The Challenge for Africa

The Challenge for Africa The troubles of Africa today are severe and wide ranging Yet too often they are portrayed by the media in extreme terms connoting poverty dependence and desperation Here Wangari Maathai Nobel Pea

  • Title: The Challenge for Africa
  • Author: Wangari Maathai
  • ISBN: 9780307390288
  • Page: 184
  • Format: Paperback
  • The troubles of Africa today are severe and wide ranging Yet, too often, they are portrayed by the media in extreme terms connoting poverty, dependence, and desperation Here Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement, offers a refreshingly unique perspective on these challenges, even as she calls for a moral revolution among AfricaThe troubles of Africa today are severe and wide ranging Yet, too often, they are portrayed by the media in extreme terms connoting poverty, dependence, and desperation Here Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and founder of the Green Belt Movement, offers a refreshingly unique perspective on these challenges, even as she calls for a moral revolution among Africans themselves Illuminating the complex and dynamic nature of the continent, Maathai offers hardheaded hope and realistic options for change and improvement She deftly describes what Africans can and need to do for themselves, stressing all the while responsibility and accountability Impassioned and empathetic, The Challenge for Africa is a book of immense importance.

    One thought on “The Challenge for Africa”

    1. Wow. I'm still absorbing this book and the many, many, many ideas it casually contains. To start off, here's Publishers Weekly's review:"Africa's moral and cultural dysfunctions loom as large as its material problems in this wide-ranging jeremiad. Maathai (Unbowed), a Kenyan biologist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for organizing the tree-planting Green Belt Movement, surveys Africa's struggle with poverty and disease, political violence, climate change, the legacy of colonialism and a glob [...]

    2. This is a well written, structured and personnel account from an African thought-leader. She articulates the woes of Africa but also proposes solutions which will require leadership and for the people to help themselves.Her thoughts on civil society's involvement reminded me of Ricardo Semler's people-centric empowerment strategies that work so well. I was also impressed with her discussion on the micro-nations that are make up each nation-state and how to benefit from this diversity instead of [...]

    3. Wangari Maathai clearly had some assistance in writing this book about Africa's challenges. Her writing is much improved from her previous book. I do take issue with her sometimes contradictory propositions. For example, in one chapter she states that one problem is that too much aide is given to Africa and then a chapter later she complains that not enough aide is given to Africa. Unfortunately, my overall sense from the book was a overwhelming sense of despair that an entire continent has so m [...]

    4. An excellent analysis of the environmental, social and political challenges in Africa written by an environmentalist, a woman, an African, a politician but mostly from a leaders perspective. Those who are leaders or who aspire to be leaders can gain insight into what Africa could be with a different direction. It is a book filled with hopeful examples of individuals and groups who are right now making a difference and strengthening the future in Africa. It took a while to read because there are [...]

    5. Maathai is passionate about modern Africa and lays out a comprehensive strategy to bring the continent into the 21st century whilst emphasizing the importance of retaining cultural heritage. She finds African solutions to African problems which she describes very convincingly and through providing evidence.The Challenge for Africa is missing in some criticism of African history. It should consider the lack of a self critical, literate, engineering society that strives to find solutions to proble [...]

    6. "The decline of much of Africa's fishing industry provides an unhappy glimpse into an economic order what continues to place commodities first and communities last, in which a problem like overfishing in the norther Atlantic and other regions of the world is exported to Africa, where it has led to African fish stocks and livelihoods being decimated. It is an example of how the world's interactions with Africa are not necessarily motivated by alruism, but by the self-interest of states seeking to [...]

    7. The Challenge for Africa is a complex, multifaceted examination of the political, social, economic, and cultural problems facing the leaders of modern African states and a series of potential solutions for addressing these problems. Because the book takes on a wide range of intersecting problems, most chapters are about half history, a quarter development theory, and a quarter policy proposals. The resulting book provides a sound orientation to modern African issues, and is a good starting place [...]

    8. I read this complex book because it was written by someone I respect. May she rest in peace. The book covers a lot of topics in detail that affect Africa including its colonial past. There was not much that I didn't already know but I am glad that it was written by a Nobel prize winner, so that it is taken seriously. From an African point of view, I agree with her points and solutions when it comes to political and economical issues facing Africa today. Good governance and self sustenance is the [...]

    9. Some years ago I read a book on post colonial Africa written by a European journalist. I was appalled at the elitist bias in this supposedly historical book. I asked a colleague of mine from Malawi about a good book on Africa by an African; he could not recommend one. Now I have found the book Wangiri Matthai, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient for environmental work in the Green Belt Movement, is a native Kenyan, who speaks as an African about Africa to Africans and those concerned. While remaining [...]

    10. Wangari Maathai is a Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of Green Belt Movement. In her book, The Challenge for Africa, she talks about the ways and means through which Africa can recover from extreme poverty, conflicts between micro-nations, destruction of environment, etc. The book identifies the problems to the core and suggests solutions. The book is choreographed in order: history and background, politics and economical situations, leadership and governance, relation between the ethnic mic [...]

    11. My literary agent, LH, recommended this book to me. Excellent account of the struggles the people in Africa encounter. Africans are hardworking, resilient and in need of the basics (education, skills, opportunity, freedom to express their culture/spirituality and a voice in their leadership/government).

    12. What an interesting, well-written, carefully crafted read. Though everything in this book is old knowledge if one knows even a little bit if African political history, it is refreshing to see a well-educated woman exposing the ills of Africa and proposing concrete ways to alleviate the plight of her people. Well done, Ms. Maathai!

    13. Worth reading and educational.It is interesting that "America" can be substituted for "Africa" in many sentences and when it comes to sustainable development, The World.It's time for humanity to change and for the failing short term leaders to be replaced, and time for the answer to be bloodless - not bloody conflict.

    14. Mama Wangari Maathai, Africa's Baobab.e does not only talk about the problems plaguing Africa but she also suggests and provides solutions for our beloved continent. My favourite book on Africa thus far.

    15. I liked her autobiography a lot more, and more technical books like Why Nations Fail. This was kind of a less good version of both. I'd mostly recommend it for people who haven't read about development before and will still find sentences like "Africa is a paradox" a revelation.

    16. Brilliant work (book) of Wangari Mathaai. she calls a spade by its name, and not big spoon. a must read for any African.

    17. An excellent and credible insight on Africa, with lessons on leadership, bottom-up development and environment that could serve not only African govts, but many countries all over the world

    18. "for five centuries, the outside world has been telling Africans who they are.Africans were told that their societies were backwards, their religious traditions sinful, their agricultural practices primitive, their system of governance irrelevant and their cultural norms barbaric"This book hits you with African realities that need to be checked. The fact that it is written by an African with hope for a better Africa puts to shame none African authors pretending to offer solutions yet their biase [...]

    19. This review was originally published in the Georgia Straight newspaper.Wangari Maathai has a talent for discussing controversial issues in a friendly tone. The result is a pragmatic book that will open readers’ minds to new ideas. In The Challenge for Africa, the Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner expresses cautious support for international aid, but she also questions whether the benefits of aid exceed the costs of potential dependence. She demands that African leaders shun the temptations of co [...]

    20. Although I’m a big fan of Wangari Maathai’s, i didn’t enjoy this book much. It tried to cover everything but covered nothing in much depth - the result was many generalizations, very few nuanced explanations, and nothing new. It was pretty despairing and also came across as quite preachy.

    21. best book in this genre I have read to date, characterizing the problems/solutions differently than Ive seen elsewhere and best matches my experiences in africa.

    22. This is a good survey of development topics, distinguished by an emphasis on national-level policies and leadership, culture and civil society, and the environment. Maathai covers all the familiar ground, reviewing colonialism, neoliberalism, debt, and the continuing extractive economic structures that maintain the North's global dominance via exploitation of the global South. Maathai examines ethnic conflict by breaking down the difference between celebrating and supporting what she terms 'micr [...]

    23. Wangari Maathai poignantly argues the importance of identity, culture and the environment in improving conditions across Africa. Wangarai deconstructs historic events to illustrate their destructive influence on the fabric of African society. Her intention is not to place blame but rather to illuminate the effects and to inspire local activism. Wangarai calls on Africans to embrace and understand their own culture and history. She calls on Africans to live for the life of the present rather than [...]

    24. Development, like a traditional African stool according to Ms Maathai, is based on three legs - democratic space; sustainable and accountable management of natural resources both for those living today and for those in the future, in a manner that is just and fair, including for people on the margins of society; and cultures of peace- fairness, respect, compassion, forgiveness, recompense, and social justice.Ms Maathai says that "Scientists estimate that the cutting down of trees in the Congo Ba [...]

    25. Write a reviewA great perspective on environmental, agricultural, political (particularly "ethnic/tribal" politics), feminist and community aspects of African development. I was disappointed that so little attention was given to the barriers to small business (and business in general) in Africa. Africa is bursting with people trying to trade but almost all are prevented from growing beyond the small-scale informal sector. She gives the issue one paragraph in relation to deterrents to returning e [...]

    26. The Challenge for Africa by Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari iMaathai is a finely written book about Africa's challenges past present and future. Ms Mathai knows her stuff and while detailing the many plagues that challenge Africa she gives solutionsenvironmental solutions that are not unattainable.She realizes that you cannot make people care about anything beside their bellies if they are starving and constant warfare produces an inertia that allows only the motions of being alive.The only rea [...]

    27. Wangari Maathai is clearly a rock star and she wrote a rock star book to the people and leaders of Africa and the world. I just hope someone reads it and turns her message into action.Of course I had my moments where i disagreed with some of her recommendations but was mostly her cheerleader. I think the overall message is pretty close to right on regarding identity and cultural confusion being a major root of Africa's difficulties.She does a beautiful job at subtly shaking her finger at people [...]

    28. Maathai presents a fresh analysis of the complex issues facing Africa today. She offers hope through passionate ideas for improvements-mostly through the nurturing of some basic values. Respect of self & of others,civic & personal responsibility/accountability ,and care for the environment are keys. Africans of all micro-nations(tribes) are encouraged to reclaim their cultures, but live in peace with those of other micro-nations. She challenges African leaders to provide (and civil socie [...]

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