The Fate of Africa: A History of Fifty Years of Independence
An epic biography of postcolonial Africa illuminates its current devastating problems. What happened to this vast continent, so rich in resources and history, to bring it so close to destitution and despair in the span of two generations?
the French franc zone, under which France guaranteed the convertibility of the local currency. The result was an investment bonanza unmatched anywhere else in black Africa. Houphouët shrugged off criticism about the extent to which Côte d’Ivoire remained dependent on France. His priority, he insisted, was economic growth, and French assistance was required to secure it. He argued that the need for effective management and organisation overrode all other considerations and he willingly turned to
clear they were as determined to bring down Muzorewa’s government as they had been to fight against Smith’s regime. When Smith finally left the stage as prime minister on the last day of white rule on 31 May 1979, his legacy was a state unrecognised by the international communuity, subjected to trade boycotts, ravaged by civil war that had cost at least 20,000 lives and facing a perilous future. As the war intensified, Britain launched one last initiative to find a solution, calling for
new ambition. Mugabe himself was widely acclaimed a hero: the revolutionary leader who had embraced the cause of reconciliation and who now sought a pragmatic way forward. Western governments lined up with offers of aid. Amid the jubilation, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania advised Mugabe, ‘You have inherited a jewel. Keep it that way.’ PART III 19 RED TEARS At his headquarters in Emperor Menelik’s old palace, Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam spent months planning to turn the tenth
Africa’s intervention, Operation Savannah. Fred Bridgland provides a favourable portrait of Savimbi. Martin Meredith writes about Rhodesia’s UDI years and the eventual outcome. Chapter 19 The title ‘Red Tears’ is taken from the memoir by Dawit Wolde Giorgis, who fled into exile in 1985. Alex de Waal provides the most comprehensive account of war and famine in Ethiopia over a thirty-year period. Other useful accounts are by David Korn, the US chargé d’affaires in Addis Ababa at the time;
ROBERT L. BERNSTEIN, the chief executive of Random House for more than a quarter century, guided one of the nation’s premier publishing houses. Bob was personally responsible for many books of political dissent and argument that challenged tyranny around the globe. He is also the founder and longtime chair of Human Rights Watch, one of the most respected human rights organizations in the world. For fifty years, the banner of Public Affairs Press was carried by its owner Morris B. Schnapper,