THE CHALLENGE OF AFRICA by K. A. Susie

THE CHALLENGE OF AFRICA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The new nations of Africa are poised on the threshhold of the modern world, but many of them are like children, waiting for the signal to ""take three giant steps"". Traditional tribal societies placed high value on human relationships, which are difficult to maintain during industrialization. The very word tribalism has developed unwelcome political connotations, and in a grouping of some 800 languages very few have adequate means of expressing abstract ideas, making it awkward to educate populations to a proper balance of old values and new ones. Colonialism may scarcely be said to have left behind any memories or machinery of legal pluralism, but the ""cartographic"" states it created are only too plural in number: irredentism is a marked problem in economics as well as politics. The ""apparent absence of any conceptual cleavage between the natural and the supernatural"" combines with age-old stolid acceptance of the determinism of imistle theology; superstitution, fear, and custom cannot be changed overnight. The surface aspects of these African problems are projected against the mirror of cold war power politics; the reflected images overlap in shadowy, distorted patterns. Having scuffed up the nap of a continent, Busia suggests nothing which might smooth it out again, except the application of the ""unassailable Christian prescription"" of loving service and sharing. A high academic piece, with religious overtones.

Publisher: Praeger