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GEORGE J. SEFA DEI AND PAUL BANAHENE ADJEI
Many books have been written about Africa, so the obvious question is: Why another book about Africa? What is this book saying about Africa that has not already been said in other scholarly works? The continent over the years has been disserted, discussed, and heavily analyzed and theorized. The words ‘risk’ and ‘crisis’ have been synonymous with Africa. However, beyond stories of tragedies, failures, and sadness there are other stories of hope. Stories of possibilities, agency, and resistance are waiting to be told. So we ask: How does one write and think differently about Africa? What are the theoretical and methodological frameworks that can best tell Africa’s stories in their complex and nuanced forms? This collection will seek some answers and it is hoped begin a critical discussion.
The book is written from the perspectives of field development practitioners, researchers, and social theorists who have been involved in different capacities of doing ‘development’ in African contexts. These contributors are writing from their experiences and knowledge bases as a starting point to recast, rethink, and reframe ‘African development.’ The book is especially timely given the relatively recent controversy over KONY 2012 and how altruism and a ‘do-good feeling’ shape conventional thinking of ‘development.’ As authors, scholars, and researchers on Africa, we weigh in on the raging debates about ‘African development,’ paying attention to the ‘anti-development’ thesis as well.
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