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Igwe Stanley Chinedu, 2010, How Africa Underdeveloped Africa

Port Harcourt, an African society for social Pathology Publication
Voudina Ngarsou
p. 382-383
Référence(s) :

Igwe Stanley Chinedu, 2010, How Africa Underdeveloped Africa, Port Harcourt, an African society for social Pathology Publication, 158 p.

Texte intégral

1Is it Africa rather than Europe that underdeveloped Africa? The five chapters of How Africa Underdeveloped Africa set out to discuss this question in details. Igwe’s work is not only an investigation of the contemporary relationship between Africa and its leaders but a kind of reaction to Walter Rodney’s book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972).

2With regard to that, the main goal of the book is to explain that African leaders are the causes of Africa underdevelopment and impoverishment, not the West like the Pan-Africanist, Walter Rodney, and those who believe in dependency theory to justify the underdevelopment of Africa feel. The author therefore shows that if Europeans contributed to the underdevelopment of Africa through colonialism and neo-colonialism, this surely happened with the complicity of African leaders themselves. however, Igwe explains that “all through the colonial era rarely was it heard that foodwas scarce on the table of families, today the reverse is the case as pervasive inequality between the infinitesimally few rich neo-patrimonial moneybags and vast majority poor inhabitants in Africa continues to widen everyday” (pp. 11-12).

3The book is readable, newsworthy and interesting in the sense that it provides sociology, history, Political science and international relations students as well as researchers with the necessary and critical reading material for the effective and current understanding of the nature of leadership in Africa and Africa underdevelopment.

4The five chapters of the book are well discussed and current topics researched. But the chapter four is not well structured. For example, there are lots of definitions and types of corruption used redundantly. The author discusses much about corruption in the first chapter while chapter four has already been devoted to the theme of corruption. What could also be perceived as unorganized is the fact that the author ends chapter one with a conclusion, then goes further developing the same chapter.

5Igwe describes the phenomenon of corruption, the distortion of law, the weakness of institutions, the lack of freedom of speech, poverty and the rise of ethnic conflicts all over the continent, and he foresees the wind of revolution blowing across North Africa and the fall of some African leaders who have been in office for rather too long, “and there is no one to question them why they are still in power” (p.91).

6Bringing together the importance of historical, economical and political context, Igwe carries out a comparative analysis of some Asian countries: Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand, with Africa, and he wishes Africa should follow their examples.

7Although, the book talks about contemporary issues in Africa, the author does not high-lights current threats like terrorism, religious violence as well as coup d’Etat that are affecting the development of Africa.

8Of course, Igwe makes reference to Walter Rodney's book, How Europe Under-developed Africa (1972) whose arguments, he feels cannot stand today. It seems as if the author did not understand Rodney, giving impression as if he was wrong. It should be noted that how Europe Underdeveloped Africa discussed relevant African issues (not contemporary issues) within a particular point in time, and during that time, Africans could not have been accused of under developing Africa.

9The author could be accused of plagiarism for not acknowledging the online source: “how African leaders Under-develop Africa. Ghanaian chronicle www.somaliawatch. org/Archivemay/000524202.htm. Retrieved 2010/07/12”. Examples can be shown on pages 11; 19-24. This could raise questions on publications with the printing house.

10Finally, How Africa Underdeveloped Africa (2010) and How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972) discussed African issues of different periods. Igwe would have focused on early independence because African nations were not prepared to get it. Therefore, there is the need for a revised edition of the book.

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Référence papier

Voudina Ngarsou, « Igwe Stanley Chinedu, 2010, How Africa Underdeveloped Africa », Journal des africanistes, 82-1/2 | 2012, 382-383.

Référence électronique

Voudina Ngarsou, « Igwe Stanley Chinedu, 2010, How Africa Underdeveloped Africa », Journal des africanistes [En ligne], 82-1/2 | 2012, mis en ligne le 25 mai 2016, consulté le 28 juillet 2017. URL :

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