and in effect "chaos". His answer is depressing and doesn't give much hope for the future unless altruistic African governments assume control and manage to keep corruption out. Perhaps some have paid attention to Ayittey as some of his dire predictions have not come to pass. The book also delves into the many ways that non-African organizations have exacerbated the situation instead of helping- with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund taking a good part of the blame. The Cold War struggle for Africa didn't help either.

What changed my mind the most about Africa is Ayittey's detailing of how the billions in aid and oil money disappeared into the the bank accounts of Africa's corrupt leaders, causing the poverty and suffering of their citizens. The leaders had and have the money to take care of their people but choose to keep it for themselves and their cronies. In his closing chapters the author also explained that the reason why the world in general doesn't know about this corruption is that many of the African intellectuals are still vying for their piece of the pie and are easily bought by those in power. Ayittey also discussed how Americans and African-Americans in particular don't see the reality of Africa and what the African leaders have done to their people and countries. It's a depressing book because if the author is correct there isn't much hope for Africa..

No comments:

Post a Comment