CONVERSING WITH AFRICA: POLITICS OF CHANGE
The narrative of this book is an effort to engage the past from the present, to stand witness to present times, and to communicate the need to restore a radical dialogue in Africa. The author speaks to a new generation of activists who are trying to answer Fanon's call of 'Each generation must out of relative obscurity find its mission - fulfil it or betray it'.
The very title of Kenyan author Mukoma wa Ngugi's book makes the case for dialogue. Conversing with Africa is a wide-ranging investigation of Africa's dilemmas and his analysis is bleak; 'abject poverty, despotism, coups, ethnic cleansings--all under the rubric of neo-colonialism, all structured under the debilitating conditions of the World Bank and the IMF--continue to ravage the continent.'
Ngugi's aim is polemical and he has approached his task in the spirit of Walter Rodney's groundbreaking How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. His aim is to convince the reader of the imperative need for action; for Africans to become their own agents of change. Conversing with Africa is a plea for unity; Ngugi is proposing nothing less than a Pan-African solution to the ills of the continent and although his argument is stronger on passion than pragmatism, he could justifiably point to what pragmatism has produced.
If Africa is to emerge from the colonial yoke and cast off the neo-liberal shackles then it urgently needs to engage with honest voices such as Mukoma wa Ngugi calling for radical reform. The price for failing to do so is high.
- New Internationalist