New African review - November issue

African Update – 28/11/10

This is the 500th issue to be published! It is thus a special celebration issue, a collector’s edition. The articles in this issue are spilt principally into three parts:

The evolution of New African

Featuring articles that tell the story of New African, its establishment, struggles and successes and particularly how it has identified with the African continent over the five decades of her independence.

In Retrospect

This section features a selection of some of the best articles published by New African over the past 44 years. At the end of each article a short narrative is included to show how the story connects with the present


A series of articles, reflections drawn from some of Africa’s iconic figures touching on a wide range of issues and spheres on Africa.

In addition, there are a few articles covering current issues, plus special reports featuring SADC (on deeper regional integration), African banker awards and Tourism in Africa.

Collectively, all these articles are aptly wrapped up in the cover title: 500 Still We Rise!


“500 issues of struggle and success. It is no mean achievement! A 500th landmark is a special occasion to celebrate…”

And so New African invites its loyal readers and advertisers to cheer with them “to the health of Africa, to the prosperity of our readers and advertisers. And of course to the continued success of New African and its parent company IC Publications”

The First Issue

New African as we know it today began as African Development in October 1966, then became New African Development in January 1977 and finally simply New African in May 1978.

New African Story

New African has been as dynamic as the years that have gone by since its inception in 1966. It has seen three changes of ownership, three changes of titles and five moves of office.

In one of the articles from the insiders, Alan Rake, who served as editor for 21 years, tells how the magazine came to be. How different was it at the beginning? Who were the people that built its foundation? What hurdles were overcome along the way? How did New African adapt itself to changing times? These are some of the questions that Alan addresses.

He talks of objectives; struggles to make it truly African managed and oriented, financial struggles among other things. But above all, he narrates how New African succeeded at every step to span “most of Africa’s five decades of independence, identifying with the continents struggles, successes and failures.


One way to look at the past is to read recorded history. Most often this will come as some academic material. Academic material sometimes loses the contact or reality of the moment it records. Reading through the articles that New African has republished from its archives, one is at once taken into those moments in a refreshing way. In brief, New African’s reprinted article concern the following:

Anwar Sadat got little applause from his countrymen for the much he did for his country, Egypt, as the president. But to the West he was a hero. Killers jumping out of a truck while he was reviewing a military parade assassinated him. Why was he killed? Why did the Egyptians not weep, even when the West did? Did the changes they wanted take place? Not really, Egypt has ever since Sadat’s successor (current president of Egypt) took power remained in the orbit of the West.

The late Julius Nyerere, first president of Tanzania decried the importation of food to feed a country with great agricultural potential, three decades on, Tanzania like many African countries still imports food

Under the apartheid regime, South Africa, with the support of USA among others began a nuclear program that went on to advanced stage, long before 1994. But when Mandela took over power he was pressured to dismantle it, which he did.

Soon after independence, women in most African countries were down trodden in many spheres of life. Their cry for space was long and with suffering. It is only in the last decade that they have become more assertive.

When Mugabe, now the president of Zimbabwe, together with others started the struggle to free Zimbabwe of colonial rule, getting the British to concede to the inevitability of African self-rule was not easy. Many years on he is still insisting “we are going to be ourselves, pure and simple.”

Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown and all efforts taken by his detractors to have his ideology on the way forward for African states -African unity- literally written off. Forty-four years later, his ideas have come full circle. Now the AU feels strongly that African states must take up what he stood for.

One Rene Dumont, a celebrated French agriculturalist wrote a book, “False Start in Africa” in 1962. He was severely criticized as a prophet of doom. Twenty years later, the very things that he had written about were haunting African states, for they were wrong not to follow his advice. What was his advice? At the same time former colonial powers were finding it difficult to do without African raw materials, and having to lend money to African governments to feed their people. The universal virtue of western model of development did not take African realities into account.


In this part, New African has published reflections from among others:

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia. She looks at the history of exclusion of women in African politics in spite of the great roles they have played. She is categorical that “it is time for our women to be judged on their own merits and stake their rightful claim on the new Africa.”

Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa. He examines the media, both African and foreign, and comments on the battle on who is to blame for the negative image that Africa gets. In the end he say, “The time has come that we, as Africans take responsibility for how our continent is portrayed.” And that includes developing ‘a set of strategies to counter the negative media portrayal of Africa.’ For ‘too long Africans have been indifferent to misrepresentation.’

John Agyekum Kufuor, former president of Ghana. He talks about the challenges of building African leadership that is capable of meeting the challenges of our time. Comparing the independence leadership to that of the present, he observes that many independence leaders were self driven, self made, audacious and risk taking, and that was important to getting the colonial powers out. They succeeded in this but failed because they were not groomed for political office, they did not have all the skills that modern nation building requires. They were leaders who had “come more by their natural talents to lead rather than having calculated and nurtured capacities to govern and build modern nations”. It is this calculated and nurtured capacity that Africa today must instill in its leadership.

For these and many more stories in their complete version, get a copy of New African November issue.

For our friends in the Czech Republic, particularly in Prague, just in case you cannot get a copy from the newsstands, drop by our office and read from our library copy.


Reviewed by Swegenyi K. for Humanitas Africa

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A collection of recipes by Nelson Mandela's personal chef, this book contains the food served to visiting heads of state, celebrities, politicians for more than 20 years. Featuring some of the favourite former South African president's favourite meals including samp and beans, farm chicken, tripe, this book also features paella, peri-peri chicken, prawn curry, and myriad of other delights. With simple, delicious and nourishing recipes, it will interest those who wish to prepare meals that are both elegant and healthy.More

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New titles in our library 12/2016

Our library has aquired a number of new and interesting books. Here is the list of the latest titles.

  • Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship Between Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X by Randy Roberts and Johnny Smith
  • Fashion Cities Africa by Hannah Azieb Pool
  • Frantz Fanon: Toward a Revolutionary Humanismby Christopher Lee
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty by Robinson, James A., Acemoglu, Daron
  • Shakespeare in Swahililand: Adventures With the Ever-Living Poet by Edward Wilson-Lee
  • A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present by Richard J. Reid
  • Authentically African: Arts and the Transnational Politics of Congolese Culture by Sarah Van Beurden
  • Children in Slavery through the Ages by by Gwyn CampbellSuzanne MiersJoseph C. Miller
  • Global Health in Africa: Historical Perspectives on Disease Control by Tamara Giles-Vernick
  • Rumba on the River: A History of the Popular Music of the Two Congos by Gary  Stewart
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 1: Africa, the Indian Ocean World, and the Medieval North Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Women and Slavery, Vol. 2: The Modern Atlantic by Gwyn Campbell
  • Cahier d'un Retour Au Pays Natal by Aimé Cesaire
  • Healing Traditions: African Medicine, Cultural Exchange and Competition in South Africa, 1820-1948 by Karen Elizabeth  Flint
  • Global Education Policy and International Development: New Agendas, Issues and Policies by Antoni Verger
  • Black Skin, White Coats: Nigerian Psychiatrists, Decolonization, and the Globalization of Psychiatry by Matthew M. Heaton

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