Wednesday, July 22, 2009


News comes from South Africa that people in the "townships" are restless at what they perceive is President Jacob Zuma's failure to deliver basic services to them, which for those of us in the U.S. means essentials like electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing. Such promises formed a a cornerstone of his campaign and though he's been in office for less than 100 days (I believe), some people are beginning to express their frustration. The result is that some protests have arisen and some have turned modestly violent.


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It's easy for a westerner to think that these kinds of reports are Africa. They're not--or they're not all (just like here in the States). Africa is an amazing place that continually unfolds itself in unexpected to a westerner like me. To begin to get a feel for it, I highly recommend Richard Dowden, Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles, which was recommended to me by my good friend Wilhelm Weber. See There is a review of the book here, but this is a volume that is worth the investment to read carefully.

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