GHANA AND THE IVORY COAST: Spotlight on West Africa by Lila Perl

GHANA AND THE IVORY COAST: Spotlight on West Africa

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Perl focuses here on the contrast between Ghana and the Ivory Coast, a difference she summarizes as development without growth vs. growth without development. Thus Ghana strove for large scale development while dependent on its uncertain cocoa trade while the Ivory Coast has prospered with considerable foreign investment, but achieved little in the way of spreading social benefits such as medicine and education. The wide ranging text also touches on many aspects of culture and social life--the weaving of the Ashanti's kente cloth and hand-stamped adinkra textiles, the women traders known at least here as ""market mammies,"" the village market, fertility charms and polygyny--as well as the problems of West Africa's crowded urban areas and the differing flavors of British-influenced Accra and French-influenced Abidjan. With such a scope there are bound to be generalizations. Perl is likely to leave readers with the impression, for example, that ""one man rule--as basic as that of the husband and father in the simple family unit""--is the African political tradition and her use of terms like ""native quarters"" is irritating. Nevertheless, where a sweeping, impersonal introduction is in order, this combines good coverage with some stimulating analysis.

Pub Date: April 9th, 1975
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Morrow