The Curse of Berlin
Africa After the Cold War
by Adekeye Adebajo
About The Book
At the 1884-1885 Conference of Berlin, a collection of states, mostly European, established the rules for the partition of Africa. The consequences of their decision had immense historical and structural implications apparent in the domestic and international behavior of the continent today. The “Curse,” as the conference came to be called, is the grounding theme of Adekeye Adebajo’s trenchant study, though his guiding focus is the development of Africa after the Cold War.
Adebajo opens with Africa’s quest for security, featuring essays on the continent’s political institutions, such as the African Union and subregional bodies. He follows with chapters on the United Nations and its operations in Africa, particularly its political, peacekeeping, and socioeconomic missions. Adebajo includes two rare profiles of the secretary generals who worked with the UN from 1992 to 2006: Egypt’s Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Ghana’s Kofi Annan. Africa’s pursuit of representative leadership informs the next section, with essays examining the hegemonic influence of South Africa, Nigeria, China, France, and the United States. Concluding chapters discuss Africa’s search for unity, exploring the direct and indirect impact of Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Kwame Nkrumah, Cecil Rhodes, Barack Obama, and Mahatma Gandhi. Adebajo also conducts a comparative assessment of the African and European Unions.
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