What is Africa's Problem?

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U of Minnesota Press, 2000 - History - 261 pages
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Recent seismic shifts in Congo and Rwanda have exposed the continued volatility of the state of affairs in central Africa. As African states have shaken off their postcolonial despots, new leaders with sweeping ideas about a pan-African alliance have emerged -- and yet the internecine struggles go on. What is Africa's problem? As one of the leaders expressing a broad and forceful vision for Africa's future, Uganda's Yoweri K. Museveni is perhaps better placed than anyone in the world to address the very question his book poses.

In 1986, after more than a decade of armed struggle, a rebellion led by Museveni toppled the dictatorship of Idi Amin, and Museveni, at 42, became president of Uganda, a country at that time in near total disarray. Since then, Uganda has made remarkable strides in political, civic, and economic arenas, and Museveni has assumed the role of "the eminence grise of the new leadership in central Africa" (Philip Gourevitch, The New Yorker). As such, he has proven a powerful force for change, not just in Uganda but across the turbulent span of African states.

This collection of Museveni's writings and speeches lays out the possibilities for social change in Africa. Working with a broad historical understanding and an intimate knowledge of the problems at hand, Museveni describes how movements can be formed to foster democracy, how class consciousness can transcend tribal differences in the development of democratic institutions, and how the politics of identity operate in postcolonial Africa. Museveni's own contributions to the overthrow of Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko and to the political transformation of Uganda suggest the kind of change that may sweep Africa indecades to come. What Is Africa's Problem? gives a firsthand look at what those changes might be, how they might come about, and what they might mean.


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