New African review October 2012 issue

African Update – 05/11/12

In this issue among other stories:

- Black History Month

- Special Country Report – Uganda

Black History Month

Black History Month, a commemorative event largely observed in the UK has its 25th anniversary this year. New African has devoted 34 of its precious pages to this landmark celebration.

In the lead thread to this cover story, Akyaaba Addai-Sebo, the man accredited with the founding of the Black History Month (BHM), looks at the BHM in retrospect. He ‘salutes all those past and present, who have made this annual commemoration a success for over two decades.’ He observes that BHM ‘has become a sustaining catalyst in the promotion and advancement of the cause of racial harmony and peaceful co-existence in a multicultural Britain and for that matter Europe.’ That the celebration is running at a time when the world is witnessing increased racial abuses particularly in Football across Europe is instrumental since BHM is ‘a period of self – examination of the responsibilities we owe to each other as a result of the encounter of imperialism, enslavement, the slave trade, plantation slavery, chattel slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism. Hopefully, the celebration will serve as a ‘reminder to European society of their abiding duty to humanity, by freely accepting and embracing …(all) as human beings first, beyond the pale of colour, class or creed.’

In "Africa’s lost Tribe", Miriam Jimenez Roman and Tom Mbakwe, reflecting on last year’s bilingual exhibition, "The African Presence in Mexico", report on the desperate plight of people of African descent living in Mexico. They note that even though ‘the existence of Afro-Mexicans was officially affirmed in the 1990s when the Mexican government acknowledged Africans as Mexico’s third root… Mexico’s real history shows the African presence going back thousands of years.’ They cite historical sources that indicate that the contribution of Africans to the formation of Mexican culture is enormous. At the same time they look through the narrative that explains why the existence and profile of Afro-Mexicans is shrouded in mystery.

A few areas in Africa are as endowed with tens of thousands of manuscripts commissioned and meticulously executed by African academics, as is Timbuktu in Mali. However, a military coup in March this year resulted in the town falling under rebel control. In June, the rebels started destroying ancient tombs and libraries in the city. What is the fate of the manuscripts? In "Timbuktu’s ancient manuscripts under threat", Curtis Abraham reports on what is being done to save the manuscripts from further destruction by the rebels. What is more, he gives a glimpse of what is contained in some of the manuscripts!

When the ultra modern African Union headquarters was handed over to the AU by the Chinese government, a new bronze statue of Nkrumah was unveiled, ‘standing tall, complete with his trademark smock, walking stick, hand raised and stretched in the same manner as he had, on 6 March 1957,’ when he declared Ghana’s independence ‘meaningless unless it was linked up with the total liberation of Africa.’ Nkrumah’s vision was a united Africa. In "Slavery, there is still work to be done", Kwesi Quartey revisits the task of building a united Africa and the benefit of a united Africa in the fight against all forms of modern enslavement of the African continent, and as well as fighting for redress from the former slaving nations for the crimes committed against the continent and the African people.  In this regards, he is of the view, that much inspiration can be drawn from Nkrumah, the visionary who was assassinated for his unwavering assertion that ‘until Africa was free from foreign domination, the continent could not be completely united,’ and that ‘united action was essential if Africans were to achieve full independence.’ Why did he inspire such hope among Africans and such fury and hatred among the colonial powers? Why is Africa waking up to Nkrumah’s rallying call half a century later?

Other threads to the cover story include Idi Amin’s expulsion of Asians from Uganda and their subsequent return, Atlantic trade and Arab slavery, How the US government used black people as guinea pigs and the medical scandal that it was.

UGANDA; A Special Report

On October 9, Uganda celebrated 50 years of independence from British colonial rule. But what does it mean for the country and her people? ‘Having gone through shaky periods in the early years of independence, a now stable Uganda has reason to indulge in a big birthday celebration,’ reports New African. Many African countries embraced independence with optimism, rightly so, but subsequent events would expose the unpreparedness of the leaders of the day to tackle the real issues that was necessary in order to truly free their fellow citizens. Only a few, and a few indeed are known to have acknowledged realization of the unpreparedness.

It took over 20 years of what is described as ‘Uganda’s nightmare’ before there came forth one of her children to truly straighten the political landscape, and in so doing other aspects of life. That is President Yoweri Museveni. Museveni says that the optimism at independence was misplaced ‘because there were so many things that were yet to be done.’ He observes that he often wonders how they thought they would get by without having nationalistic parties for example. Even though Museveni’s government is often criticized for short-circuiting democratic principles, Museveni re-established the Ugandan state, law and security. Today Uganda is stable ‘with impressive economic growth rates over the last 25 years, in some years as high as 7.2 %.’

In this special report, insightful not only for the curious but for would be visitors to Uganda or investors, New African brings together a collection of reports from key segments of the republic: an interview with President Museveni, a special coverage on the Ugandan economy clearly meant for investors, a report on infrastructure development, a report on the energy, in particular hydroelectric power and oil drilling, deepening East Africa’s regional economic integration, among others.

In other stories;

Tribute is paid to Meles Zenawi, who until his death this year was the Prime minister of Ethiopia; William Gumede looks at troubled South Africa in the wake of tragedy in the mines. He observes that ‘official assumptions in South Africa about economic development, industrialization and job creation are simply wrong and need radical rethink[ing].’

New African also writes on a memoir by Dr. Peter Piot, former executive director of UNAIDS, that is likely to reignite the AIDS debate at a time when ‘mortality from AIDS has declined dramatically in just about every country.’

Reviewed by Swegenyi D.S.K for Humanitas Afrika

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Book of the month

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya Kwasekhaya

Xoliswa Ndoyiya: Ukutya KwasekhayaTastes from Nelson Mandela’s kitchen

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

New arrivals

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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