There is a general consensus that Africa entered the twenty-first century plagued by multifaceted crises of underdevelopment evidenced by, among other things, abject poverty, the inadequacy of basic human needs, social stresses and tensions in the various major urban centers, environmental degradation and the devastating effects of violent civil conflicts. While there is no doubt that slavery and colonialism have contributed to the continent’s predicament, the failure of the neo-colonial state, its custodians and the other sectors of the African ruling classes to formulate and implement a pro-people, pro-development and pro-democracy national development agenda is the proximate cause of the region’s precarious conditions.
Clearly, in order to reverse the negative effects of Africa’s peripheral status and role in the global order during the previous millennia and to set the continent on the path of holistic democracy and development, the neo-colonial state must be democratically reconstituted. From this foundation, the region’s constituent states would need to design, inter alia, policies that seek to address and fulfill the basic human needs of their citizens.
Against this background, AFRICA AND THE THIRD MILLENNIUM is designed to contribute to the serious search for concrete solutions to Africa’s many problems. Accordingly, the book tackles some of the frontier issues—the albatross of the neo-colonial state, democratization, economic development, urbanization and social development, environmental degradation and violent civil conflicts—confronting the continent. Each chapter examines the nature and dynamics of the challenge, and more importantly offers some policy-relevant suggestions for harnessing Africa’s vast material and human resources so that the peoples of Africa can live in a region where meaningful democracy—holistic and empowerment-based—is practiced, and people-centered development is pursued..
ABOUT THE EDITOR
GEORGE KLAY KIEH, Jr. is Professor of Political Science and African Studies at Grand Valley State University, Michigan, USA, and Senior Research Fellow in the Program in Ethnic and Federal Studies at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Earlier, he served as Dean of International Affairs at Grand Valley State University and Chair and Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Also, he was a candidate in Liberia’s 2005 Presidential Elections. He has published quite extensively on various issues relating to peace and conflict studies, security studies, African Politics—the state, democratization, among others—political economy, foreign policy and international cooperation. His most recent books are Reconstituting the State in Africa (co-edited with Pita Ogaba Agbese); Beyond State Failure and Collapse: Making the State Relevant in Africa (edited); and Liberia’s First Civil War: The Crises of Underdevelopment.