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new african july/august 2022

Pivotal moments in history Please accept my deepest appreciation for your magnifi cent Cover Stor y, The African Foundations of the West’s Wealth (May/June 2022). It is without a shadow of any doubt the best treatment of my friend Howard French’s extraordinary and historybending opus: Born in Blackness.

I have been urging everybody I know and many that I don’t to read both the book and the article in your magazine as a massive favour to themselves. These are indeed pivotal moments in history and follow logically in the unleashing of consciousness and consciences in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The signifi cance of your Cover Story is that if approaches these issues from an African rather than an African-American standpoint. That makes all the diff erence in the world. Keep up your great work.


Atlanta, US

The fragility of democracy All over the world, you can expect a season of ‘high octane’ politics – usually close to or leading up to elections, especially when the electorate is highly diversifi ed – or sometimes in the run-up to a referendum.

But what has been happening in the West African region over a period of time refl ects a change of dynamics (Flawed systems at root of coups – NA, May/June 2022). The people there have been expressing their judgement on the effi cacy of the governments in power – in countries where democratic ideals had been functioning as a system of government. The reaction of the people to the toppling of governments by the military has underlined the fragile nature of democracy.

When political accountability, parliamentary democracy, and the rule of law is simply not functioning as a means of the realisation of the aspirations of the people, then the citizenry loses faith in the democratic process. In such situations people experience endemic poor quality of life and hopelessness.

As a result, and as is happening in the West African region, people are welcoming non-democratic players to govern their countries in the hope of an improvement in their quality of life, a better present than what they experienced in preceding years.

Democracy in such situations is tested for its durability, as to whether it can withstand turbulent times while navigating uncharted waters.

While in many parts of the developing world, or LDC countries, civil strife has ruined nations, with the civilian populations displaced from their homes, other African countries have conducted polls where voters have displayed a sense of maturity in going through the process in a peaceful and well-coordinated manner.

People have faith in democracy when they are valued and have a sense of belonging; but by the same token they can lose their confi dence in the system if tangible indications of a better tomorrow are not delivered.

Obviously citizens have an obligation everywhere around the globe to sustain the institution of democracy, no matter what the existing economic circumstances are; but can democracy retain its durability when in a very precarious situation? That remains to be seen.


Mombasa, Kenya

Punching back As a Rwandan, I was very pleased to read the unassailable arguments you presented in your editorial Africa’s open door for refugees. It is a slap in the face of those who love to criticise our country for the crime of being prepared to help them with their refugee problems! This is an unbelievable attitude and I am so pleased you punched back for us.


Nairobi, Kenya

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