Africa Doesn't Matter: How the West Has Failed the Poorest Continent and What We Can Do About It

Africa Doesn't Matter: How the West Has Failed the Poorest Continent and What We Can Do About It

by Giles Bolton
     
 

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What happens to the billions of aid dollars given yearly? Why do trade rules that fail African countries also cost us at the checkout line? Why don’t the African people matter? In this engaging, jargon-free, reader-friendly guide, longtime aid worker and diplomat Giles Bolton offers his radical analysis of the problems Africa faces, drawing on years of

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Overview

What happens to the billions of aid dollars given yearly? Why do trade rules that fail African countries also cost us at the checkout line? Why don’t the African people matter? In this engaging, jargon-free, reader-friendly guide, longtime aid worker and diplomat Giles Bolton offers his radical analysis of the problems Africa faces, drawing on years of first-hand experience on the ground. Bolton illustrates how the needs of African states exceed their budgets, leaving a gap for aid to fill; how the way Western aid is delivered renders it largely ineffective; and how trade rules and globalization have worked against African development.

Editorial Reviews

Financial Times
“A vivid account of the everyday problems facing Africa . . . . Thought-provoking.”
Publishers Weekly

Aid worker Bolton disappoints in this well-intentioned guide to Africa's economic and political challenges. While the book is well organized and lucid, Bolton veers wildly from straightforward analysis to heavy-handed attempts at humor (Bolton compares Democratic Republic of Congo president Kabila to Sean "P. Diddy" Combs). Graver still, the author condescends to his readers when he debunks "common" myths that he believes readers might hold about Africa ("Africa is overpopulated and they keep having too many children"; "Africa Has Many Dangerous Animals") and tests readers' patience with irrelevant asides ("Dressing to Meet a Real Minister of Finance") and an occasionally preachy tone. When discussing possible solutions to Africa's problems, Bolton acknowledges that "the weakest part of books like this... tends to be when they reach proposed solutions" and proceeds to stumble similarly, offering tepid ways to make a difference ("Write!"; "Sign petitions"; "Protest"). The final product is an earnest book with high potential that ends up reading more like a dumbed-down primer than a substantive introduction to the state of affairs in Africa. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611453065
Publisher:
Arcade Publishing
Publication date:
02/01/2012
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Giles Bolton has worked in Africa and development for more than ten years as an aid worker and diplomat, with postings in Kenya and Rwanda. He now advises African governments on their relationships with the West. He lives in London, England.

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