ilagardien at ilagardien at
Tue Nov 30 12:47:31 MST 1999


I am a South African and a subscriber to your list. Due to work pressure I have
not made any contributions to discussions on this list; I am also on other
lists, Progressive Sociologists, International Political Economy etc. I tend to
make quick comments on the latter forum, only. I am, also, a student/scholar of
the International Politics of Africa  and did an MSc in this at the London
School of Economics.

In general, I agree with your short summary on Africa: it is indeed difficult to
be Panglossian about Africa, perhaps more so than the whole world. The numbers,
the geography, the climate, the political structures, the political economies
and the exogenous pressures (international institutions, foreign governments)
are enormous.

Basil Davidson's work is arguably the best, but for anyone interested in more
detailed political economy, read, Michael Barrat Brown's Africa's Choices: After
30 years of the World Bank. (penguin in England and Westview publishers in USA)
And then go to the more philosophical and political work of Fanon, Cabral,
Wallerstein etc

I will gladly lead a discussion on Africa if people are interested.

About Gates' documentary on Africa. It was profoundly racist (a veritable feast
of US perceptions, perspectives and conceptions on race) a misguided,
ill-informed and deeply offensive analysis - if one can call it that - of "the
origins" of the ethnicity, anthropological, historical, cultural and traditional
origins of African-Americans.... it reduces an entire continent of more than 50
countries to a cultural/political/historical stereotype and then, of course, it
was coloured with meaningless bourgeoise sentimentalities.

Good Luck

Ismail Lagardien
Office of the Chief Economist and
Senior Vice President of
Development Economics
The World Bank
Washington DC

202 473 9603

Visit the World Bank Chief Economist page at:

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