Between 11 June and 11 July this year, the Republic of South Africa was in the spotlight of world attention as the host nation for the World Cup. But the more typical media portrayal of Africa is one of crisis, emergency and failure. Little attention is paid to the success stories – stable nation-states with growing economies and functioning democracies – and the rather different sets of problems they face.
Mark Hannam and Jo Wolff will talk about a number of recent books, which seek to explain some of Africa’s past and present problems, and which offer suggestions about what might be done to make a better future. They will refer to several books, including Adam Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost, Richard Dowden’s Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles, Paul Collier’s The Bottom Billion, and Dimbisa Moyo’s Dead Aid.
They will also talk about their own, recently published book Southern Africa: 2020 Vision – based on a conference held in Windhoek, Namibia last summer – which takes a look at public policy priorities for Southern Africa over the next decade.
Mark Hannam lives in Hackney. He is Chair of Fair Finance, a London based microfinance company, and is also a member of the Board of Governors of the University of East London.
Jo Wolff lives in (Greater) Hackney (EC1). He is Professor Philosophy at University College, London and Director of the UCL Centre for Philosophy, Justice and Health.