Editorial staff
 Table of Contents
 The reparations debate: Issues...
 From slave ship: Africa between...
 Political versus legal strategies...
 The debt has not been paid, the...
 The autonomous development fund...
 Book reviews

Title: African studies quarterly
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Creator: University of Florida -- Center for African Studies
Publisher: University of Florida, Center for African Studies,
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Publication Date: 1999
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Table of Contents
        Page i
    Editorial staff
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Table of Contents
        Page iv
        Page v
    The reparations debate: Issues and ideas
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    From slave ship: Africa between marginalization and globalization
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Political versus legal strategies for the African slavery reparations movement
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    The debt has not been paid, the accounts have not been settled
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    The autonomous development fund model: A reply to Olatunde Ojo
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Book reviews
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
Full Text

African Studies Quarterly

Volume 2, Issue 4

Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida

ISSN: 2152-2448

African Studies Quarterly

Editorial Staff

Nanette Barkey
Michael Chege
Maria Grosz-Ngate
Parakh Hoon
Carol Lauriault
Peter Vondoepp
Roos Willems

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for
individuals to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

Table of Contents

The Reparations Debate: Issues and Ideas
Todd H. Leedy (1-3)

From Slave Ship to Space Ship: Africa Between Marginalization and Globalization
Ali Mazrui (5-11)

Political Versus Legal Strategies for the African Slavery Reparations Movement
Ricardo Laremont (13-17)

The Debt Has Not Been Paid; the Accounts Have Not Been Settled
Dudley Thompson (19-25)

At Issue

The Autonomous Development Fund Model: A Reply to Olatunde Ojo
Goran Hyden (27-31)

Book Reviews

Survival on Meagre Resources: Hadendowa Pastoralism in the Red Sea Hills
Leif Manger with Hassan Abd el Ati, Sharif Harir, Knut Krzywinski and Old R. Vetaas.
Nordiska Afrikainstitut (The Nordic Africa Institute), 1996; and Development Among
Africa's Migratory Pastoralists. Aggrey Ayuen Majok and Cavin W. Schwabe. Bergin and
Garvey. 1996.
Michael Quam (33-35)

Baule: African Art/Western Eyes. Susan M. Vogel. Yale University Press, New Haven, 1997.
Babtunde Lawal (36-39)

Rebel and Saint. Julia A. Clancy-Smith. University of California Press, 1997.
Timothy Cleaveland (39-41)

General History of Africa, Volume VI, Africa in the Nineteenth Century until the 1880s. Ade
Ajayi, ed., Paris, Oxford, Berkeley: UNESCO, James Currey and University of California
Press, 1998.
Toyin Falola (41-42)

Historical Dictionary of Chad. Samuel Decalo. Lanham, Md. Scarecrew Press, 1997;
Historical Dictionary of Zambia. John J. Grotpeter, Brian V. Siegel, and James R. Pletcher.
Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 1998; and Historical Dictionary of Burkina Faso. Daniel M.
McFarland and Lawrence A. Rupley. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 1998.
Daniel A. Reboussin (43-44)

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

Multi-Party Politics In Kenya. David Throup & Charles Hornsby. Athens: Ohio University
Press. 1998. Xii+660pp. Paper, $29.95; cloth $39.95.
Samuel Oluoch Imbo (45-46)

Christianity in South Africa: A Political, Social, and Cultural History. Richard Elphick and
Rodney Davenport, eds. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1997,
Pamela Scully (46-48)

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

The Reparations Debate: Issues and Ideas


The papers in this issue are edited transcripts of oral presentations given at the Walter Rodney
International Conference held at Binghamton University, State University of New York, Binghamton, on
November 6-8, 1998. Professor Ali A. Mazrui, Ambassador Dudley Thomas, Q.C., Professor Jacob Ade
Ajayi, and Professor Ricardo Laremont were participants on a panel devoted to the topic of reparations.
Similar presentations to those printed here were made at a Round Table of the African Studies
Association held in Chicago, Illinois, October 29-November 1, 1998. Todd Leedy of the ASQ Editorial
Committee provides an introduction.

Over the last fifty years, the accepted definition of reparations has undergone a significant
transformation. Prior to the horrors made evident at the end of World War II, reparations
existed as an international political device through which nation states could extract money
from one another for behavior outside acceptable limits. Political and military power
determined the nature and direction of such reparation payments between nation states.
Reparations for the harm inflicted on a race or class of people have gradually become more
accepted in both national and international legal systems. Germany will have paid over 100
billion DM to Israel by 2005. The United States government has paid over $1 billion to those
Japanese Americans it illegally interned between 1941-1945. These and other examples indicate
that nation states may now be held liable for damages caused to a particular race or class of
people. In the midst of heightened visibility for such cases in recent years, the Organization of
African Unity adopted the Abuja Declaration in 1993, committing the OAU to seek reparations
for the Atlantic slave trade.
On what basis are these claims being made? The most obvious deleterious effects of the
Atlantic slave trade occurred in those areas frequently raided for captives. Many areas became
depopulated, often resulting in the resurgence of natural environments previously carefully
managed for productive and health reasons. Other areas encountered overpopulation as people
sought safety and protection from the trade. This could also generate substantial, long term
environmental effects. Such situations were often cited by early apologists for the trade who
argued that it played an important role in alleviating population pressures. Communities that
survived despite continued raiding found themselves facing shortages of the agricultural labor
and/or artisans crucial to local economies.
Patrick Manning's complex simulation model calculates Africa's population in 1850 to be
roughly half of what it should have been given a moderate 5% growth rate over the previous

Todd Leedy is a Ph.D. Candidate in African History at the University of Florida. In 1997 he received a Fulbright-
Hayes Dissertation Research Grant to conduct his fieldwork on the relationship between mission Christianity and
local agricultural practices in Eastern Zimbabwe. He is currently the Assistant Director of of the Center for African
Studies, University of Florida.
http: //www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/v2/v2i4al.pdf

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for individuals
to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
ISSN: 2152-2448

2 I Leedy

150 years. Joseph Miller's study of the Angolan trade concludes that probably as many slaves
died in capture or transport to the coast as were eventually transported. A similar number of
people simply fled to other regions. For the Angolan zone alone, this amounts to a worst case
scenario of 100,000 120,00 dead or displaced persons annually. Scholars such as David Eltis or
John Thornton, however, have used their own calculations to suggest that the entire Atlantic
trade (not simply the trade in slaves) constituted such a small percentage of Africa's economy
that shifts in the nature of the slave trade would have had only a minimal impact. Thornton also
contends that African participants long remained able to control the extent of their involvement
and usually maintained an upper hand in their relations with European traders.
More subtle and harder to quantify are those forms of enslavement based on dependency
and negotiation rather than capture. Most African societies had various types of dependent
relationships. These systems of clientship or pawning rested upon the perceived benefits for the
parties involved. The crux of Paul Lovejoy's argument is simply that these systems of
dependency were inevitably altered by the growth of the Atlantic slave trade. The dramatically
expanded demands of the Atlantic trade transformed existing systems of dependent relations
such that more people were funneled into the slave market. Elites who accepted pawns or
clients to secure a debt began to alter the negotiated terms of dependency, seeking access to
commodities available only in exchange for people. Weaker members of society found their
options for improving or securing their social status increasingly constrained.
So, arguably, it was not simply that Africa suffered a loss of crucial labor power with the
subsequent economic, demographic and environmental results, but also that the politics of local
rule became more violent and expropriative than anything previously experienced. Slavery in
many areas of Africa actually increased following the end of the Atlantic trade as slave prices
dropped and commodity prices rose. Labor bottlenecks in the production of newly viable goods
were frequently solved through the appropriation of unfree labor. Dependent relationships
which had previously benefitted both parties now came to resemble those forms of chattel
slavery so familiar to Europeans. This increasing similarity, coupled with violence which
continued even after the Atlantic trade had been outlawed, ironically provided one of the key
points used to rationalize the onset of European colonial conquest.
The authors featured in this issue of the African Studies Quarterly fundamentally agree on
the overwhelmingly negative impact of the Atlantic slave trade. The central question of Ricardo
Laremont's essay therefore is not to debate the extent of damages caused by the Atlantic trade,
but rather to examine the various options available for gaining some form of reparations.
Pursuing legal action through the International Court of Justice on charges of genocide would
depend on the litigants consenting to the jurisdiction of the Court. However, creating a UN
tribunal modeled on those at Nuremburg and Tokyo would allow responsible states to be
charged with crimes against humanity. Another avenue would seem to be tackling the
responsible states individually through local political action. In this instance, pressure for a
legislative solution may have more impact than any legal action. Japanese Americans only
obtained reparations from the political process after 10 years of fruitless litigation.
Ali Mazrui has another option in mind. He makes it clear that reparations are due to Africa
not merely to rectify the Atlantic slave trade, but also to address the damages incurred under
colonial and neo-colonial systems. The consequences of Europe's historical imperatives in the

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

The Reparations Debate: Issues and Ideas I 3

development of Africa are perhaps best known through the work of Walter Rodney.
Interestingly, Mazrui argues that reparations should be paid not for the negative impact of
Europe upon Africa, but rather for Africa's positive impact upon Europe, i.e. how Africa
developed Europe. Without the slaveship, there would be no spaceship. Thus reparations
should be undertaken not as attonement for previous wrongdoing, but as just rewards for long
term contributions to the modern world. In addition to bilateral development aid, interim
reparations would take the form of institutional capacity building, expanding democratization
and strengthening global coalitions. These goals define reparations in terms of the continent's
long imbalanced relationship with Europe, moving beyond the level of individuals or states.
Ambassador Dudley Thompson provides a moving call for reparations, dismissing
previous efforts as meaningless and ineffective. Thompson cites historical precedents to prove
that other "debts" have already been paid (in the cases of Germany, Canada, Australia, New
Zealand and the United States). He examines historical distortions to illustrate that this debt
remains outstanding, despite claims to the contrary. What matters, though, is not the guilt but
the responsibility of the nations involved. An admission of guilt is only the first step towards
assuming responsibility. Placing responsibility at the nation state level would logically result in
reparations at a similar level. Thompson calls for an "African Marshall Plan" wherein full
monetary compensation is achieved through capital transfer or debt cancellation. Only after
escaping from the foreign financial stranglehold can African states be regarded as independent.
The Abuja Declaration came about as Africa faced increasing political and economic
marginalization. It is clear from the text that reparations are not simply an issue revolving
around the Atlantic slave trade. All the discussions of reparations presented here move beyond
slavery to engage contemporary issues of power and development. Reparations thus become a
broader attempt to redress the historical relationship between Africa and Europe. Whether the
OAU follows political or legal strategies, admission of guilt and acceptance of responsibility
will remain difficult to achieve. Asserting that only western nations involved in the trade
should pay neglects the existing evidence for African involvement in slave raiding, trade and
ownership. Furthermore, such an approach risks subsuming African agency under the looming
structure of expanding European capitalism, denying that Africans had a direct and crucial role
in shaping their own history. In addition to assigning responsibility, the main difficulty facing
the reparations movement will be to determine the number and nature of the beneficiaries. Who
will actually be paid and by whom? Determining individual reparations recipients will remain
an unwieldy task, while payments to states or governments may never find their way to the
damaged. The enormity of clarifying these legal and political questions has so far tended to
prevent the reparations issue from entering mainstream political discourse in either Europe or
the United States. Until those fighting for reparations overcome such basic logistical issues,
even the most heartfelt appeals will likely fall on unresponsive ears. For as Mazrui states, "at the
moment the flesh is weak and the spirit is not even willing."

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

From Slave Ship to Space Ship: Africa between Marginalization

and Globalization


When we formulated the title "From Slave Ship to Space-Ship", we did not have Senator
John Glenn's 1998 space odyssey in mind. By coincidence this odyssey was happening at the
same time as this panel in November 1998. We did have in mind a link between the slave ship
and the subsequent Western capacity to launch space ships or space shuttles.
Africa and the African people made a far bigger contribution to the technological
revolution of the West than the West did to industrial change in Africa. Walter Rodney was
concerned about how Europe retarded Africa's development. But is there not another big story--
the story of how Africa accelerated Europe's development? Did not Rodney also contribute to
this second debate? Especially in Chapters III and V of his book, How Europe Underdeveloped

How Africa Developed the West

Each step in Africa's contribution to the development of the West was itself a stage in the
history of globalization. I referred to these stages in my M.K.O. Abiola Lecture for the African
Studies Association of the United States in 1994. The era of the labor imperative was when the
labor of Africa's sons and daughters was what the West needed for its industrial take-off. The
slave ship helped to export millions to the Americas to help in the agrarian revolution in the
Americas and the industrial revolution in Europe simultaneously. The enforced dispersal of
Black people to serve Western capitalism was itself part of the emerging globalization.
In the era of the territorial imperative, the West docked the slave ships away forever and
launched the gunboats in their place. This was the era of imperialism and gunboat diplomacy.

I\ hatcvcr happens, we have got
the maxim and they have not!

The West stopped exporting Africa's sons and daughters and colonized Africa itself.
Imperialism and gunboat diplomacy were part of the ugly side of globalization. Raw materials
for Western manufacturing industries became a major temptation.

Ali A. Mazrui is Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies and Albert Schweitzer Professor in the
Humanities at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He also holds the titles of Albert Luthuli Professor-
at-Large, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria; Ibn Khaldun Professor-at-Large, School of Islamic and Social Sciences,
Leesburg, VA; Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large Emeritus and Senior Scholar in Africana Studies, Cornell
University, Ithaca, NY; and Walter Rodney Professor, University of Guyana, Georgetown, Guyana.

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for individuals
to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
ISSN: 2152-2448

6 I Mazrui

Then came the era of the extractive imperative. Africa's minerals became the next major
contributor not only to Western economies but also to Western technology. Uranium from the
Belgian Congo was part of the original Manhattan project which produced the first atomic
bombs. Other minerals, like cobalt, became indispensable for jet engines. There were times
when Africa had 90 percent of the world's known reserves of cobalt, over 80 percent of the
global reserves of chrome, and a hefty share of platinum and industrial diamonds.
Africa's impact on the West's technological history in this phase was heavily based on
Africa's industrial minerals. The space ship was slowly in the making. As we have reminded
ourselves at this conference, Walter Rodney's most popular book looked at how Europe
underdeveloped Africa (the slave ship syndrome). The other side of the story is how Africa
developed Europe (the space ship potential).
Rodney is better known for the negative consequences. We need also to investigate the
positive consequences of Africa's impact upon Europe from economic production to space
communication and how Walter Rodney contributed to this other debate. Also relevant was
Eric Williams's examination of the interplay between capitalism and slavery.
We now come to areas of metaphor. Walter Rodney's stay in Tanzania coincided with the
promulgation and aftermath of the "Arusha Declaration on Socialism and Self-Reliance".
Arusha is the name of the town where the Declaration occurred in 1967. But what does the
word "Arusha" literally mean? It means: "He makes fly (into the skies)." In standard Kiswahili
the word is anarusha. In other dialects it is simply arusha: "He makes fly into the skies." Who
makes fly? Ancestrally it was God. In 1967, the year of the Arusha Declaration, it was Julius K.
Nyerere. He made socialism and self-reliance (ujamaa na kujitegemea) fly. In the space age it
could be an astronaut or a cosmonaut who makes a space ship fly.
Why is Arusha town called "He makes fly into the skies"? Because the town is located close
to Mt. Kilimanjaro, whose pinnacle is the highest point on the African continent. Kilimanjaro is
the roof of Africa--from whence God makes things "fly into the skies."
It has been alleged that Walter Rodney's inadequate command of Kiswahili was no
handicap for his communication with rural Tanzanians. I beg to disagree.
We must not trivialize the relevance of language in human communication; otherwise we
might sound like the song:

You don't have to know the language -- With a girl in your arms and the moon up above,
you don't have to know the language!

Of course Walter Rodney could relate in friendly terms with rural Tanzanians. But being
friendly is different from being Socialist, let alone being Marxist. He could not convey his
socialism linguistically to the Tanzanian peasant.
In Africa in the 1960s and the 1970s one could not be a Marxist without being substantially
Westernized through a European language. Walter Rodney could not reach rural Tanzanians as
a socialist or as a Marxist. He could only reach them as a friendly man. In reality a friendly man
could belong to any ideology.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

From Slave Ship to Space Ship I 7

A dialectic faced Walter Rodney in relation to the twin policies of Julius Nyerere's
Tanzania. Under the Arusha Declaration, Nyerere's policy of socialism brought the national
ideology of Tanzania closer to Walter Rodney's own leftist paradigm.
On the other hand, Nyerere's simultaneous language policy of greater Swahilization made
Tanzania less and less accessible to Walter Rodney's ideo-cultural skills. Nyerere's socialist
policies were opening up ideological doors to Walter Rodney, while Nyerere's Swahilization
policies were closing down cultural doors to Walter Rodney.
Every stage of Africa's contribution to globalization was also a stage in its own
marginalization. Rodney was all too aware that African captives who were turned into slaves
entered the emerging world of international capitalism. But those captives were simultaneously
a symbol of the marginalization of the African peoples.
Imperialism and gunboat diplomacy made colonized Africa part of world-wide empires.
But colonized people are inevitably marginalized people. The extractive imperative made
African minerals fuel the world economy. African minerals enriched other economies rather
than Africa's own.
The space ship was also born out of the rivalries of the Cold War between the United States
and the Soviet Union and their respective allies. Sputnik in the firmament in 1958 put the Soviet
Union first into orbit. The Soviets borrowed a lot from Western technology, but carried it
further. The process of "Arusha" had been sparked out. Soviet Yuri Gagarin was also the first
man in space. The West was temporarily beaten at its own game. The "Arusha" space enterprise
had been accomplished.
A resurgence of American resolve under John F. Kennedy inspired the U.S. space program
and enabled the United States first to circle the earth (John Glenn) and later to land the first man
on the moon.

The Cold War: Globalizing or Marginalizing?

Africa's involvement in the Cold War was another globalizing experience, but in this case
marginalization was temporarily suspended. The rivalries between the two super powers
temporarily increased Africa's global strategic value and enhanced Africa's influence in the
United Nations, UNESCO, the Commonwealth, and a number of other international forums. It
was the end of the Cold War which reactivated Africa's marginalization. The end of the Cold
War was a kind of "dis-globalizing" experience.
Part of the dis-globalization was good news. The end of the Cold War has initiated the
second phase of the French decolonization of Africa. This is the gradual reduction of the French
informal empire in Africa. Rolling back French neo-colonialism from Africa is partly the result
of the decline of the strategic value of Africa and partly due to the rise of French economic
aspirations for the newly liberated former members of the Warsaw Pact.
The good news is that the end of the Cold War has helped to initiate the second phase of
decolonization in Francophone Africa, although there is still a long way to go before real
independence for any part of Africa is achieved. The sad news is that while Phase II of French
decolonization in Africa is part of the happier story of progress towards African independence,
French decolonization is simultaneously part of a more sorrowful story about the end of the

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

8 I Mazrui

Cold War and that is the wider marginalization of Africa in the world. Indeed, perhaps the
worst news about the end of the Cold War for Africa is that Africa has been marginalized even
more deeply in the following ways:

(a) Most of Africa has lost its strategic value which motivated the Big Powers to take
it seriously;

(b) Africa has lost its socialist friends in world affairs and in the UN; the former
members of the Warsaw Pact are now more eager to please the West than to support Third
World causes;

(c) Africa has lost its one third numerical advantage in the United Nations. Some twenty
new members have been admitted to the UN since 1990, only two of which are African
(Namibia and Eritrea). The others are former Republics of the USSR, collapsed Yugoslavia, and
divided Czechoslovakia;

(d) The end of the Cold War has turned the West's old adversaries into Africa's rivals
for the West's resources. Aid and investment will increasingly give greater priority to former
members of the Warsaw Pact than to Africa;

(e) The triumph of "market Marxism" in China and Vietnam have turned those
countries into new magnets for Western resources, partly at the expense of old African friends
of the West;

(f) The collapse of the USSR and the end of the Cold War have contributed to the
renewed liberalization of India which in turn is developing into a new magnet for additional
Western investment and aid, inevitably at the partial expense of Africa;

(g) The end of the Cold War has undermined part of the old Western rationale for
foreign aid as "enlightened self-interest" and so Western legislatures are allocating less and less
money for foreign aid. There is less motivation for foreign aid in the absence of rivalry with the

(h) The end of the Cold War has reduced the internationalization of African
education. The golden days of diverse scholarships for African students to study in Moscow,
Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, and Belgrade seem to be almost over and rival scholarships to
study in Western countries have been drastically reduced;

(i) The golden days of Czech, Hungarian, and Polish professors teaching at African
universities are almost over and resources for Western visiting professors have been drastically

(j) Just as the end of the Cold War has deprived the West of a cornerstone of its foreign policy, it
has also deprived Africa of a cornerstone of its own foreign orientation. Although the
nonaligned movement is still alive and well in the post Cold War era, yet is the word
"nonalignment" relevant any longer for African policy after the Cold War?

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

From Slave Ship to Space Ship I 9

(k) While the West's triumph over Nazism and fascism in World War II helped left
wing parties immediately after the war, the West's triumph over communism has
helped right wing parties which are less internationalist and less compassionate towards either
the domestic poor or poor countries abroad. And such old left wing parties as Labour in Britain
have moved to the right.

(1) Finally, the end of the Cold War is eroding French commitment to Africa and reducing the
level of France's financial contributions to its former colonies.

The debate between Europeanists and Africanists continues in France; that a US president
could visit in 1998 a former French colony (Senegal) is a sign of French withdrawal.
Is there anything that the international community can do to help Africa? At the moment
the flesh is weak and the spirit is not even willing. But we need to set goals.
Apart from bilateral aid to individual African countries for economic development, the
three long term African oriented goals to be supported should be:

Interim Reparation

(a) Establishing or strengthening region-wide African institutions and promoting
regional integration for greater African self-reliance.

(b) Encouraging and helping to institutionalize national trends towards
democratization in Africa, with resources for building democratic foundations (free press,
election monitors).

(c) Strengthening truly global coalitions for Africa including new funding actors like
Japan, Taiwan, China, and South Korea, as well as traditional Western friends of Africa
(partners as well as reparationists).

The international community can also help in the long term solution of the problem of
Rwanda and Burundi which will require immense resources.

(a) The genocidal behavior of the Hutu and the Tutsi toward each other can only be contained
in the context of wider regional integration.

(b) Therefore, persuade Rwanda and Burundi to federate with Tanzania, thus disarming Hutu
and Tutsi armies. In the new wider society, the Hutu and the Tutsi would rediscover what they
have in common. In the political process of the greater Tanzania, Hutu and Tutsi might even
form political coalitions against other Tanzanians in the democartic process.

(c) But what would make today's Tanzania accept federation with Rwanda and Burundi? The
international community would have to make it worth Tanzania's while with large injections of
funding for development and resettlement in all three countries.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

10 I Mazrui

It should also be remembered that all three countries once constituted German East Africa,
and all three countries have been substantially Swahilized. In any case, as matters now stand,
Tanzania is constantly forced to accept hundreds of thousands of refugees from Burundi and
Rwanda every time there is a blow up in those two countries. Disarming the Hutu and Tutsi
and making them part of a much larger country under Tanzania's own control might be worth
the risk.
A final word as to the choice of title "From Slave Ship to Space Ship". While the slave ship
can be regarded as the beginning of globalization, the spaceship is, by definition, a symbol of
post- globalization.
The space ship takes us beyond the globe. Do we really want to go beyond the globe?
Senator John Glenn has a wander-lust into space. Indeed, do we really want to be globalized ?
"To globalize or not to globalize." That is the question for us and for Arusha, a town in Tanzania
steeped in symbolism.


Globalization carries two inter-related consequences whose English words sound similar--
homogenization (making all of us look similar) and hegemonization (making one of us the boss).

(expanding Homogeneity)

Increasing similarities among
world societies.

At the end of the 20th century
people dress more the same all
over the world than they did at
the end of the 19th century.

At the end of the 20th century the
human race is closer to having
world languages than it was in the
nineteenth century if by a world
language we mean one which has
at least 300 million speakers, has
been adopted by at least 10
countries as a national language,
has spread to more than one
continent, and is widely used in
four continents for special

(emergence of Hegemonic centre)

Increasing world domination by a
specific power or civilization.

But the dress which is the same is
overwhelmingly Western dress

But those world languages at the
end of the 20th century are
disproportionately European -
especially English and French -
although Arabic is putting forward
a strong challenge as a world
language in a different sense.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

From Slave Ship to Space Ship I 11

At the end of the 20th century we
are closer to a world economy
than we have ever been in human
history. A sneeze in Hong Kong
or Tokyo can send shock waves
around the globe.

At the end of the 20th century the
internet has given us instant
access to both information and
mutual communication across
huge distances.

The educational systems at the
end of the 20th century are getting
more and more similar across the
world with concepts of
"associate professorships" and
"twosemester" years; and with
paradigms shared across the

The ideological systems of the
world at the end of the 20th
century are converging. Market
economies are triumphant.
Liberalization is being embraced
or enforced. Even China has
adopted market Marxism. Egypt
is pushing the frontiers of Intifada.
India is liberalizing.

But the powers who control that
economy are disproportionately
Western especially the G-7 (USA,
Germany, Japan Britain, France,
Canada and Italy in that order of
economic muscle).

But the nerve center of the global
internet system is still located in the
United States and has residual links
with the US Federal Government.

But those shared academic ranks,
semesters and scholarly paradigms
are disproportionately drawn from
the United States and Western

The people who are orchestrating
and sometimes enforcing
marketization, liberalization and
privatization are Western economic
gurus reinforced by the power of
the USA, the World Bank, the IMF
and the European Union. Indeed,
Europe is the mother of all modern
ideologies--good and bad--
Liberalims, Capitalism, Marxism,
Fascism, and Nazism. The most
triumphant is Euro-liberal

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

Political Versus Legal Strategies for the African Slavery

Reparations Movement


In 1992 Chief Moshood K. 0. Abiola instigated the creation of the Organization of African
Unity (OAU) Group of Eminent Persons for Reparations. The original members of this group
included Ali Mazrui, Jacob Ade Ajayi, and Ambassador Dudley Thompson. The OAU charged
this group with pressing the political agenda for reparations for the African slave trade. In 1993
the OAU Group of Eminent Persons convened the First Pan-African Conference on Reparations
in Abuja, Nigeria where it adopted the Abuja Declaration that officially committed the OAU to
obtain reparations for slavery.
I fully believe that there are legitimate moral reasons for the payment of reparations to
African peoples by those who were responsible for the instigation of the trans-Atlantic slave
trade. During the barbarous period of the slave trade, at least thirteen million Africans were
illegally transported from the shores of West Africa to the Western Hemisphere. Of those
thirteen million, approximately 11, 3 2 8, 000 were delivered to the New World, amounting to
the trans-shipment murder of approximately 1,672,000 persons of 13% or the cargo'. These are
extremely conservative figures that do not truly account for the murders entailed.
I want to go beyond moral arguments for reparations to the discussion of legal and political
strategies for the reparations movement. I believe that we need to move from the discussion of
legitimate claims to the development of strategies to satisfy those claims. In my discussion, I
will reflect upon the successful reparations movement undertaken by Japanese Americans in
the United States.
I do not dispute that harm has been inflicted upon Africans both in Africa and in the
Americas because of the slave trade. When harm has been inflicted, a cause of action can be
created in the law for the satisfaction of that claim of harm. Reparations have been paid for the
harm inflicted on a class or race of people. For example, since World War II, Germany has paid
at least 88 billion Deutsche Marks in reparations to the state of Israel and will pay another 20
billion2 Deutsche Marks by the year 2005. The United States Government has paid $1.2 billion or
$20,000 per person for each Japanese American illegally imprisoned in American concentration
camps during World War II. Further, the American government has issued an apology for the
illegal imprisonment of the Japanese in America. Presently, the Chinese have discussed the
possibility of suing the government of Japan for the atrocities committed during the capture of
the city of Nanking, which resulted in the systematic murder of more than 300,000 Chinese by
Japanese soldiers during World War II. "Comfort women" from Korea who were forced into
prostitution during World War II by the Japanese have similarly organized to sue the
government of Japan for reparations. A legal suit for reparations to a race of peoples has been


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14 I Laremont

recognized in international, German, and American law. States may be held liable for damages
caused to a class or race of peoples. The case of reparations paid to Japanese Americans by the
American government and the case of reparations paid to Israel by Germany establish those
The question before us is whether the African slavery reparations movement should
pursue legal paths or political paths for the satisfaction of their claims. Perhaps both paths may
be pursued. Among the questions to be addressed are the advantages and disadvantages of
both approaches.
If the reparations movement were to pursue its claim in a court of international law, the
movement could try to obtain a day in court by claiming that the states that participated in the
slave trade were guilty of conscious genocide against a race of peoples. As mentioned earlier,
the traders who participated in the slave trade conservatively lost at least 13 per cent of their
cargo or 1.67 million souls during their transhipment of slaves. The numbers involved, their
inhumane handling during transhipment, and their resultant deaths would establish a prima
facie case of genocide on these facts alone. The colonial powers responsible for the slave trade
(the British, French, Dutch, and Portuguese) would be responsible for African deaths that
occurred during transhipment. Payment would, therefore, have to be made to those West
African states that lost its kidnapped nationals at sea during the illegal slave trade. This is a
narrowly constructed argument that claims damages for this narrow class of persons. It does
not begin to address the larger issues of reparations for damages to Africans in Africa and the
Americas emerging from the slave trade.
Reparations for damages done to a race of people have precedents in international,
German, and American law. The question then becomes how the African reparations movement
can pursue this claim.
Genocide has been defined by the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of
the Crime of Genocide. This convention became enforceable in 1951. The Convention defines
"genocide" as the "intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious
group by (a) killing members of the group; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm to
members of the group c) deliberately inflicting on the group the conditions of life calculated to
bring about its destruction in whole or in part; (d) imposing measures to prevent births within
the group; or (e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group"3. Although this
Convention defining genocide exists, the critical question for the reparations movement is
whether the states that have suffered because of the slave trade can sue in a court of justice to
satisfy their claim for reparations.
It would seem that the interested parties in reparations would have a claim that needs
satisfaction. The next set of questions then involve the venue of the suit and the question of
whether a statute of limitations applies. If the reparations movement were to sue in a court of
international law, there may be several advantages. First, it would obviate the necessity and
costs of suing in the separate courts of England, France, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands.
Second, fixing the venue of the lawsuit in an international court (like the International Court of
Justice) would give it maximum international media exposure. The next question then becomes
whether the International Court of Justice would have the jurisdiction to hear and order the
satisfaction of such a complaint.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

Political Versus Legal Strategies for the African Slavery Reparations Movement I 15

If the reparations movement were to sue the colonial powers for damages resultant from
the slave trade in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the ICJ would have the authority to
review and adjudicate such a complaint. The ICJ has the jurisdiction to resolve disputes
between states. Its only proviso is that litigants in its court must consent to the jurisdiction of
the court. If the defendants in the reparations case (England, France, Spain, Portugal, and the
Netherlands) were not to consent to the jurisdiction of the court, the case could not proceed. The
ICJ also has no apparent statute of limitations. So, the fact that the original harm created by the
slave trade occurred in previous centuries does not provide an obstacle to litigation.
If the defendant states were not to accept the jurisdiction of the ICJ, all is not lost. The
reparations movement could still press the General Assembly of the United Nations to adopt
two alternate courses of action. First, using the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals as models, the
reparations movement could press the General Assembly to create a Tribunal to charge
England, France, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands for "crimes against humanity" for the
creation and perpetuation of the African slave trade. This course of action would be profitable
because the Nuremberg Tribunal defined "crimes against humanity" as:
murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed
against any civilian population before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial, or
religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the
Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated.
This definition precisely applies to the African slave trade. Second, the invocation of the
Nuremberg Tribunal as precedent is profitable because the definition of "crimes against
humanity" was applied retroactively to the Germans involved in the genocide. The acceptability
of this retroactive application of the definition is very important because, if the General
Assembly were to create an African Slave Trade Tribunal it could apply the very definition of
"crimes against humanity" used at the Nuremberg Tribunal and the retroactive application of
that definition.
Besides the creation of a Tribunal to hear charges of crimes against humanity conducted
during the African slave trade, the reparations movement could also consider the creation of an
ad hoc international criminal tribunal to try persons or states responsible for serious breaches of
international humanitarian law. This approach was used to create the International Criminal
Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and of the creation of the Rwanda tribunal. This approach,
while available on a purely theoretical basis, would be more difficult to implement because
these proceedings imagine the prosecution of criminals as individuals rather than criminal
activities undertaken by states qua states. For these reasons, the creation of a Nuremberg-style
or Tokyo style Tribunal would seem more appropriate for the African slavery reparations
Besides these legal approaches, one must ask oneself whether political versus legal
approaches must also be considered. For example, in the United States, Congressman John
Conyers of the State of Michigan introduced H.R. 40 in 1997 which, if enacted, would establish a
commission to examine the possibility of payment of reparations to persons of African ancestry
in the United States. Reparations payments would be made for damages resultant from the
creation of the slave trade. This legislative course of action has already begun in the United
States. To my knowledge, another legislative course of action has also been discussed in the

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

16 I Laremont

House of Lords in Great Britain. As far as I know, similar legislation has not been considered in
France, Spain, Portugal, or the Netherlands.
The use of a legislative instead of a legal course of action for reparations has precedent in
the United States. On August 10, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed H. R. 442 that
authorized the payment of reparations to Japanese Americans who were illegally imprisoned in
American concentration camps during World War II. During World War II, the United States
government imprisoned nearly all Japanese and Japanese Americans residing in the United
States (nearly 120,000 of them) simply because they were Japanese. The Department of War
decided to jail the Japanese en masse because they considered them as a community a threat to
the security of the United States. The money that was authorized for reparations was
accompanied by a formal apology by the United States President to the Japanese Americans
who were imprisoned during that period of time. Because of the enactment of H.R. 442, the
Japanese and Japanese American survivors of the concentration camps became eligible for
monetary reparations of $20,000 each. They also received a formal letter of apology from the
President of the United States.
Although the Japanese Reparations Movement began pressing its claims legally and
politically with vigor in 1978, it had to wait ten years for the satisfactory legislative resolution of
their claims. The courts initially dismissed the initial claims for reparations. These decisions
denying reparations were eventually appealed to the Supreme Court. After ten years of
litigation the Supreme Court in United States v. Hohri ultimately remanded the reparations case
back to the original court for retrial. Ten years of trials had garnered almost nothing. Litigation
had proved costly and, ultimately, fruitless. For the Japanese, some bitter satisfaction would be
obtained from the political process rather than the legal one.
In the final analysis, Japanese Americans obtained reparations from the political process
rather than the legal process. Ten years of litigation did not yield results. Ten years of
coordinated political action, however, did eventually result in legislation that provided
reparations to the survivors of the concentration camps. By consistently agitating and operating
in solidarity as a lobbying group, Japanese Americans pressured Congress to enact reparations.
They waged their battle in the arenas of public relations and lobbying rather than litigation. The
Japanese engaged in informational and political programs that successfully vindicated their
claims. Their efforts in the courts, while diligent, were ineffective.
The question for us in the African Slavery Reparations movement is whether our efforts to
obtain reparations should involve political or legal tactics to obtain our objectives. We also need
to examine whether the venues for our political and legal efforts should take place in
international or national arenas. What is clear from the Japanese American Reparations
movement in the United States is that litigation in the American courts can be very costly and
bear little results. It is not clear at all that any person or entity would have legal standing to sue
in American courts for reparations for slavery.
If the legal avenue may prove fruitless, the question then becomes whether Americans
should support Congressman Conyers' H.R. 40. His bill would require the creation of a
Commission to study the question of reparations; it is not a demand for reparations. Is it in our
interests to support a bill that merely studies the question of reparations rather than demanding
reparations? The Japanese American experience proves that the legislative process may bear

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

Political Versus Legal Strategies for the African Slavery Reparations Movement I 17

fruit for the reparations movement. Our pursuit of this alternative will be full of challenges,
however. If reparations are to be paid to African Americans for the damages of slavery, who
will actually be paid? Who is an African American? Is the multi-racial golfer Tiger Woods, for
example, an African American or an Asian American? Would he be eligible for reparations?
How about Caribbean Americans? Would they be eligible or excluded? The advantage that the
Japanese Americans had was that they had a specific number of persons who were eligible for
reparations. Calculations of the persons to receive benefits and the amounts to be paid could be
definitely fixed. For African Americans, the number of beneficiaries and the amounts to be
calculated will be quite a challenge.
On the other hand, if litigation is pursued in an international venue, the Nuremburg or
Tokyo Tribunal model for "crimes against humanity" may be promising. The definition of that
crime specifically applies to the case of African slavery and its aftermath. The retrospective
application of that definition of the crime would also be useful in an international forum for


1. Hugh Thomas, The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870 (New York:
Simon & Schuster, 1997), 804-805.
2. Iris Chang, The Rape of Nanking The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II (New York Basic
Books. 1997). 222.
3. Article II

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

The Debt Has Not Been Paid, the Accounts Have Not Been



First of all, I want to thank the students and those who are responsible for giving me the
chance to participate in these "streets of intellect." Listening to George Lamming alone is worth
the trip. I hope you will agree with me on that.
I will begin with a quotation that could have come from Walter Rodney himself. Actually it
is a quotation from George Lamming. It goes like this:

There is a perennial debt to be paid to black people for continuing of enslavement and degradation. There
are those who believe that the matter is over. They are completely wrong. Actually, there are those among
us who believe that the demand and struggle for justice and restoration to full dignity would take a
generation to win a crusade for reparations. In unison under concerted strategy....

There are other words of inspiration along the same lines, for instance Kwame Nkrumah
has said: "We can no longer afford the luxury of delay"; and as I have stated elsewhere, "The debt has
not been paid; the accounts have not been settled."
The purpose of this address is first of all to sensitize all progressive thinkers on the issue of
reparations. Secondly, it is to bring you up to date on what the Organization of African Unity
has done and to assist you in working out strategies for carrying out the mandate of the Group
of Eminent Persons, that I would refer to later.
Once you accept that the mass kidnap and enslavement of Africans was the most wicked
criminal enterprise in recorded human history; and that no compensation has been paid to any
of the sufferers by the perpetrators, and that the consequences continue to be massive both in
terms of the enrichment of the descendants of the perpetrators and in terms of the
impoverishment of the Africans, then the justice for claim for reparation is established beyond
any reasonable doubt. Our claim, which is still outstanding, is supported in law and
exemplified by several precedents. The law of unjust enrichment provides the basis on
international law for claim against those who have gained by the unlawful oppression of
First, the best known case which can stand as a precedent arose out of the well known,
hideous and despicable persecution of the Jews by the Nazis in the last great war. Hitler
exterminated approximately 6 million Jews in the dreaded Holocaust, marking one of the
grimmest pages of human history. The Jews have not hidden their suffering by putting it under
the carpet in shame, like many of our people do when we speak about slavery. They say, "this is
Born in the West Indies, Dudley Thompson is one of the most prominent barristers in the Commonwealth having
served in colonial East Africa and defended Jomo Kenyatta and his colleagues in 1952. He served as Jamaica's
ambassador to Nigeria and was appointed counsel to the reparations committee by the OAU in 1991.

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to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
ISSN: 2152-2448

20 I Thompson

a long-time story; why talk about it again? Why are you opening again those wounds which are
Those wounds have never been healed. And there is no time expiry nor Statute of
Limitations to prevent challenging such a crime of genocide and murder. The Jews have done a
great service to the world by exposing genocide simply as a crime against humanity, so that
never again should it be repeated. They did even more. They organized themselves and
challenged their oppressors and brought them before the tribunals of the world and received
not only acknowledgment of their guilt, but also approximately $60 billion so far and running,
in reparation for resettlement of the descendants of those who suffered. There are other cases,
which I shall bring to your attention later.
As I mentioned earlier, the allies also claimed some $33 billion from Germany after World
War II. Japanese Americans received an apology from the United States for unjust racial
discriminatory treatment during World War II when most of them were interned in
concentration camps in the West coast. They also received $1.2 million from the US government
as reparation for the 120,000 Japanese Americans who had been interned. Native American
Indians as a result of their claim reparations received $1.3 billion and large areas of reserve from
the US government.
Poland demanded $284 million plus lands and concessions from Germany for using Poles
as slave labor. The Eskimos received from the Canadian government $1.5 billion and very large
areas of land. The Aborigines received large areas of bauxite land from the Australian
government and a large sum of money. Last year, the Maoris received $160 million and a large
expanse of territory.
There are many cases outstanding. For instance there is the claim of sexual slavery by
Korean women against the Japanese, and the case against Iraq during the recent Gulf war. Some
of these are still to be ruled upon. So far, we descendants of Africans, the black people, have
made no such claim. The accounts have not been settled; the books have not been closed.
A charge of the Nuremberg tribunal in addressing the Nazi genocide, and I quote: "It is
crime against humanity, it is murder, extermination, deportation and other inhuman acts
committed against any civilian population. The tribunal found them guilty of acts so
reprehensible as to offend the conscious of mankind, as amounts to crime against humanity and
against International law."
In 1948, the US congress passed the Civil Liberties Act, granting reparations to individuals
or groups within the US whose rights have been violated. Thus the Japanese Americans and
Native American Indians received large entitlements, that I referred hitherto. The blacks, as a
group have not yet made their claim. The books have not been closed; the accounts have not
been settled.
I shall illustrate by five examples, cases to show how construction of white developed
countries have tried to distort the history taught to us as black people; having robbed us of our
own history. In the surgical operation which we call the Atlantic Slave Trade, they cut-off not
only a person's language, religion, family support and everything else that used to mean
anything to him, and put him away in a foreign land--the land of Babylon. They blotted out his

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

The Debt Has Not Been Paid; the Accounts Have Not Been Settled I 21

Forged in a foreign setting over several centuries, they made him forget his own history in
an entirely complete sense. And what did they put in its place? They put a myth: I will try to
prove that there is nothing of the past which has already been settled.
The first is what has been brought forward by the previous speaker. Statements such as
that of a Cambridge Professor (Hugh Trevor-Ropper) who said that the blackman has no
history, before the whiteman came; Africa was total confusion and confusion, he says, is not
history. Now, that is not just a simple statement from the heart of ignorance!
But the average child in the West Indies, anyway, is taught in history (in fact it begins that
way) that history begins with the abolition of slavery, the abolition of slavery by the whiteman.
This is quite wrong! It is a very different approach to a child's mind, teaching him that he had
no past until whites gave him something. That you are just an unwanted descendant of the
slave; you do not carry your birth certificate in the further past. It is very different for the
teacher to say, ".. .oh no, slavery didn't begin your history, it interrupted your history, a history which
started long before that. It interrupted your history, you did not descend from slavery, you ascended over
a system of slavery, which interrupted your history!" It is entirely a different approach to a child
because he begins to look and find out what happened to him and to learn the truths. Such is
the myth they have tried to teach you that they have settled the whole affair by giving you a
civilization and something to hold on to.
The second example is, and I will quote two cases, established cases that they have paid
their dues.
The first is known as the Sommerset case of 1772. It is that of an Englishman who took his
servant, his slave to England. Nancy was her name. Nancy went before the great Lord
Mansfield who having listened to the advocacy of the abolitionist lawyer said, "The black must
be set free. Let the black be set free."
What he has been trying to show there is the validity of British justice settling the scores of
slavery. It didn't settle anything. It didn't set slaves free. Slavery went on for many, many, many
years after that. What he meant was set her free, because the free white atmosphere of Britain
could not stand this act of slavery. That is what he said.
The second case is that of the well known Le Amistad, the case in which the black slaves
fought and took over the slave ship, and told the navigator who was saved from death to take
them back to Africa. He steered by night and landed in the US. That epic shows the great trial in
the courts of Connecticut where the great white lawyer John Quincy Adams set them free. As if
it settled the whole affair. The debt has not been paid; the accounts have not been settled.
Another draconian example of the distortion of history is the Emancipation Act of 1838.
The Emancipation Act is not a human relation's idea; it has nothing to do with morality or
human rights. The Emancipation Act was a commercial transaction, a commercial transaction in
which reparation was paid; I think sterling pounds 200 million to the slave master as reparation
for losing his property --your ancestors. It had nothing to do with closing the books; nothing to
do with settling the accounts. In all those cases, what happened to those who had gone before?
What happened to those people who worked in the tobacco fields and made cotton "king" of the
powerful US? And the cane field plantations? What about those lynched? No, the accounts have
not been settled.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

22 I Thompson

Then from Emancipation came colonialism in Africa and the Caribbean. You are free
according to them. You don't tell a person he is free any more than you tell a dog he is a cat and
this makes him a cat. But there you are, emancipated; you are free, or, in fact, nearly so. You
move from there to colonialism, the stepson of slavery. Now, what happened under colonialism
isn't well known, at least in this part of the world. I know that in the colonies you had the
statement, "lower the horizon and the hopes of the black people". Children were taught you are
now free, you can move just so far, but you can't get any further because the colonial officers are
your new masters and they call the shots!
It is strange that men like C.L.R. James, Manley, Rodney and others lived most of their lives
as colonials, under those limitations. They did not stop there because they pursued the heritage.
The heritage of our own history, which is a heritage of struggles. And so, after the battles of war
and colonialism, came independence in the 1960's. New status and independence of the 1960's is
the fifth opportunity for them to say that they have settled the deal.
The new status as colonials after emancipation was evidenced everywhere with the
continual struggle. Voices were raised all round. The Pan-Africanist movement drew a new
resurgence of nationalist agitation. Black leaders began to merge under its banner. People like
Nasser, Mclair, L. Hughes and W. Rodney worked to raise the consciousness of black people.
Marcus Garvey's prophecies of thousands of black nurses, black engineers, black newspapers
like the Negro World, the Crisis, and various publications. Garvey began telling black people
about their own history, and therefore the only thing left for them to do under independence
was now to ask for its consequence. These days we are hearing the Pope and others asking
black people to forgive these atrocities. Forgive them for they know exactly what they were
doing! We say, yes of course we forgive you, but we will not forget. After confession comes
atonement. We, therefore, say our claim is still outstanding, supported by the law.
Let me point out that the work has been going on. The OAU during its 1993 Dakar summit
named a group of Eminent Persons to pursue the effects of slavery and its consequences; to
pursue the modalities by which it can be addressed; to examine it and approve the Abuja
Declaration. The Eminent Persons Group included among others the late M.K. Abiola, Ali
Mazrui, Professor Ajayi, and I was the rapporteur; I do the work.
The Abuja Declaration, which was passed after the first Pan-African Conference on
Reparations stated as follows:
This First Pan-African Conference on Reparations held in Abuja, Nigeria, April 27-29, 1993,
sponsored by the OA U Group of Eminent Persons (GEP) for Reparations, and the Federal
Government of Nigeria.
Recalling the establishment by the Organization of African Unity of a machinery for
appraising the issue of reparations in relation to the damage done to Africa and its Diaspora by
enslavement, colonization, and neo-colonialism;
Convinced that the issue of reparations is an important question requiring the united action
of Africa and its Diaspora and worthy of the active support of the rest of the international
Fully persuaded that the damage sustained by the African peoples is not a "thing of the
past" but is painfully manifest in the damaged lives of contemporary Africans from Harlem to

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

The Debt Has Not Been Paid; the Accounts Have Not Been Settled I 23

Harare and in the damaged economies of Africa and the Black World from Guinea to Guyana,
from Somalia to Surinam;
Aware of historic precedents in reparations, ranging from German payment Of restitution
to the Jews, to the question of compensating Japanese-Americans for the injustice of internment
by the Roosevelt Administration in the United States during the World War II;
Cognizant of the fact that compensation for injustice need not necessarily be paid only in
capital transfer but could include service to the victims or other forms of restitution and
readjustment of the relationship agreeable to both parties;
Emphasizing that the admission of guilt is a necessary step to reverse this situation;
Emphatically convinced that what matters is not the guilt but the responsibility of those
states and nations whose economic evolution once depended on slave labor and colonialism,
and whose forebears participated either in selling and buying Africans, or in owning them, or in
colonizing them;
Convinced that the pursuit of reparations by the African peoples in the continent and in the
Diaspora will itself be a learning experience in self discovery and in uniting political and
psychological experiences;
Calls upon the international community to recognize that there is a unique and
unprecedented moral debt owed to the African peoples which has yet to be paid the debt of
compensation to the Africans as the most humiliated and exploited people of the last four
centuries of modern history:
Calls upon Heads of States and Governments in Africa and the Diaspora itself (to set up
National Committees for the purpose of studying the damaged African experience
disseminating information and encouraging educational courses on the impact Of enslavement,
colonization and neo-colonialism on present-day Africa and its Diaspora;
Urges the Organization of African Unity to grant observer status to select organizations
from the African Diaspora in order to facilitate consultations between Africa and its Diaspora
on reparations and related issues;
Further urges the OA U to call for full monetary payment through capital transfer and debt
Convinced that numerous looting, theft and larceny have been committed on the African
people, calls upon those in possession of their stolen goods, artifacts and other traditional
treasures, to restore them to their rightful owners the African people.
Convinced that the claim for Reparations is well grounded in International Law, urges the
OA U to establish a legal Committee on the issue of Reparations.
Also calls upon African and Diaspora groups already working on reparations to
communicate with the Organization of African Unity and establish continuing liaison.
Encourages such groups to send this declaration to various countries to obtain their official
support for the movement;
Serves notice on all states in Europe and the Americas which had participated in the
enslavement and colonization of the African peoples, and which may still be engaged in racism
and neo-colonialism, to desist from any further damage and start building bridges of
reconciliation and co-operation, through reparation;

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

24 I Thompson

Exhorts all African states to grant entrance, as of right, to all persons of African descent,
and the right to obtain residence in those African states, if there is no disqualifying element on
the African claiming the "right to return" to his or her ancestral home, Africa.
Urges those countries which were enriched by slavery, the slave trade, colonialism and
neo-colonialism to give total relief from Foreign Debt, and allow the debtor countries of the
Diaspora to become free for self development and from immediate and direct economic
Calls upon the countries largely characterized as profiteers from the slave trade and
colonialism to support proper and reasonable representation of African Peoples in the political
and economic areas of the highest decision-making bodies;
Requests the OA U to intensify its efforts in restructuring the international system in
pursuit of justice with special reference to permanent African seat on the Security Council of the
United Nations.
Let me backup a little. People only think of restitution in terms of how much money, what
is going to happen, who is going to get what and what have you. But this is not about money.
We are not thinking about black people who have suffered as a result of slavery and its
consequences. We are demanding an opportunity, room at the table, to make full contribution
to the world, the present day and the coming millennium. It means adjusting to people asking
such questions as: why are there so many black people in jail and prisons? Give them
education--that is part of it. Why is there in the supposed repository of peace called the United
Nations not one black nation represented as a permanent member of the Security Council? Put
them there. That is reparation. There is not one black executive officer making final decisions at
the IMF or any of the other bodies; put them there; that is reparation. There are many ways in
which restitution can be done. Why not study why many more black women die after childbirth
than whites? Give them more hospitals and better medical care.
There are many ways reparations can be made. You are not punishing people from guilt,
although the thought might have crossed your mind. What you are saying to them is, "This is a
claim for your responsibilities. You, who have the profits in the white world, have inherited the
responsibility of what your forefathers did to us. For it is the responsibility you have and not
the guilt, by which we approach you. We emphasize that the admission of guilt is the necessary
step to reverse the situation. First of all, admit the guilt; it is the necessary step, for this is not
just another debt."
We call upon the international community to recognize that there is a unique and
unprecedented moral debt to the African people which has not yet been paid. The debt of
compensation to Africans as the most humiliated and exploited people of the last four centuries
of modem history. We urge the OAU to ask for full monetary compensation through capital
transfer to Africa or debt cancellation. Something like the Marshal plan; an African Marshal
plan would be necessary. Without debt cancellation, we will never be able to repay the amount
of money they have lent to us so easily. They don't want to do this; they are prepared to live off
the interest which strangles us in the debt trap which they have left us in a state called
Convinced that numerous looting, theft and larceny have been committed on the African
people, we call upon those in possession of stolen goods, artifacts, and other traditional

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

The Debt Has Not Been Paid; the Accounts Have Not Been Settled I 25

treasures to restore them to their rightful owners, the African people. Convinced that the claim
for restoration was established in the international court of law, we urge the OAU to establish a
legal committee to address the issue of reparations.
It exalts all African states to grant as its right to all peoples of African descent a right to
obtain residency in those African states, the right to return to the ancestral home, Africa. It calls
upon the OAU to intensify its efforts to restructure the international system in pursuit of justice.
I therefore suggest to you that we take this matter seriously. I suggest to you that you owe
it to your parents who paid for you. In the words of Churchill, "... you made us rich, you made
us great. It is the colonies in our possession that enabled us to win the Napoleonic wars. It was
your wealth that made us the greatest nation in the world."
It is our duty to remind them, through your committees, your schools, your governments,
your politician's that we the people are saying: THE DEBT HAS NOT BEEN PAID; THE

Thank you.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

The Autonomous Development Fund Model: A Reply to

Olatunde Ojo


Professor Olatunde Ojo has provided a critique of my article on the role that autonomous
development funds (ADFs) may play in reforming foreign aid, particularly in Africa (African
Studies Quarterly Volume 2, No 2). I am grateful for the interest that he and his colleague at the
University of Montana, Professor Peter Koehn, have shown in this project. Together we share a
concern about the problems that foreign aid have generated on the African continent, but
judging from Ojo's article, we also have different views about how aid may be best salvaged
and improved at this point in Africa's postcolonial development. There is much that could be
said in response to Ojo, but in the interest of time and space, I shall confine myself to the
following points:

(1) characterization of the Fund model; (2) the mandate of the Fund; (3) its relation to
Government; (4) the role of the Fund in relation to grassroots activities; (5) the attitude of
donors; and (6) the costs of setting up ADFs.

Before proceeding to a more detailed discussion of each of these points, however, it may be
useful to remind the reader of what the ADF project is all about. The idea of reforming foreign
aid so that it becomes more accountable to constituencies in the recipient country is not new but
has gained momentum in the 1990s because of the general trend toward strengthening
democracy and governance structures in African societies and also because donors are uneasy
about the extent to which many African governments have become donor dependent. The ADF
is an effort to find a way of responding simultaneously to concerns among reform-minded
Africans and friendly donors to improve the prospects that foreign aid will come to better use
than it has in the past four decades since independence. Such a call may not seem new given
that foreign aid has been subject to various types of reform in the past, but to little avail. The
difference now is that the whole future of foreign aid to Africa is at stake and conceptualization
of the problem, therefore, has to go beyond what is "business as usual". The ADF model is cast
in this perspective. It is meant to provide a demand-driven use of foreign aid that springs from
initiatives that are genuinely conceived and owned by African organizations or communities. It
caters for both public, private and voluntary sector initiatives on a competitive basis, which
gives equal chances of financing to government (central as well as local), voluntary
organizations, and possibly--depending on the mandate of the fund-- also private sector

Goran Hyden, Ph.D., is Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. He is the author of Governance And
Politics In Africa, No Shortcuts To Progress: African Development Management In Perspective, and Beyond Ujamaa In
Tanzania: Underdevelopment and an Uncaptured Peasantry. He is also past president of the African Studies Association.

University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for individuals
to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
ISSN: 2152-2448

28 I Wariboko

enterprises. By encouraging institutions in the three sectors to internally compete for resources,
the assumption is that better and more feasible projects will be generated since only the very
best would be funded, at least initially. Others would not necessarily be wasted but would have
to be resubmitted after revision.
The key to success is joint ownership of the ADF by stakeholders in government, civil
society, and among the resource providers in combination with the establishment of a
professional board that is independent from control by the political executive. In this respect,
the ADF would resemble a bank, judiciary, or research council that is expected to make
decisions on grounds of merit and feasibility only. This feature has been deemed particularly
salient in this model by both Africans and others who have had reason to comment on it.
Patronage politics is a curse all over sub-Saharan Africa and is at the bottom of much of the
corruption and inefficiency that characterizes the public sector in these countries. The challenge,
therefore, is to insulate the influence of patronage as much as possible and establish rational
and procedural policy criteria for governance. The tripartite ownership of the funds is also
meant to localize accountability to the recipient country rather than having organizations in
these places--whether governmental or non-governmental--responsible primarily to donors
instead of their own citizens.
The ADF is not a magic solution to Africa's governance problems but it is potentially as
important for the future development of these countries as many other measures that have been
recommended by donors or by Africans in the name of "good governance". At a time when so
much else has proved unfeasible or unsuccessful in Africa, this model helps to reorder
institutional relationships in ways that are radical, yet not beyond what donors and recipient
governments may consider acceptable in order to save the foreign aid enterprise.

1. Characterization of the Model:

Ojo's article contains a number of general references to the model that are misleading, if not
outright mistaken, and it is important to set the record straight. First of all, the key word in the
name of the project is "autonomous", one that Ojo completely ignores and refers to instead as
"national" development funds. This is important because the scope of its mandate--national or
regional--is less important to the operation of this type of fund than its status as being free from
political direction by a single source. To be sure, autonomy is not absolute in this case, but it is
still relevant, because the emphasis is on insulating resource allocation from patronage-inclined
politicians and thereby restoring people's confidence in public authority. This is especially
important at a time of multi-party politics, because the tendency throughout Africa is that those
who vote for the opposition tend to be deprived of public resources by those who make
decisions in government. With the establishment of ADFs, resources would be allocated on
terms that are independent of partisan loyalties.
The second thing about Ojo's characterization of the ADF is that it is not something that
only I have invented. There should be no such thing as a "Hyden" model. True, I was
instrumental in helping to develop the model, but it is originally an African initiative, and many
others, not the least the leadership of the African Association for Public Administration and
Management (AAPAM), which is the principal vehicle for promoting it in Africa, has been very

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

The Autonomous Development Fund Model: A Reply to Olatunde Ojo I 29

important in providing ideas about how the model should be operationalized. In all fairness,
therefore, it is wrong for me to accept the identification of the project with my own name.

2. The mandate of the Fund:

There are two issues that I want to clarify here. Ojo wonders why the ADF should be
concerned with only development projects. The programmatic mandate of these funds has been
defined foremost in relation to development projects, but there is nothing to prevent the funds
from being used also in other sectors. For example, a Cultural Development Trust has been
established in Tanzania incorporating all the managerial and operative principles inherent in
the ADF model. Since Ojo seems to assume that infrastructural projects are ruled out, it may be
necessary to include a comment here that minor projects may of course also be funded through
a mechanism like ADF. The reference to excluding such projects that is made in my article stems
from the fact that government and donor representatives noted that there are already in
existence specific tender procedures for awarding large-scale infrastructural projects. These
international rules need not be replaced because, to the extent that they function, they reflect the
same values as inherent in ADF, namely professionalism, feasibility, and transparency.
The other aspect under this heading concerns the geographical coverage of an ADF. When
the project was developed, the emphasis, not the least among Africans, was to stress its national
scope or mandate, because if constituted at the regional level, it may be more difficult to
insulate the project from parochial political interests. Experience with community development
foundations, established at regional or district levels, i.e. at sub-national levels, e.g. by the Ford
Foundation, suggests that such a fear may have been exaggerated. An ADF, therefore, could be
conceived as a regional or district-based institution provided it is not confined to one or a few
such sub-national units only, since it may imply ethnic favoritism and thus brand the fund from
the beginning as being parochial rather than professional.

3. Relations to Government:

Ojo displays a rather ambivalent attitude toward government. On the one hand, he seems
to defend it by implying that it is necessary for regulating economic development. On the other,
he advocates the need to by-pass government in order to reach the grassroots organizations that
presumably constitute the best hope for development in his view. The ADF project tries to
overcome this type of contradiction or dichotomization. Contrary to what Ojo says in his article,
the ADF model realizes that government must be part of the project. This is anticipated in three
different ways. The first is that government approves the establishment of ADFs by signing a
contract with one or more donors to that effect. The second is that government is part-owner of
the fund. The third is that specific departments under aegis, whether at central or local
government level, are able to compete for financing from the ADFs.
Given that African governments are increasingly starved of funding by the donors because
they do not live up to their political or economic conditionalities, the former stand to gain, not
lose, from adopting this model. It provides an opportunity to demonstrate a genuine interest in
improving governance, an initiative that donors would appreciate. Their concern is that red-

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

30 I Wariboko

tape and corruption in public institutions at present limit the usefulness of their grants or loans.
Unless new forms of realizing a partnership can be found, therefore, foreign aid is likely to dry
up and disappear.
Yet another aspect of this issue is that donor funding that goes directly to government has
become an albatross around the necks of both donors and African governments. The
international community today finances not only parts of the development budget but also a
considerable share of the recurrent budget. This means that African states can no longer finance
their core administrative and coercive activities. This level of dependence is not only politically
embarrassing to African countries, but it is also a source of tension that often paralyzes the uses
of these grants or loans. The ADF is aimed at allowing donors to retreat from this role and to
enable African governments to become more reliant on revenues from domestic sources to
finance recurrent activities. This way, the ADF also provides a method for ensuring that
accountability is redirected away from its current focus on the donor community towards
constituencies within the country.

4. The Role of the Fund in Relation to Grassroots Activities:

Ojo seems to believe that the ADF, because it is national in scope, will be confined to the
macro level without being able to reach the grassroots communities. It is important to counter
that the ADF is not an operative institution, only a funding mechanism. The extent to which the
grassroots communities and groups will benefit, therefore, depends in the end on how
intermediary organizations--governmental or non-governmental--are capable of incorporating
these groups and communities into their activities. The ADF is potentially accessible even to the
most marginalized groups, provided organizations, willing to work with such people, are ready
to act as their mouthpiece. In fact, one of the suggestions that have been made in the ADF
discussions has been to confine the mandate of such funds to groups that are marginalized, e.g.
women, small-scale peasant farmers, and informal sector entrepreneurs. The specification of
uses along such lines is a policy issue that the board of an ADF may decide upon.

5. The Attitude of Donors:

It is a mistake to characterize the donor community at large as being only self-interested.
There are great variations in opinion and perspective within that community. Even though
most donors--like most African governments--today accept the "Washington consensus" as a
necessary economic framework, donors, especially the bilaterals, have different attitudes
toward Africa. The U.S. position is on one end, representing a neo-realist perspective which
implies that foreign aid is justified only as long as it serves national security or economic
interests. The Scandinavian and Dutch governments can be found on the other end, indicating a
much greater readiness to allow African views to enter into their calculations before a final
decision is made. To be sure, none of these positions gives African views the prominence that
they deserve in order to make foreign aid work. It is precisely because of this shortcoming that
the ADF has been conceived, because it allows for dialogue among what are equals in the
context of the ADF board. By encouraging donors to place resources in funds rather than in
specific projects, the ADF model also reduces the possibilities for donors to micro-manage

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

The Autonomous Development Fund Model: A Reply to Olatunde Ojo I 31

African development, a tendency which has had very detrimental effects on African
development in the past. Donors need to be enticed to establish relations of partnership in
which operationally there is more symmetry in the relations than has been the case to date. ADF
is conceived as being the mechanism to realizing such an objective.

6. The Cost of the Fund:

Ojo implies that the ADF would be too costly and that therefore it stands no chance of
becoming a reality. I have grave reservations about both the argument and the figures on which
it is based. First of all, given the vast amounts of money that have been wasted in foreign aid
projects in the past, there is no way that the ADF model can be rejected on the basis of cost
considerations. The whole point about the model is to ensure more effective use of resources
and thus savings in relation to the amounts that have been issued in the past. By preempting the
use of technical experts from outside, the costs of operating the funds would be considerably
cheaper than technical assistance in previous years. What is more, by stimulating people to
work together to formulate and implement projects, there is a good chance that results will be
achieved by the use of social capital in combination with financial capital. In other words, if
collective action is enhanced, which is again one of the objectives inherent in the ADF model,
transaction costs will be reduced and results achieved at much more reasonable expense than in
the past. The notion that the ADF will produce a large-scale bureaucracy is mistaken, and
certainly not inherent in the way the model is being operationalized. Finally, it is important to
emphasize that many Africans have expressed the need for ADFs to become financially self-
reliant, i.e. they would rely on loans which, as in the case of banks, also finance overhead
expenses. This might not be possible to accommodate with the notion of reaching the
marginalized groups in society, unless the ADFs are capitalized in financial markets and thus
capable of raising their own money. Such an approach should not be ruled out, although the
weakness of the capital markets in Africa at present may limit the usefulness of that option.
In conclusion, and as a postscript, I wish to add that the ADF is now being implemented in
various places around Africa. It is no longer merely a model on paper. Reference has already
been made to the Cultural Development Trust in Tanzania. It is run by a board made up of
representatives of the various groups constituting the cultural sector in that country, the
Ministry of Education and Culture, and the donors. The latter two have a minority
representation on the board, but are strong enough to express their views and draw attention to
matters that members of the cultural sector may ignore. An income-generating fund in the same
country, funded originally by the European Union, but now attracting other donors as well,
operates to every one's satisfaction. Its operative features have been adjusted to reflect the ADF
model after discussion on its board. A similar income-generating fund, targeted on
marginalized groups, is currently under consideration in Zambia. Also, in Ghana, there are
efforts to put in place a funding mechanism like the ADF. The final point to be made here is that
as these, and other similar initiatives, are being implemented, more experience will be gained in
terms of what works or what does not work. Many of the questions that Ojo and others have,
therefore, will be further answered from the evolving practice of implementation.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


Survival on Meagre Resources: Hadendowa Pastoralism in the Red Sea Hills. Leif Manger,
with Hassan Abd el Ati, Sharif Harir, Knut Krzywinski and Ole R. Vetaas. Nordiska
Afrikainstitutet (The Nordic Africa Institute). Pp. 244. 1996. $52.50 paper.

Development among Africa's Migratory Pastoralists. Aggrey Ayuen Majok and Calvin W.
Schwabe. Bergin & Garvey. Pp. 285. 1996. $65. cloth.

Survival on Meagre Resources is based on interdisciplinary research conducted by a
Norwegian and Sudanese team under the auspices of the Red Sea Area Programme (RESAP), a
project funded by the Norwegian government. The program's goals were to improve local food
production and food security and to improve the natural ecological base in order to develop
sustainable production systems. The authors imply that this Red Sea Hills study was originally
conceived as a long-term project, however, because of political changes and tensions between
the two governments the program stagnated, and was finally terminated in 1993. As a result,
this study has a preliminary tone, as though the authors were laying the groundwork for a large
development project from which a more comprehensive and in-depth analysis could emerge.
Nevertheless, their book makes several important contributions to the study of contemporary
pastoralists and to the reconceptualization of pastoral development.
One of the book's greatest strengths is its demonstration of a sophisticated analysis of
human ecology, using a holistic approach that integrates findings from geology, botany,
geography, and social anthropology. Thus, we get excellent, succinct information on the
dynamics of soils, rainfall, vegetation, herding, agriculture, land tenure, kinship, world view,
population, social stratification, political organization, urbanization, labor migration and the
impact of the larger political economy. Much of this data and analysis is supplemented with
useful tables, figures, and maps. The research team, under the intellectual leadership of Leif
Manger, who authored four of the eight chapters and co-authored two more, makes clear that in
the Red Sea Hills the adaptation process, as exemplified by the Hadendowa, is not a matter of
maintaining some ideal equilibrium, but is rather a struggle to secure basic resources in an
environment in which unpredictability and sometimes irreversible change is the norm.
Their case study is a useful addition to the analysis of the crisis in African pastoralism. Like
research findings in other pastoral societies, these authors establish that environmental
degradation is not the result of overstocking and overgrazing; rather, it is being generated in
large part by deforestation to create open land for agriculture and to produce charcoal for the
urban markets. Government sponsored agricultural schemes have closed off land that in
previous generations was available for grazing, especially in times of drought and poor pasture.
Indeed, deforestation contributes to increasing frequency of drought, reduction of herds, famine


University of Florida Board of Trustees, a public corporation of the State of Florida; permission is hereby granted for individuals
to download articles for their own personal use. Published by the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.
ISSN: 2152-2448


and the uncontrolled cutting of trees to produce charcoal for cash for food, i.e., a classic
destructive ecological feed-back pattern.
Population growth, aided by immunization campaigns and famine relief, has necessitated
the "sloughing off" of excess people, especially during severe droughts, causing more migration
to burgeoning urban areas. Many people have become permanently impoverished, but some
successful entrepreneurs have increased their wealth and political influence, creating new forms
of social inequality. Women, who have become detached from their husbands because of labor
migration, death, divorce or abandonment, must take up new roles to provide for their children,
and the changing gender relations are especially challenging in a culture that is founded on
maintaining male-dominated honor and avoiding shame. Manger makes the crucial point that
pastoralists are not simply trying to manage physical resources, they are trying to maintain a
way of life that has profound meaning for them personally and as collective groups.
The Hadendowa have been increasingly marginalized as political and economic elites
continue to insist that the only course of development for pastoralists is sedentarization and
farming. Failure to follow this course is characterized as resistance born of ignorance and
stubbornness, the old shibboleth of "pastoral conservatism". In contrast to these stereotypes,
Manger and his colleagues make a persuasive case that pastoral life requires a high degree of
flexibility in adapting to ever-changing circumstances and frequent crises. Indeed, most
Hadendowa make ends meet through a combination of pastoralism (if they have any livestock),
farming (if they have access to land), wage labor, and sometimes small trade. Much of the
trouble that Hadendowa have experienced in the last several decades has been the result of
larger forces in the political economy of the Sudan which are completely outside of their
control. The authors argue that planning for the future of these people and their area must
concentrate on providing an "enabling environment" for pastoral life, drawing upon local
knowledge and strengthening local institutions of social control and administration, especially
in the protection of resources in "the commons". Unfortunately, the behavior of the government,
the logical candidate for conducting and implementing such enlightened planning, does not
inspire confidence, neither among these researchers nor among the Hadendowa. Turning the
problems over to NGO's, which has been the government's de facto strategy, is not a viable
long-term alternative. So, the book ends on an indecisive and rather discouraging note. Still, in
spite of the unavoidable shortcomings of this project, the authors make a strong case for the
research model and the planning ideas they advocate.
Development among Africa's Migratory Pastoralists is an excellent complementary volume
to Manger, et. al. The co-authors, both veterinarians, the one Sudanese and the other American,
have for many years been extensively involved in efforts to improve the lives of pastoral
peoples in Africa, and their research is informed by the depth of their field experience.
Although their prose is measured and plain, one can sense a passionate commitment to pastoral
peoples and a clear-eyed appreciation for their way of life. This underlying tone is evident in
the following summary statement: "our approach envisages provision of realistic, high-priority
services and amenities to pastoralists at the literally "grass roots" where they normally live,
efforts which will help them live more securely in their accustomed manner."

As the first portion of the book makes clear, this approach is quite different from, indeed,
almost antithetical to, the one typically and historically taken by "Northern" (read European and

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


North American) development planners operating in Africa. According to the authors, these
Northerners fail to understand the "fused" (a la Fred Riggs) nature of African pastoral societies
and instead assume that the values of Northern "diffracted" societies can be found or
engendered among African pastoralists. These huge "cultural-communications gaps" have been
at the root of the failure of pastoral development policies, failed policies that have often been
quite damaging to pastoral peoples.
Development policies and programs for African pastoralists must be infused with a strong
component of knowledge gained from anthropological and veterinary epidemiological research,
and Majok and Schwabe demonstrate in several chapters the relevance of such information.
They also lament the inaccessibility of much of this work--many of their own sources are
unpublished or in limited circulation. Thus, mistakes are repeated as the same faulty wheel is
reinvented, and corrective information is not available or ignored.
What new and different insights would such information provide to those who are
planning and implementing development programs for African pastoralists? First, the local
circumstances of pastoralists are quite changeable and the margin for error is often quite
narrow. Pastoralists have developed social and cultural practices that make it possible for them
to adapt rapidly to changing fortunes; in other words, they know what they are doing and why,
and thus, they are the first and best source of knowledge about how to be productive in their
dynamic circumstances. Therefore, secondly, pastoralists at the local level must be involved at
all stages in the planning and implementation of development programs. Thirdly, veterinary
services have been the most successful in reaching mobile populations and have been well-
received and valued by pastoralists. Therefore, veterinary services are the most viable vehicle
upon which other necessary services and programs can be developed and delivered. Finally,
this kind of planning and delivery requires intersectoral cooperation and coordination, a
challenging proposition in the typical circumstances of competing ministries, donors, etc.
Majok and Schwabe's approach to development planning and implementation is a radical
departure from existing practices, and is based on the pragmatic recognition of several major
problems. Current development practices are simply making life more precarious for pastoralist
peoples, and appear to be based on the assumption that pastoralism as a way of life and as a
mode of production will and should disappear. Yet, central governments and their donor
patrons do not have viable economic and social alternatives for pastoral areas or peoples. Since
resources for pastoral development are and will continue to be severely limited, they must be
mobilized and administered in the most efficient and effective manner. The authors devote four
chapters to detailed description and analysis of the specific means available to implement the
kinds of development programs they advocate. Their book should be required reading for the
development elite, both Northern and African, who claim to be acting in the best interests of
migratory pastoral peoples.

Michael D. Quam
School of Health and Human Services
University of Illinois at Springfield

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


Susan M. Vogel. Baule: African Art/Western Eyes. Yale University Press, New Haven, 1997
313pp., 197 color and 62 b/w, 2 maps, glossary, bibliography, index. Hardbound $65,
Softbound $35.

This is a welcome addition to the growing list of in-depth studies now revolutionizing the
scholarship of African art. The book is unique not only because it is, so far, the most
comprehensive study of the sculptures of the Baule of Cote d'Ivoire, but also because it charts a
new course by examining issues seldom raised by previous researchers.
The central thesis of the book is that the Western idea of "art" as something created for its
own sake does not exist among the Baule. According to the author: To approach art from the
Baule perspective entails speaking of experiences that are not primarily visual, and of art objects
that are animate presence's indistinguishable from persons, spirits, and certain prosaic things.
Even when Baule people are clearly talking only of a wood sculpture, they may describe it as
capable of volition and action that most Western reader will find incredible" (p. 83). Equally
significant is the fact that many of the Baule sculptures now displayed in European and
American museums for "Western Eyes" were once concealed from public view by their original
owners. For the "more important a Baule sculpture is, the less it is displayed" (p. 108). Why is
this so? What are the cultural factors underlying the creation and uses of Baule sculpture?
Susan Vogel examines these questions and several others by focusing not only on the
context and significance of carved objects in Baule culture, but also on how the people relate to
them. The book is divided into two sections of four chapters each. In her introduction, the
author explains how more than two decades of research among the Baule have taught her to
appreciate and to write about Baule art from the perspectives of the people for whom it is
created. In the process, she has also learned to separate her conclusions from theirs.
The first chapter introduces the reader to the history and social geography of the Baule, in
addition to highlighting the formal characteristics of Baule art such as the "subtle rhythm,"
"balanced asymmetry," and "peaceful containment of form"-- characteristics that influenced
many modern European artists, most especially the Italian Amedeo Modigliani.
The second chapter offers a detailed account of Baule world-view, drawing attention to
Baule perception of nature as an interaction of opposing yet related elements such as the
spiritual and material, the visible and invisible, the human and non-human, the male and
female, among others. Perhaps the most conspicuous aspect of this dualism is the dichotomy
between the village and wilderness to which almost all Baule works of art are related. The
village signifies the ordered, social and human, and the wilderness, the bush, savage and non-
human. In the words of the author, "many works of Baule art are classified as either women's or
men's; male art forms ... are associated with the wilderness, women's, with the village" (p. 46).
Also discussed in this chapter are the Baule concepts of power (amuin), bush spirits (asye usu)
and otherworldly spouses (blolo bian/bla) as well as how sculpture is used to localize and
manipulate them.
The third chapter deals with the ontological function of sculpture. So important is this
function that a representation and what it represents are perceived as one and the same. In
other words, a signifier is as potent as the signified. This explains why certain carved objects,
especially masks, are thought to cause death if seen with the naked eye or by the uninitiated.
The author then discusses the various modes of looking/seeing different categories of objects.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


The fourth chapter focuses on the Baule concept of visuality, that is, the ways members of the
culture learn to interpret what they see, as well as the secrecy and the taboos that govern the
The fifth chapter concentrates on masks used in entertainment dances (Mblo and Goli) and
intended to be watched and appreciated by the general public. Here, the author throws more
light on the Baule tradition of portrait masks (ndoma), first described in some detail in the 1930s
by Hans Himmelheber. One significant aspect of this tradition is that, because less emphasis is
placed on physical resemblance, a given mask can easily be identified with a new person--
usually a relative--after the death of the original subject, thus enacting the drama of decay and
renewal (pp. 166-7).
The sixth chapter deals with assorted gold plated objects, stools, staffs, men's sacred masks,
and human figures associated with the spirits of the wilderness. This category of sacred objects
is described by the author as "Art that is Seen Without Looking" because they are not meant to
be stared at on pain of death.
In chapter seven, the author discusses miscellaneous personal objects associated with
hunting spirits (bo usu) and otherworldly spouses (blolo bla/bian), while in the eighth, she
focuses on various utilitarian items such as divination vessels, ancestral stools, weaver's pulleys,
spoons, wooden fans, carved doors, pottery and drums which are decorated to enhance their
appearance and fulfill the desire for beauty. As a result, these articles are often displayed for all
to see.
In her conclusion, the author notes that Baule sculptures have many things in common
with those of their neighbors (such as Wan and Yaure) and with those of the Akan to the east in
what is now present-day Ghana, whence came, according to oral tradition, some ancestors of
the Baule led by the legendary Queen Abla Poku.

The author has taken great pains to separate her own observations, interpretations, and
conclusions from those of her Baule field informants. She nevertheless highlights points of
agreement and disagreement, thus deepening our understanding of Baule sculpture and its
reception both among the Baule and in the West. Her discussion of Baule etiquette of the gaze
(Chapter 4) is one of the most interesting sections of the book because it challenges the premises
of recent Western discourse that associate the gaze with power, desire, manipulation and,
sometimes, scopophilia (erotic pleasures derived from looking). For the Baule, on the other
hand, the act of looking at a work of art, or at spiritually significant objects, is for the most part
privileged and potentially dangerous. Even an inadvertent glimpse of a forbidden object can
make a person sick, can expose them to huge fines or sacrifices, or can even be fatal.
The power and danger of looking lie in a belief that objects are potent, capable of polluting
those who see them (p. 110). In other words, the nature, context, function, importance and
power of a given work determine whether or not it can be looked at closely or from afar. This
explains why certain sacred objects are secreted in shrines and private rooms, accessible only to
the initiated. As a result, the author regards as somewhat exaggerated the widely held view that
African art is inseparable from life, since, judging from the Baule evidence, "little art used to be
actually seen by most people most of the time" (p. 291). Unfortunately, Vogel does not provide
the statistics from other parts of Africa to corroborate this hypothesis. Even then, the Baule
evidence points in the opposite direction. For while it is true that sacred or awesome objects

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


such as the num amuin bo masks are rarely seen "by most people most of the time," the fact
remains that such restricted objects are few compared to the entertainment dance masks (Mblo
and Goli), as well as the carved doors, stools, spoons, weaver's pulleys, drums and divination
vessels, among others, that may be seen by all. Indeed, Hans Himmelheber, who conducted
fieldwork among the Baule in the 1930s, reported that the entertainment masks were used in
performances almost everyday. Moreover, many Baule commission sculptures for personal or
family uses. For example, "Infants and small children are given miniature carved wooden stools
... or small figures that they may wear as amulets ..." (p. 247). Baule adults, on the other hand,
keep statues embodying bush spirits (asye usu), hunting spirits (bo usu) and otherworldly
spouses (blolo bla/bian). In Susan Vogel's words, the latter "are probably the most abundant and
among the most completely realized art works the Baule make ..." (p. 249). Not only that, these
statues receive regular sacrifices, so that they are inseparable from the daily lives of their
owners who see them most of the time.
Although the author asserts that the concept of "art for art's sake" does not exist among the
Baule, Hans Himmelheber reported several cases in the early 1930s. The fact that Vogel does not
dispute Himmelheber's account but merely describes it as "ironic" (p. 83)--without further
comments--leaves the reader to wonder what happened between the early 1930's and the late
1960s when she began her own fieldwork among the Baule. Could the cases of "art for art's
sake" reported by Himmelheber in the 1930s be possibly due to French colonial influence, as
Adrian Gerbrands surmises? Incidentally, the late Philip Ravenhill has drawn attention to the
impact of colonialism on Baule statues representing otherworldly spouses (blolo bian/bla). For
many of them now wear European dresses to reflect fashion, aspiration, prestige and
modernity. Susan Vogel illustrates some (pp. 71, 83, 253, 254, 257): one female spirit spouse
figure (blolo bla) wears a yellow brassiere, while a male spirit spouse figure (blolo bian) is
dressed in a blue French suit. The caption for the female figure (p. 83) indicates that such works
might be made either for sale to foreigners or to modern Baule to decorate their houses. The
male figure (p. 254) wears "city clothes" because "he had a salaried job" (p. 255). In the absence
of any other information or contextual analysis, one is left with an impression (which may very
well be erroneous) that the author is more interested in the traditional, so-called "classical"
Baule pieces and less in the modernization process within the canon.
According to Ravenhill, the modernization of statuary form by the introduction of Western
clothes and the attendant accessories of shoes, hats, watches, and the like has distressed some
art critics in the same way that the use of Western clothes by the younger generation has
distressed some Baule elders. The facile criticism of modern Baule statuary in pejorative terms
of degeneration finds an echo in the attitudes of some irascible old men who assume that young
men, for example, wear modern dress simply to hide their physical faults, saying of them "they
take their skinny scrawny legs and put them in pants...." Both these attitudes--of the art critic
and of the social critic--demonstrate a basic conservatism which would deny innovation and
changing social realities; but the similarity of views points out the relation between the
aesthetics of art and the aesthetics of the artist's patrons. It is my contention that the
development of Baule statuary art throughout this century shows an increasing preoccupation
with modern fashions that is part of a wider social movement toward the exploitation of new
cultural and technical forms introduced by the crisis of colonization--in brief, that Baule art
exhibits the same emulative processes as the wider society.

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


In short, from the illustrations published in this book, it appears as if Baule sculpture has
remained relatively unchanged since pre-colonial times--contrary to what we already know
about the Baule and their response to increasing Westernization and urbanization. Admittedly,
it would be unfair to expect the author to squeeze into a single volume all the results of more
than two decades of fieldwork and museum research on Baule sculpture. Let us hope that she
will fully address the issue of modernization in a future publication. But, given the richness of
the materials and the rare insights of the author, Baule: African Art/Western Eyes is a
groundbreaking work. It is a monumental contribution not only to the art history and
anthropology of the Baule, but also to the study of African and non-Western art as a whole.
Despite its intimidating size, the book is a pleasure to read; it is written in a very simple yet
sophisticated language, free of academic pretensions and jargon. Both the text and illustrations
complement one another. The field photographs are superb; the author's interpretations,
remarkable. The book is extremely useful, well conceived, well produced, and highly

Babatunde Lawal
Department of Art History
Commonwealth University

Rebel and Saint. Julia A. Clancy-Smith. University of California Press, 1997.
Pp. 370, $16.95 paper

Julia A. Clancy-Smith's Rebel and Saint was published by the University of California press
in cloth in 1994 and in paperback in 1997. This highly detailed study of several nineteenth-
century scholars and resistance leaders in Algeria and Tunisia has already received several
excellent reviews, and deservedly so. Its availability in paperback renders it a potential book for
assignment in graduate or undergraduate courses, so this review will analyze its strengths and
weaknesses to determine its usefulness in courses on the history of North Africa, Islam and
Rebel and Saint is a well-researched book which makes an important contribution to the
history of colonialism and resistance, and the role of Islam in both. Rebel and Saint follows what
Clancy-Smith describes as "a biographical case study approach" (p.5). It focuses on "religious
notables" such as Bu Ziyan (d. 1849), Muhammad ibn Abd Allah (d. 1863), Mustafa ibn 'Azzuz
(c. 1800-1866), Muhammad Ibn Abi al-Qasim (1823-97) and his daughter Lalla Zaynab (c. 1850 -
1904), as well as the key figures associated with these individuals. The quality of these
narratives makes Rebel and Saint a very useful resource for any historian of Islamic Africa, and
the Maghrib in particular.
Clancy-Smith's text contrasts two anti-colonial rebels, Bu Ziyan and Muhammad ibn Abd
Allah, with later, more circumspect religious leaders from the same region. Bu Ziyan led a small
and ill-fated rebellion that ended when the French executed him and his family in a Saharan
oasis named Za'atsha in 1849. Muhammad ibn Abd Allah, who also claimed to be the Mahdi,
led a rebellion from Warqala, attacking the French and their supporters at Tuqqurt, Zab Qibli,

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


Wadi Righ and al-Aghwat between 1851 and the end of 1854. In 1855 Muhammad ibn Abd
Allah took refuge in Tunisia. Later he retreated into the central Sahara, and was eventually
captured by the French in 1861 after moving north again to Warqala (176-212). Clancy-Smith
compared these rebellions with the subsequent, non-violent "resistance" of Mustafa ibn 'Azzuz,
Muhammad Ibn Abi al-Qasim and his daughter Lalla Zaynab. In this regard Clancy-Smith's
analysis is informed by the work of E. P. Thompson, James C. Scott and the other scholars of
subtle resistance. Rebel and Saint makes an important contribution to this growing body of
literature, which seeks to reevaluate the political behavior of colonized peoples who apparently
accommodated or collaborated with their colonizers.
Although Rebel and Saint achieves very much, it does suffer from two main limitations. The
first is that Clancy-Smith relied almost exclusively on French sources. She was keenly aware
that her reliance on colonial sources did not allow her to do a "history from below", so she
compensated by working very hard to read these sources from a North African point of view.
The second limitation derives from one of the book's strengths. Clancy-Smith included so much
narrative detail for so many cases that she left herself little space to deal with the complexities of
any particular case. While Rebel and Saint is innovative and imaginative on several fronts, it is
nevertheless a somewhat "traditional" historical narrative.
Clancy-Smith does manage to weave into her stories elements of rumor, collective memory,
and gender (p. 9), but these issues are largely tangential to her main argument, and become lost
in the broader narrative. Indeed, in regard to a succession dispute between Muhammad Ibn Abi
al-Qasim's daughter and nephew, Clancy-Smith argues that gender was irrelevant for the
Algerians, although extremely relevant for the French (pp. 235-40). This unpersuasive argument
seems to result from her reliance on French sources and her understandable sympathy for the
colonized. Similarly, Rebel andSaint does not explore the other social variables that complicated
resistance and collaboration in the nineteenth-century Maghrib. In particular, it does not
examine the politics of ethnicity between Berber and Arab North Africans, which the French
colonial policy tried to exploit. Nor does it examine race, slavery, or servility-- all of which were
important aspects of Saharan and North African societies, and all of which received colonial
attention. Finally,although most of the stories that Rebel and Saint recounts take place in the
Sahara, Clancy-Smith does not give serious attention to the relationship between settled and
nomadic peoples. In fact, she generally uses the word "tribes" to refer to Saharan nomads, a
word that obscures more than it reveals.
The principal contribution of Clancy-Smith's work is in the history of culture and
resistance. Rebel and Saint also challenges the "conventional periodization" of Algerian history
by dating the beginning of non-violent protest to the 1849 revolt in Za'atsha, rather than to the
1870s-- but this is a relatively minor argument (pp. 248-60). By contrast, the phenomenon of
non-violent cultural resistance is relevant to the history of every place and time. The colonial
sources hint at the power of Islamic ideas and symbols, and the informal and formal ways that
non-elites used Islam to influence the local elite, as well as the French. But colonial sources are
inadequate to elaborate these processes, and as Clancy-Smith points out, the indigenous sources
that are readily available in state archives do not reveal much about these subtle politics either.
Thus Rebel and Saint indirectly suggests the necessity of using other sources to elaborate this
history, in particular local oral literature and family libraries. Oral history will provide clues, if
not specific evidence, about the intimate politics of Islam and resistance. Much of the poetry and

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


song mentioned in Clancy-Smith's colonial sources are no doubt still remembered and
performed today, and often by women. A potentially richer source will be found in the family
libraries of descendants of the nineteenth-century resisters, many still living in the region. If the
libraries in the northern Sahara are like those that I know in the southern Sahara, they will often
be disorganized, stored in trunks, or the corners of storerooms. And the owners will be
protective of them, not just against the intrusion of foreigners, but also of local people. It
certainly will not be easy to win the trust of family archivists and local poets, but the potential
reward is great.
Rebel and Saint is an important contribution to the history of Northwest Africa, and I
recommend it to all scholars interested in Islamic, Saharan, or North African history. It would
also be appropriate for assignment in graduate courses, although it is too detailed and narrow
for most undergraduate courses.

Timothy Cleaveland
Department of History
University of Florida

Ade Ajayi, ed., General History of Africa, Volume VI, Africa in the Nineteenth Century until
the 1880s. Paris, Oxford, Berkeley: UNESCO, James Currey and University of California
Press, 1998, pp. xxiii + 356. Paper $16.95.

This is an abridged edition of Volume VI of the much-acclaimed UNESCO General History
of Africa. Conceived in the 1960s, the last volume was published in 1993. Since then, the project
continues to be pursued in the publication of abridged editions, with volumes 1, 2, 4 and 7 now
in print. Some volumes are also being translated into a number of African languages. There is
no effort to update the research, with the result that many findings and approaches reflect the
thinking of the 1960s and 1970s.
The abridged edition under review shares the good qualities of an ambitious edited
volume. It covers a number of subjects. Arranged mainly by regions, developments in the
history of Africa are reviewed, with a focus on the leading historical themes. The Mfecane and
the occupation of South Africa lead the themes in Southern Africa; jihads, warfare, and trade
dominate the treatment of West Africa; trade and religion are the focus for East Africa; internal
development and European contacts are treated in the north. Two overview chapters by the
editor, consisting of an introduction and conclusion, summarize the major events. A chapter on
the African diaspora and another on the world economy are the two major free-standing
themes. The period covered is from ca. 1800 to the mid-1880s.
The abridged edition ignores footnotes, but the wide range of sources in the bibliography
provide the reader with additional literature to consult. Unlike the preceding volumes in the
series, however, the sources for the nineteenth century are more numerous and reliable, a fact
reflected in the assured statements and interpretations in many of the chapters. As the
bibliography is not arranged by subjects or chapters, beginners may find it difficult to use.
Those seeking evaluation of the sources may have to consult the original edition. All the authors

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


are respectable and distinguished scholars, with many of them using this opportunity to repeat
the findings of their previous studies. If the intention is to simplify history, the book achieves its
stated goal. It is readable, although the overall picture remains somewhat unclear, in spite of the
editor's summary of the events of the nineteenth century. Many of the illustrations are well
produced and useful, although more maps would have enhanced readability and presentation.
As a classroom text, teachers would have to work many of the chapters into individualized
syllabi. Following the arrangement in the book could provide an excessive amount of
information that students may find either boring or cumbersome. The general reader will profit
from reading the chapters, as they are more detailed than those found in most recent
encyclopedias. For specialists, it would be best to read the original volume. The chapters are
written from what may be called, for want of a better term, an "African perspective." African
societies and the activities of their leaders dominate all the chapters, in spite of the great
interactions with European traders, explorers, missionaries and colonizers. The intention is to
use the chapters to show that African societies were not static, and that the changes of the
period owed much to African initiatives rather than to contact with Europeans. In the
introduction, the editor points out that many of the changes of the nineteenth century represent
the continuation of events in earlier historical periods. Among the notable events of the century
were demographic and population movements in different parts of Africa, an increasing
European encroachment, improvements in agricultural systems, and a tendency toward
centralized power structures, which promoted the emergence of many warriors and new states.
It is indeed hard, if not impossible, to underestimate the European factor. The book closes on
the eve of European conquest, but it shows the trends toward the incorporation of Africa into
the world system. European commercial activities had profound effects on domestic
production, slavery, competition for trade routes, and the supplies of guns and gunpowder,
which in turn affected the nature of domestic warfare. An African elite benefited from the trade
contacts by making, amassing, and gaining access to firearms to consolidate their hegemony. As
chapter two shows, commercial relations led to the restructuring of many African states. While
it appears a bit out of place, chapter 28 on the African diaspora examines the migrations out of
Africa before and during the nineteenth century and the implications of these migrations for
other parts of the world. The chapter offers a fascinating discussion of the back-to-Africa
movement by blacks in North America.
This isan important book. The authors perceptively outline the major events in nineteenth
century Africa, and they also excel in providing useful details and perspectives on a variety of
issues. Advocates and critics of an Africa-centered approach will find more ammunition here to
support their conflicting positions. The student audience will find the book comprehensive
enough, while specialists will benefit by having a readable book to recommend for the pursuit
of comparative studies. Above all, the book justifies itself as a worthy example of international
collaboration, a great meeting of minds of Africanists located in different continents.

Toyin Falola
Department of History
The University of Texas at Austin

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


Historical Dictionary of Chad. 3rd ed. Samuel Decalo. Lanham, Md. Scarecrew Press, 1997;
$95 Hardcover.

Historical Dictionary of Zambia. John J. Grotpeter, Brian V.
Siegel, and James R. Pletcher. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 1998; $95 hardcover.

Historical Dictionary of Burkina Faso. Daniel M. McFarland and Lawrence
A. Rupley. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 1998. 95$, hardcover.

There are currently seventy-five titles in the African Historical Dictionaries series published
by Scarecrow Press. Jon Woronoff, the series editor, appears recently to have undertaken a
concerted effort to update some of the older titles in the series by releasing a significant number
of second and third editions. Given the decade or two that has passed since the earlier editions
were published, and given the many important changes that have occurred in the politics and
economies of these countries since that time, Woronoff's efforts are well warranted. While these
updated volumes are expensive (at $95 each hardcover, academic libraries are likely to be the
primary market), they represent an important informational service to the scholarly community.
The improved legibility of the new editions over the small, serif typefaces popular in academic
publishing during the 1980s is in itself much appreciated. In short, these titles will be useful for
Africanist scholars as well as others who may need a source they can consult to quickly place
their readings about Africa into an understandable context.
These are not sexy titles. They are not written on the cutting edge of academic theory, nor
are they likely to be cited with any frequency by one's colleagues in heated discussions over
coffee or beer. Rather, this series provides a valuable if unassuming set of reference tools. Each
title is the result of a painstaking collection of facts by one or more committed scholars who will
not often be cited for their efforts. Nevertheless, each title brings important background
information to anyone willing to spend a few moments to learn the meaning of an unfamiliar
term while reading about the history, politics, or economy of a relatively unfamiliar place.
Individual volumes are conveniently arranged. Included with each dictionary is a variety
of supplementary sources that assist the reader in becoming oriented to the country of interest.
There are introductory tables of common abbreviations, acronyms, and basic demographic
patterns. Notes on transliteration and spelling issues are included where required. Maps also
are included to orient the reader geographically and to demonstrate the approximate
boundaries of historical states, agricultural regions, bureaucratic divisions, ethnic distributions,
transportation corridors and important towns. One may find a list of major ethnic groups, a
chronology of major political and historic events, an extensive (although not annotated)
bibliography for further reading, and several appendices as the author deems necessary.
To provide a few examples, in the case of Burkina Faso, the volume lists the ministers and
other important members of the government through fifteen regime changes from 1978-1996.
Samuel Decalo's bibliography of Chad is more than 150 pages long (the other two volumes
reviewed here include bibliographies of close to 100 pages each). Even so, Decalo explicitly
concentrates on the English language literature (which, he notes, has become available only
since the 1970s), rather than on the much more numerous French language sources, and he
omits much of the ephemeral literature included in the second edition. His introductory

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


bibliographic notes provide a useful overview of the specific quality and research utility of
various sources to particular fields of inquiry. He then outlines the topical sections into which
the bibliography itself is divided. A final example is the Zambia title's chronology, which begins
in 123,000 B.C. It runs over eighteen pages long, with entries most thoroughly covering the time
period since the early nineteenth century (there are forty pages of chronology in the Burkina
volume, with a similar concentration on the past 200 years). Included are entries ordering in
time the various missionary and explorer activities, changes in political organization, political
parties and offices, wars and other conflicts, treaty signing, economic events, and vital dates of
associated individual's lives.
While these volumes are not intended as sources for looking up basic facts or statistics, the
dictionaries, along with all of the supplementary sections, are designed to help readers become
familiar with the relevant context in which facts must intellectually be placed. They are
particularly good as companion resources to other works. For example, if one is reading about
Chad and runs across a reference to SONASUT, this source provides more than a simple
definition of the acronym; the entry also includes a short summary of the history, industrial
capacity, and financial background of this Chadian national sugar enterprise. Military,
economic, historical and political personalities, organizations, resources and events are all
similarly described and placed in an understandable context to make one's reading about an
unfamiliar place less tedious and more informative.
What makes this series unique is that it is directed not at users searching for particular
facts, but rather at readers of other works who wish to understand unfamiliar terms within a
particular historical, political, and economic context. I recommend these titles, together with the
critically annotated Clio Press (Oxford, England and Santa Barbara, CA) World Bibliographical
Series titles, to anyone conducting research in any discipline who is not thoroughly familiar
with the specific country addressed in their research. Together, these reference tools provide
the intermediate level researcher with a context for understanding current readings, as well as a
wealth of suggested paths to additional readings. While the quality surely varies somewhat
over the seventy-five titles published in this series over the past twenty or more years, its
usefulness as a whole is firmly established, and the current effort to update older titles will be
welcomed by a new generation of Africanist scholars.
Published critical response to the African Historical Dictionaries series is by no means all
positive. For two alternate views, see Henige (1979) and McIlwaine (1997).


Henige, David. 1979. "African historical dictionaries through the looking glass." Africana
Journal 10 (2):10-128.
McIlwaine, J. H. 1997. "African Historical Dictionaries re-visited." African Research and
Documentation: Journal of the African Studies Association of the UK and the Standing
Conference on Library Materials on Africa, 75:50-56.

Daniel A. Reboussin
George A. Smathers Libraries
University of Florida

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


Multi-Party Politics In Kenya. David Throup & Charles Hornsby. Athens: Ohio University
Press. 1998. Xii+660pp. Paper, $29.95; cloth $39.95.

David Throup and Charles Hornsby tell a sad and depressing story beautifully. Multi-party
politics in Kenya is after all a story of murder, mayhem, gerrymandering, financial scandals,
election rigging, unprincipled calculations of tribal and self-interest, defections, political
resurrections and reincarnations. There are no heroes. It is a tragic farce in which none of the
actors possesses the moral courage to do the right thing.
Focusing on the historic multi-party elections of December 29, 1992, the authors give a very
capable history of Kenya's experience with pluralism. They rely on their first-hand experience
in Kenya during the 1992 elections, the reports of domestic and international observers, and the
Kenyan dailies. If it is true, as the authors insist, that relatively little scholarly attention has been
given to multi-party politics in Kenya and Africa, then this book is a trailblazer. The sources are
solid, the analysis rigorous, and the conclusions are consistent with the evidence.
The picture that this book paints of President Moi is not likely to be confused with the
African statesman Andrew Morton describes in his recent book. Moi has described himself as a
Professor of Politics, and in this book he indeed comes off as a professor, although in the
tradition of a Machiavelli rather than an Einstein. From the earliest days of his presidency, Moi
and his ruling party KANU were opposed to a multi-party democracy. They used every means
at their disposal to derail the formation and registration of opposition parties-- detention
without trial, the provincial administration, the registrar of societies, the attorney-general and
courts of laws, even the police and hired KANU youthwingers. Only in December 1991, under
intense domestic and international pressure, did Moi and KANU reluctantly agree to the
legalization of opposition parties.
If Moi and KANU were reluctant converts to pluralism, the new opposition politicians all
had their faults. When Kenneth Matiba and Charles Rubia launched the campaign for multi-
party democracy in May 1990, there was much hope. Predictably, they were detained without
trial. Their efforts, however, resulted in the formation of the Forum for the Restoration of
Democracy (FORD) a year later. Within another year this broad coalition (and later, opposition
party) would disintegrate into FORD-Kenya (led by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga) and FORD-Asili
(led by Kenneth Matiba). The Kenya National Congress (KNC) would spin off from FORD-Asili
and Kenya's erstwhile Vice President Mwai Kibaki would form his Democratic Party (DP).
Eight political parties nominated presidential candidates for the 1992 election. The opposition
politicians did not, and maybe would not and could not, cooperate to fight a common enemy.
Throup and Hornsby make three main arguments. The first is that Kenyan voters have
always rewarded politicians who could guarantee maendeleo (literally, development, but
usually understood as patronage of state resources). The second is that in the minds of voters
and politicians alike, ethnic calculations have always outweighed any ideological
considerations. Lastly, the euphoria of pluralism created unrealistic expectations of change in
the era of multi-party competition. The authors convincingly argue that Moi and KANU were
determined to cling to power by any means, while the opposition politicians lacked any guiding
political principle on the basis of which they could unite to unseat the ruling party. In the

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


manner of a tragedy, Moi and the opposition deserve each other. The citizens, too, come in for
blame because of their blindness to the common good and for voting strictly along ethnic lines.
In dedicating the book to the people of Kenya, the authors hope the people may find the leaders
they deserve. One may conclude by the end of the book that, despite all the evidence the
authors adduce about KANU's manipulation of the polls and rigging the count in the 1992
elections, the people indeed got the leaders they deserve.
This book is an indispensable record of Kenyan history. The authors have succeeded in
providing a detailed background for understanding not only the 1992 elections, but also post-
1997 Kenya. The proliferation of parties has continued. In the December 1997 general elections,
27 opposition parties took part. More than a year later, Moi is yet to choose a Vice President. Dr.
Richard Leakey, founder of the SAFINA party, resigned his seat in parliament to take back his
old job as Director of Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) under the KANU government. Raila
Odinga, leader of the National Development Party of Kenya (NDPK), is leading his party in a
near-formal cooperation with KANU. There was a historic parliamentary debate on a "no
confidence" motion against Moi and KANU in 1998. Raila Odinga led the vote against the
motion. Paul Muite is under a cloud for extorting millions of shillings from Kamlesh Pattni of
the Goldenberg Scandal. KANU is stronger than it was before pluralism. The authors are right
in their assessment that this state of affairs is not going to change in the foreseeable future.
The book has no major faults. There are a few misspellings of people and place names.
None of this detracts from the cogent analysis and sound conclusions. This is a book that will be
invaluable to Africanists, and indeed anyone with an interest in African politics. More
importantly, it is a historical record that should be examined by Kenyans interested in the
future of their homeland. Kenyans deserve better leadership. This book should remind them.

Samuel Oluoch Imbo
Department of Philosophy
Hamline University

Christianity in South Africa: A Political, Social, and Cultural History. Richard Elphick and
Rodney Davenport, eds. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1997,
480pp. Cloth $50, Paper $25.

This impressive book has much to recommend it. A collection of papers drawn from a
conference held in South Africa in 1992, the book gives empirical information on the history of
different churches and the history of Christianity in various communities in South Africa. More
importantly, the book jolts the standard narrative of South African twentieth century history
which has tended to be conceptualized as a story of the rise of racial capitalism, as a story of the
triumph of Afrikaner ethnicity, or as a story of the mobilization of black nationalism and the
radicalization of black South Africans. In accordance with the editors' claim in their
introduction, some chapters convincingly make the case that in order to fully grapple with
politics (perhaps especially in twentieth century South Africa) one has to appreciate the

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


important role Christianity played in the lives and beliefs of politicians and their followers, both
black and white.
The book is divided into five sections: The Transplanting of Christianity; The Churches of
Modern South Africa; Christianity in South African Subcultures; Christianity and the Creative
Arts; and Christianity, Power and Race. Since this is an edited collection, various sources are
used including architecture, musical scores, indigenous poetry and oral tradition, as well as
primary and secondary missionary and other written archival sources. The first section recounts
the establishment of Christianity from the seventeenth through the nineteenth century in what
became South Africa. Chapters deal with the rise of Xhosa prophets, Christianity among the
Tswana and Sotho, the Zulu and Swazi, as well as the spread of Christianity in Transorangia.
Jonathan N. Gerstner's chapter offers insights into the ways in which the theological
underpinning of reformed Christianity helped foster white ethnicity. He argues that the Dutch
Reformed Church drew on a belief in "internal holiness" which conceptualized all children of
believers, that is Europeans, as being redeemed but which viewed indigenous inhabitants as
unredeemed, indeed possibly beyond redemption. The chapter by Elizabeth Elbourne and
Robert Ross examines different strands of missionary activity in South Africa. The authors
demonstrate the success of the mission enterprise to the descendants of slaves and Khoi in the
Cape, but point to the failure or inability of the missionaries to offer more than spiritual
incorporation. Irving Hexham and Karla Poewe's discussion of Transorangia interestingly
discusses the similarities between Boer folk religion and some indigenous African religious
concepts. This consideration of the influence of indigenous religion on Christian communities,
rather than only the imposition of Christianity on African communities distinguishes this
chapter from others in the book and points to very fruitful areas of further enquiry.
Part Two discusses different churches and theological tendencies in twentieth century
South Africa. Its chapters cover the Afrikaans churches and apartheid, English-speaking
churches and their imperial cultural heritage, Lutheran activity, the Roman Catholic Church,
the African Initiated Churches and, finally, the Pentecostal churches. All provide solid and
useful empirical information on the specific church under review, but Johann Kinghorn's
excellent chapter does more. It most fully realizes the aims of the editors to demonstrate the
intersection of Christianity and wider political culture in South Africa. Kinghorn argues and
demonstrates through consideration of various Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) texts that the
DRC adopted a "racially defined nationalism" which helped unify different "currents of
thought: nationalism, the neo-Calvinism of Abraham Kuyper, and racism" (p144; p142).
Part Three draws the reader into fascinating discussions of Christianity in mining
communities, Indian communities, women's Christian organizations, and of relations between
Jews and Christians. Robert Shell discusses slaves and freed peoples' relationship to Islam and
Christianity in the Cape Colony during slavery and under emancipation. Shell's sensitive study
draws careful distinctions between the experiences of slaves and free in town and countryside
and argues that while Islam was a prime site of resistance to slavery, it declined in importance
as emigration and Christian prosletyzing successfully made South Africa a Christian country.
In a chapter on white and black women's Christian organizations, Deborah Gaitskell
demonstrates that even within patriarchal religious organizations, women could forge
organizations which gave them much autonomy. Tshido Maloka's chapter, which starts Part
Three, illuminates both the cultural worlds of the mines and the reasons why miners responded

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999


ambivalently to missionaries: on the one hand some miners resented missionaries' attempts to
ban liquor and dancing; on the other, learning to read at a missionary literacy class promised a
better job and greater security on the mines.
Part Four is short, only three chapters. Jeff Opland discusses the potency of Christian
symbols within poetry in South Africa. While Opland might over stress the "unfettered" quality
of African oral speech, the chapter introduced this reader to poems and literature I intend to
introduce into my African history courses.
In Part Five the stated aim of the book to show the centrality of Christianity to a study of
South African history and politics is most fully realized. Wallace Mills asserts that
postmillennial thinking--the optimistic belief that the world is progressing and getting closer to
God--significantly influenced the non-racial and liberal trends within African nationalism, at
least until the shock of Sharpeville.
In what is probably the best chapter in the book, Richard Elphick argues along similar
lines, that belief in the ideology of the Social Gospel--the belief that elites should actively work
for social justice in the service of eventual equality between people--powerfully shaped African
nationalism and white liberal politics for much of this century. Elphick demonstrates that the
ideas of Booker T. Washington of the Tuskegee Institute, which asserted black people's power to
organize and educate themselves as well as the importance of cooperation between the
educated black elite and liberal whites, influenced both the African National Congress and
white liberals, although the power of the Social Gospel had waned by the 1970s. Elphick argues,
convincingly, that the philosophy of the Social Gospel" did inspire a dissenting tradition of
faith in human equality ... that, once purged of its paternalism, inspired powerful strands of
resistance in the era of apartheid" [p369].
Elphick and Davenport should be proud of their achievement. They have produced
nothing less than a standard reference book on Christianity in South Africa as well as an
excellent academic discussion of the significance of Christianity to South African history.
Certainly there are other ways such a book might have been organized. This reviewer found the
organization of some of the chapters around seemingly unproblematic or historic ethnic
categories of Indian/English-speaking whites etc. a little too simplistic. Chapters which
analyzed how Christianity helped produce certain ethnic identifications and communities, or
could borrow from indigenous religious concepts pave a way forward. But this is a very good
book, well suited to both a popular audience interested in religious life and history as well as
students and scholars of African and South African history.

Pamela Scully
Department of History
Kenyon College

African Studies Quarterly I Volume 2, Issue 4 I 1999

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