Congo Suggested Reading
Edited by Edith Mukudi, Stephen Commins, and Edmond Keller Project Editor Azeb Tadesse
This book brings to the forefront of development discourse the looming, long-term impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on the sub-Saharan region. Scholars and practitioners from various professions assess the programmatic response to the epidemic to date and examine its impact on the human and physical development infrastructure.
In the opening chapter, the demographic impact of AIDS, in the context of the overall impact of other diseases, is examined, and how the demographic shifts attributed to the epidemic affect national economies.
By Jason Stearns
At the heart of Africa is the Congo, a country the size of Western Europe, bordering nine other nations, that since 1996 has been wracked by a brutal and unstaunchable war in which millions have died. And yet, despite its epic proportions, it has received little sustained media attention.
In this deeply reported book, Jason Stearns vividly tells the story of this misunderstood conflict through the experiences of those who engineered and perpetrated it. He depicts village pastors who survived massacres, the child soldier assassin of President Kabila, a female Hutu activist who relives the hunting and methodical extermination of fellow refugees, and key architects of the war that became as great a disaster as–and was a direct consequence of–the genocide in neighboring Rwanda. Through their stories, he tries to understand why such mass violence made sense and stability has been elusive.
Through their voices and an astonishing wealth of knowledge and research, Stearns chronicles the Congolese State’s political, social, and moral decay.
By Gerard Prunier
The Rwandan genocide sparked a horrific bloodbath that swept across sub-Saharan Africa, ultimately leading to the deaths of some four million people. In this extraordinary history of the recent wars in Central Africa, Gerard Prunier offers a gripping account of how one grisly episode laid the groundwork for a sweeping and disastrous upheaval.
Prunier vividly describes the grisly aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, when some two million refugees–a third of Rwanda’s population–fled to exile in Zaire in 1996. The new Rwandan regime then crossed into Zaire and attacked the refugees, slaughtering upwards of 400,000 people. The Rwandan forces then turned on Zaire’s despotic President Mobutu and overthrew him with the help of several allied African countries. But as Prunier shows, the collapse of the Mobutu regime and the ascension of the corrupt and erratic Laurent-Désiré Kabila created a power vacuum that drew Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and other African nations into an extended and chaotic war. The heart of the book documents how the whole core of the African continent became engulfed in an intractable and bloody conflict after 1998, a devastating war that only wound down following the assassination of Kabila in 2001. Prunier not only captures all this in his riveting narrative but also indicts the international community for its utter lack of interest in what was then the largest conflict in the world.
by David Axe
It started with a visit from spirits. In 1991, Kony claimed that spiritual beings had come to him with instructions: he was to lead his group of rebels, the Lord’s Resistance Army, in a series of brutal raids against ordinary Ugandan civilians. Decades later, Kony has sown chaos throughout Central Africa, kidnapping and terrorizing countless innocents—especially children. Yet despite an enormous global outcry, the Kony 2012 movement, and an international military intervention, the carnage has continued. Drawn from on-the-ground reporting by war correspondent David Axe and starkly illustrated by Tim Hamilton, Army of God is the first-ever graphic account of the global phenomenon surrounding Kony—from the devastation he has left behind to the long campaign to defeat him for good.
The Scramble for African Oil: Oppression, Corruption and War for Control of Africa’s Natural Resources
by Douglas A. Yates
Africa is often seen as a place to be pitied or feared as an area of instability. This book challenges these complacent assumptions, showing how our demand for oil contributes to the chronic problems plaguing the continent. Douglas A. Yates shows how the “scramble” by the great powers for African oil has fed corruption and undermined democracy. Yates documents how Africans have refused to remain passive in the face of such developments, forming movements to challenge this new attempt at domination. This book is an urgent challenge to our understanding of Africa, raising questions about the consequences of our reliance on foreign resources. It will be vital reading for all those studying development and global political economy.
by Frans Viljoen
This book provides a comprehensive and analytical overview of human rights law in Africa. It examines the institutions, norms, and processes for human rights realization provided for under the United Nations system, the African Union, and sub-regional economic communities in Africa, and explores their relationship with the national legal systems of African states.
Since the establishment of the African Union in 2001, there has been a proliferation of regional institutions that are relevant to human rights in Africa. These include the Pan African Parliament, the Peace and Security Council, the Economic, Social and Cultural Council and the African Peer Review Mechanism of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development. This book discusses the links between these institutions. It further examines the case law stemming from Africa’ most important human rights instrument, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, which entered into force on 21 October 1986. This new edition contains a new chapter on the African Children’s Rights Committee as well as full coverage of new developments and instruments, such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on Enforced Disappearances, and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.
Three cross-cutting themes are explored throughout the book: national implementation and enforcement of international human rights law; legal and other forms of integration; and the role of human rights in the eradication of poverty. The book also provides an introduction to the relevant human rights concepts.
by Peter H. Gleick
Of all the many challenges facing the inhabitants of the African continent, there is one elemental need regularlyoverlooked by the industrialized world. Award-winning photographer Gil Garcetti has created an important visual document intended to show the world why Water is Key. The book contains eighty compelling black-and-white photographs that illustrate the immediate need for safe water and the dramatic results that can be achieved through the help of world leaders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and involved citizens. Short essays by leaders such as President Jimmy Carter and outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan are accompanied by quotes from NGO staff and West African villagers themselves. A foreword by Steve Hilton, president of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, describes the foundation’s important safewater relief efforts in Niger, Ghana, Mali, and Burkina Faso. A directory of NGOs and safe water projects in West Africa is included. Gil Garcetti intends Water is Key to be a call to action and plans to spend a substantial part of his energies in the next two years to making his campaign a successful one. All of his royalties from bookstore sales of this book will be donated to a safe-water NGO.
by Toyin Falola
This book is a collection of significant analytical and critical writings on how the structures of power have exerted systematic governance over women. Women, Gender, and Sexualities in Africa also addresses how the rhetorical devices of tradition and modernity have played important roles in the control and appropriation of African women’s bodies. The chapters draw on history, literature, political science, journalism, sociology, comparative studies, and women and gender studies to offer multidisciplinary perspectives from which to understand the diversity of women’s experiences, gender issues, and sexualities as they intersect with class, race, ethnicity, and nationality.
Agricultural Development and Food Security in Africa: The Impact of Chinese, Indian and Brazilian Investments
by Fantu Cheru
The subject of food security and land issues in Africa has become one of increased importance and contention over recent years. In particular, the focus has shifted to the role new Global South donors – in particular India, China and Brazil – are playing in shaping African agriculture through their increased involvement and investment in the continent.
Approaching the topic through the framework of South-South co-operation (SSC), this highly original volume presents a critical analysis of the ways in which Chinese, Indian and Brazilian engagements in African agriculture are structured and implemented. Do these investments have the potential to create new opportunities to improve local living standards, transfer new technology and know-how to African producers, and reverse the persistent productivity decline in African agriculture? Or will they simply aggravate the problem of food insecurity by accelerating the process of land alienation and displacement of local people from their land?
Topical and comprehensive, Agricultural Development and Food Security in Africa offers fresh insight into a set of relationships that will shape both Africa and the world over the coming decades.
by Bernardin Akitoby
Overwhelming evidence shows that the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) oil exporters—five out of the six countries in the region—have not avoided the “resource curse.” Despite its abundant oil wealth, the region has grown more slowly, even compared with sub-Saharan African countries that have comparable levels of development. Ineffective fiscal management of volatile oil revenue has led to procyclical policies with “boom-and-bust” cycles that induce macroeconomic instability, thereby hurting investment and growth. The region also has some of the world’s lowest living standards and social indicators. Poverty and unemployment remain widespread, and a large proportion of the population still lacks access to basic power, safe drinking water, and improved sanitation. In other words, oil wealth has not led to more inclusive growth.
by Mary Hallward-Driemeier
The importance of property rights in providing the incentive to invest, work hard, and innovate has been recognized for centuries. Yet, many women in Africa do not have the same property rights or formal legal capacity enjoyed by men. Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa documents the extent to which the legal capacity and property rights vary for women and men, and analyzes the impact this has on women s economic opportunities. The book introduces the Women s Legal Economic Empowerment Database Africa (Women LEED Africa). This database covers all 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, providing indicators and links to constitutions, ratified international conventions, and domestic statutes where there are gender gaps in legal capacity and property rights. It shows how and where, despite universal constitutional recognition of non-discrimination, many countries have exceptions in areas of marriage, ownership, and control over property and inheritance. With less secure property rights, women in these countries do not have the same ability or incentive to accumulate and control assets and thus to access finance or to grow their businesses. After laying out the various gender gaps in legal capacity and property rights, the book addresses the additional challenges stemming from legal systems with a multiplicity of sources of law. Overlapping legal systems themselves add uncertainty to defining women s economic rights. The authors use case law to trace out the implications for women s rights and to provide examples of effective reforms. The book recognizes that beyond de jure differences, women may face greater practical constraints in having their rights protected. This book spells out specific steps that can be taken to address gender gaps both in formal property rights and in practical constraints in accessing justice.
By Adam Hochschild
In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million–all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold’s Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II. With great power and compassion, King Leopold’s Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo–too long forgotten–onto the conscience of the West.
By Peter Eichstaedt
Every time you use a cell phone or log on to a computer, you could be contributing to the death toll in the bloodiest, most violent region in the world: the eastern Congo. Rich in “conflict minerals”–valuable resources mined in the midst of armed conflict and egregious human rights abuses–this remote and lawless land is home to deposits of gold and diamonds as well as coltan, tin, and tungsten, all critical to cell phones, computers, and other popular electronics.
In Consuming the Congo, veteran journalist and author Peter Eichstaedt goes into these killing fields to find what is behind the bloodshed, hearing the stories of those who live this nightmarish reality. He talks with survivors of villages decimated by war and miners slogging knee-deep in muck, desperately digging up the gold, tin, and coltan on which Western culture depends. While these men work with picks, shovels, and iron bars, marauding militias and renegade army units who control the mines roam the jungles, killing and raping with impunity, taking their profits, and leaving villagers to a life of grueling manual labor, brutality, and disease.
Some five million Congolese have died unnecessarily, the worst loss of human life since World War II, yet the pillaging and bloodletting continue at a frightening pace. Consuming the Congo not only explores the violence suffered by the Congolese but also examines how we, as part of the problem, can become part of the solution.