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AFRIMA Celebrates International Women’s Day

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AFRIMA Celebrates International Women's Day

In solidarity with the United Nations International Women’s Day 2021 (IWD 2021) themed as “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 World” and the offshoot #ChooseToChallenge campaign, the All African Music Awards, AFRIMA, on Monday, March 8, is joining the rest of the world to honour the strength of women, celebrate their diverse social, economic, cultural and political achievements and call for accelerated gender parity in general and better remuneration for women in the culture industry in Africa.

IWD 2021 turns the spotlight on the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in creating and sustaining the fight against
COVID-19, their roles in shaping an equal future in the recovery from the pandemic, while highlighting the underlying structural gender gaps
that still exist.

COVID-19 struck the world in December 2019 and distorted the dynamics of human relations. The pandemic revealed the institutional gaps in society and amplified the need to create systems, safe spaces and opportunities for women, and also brought to the fore the increasing importance of women representation in decision-making processes across all levels.

In her remarks, Music Executive and Member of the International Jury of AFRIMA for the Diaspora in North Africa, Ms. Hadja Kobele Keita, gave credit to women entrepreneurs shattering the glass ceiling in the music industry.

“At the very inception of the African music industry culture, women had always been at the forefront. However, we are grossly underpaid and underrepresented. In order to break barriers, women are creating their own path in the industry by starting their own companies and taking on more executive roles. It’s delicate but, for us to be heard in an industry overpowered by traditional norms, it is a significant step
forward.

What gives me hope for the future of women, particularly in the African music industry, is the fact that we have organizations like AFRIMA that are committed to pushing the agenda of empowering women in a society that tries to suppress our creativity”, Ms. Keita stated.

Similarly, the President & Executive Producer, AFRIMA, Mr. Mike Dada reaffirmed the commitment of the awards to being a contributor to
sustainable and impactful conversations that push for an integrated and a peaceful continent as well as for socio-economic growth for all Africans, equality for women and ending the violence against women.

“The IWD 2021 #ChoosetoChallenge campaign is complementary to one of our awards objectives of retelling the story of Africa from the perspective of our unique cultural heritage and creativity. AFRIMA emphasizes the importance of fair representation and women constitute an integral and important part of that. The fight for equality is our fight, and everyone’s fight.”

AFRIMA understands the importance of representation in the music and culture industry of Africa and remains committed to using its platform and network to promote gender balance, women empowerment and inclusiveness. Part of the awards’ Corporate Social Responsibility initiative campaigns geared towards promoting girl child empowerment for leadership roles through education have held in countries such as The Gambia, Ghana, and Nigeria. The continental awards project has also partnered with global advocacy institutions such as the ONE Campaign to promote and support female empowerment efforts.

READ ALSO: POEM IN HONOUR OF THE INTERNATIONAL WOMAN’S DAY-8TH MARCH 2021

“We welcome opportunities to lend our voice to conversations that inspire change as well as collaborations with the private and public sector in pushing these conversations to mainstream discussions among the youth generation who constitute the largest population in Africa and who will carry on the legacy of an equitable world”, Dada added.

The All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, in partnership with the African Union Commission, AUC, is an innovative awards platform that rewards excellence in the African music industry and showcases the cultural and entertainment uniqueness of Africa to the rest of the world.

The 2021 edition of the awards will not only celebrate the diverse talents and rich culture that is unique to Africa, but likewise honour the victims and survivors of the pandemic era currently facing the world.

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Falola, Yacob-Haliso Release New Book, African Refugees

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Falola, Yacob-Haliso Release New Book, African Refugees

Foremost African historian Professor Toyin Falola has released a new book in collaboration with Professor Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso.

The 590-page book titled African Refugees was published by Bloomington: Indiana University Press in 2023.

African Refugees is a comprehensive overview of the context, causes, and consequences of refugee lives, discussing issues, policies, and solutions for African refugees around the world. It covers overarching topics such as human rights, policy frameworks, refugee protection, and durable solutions, as well as less-studied topics such as refugee youths, refugee camps, LGBTQ refugees, urban refugees, and refugee women. It also takes on rare but emergent topics such as citizenship and the creativity of African refugees.

READ  ALSO: Musikilu Mojeed’s The Letterman: The Art Of Letter Writing And The Heart Of Gratitude (1)

African Refugees recognizes African agency and contributions in pursuit of solutions for African refugees over time but avoids the pitfalls of the colonial gaze—where refugees are perpetually pathologized and Africa is always the sole cause of its own problems—seeking to complicate these narratives by recognizing African refugee issues within exploitative global, colonial, and neo-colonial systems of power.

 

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REVIEW: Musikilu Mojeed’s The Letterman

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REVIEW: Musikilu Mojeed's The Letterman From Presidents To Soldiers To Nations (2)

 

From Presidents To Soldiers To Nations (2)

By Toyin Falola

The second part of the review of The Letterman focuses on the series of letters written by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to presidents, regional leaders, nations, and even military men. These letters are more critical and were either Obasanjo’s responses or observations on the nation’s affairs. Mojeed has effectively packed these letters in chapters three to twelve, focusing on military professionalism, democratic leadership affairs, and attacks on the politics under military rule in Nigeria. After this, the book has letters on the political games in Nigeria, focusing on tactical players, and in the last three chapters, the book pays attention to the letters Obasanjo wrote to the international community on Nigeria and African affairs. It is important to note that the letters in this part of the review reveal that Obasanjo’s letters are prominent and will be situated appropriately in the archives on Nigeria’s political history.

Reading these letters curated by Mojeed provides an insight into the mind of Obasanjo as a global leader who has educated and admonished international and local political leaders. As a result, the foundation of this review will be on the consistent and recurring nature of the difficulties of governance in Nigeria and Africa, historically and presently. Through his presidential letters, Obasanjo pushed the frontiers of individuals seeking to observe and build a working and new Nigerian nation and a truly prosperous African continent.

Chapters three to eight of The Letterman aptly and adequately present Obasanjo’s courage, patriotic commitment, and concept of discipline during the war years as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Third Marine Commando. He was ardent in ending despondency amongst soldiers, which he appropriately covered in his book, My Command. The letters in these chapters were written to soldiers concerning their welfare and mismanagement. Through the letters, the readers can perceive different shades of the commanding officer. In the war-front letters, Mojeed captures Obasanjo’s letters written to Lt. Col. Ariyo and Lt. Col. Aliyu, in which he referred to the latter’s letter as childish and baseless: “Your assertion of other brigades being better supported is childish. I have no favourite among the brigades and neither has any of my staff officers.”

Also, Obasanjo’s letters surveyed and demanded no nonsense from his officers. In one of his letters dated June 26, 1969, he fired a memo to Lt. Col. Alani Akinrinade, querying him for travelling out of his sector without permission. Interestingly, he titled it “Discipline Officers.” Obasanjo was detailed, and he wrote with so much assertion. The letter’s last paragraph aptly captures the tone: “Nothing short of this will I take. I regard your visit to Port Harcourt on 25 June ’69 without my permission or being informed as grossly improper. Neither was any of my staff officers informed.”

READ ALSO: Honouring Professor Akinjide Osuntokun

In contrast, the letters in Chapter 4 of The Letterman are more centred on the well-being and welfare of the soldiers, particularly during the war. The letters in this chapter are longer than those on discipline for the soldiers. They are more spontaneous, empathetic, and a general call for action across all regions of the country during the war. For instance, there is a different version of the Commander trying to look after the soldiers’ health and monitoring their ability to perform their duty. Mojeed titled this chapter “The Piercing Letters to Gowon.” It is important to point out that the word “piercing” suggests the letter’s depth of emotions, tone, and sympathy. In one of the paragraphs in his letter, Obasanjo wrote: “I would like to hint that the present high morale of both officers and men in the field is only being maintained and can only be sustained by the expectation of a dramatic move to end the war soonest.” Despite setting up disciplinary actions for the soldiers when they erred, Obasanjo maintained and ensured the general well-being of the soldiers so they could duly perform their duties for the nation.

Based on these, we see Obasanjo as a Commanding Officer who upholds the concept of discipline. Through his letters, he implied complete triumph, and despite the unlimited control over the soldiers, he still acted right and in an unbiased manner. The objective of the discipline was to effectively present an organized society that would enhance the nation’s orderliness, harmony, and progress. The portraiture of the character presented in the letters helps readers to accurately compare the notion of indiscipline and dedication, which are aspects of the discipline.

From his letters, it can be deduced that Obasanjo exemplifies dedication and demonstrates what should be preached and sold to people in service and governance to help properly promote work and present a dutiful image of the country. He is portrayed as having the will to work for others as eagerly as he was willing to work for himself and put out more efforts, which earned him self-respect and contentment at work. This attribute made him look at matters objectively, particularly during the war, as he was concerned about the inadequate funds to see out the war.

Obasanjo expressed his thoughts in the letter he angrily wrote to General Yakubu Gowon, the Commander-in-Chief, in July 1969. The tone of the letter was harsh and showed some level of disappointment, and he also gave his impression and thoughts about the situation, which proved his allegiance to the notion of citizenship, patriotism, and nationhood. This part will be densely quoted to capture this view: “It is rather disheartening that all of us in uniform seem not to be able to understand the implications and ramifications of the present civil war. I wrote to you in all seriousness and conscious of my duties and loyalty to you and to the country…It will be disastrous to save the economy and lose the war…We seemed to be confused in our mission and our aim. We give the impression of groping in the dark and wandering about aimlessly and purposelessly. I am sure we can do it with a sense of mission and a sense of direction. The country needs to be woken up from her slumber and apparent complacency.”

As part of embracing the idea of openness and being unbiased, Obasanjo allowed criticism even from junior soldiers. Mojeed captures this well in the letters Obasanjo wrote and received from General Abisoye, which helps the readers to understand the concept of duty and responsibility. On November 28, 1969, General Abisoye wrote to his Commander, fiercely objecting to the plan, which the author of the book quoted as thus: “You will recall that you did confirm to me that you were unaware that an almanack is being arranged for the Division.” It is understood that Obasanjo accepted the complaint without taking offence at the audacity of his junior. In his response, he even made a joke about his facial attractiveness.

READ  ALSO: Musikilu Mojeed’s The Letterman: The Art Of Letter Writing And The Heart Of Gratitude (1)

Additionally, Obasanjo’s ability to differentiate between duty and responsibility and make oneself accountable, even in the face of confrontation from a junior colleague, is noteworthy, as he promotes the idea of self-respect amongst workers, which should also be a quality in public service. Therefore, the attribute of respect for the rights of others goes along with responsibility, and the demands of individuals or groups should be accommodated to ensure a common goal is attained.

However, not all soldiers were on the same page with Obasanjo. He had conflicting issues with some of them, like Colonel Godwin Alabi-Isama and General Oyeleye, which Mojeed describes as a faceoff. It is even important to state that these soldiers wrote books as a sort of response to the subject. In The Letterman, the author notes that the relationship between Obasanjo and Alabi-Isama (then in charge of Sector 3 of the Division) was initially cordial, but it quickly deteriorated about a month after the new GOC’s arrival. This was because the Commander had received a complaint accusing the officer of improperly acquiring a Mercedes Benz car from the war front. Obasanjo’s words were a mixture of harshness and understanding in the letter responding to the Colonel. He wrote: “I will loathe to imagine the cost to all of us on this side of our inability to make the rebels accept our terms or be defeated. Their success is our death, no matter our hopes, wishes, aspirations and ambitions. I take your mood of last night as a temporary fatigue and with little relaxation, recreation and rest, you will be fighting-fit again.”

Similarly, he had hot shots with Major James Oluleye because he set aside Oluleye’s operational instruction in favour of his plan, which ultimately damaged the once cordial relationship between the two men and created additional challenges to the war effort. The letters exchanged between both men were hot, short, and filled with assertive diction. The second paragraph draws from Obasanjo’s reply: “Naturally, in the course of duty, we have had disagreements on plans and methods. But now that I seem to have been vindicated on my plans and methods, you will understand why I felt as I felt at times in those grim days.”

In his post-military letters, Obasanjo wrote to regional leaders, military rulers, and later to the heads of political parties in the country. The letters to this set of Nigerian leaders were a call to action, and the tone was critical. Starting with the letters to Chief Obafemi Awolowo, he wrote more like an elder statesman and used more warning language mixed with advice for the veteran politician. In a letter dated December 13, 1979, the recently retired General took issue with Awolowo’s political address to his party’s congress. Obasanjo responded to the letter and accused Awolowo of a lack of ethical rules in his dealings. The introduction of the letter was direct and confronting: “Your address to your party’s congress yesterday and the allegations contained therein against the federal military government which I had the honour to lead and against me personally impelled me, in the interest of Nigeria, to write this letter to you.”

Chief Awolowo’s responded to Obasanjo’s long letter and went straight to the point: “Your letter of 12 December 1979 was delivered to me by your courier at about 6.00 p.m. yesterday. Whilst thanking you for the letter, I have a few comments to make in reply.” In another one of Awolowo’s letters, he wrote to Obasanjo thus: “Finally, I send you herewith four bags of Gari. There are two kinds; the very fine and the not-too fine. Both are very good as you and your family will discover. They are both produced in one and the same process with different sieves.” In response, Obasanjo sent a congratulatory birthday letter to him. However, although they exchanged long and confronting letters, they both had the nation’s interest at heart.

Obasanjo’s letters to Shehu Shagari, Ibrahim Babangida, and Abacha were more aggressive as he attacked their administrative dealings and local government policies. In his letters, as analyzed in The Letterman, readers have an idea of how instability has been the reason for the nature of political change in Nigeria, where stability is supposed to surface, as well as the realignment of forces to bring the nation together. This reignited Nigerians’ hope that they would enjoy the dividends of independence promised by civilian political leaders. However, this was not adequately espoused in the Shagari government. The letter, presented by Mojeed, shows that Obasanjo had a very low opinion of the Shagari-led administration. This is reflected in a September 28, 1983, letter by Vida Musa, Obasanjo’s secretary at the time, to Martin Iroabuchi, then editor of the Daily Times newspaper. In the letter, the secretary wrote, echoing Obasanjo’s sentiments: “At the federal level there is a chief executive or president who has shown tremendous political tolerance and NOT much political sagacity. At the state level the performances of chief executives have been variable but in totality short of expectation. The legislatures could have performed better than they did.”

The letters in Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 focus on the rulings of the military men – General Sani Abacha and General Ibrahim Babangida. According to Mojeed, Abacha “enjoys the deserved reputation of being the most brutal and corrupt of all soldiers who forced their way into Nigeria’s ruling house.” In a letter to Babangida, Obasanjo wrote: “This letter is now formally to request you to explore and conclude, with the greatest speed and effectiveness, new interventions in the international financial system in support of our general external debt reduction programme.” The letter revealed that the local government policy was “decapitating the local government administrative structure and warned that this would “amount to elimination of a vital instrument of development closest to the people.” In the letter, which was more of a warning, Obasanjo wrote, “It will be a grievous mistake of immense implications and consequences for all of us. I therefore urge that the complaints of the Union be looked into and what appears as the fatal incursion into and slow but steady decapitation of the local government be halted.”

In Nigeria, the trends of political instability amounted to belief in a social revolution by the people and a new set of power grid men that believed that the radical transformation of Nigerian society and government was paramount and inevitable. This birthed the incursion of the military government in Nigeria from the 1960s to the 70s. In as much as this new form of government was the norm at that time, political leaders, including Obasanjo, had seen the idea of the political order in a new light or perspective, which was why he sent most of the letters as a sincere call to action for the military leaders in power.

Furthermore, the substantial parts of the letters were those he wrote to the international community, from the apartheid crossfires to Jimmy Carter and the British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. In these sets of letters during that period, General Obasanjo combined the attributes of a courageous leader from Africa and Africans who sought more urgency in the dealings of the South African regime to welcome a new South Africa. From these letters, Obasanjo demonstrated that he was interested in the Nigerian agenda and how Africa is portrayed in global affairs. Africa is facing the problem of cultural dependency and liberation of power from international systems. Obasanjo saw the brewing hypocrisy from the international community, angrily broke protocol, and had an altercation with Thatcher. Afterwards, a frustrated and angry Obasanjo wrote her a letter condemning the Prime Minister unreservedly.

The letter, dated August 1986, where Obasanjo referred to her as “Dear Margaret,” shows readers how complex and astute he is. He introduced the letter thus: “After our meeting on Sunday, I write as one committed democrat to another. Yours is an old country with a lengthy democratic tradition; mine a new country undergoing a process of nation-building. But as democrats, we can be frank with each other.”

From the above, it is obvious that Mojeed’s book chronicles the various sets of letters that Obasanjo wrote to the most senior officers who served in his time, the democratic and military leaders, international leaders, as well as celebrities and notable persons in Nigeria and abroad. This set of letters curated by Mojeed in the book shows a man with different shades of characters with his flaws while simultaneously putting the interest of the nation and the African continent at heart. We can agree that President General Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has a place in Nigerian history, and his series of letters have helped the readers to see him from newer perspectives.

By cataloguing the letters of a complex man to help readers have a thorough understanding of his values, attributes, and belief systems in public service, leadership, and human relations in The Letterman, Mojeed has established his craftsmanship and professionalism as one of the most erudite editors in modern Nigerian journalism, especially with its journalistic reporting and blend of the biographical genre. As a historian, I celebrate his decision and efforts to produce this landmark book. Many will surely put it to good use in writing the history of Nigeria.

Mojeed is committed to building a strong Nigeria, and his unstated intentions are to search for the Gospels. This may be his Mark, the first gospel, as he journeys through to reach the Gospel of John. Perhaps, this is the beginning of his surahs, as The Letter Man is divided into ayats, with the Al-Kawthar and the Al-Bagara. The Meccan speaks to the people, and the Medinan to political leaders. I can feel the anguish of Mojeed in locating Al-Fathia, still missing from his fascinating book, in which the salah leads us not unto mercy. The preface, which should have been a Bismillah, falls short of a Rakat. Mojeed is careful not to convert Obasanjo into an Alhamudullah, as he owns neither the world nor heaven. In avoiding equating Obasanjo as Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim, Mojeed has kept fate to the ultimate injunction of man as no more than the vicegerent of Allah (Quran 29:11).

Falola is a Nigerian historian and professor of African Studies. He is currently the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

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Honouring Professor Akinjide Osuntokun

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Honouring Professor Akinjide Osuntokun (A review of Africa and the Challenge of Underdevelopment: A Festschrift in Honour of Akinjide Osuntokun)

(A review of Africa and the Challenge of Underdevelopment: A Festschrift in Honour of Akinjide Osuntokun)

By Toyin Falola
On April 25, 2022, I confessed my desire for the personality and achievements of Professor Akinjide Osuntokun on the celebration of his eightieth birthday in a piece published by Tribune: https://tribuneonlineng.com/opinion-professor-akinjide-osuntokun-at-80-the-tour-de-force-life/. I stated that Osuntokun’s life exemplifies the Nigerian dream and desires despite the unfavourable odds. He was able to transcend beyond limitations and challenges and show the world that there is always strong hope for success when hard work meets determination. The trajectories of his life and career are full of lessons and inspiration. However, what strikes many is that he is not just one of the best historians in the country’s history but a patriot and leader.

As a citizen, Osuntokun feels discomfort when things are not right in the country, such as a parent’s discomfort for his or her disturbed child. This best depicts the love for the nation and the continent. He made this appropriate in his several criticisms and channelling his intellectual contributions towards the good of the nation and the continent. As a public commentator and historian, he consistently antagonized those factors that may jeopardize the nation’s and continent’s development, and when assigned some duties in service of the nation, his philosophies of what is expected of the society drove him through those stages. As an African intellectual, Osuntokun is notable for his firm stance on racial liberation and advocacy for Africa’s development.

Honouring Professor Akinjide Osuntokun

So, when I saw this book written by fine scholars in honour of Professor Osuntokun, what attracted me the most was how relatable the topic is to the values that Osuntokun stands for. The book evokes a nostalgic feeling about his past achievements and activities, and bringing up issues threatening the continent’s development is certainly a discussion Osuntokun would welcome.

The writers of the different contributions that form this masterpiece have made a clarion call to Africans to pause, reflect on the past, evaluate the present, and think of future expectations. Today, the continent has the highest rate of people living in extreme poverty. We are faced with an unimaginable level of social unrest and security challenges. Numerous deficiencies, including the lack of infrastructural development, have defined the continent. What baffles thinkers like Osuntokun and others concerned about the continent’s state is that despite the available resources that even the West would like to plug into their abundance, the continent still wallows in such grave limitations and challenges.

I will always be a Pan-Africanist, but we also owe ourselves the truth. The nation has not done much for itself in contemporary history, and it is high time we started calling for answers and reeling off questions to those we should hold responsible. So, you will understand why I am glad that a collection of ideas like this will raise that conversation for us, guide us through the vision of our problems, and flash future possibilities in our faces.

The book lays the theoretical and philosophical foundations to understand Africa’s underdevelopment. The writers have done well to reiterate how the continent has squandered the potential that was capable of causing transformation for the people. Africa had its chances, but the cankerworms called politicians and other distractions made the continent lose focus on how to build the future, the consequences of which are evident in the contemporary lifestyles of the people. It also reminds us of Africa’s position in international relations and how the continent is gradually becoming a player in the plot developments in the grand stories of Europe and other parts of the world. Unfortunately, this problem conditions those relationships while the romance continues in different shades. Knowing a problem is the first step to a solution, but being the antagonist of a possible solution is like signing a long-term contract with misfortune. The book has shown how the continent quickly throws caution to the wind and is gradually quenching the light to guide our paths to a favourable future. The educational system in Africa is degenerating, and countries like Nigeria have not woken up to the urgency that is supposed to be attached to it. We know all these, so there is no need to remind the continent of the place of education in the scheme of things, but how do we awaken the continent to action? The book has provided reasonable thoughts and answers to these questions.

Honouring Professor Akinjide Osuntokun

Professor Osuntokun

The book further explores the effect of how we relate to other parts of the world. It shows the reality of integrated and coordinated efforts towards development and some of the attempts of the continents at that. International interactions and collaborations in trade, security, economy, education, and other fields have shaped intra-continental interactions throughout African history and contemporary development. However, it has also highlighted how African nations have taken dangerous steps against one another and the effects of the same. Most importantly, the book examines foreign interests in the continent’s wealth, the new scramble for Africa disguised as aid but seeking oil and other trading opportunities, and the emerging neo-colonial effects on the continent’s state.

I cannot but agree with this book’s philosophical and contextual foundations. I also agree with the views that help the continent recognize the danger of a cracked wall where any reptile can creep in. What has the political environment got to do with the efforts toward the development of Africa? How have individual states attempted to solve their various problems, including unrest? Are some nations’ federalism policies for integration and peace kept in good faith? These are the evaluative questions this book has raised, and it has done well to lead minds through possible answers.

To understand underdevelopment, especially in the context of this book, one must realize that it touches both people and the environment. How people have been able to transition from one stage to the other, especially to an unfavourable position, denotes underdevelopment. Also, environmental degradation, a lack of sustainable protection of the atmosphere, and issues affecting livability form other parts of the concept of underdevelopment. This book has been able to outline these instances and treat each differently but explicitly.

READ  ALSO: Musikilu Mojeed’s The Letterman: The Art Of Letter Writing And The Heart Of Gratitude (1)

Today, peace is becoming a luxury in Africa, and terror is gaining ground. South Sudan, Somalia, the CAR, Sudan, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Chad, and many other African countries are positioning themselves as the epicentre of social unrest, insurrection, civil wars, coups, interethnic rivalry, political upheaval, terrorism, kidnapping, and other forms of insecurity that interfere with the processes of development. Someone once said it might get to the point where it would be easier to buy guns than clothes and other necessities. There is a sporadic circulation of firearms across the continent, especially among people who are not supposed to own firearms. All these will always make every nation lose sight of its ambitions and responsibilities, as attention is often diverted to other things.

Underdevelopment in African countries goes to the core of our existence and could threaten it. The development could be in the spheres of orientation as well as the well-being of the people. I agree that the African nations have been able to develop their ideas and cultures, which have long served the purposes of their respective societies, and ensured peaceful coexistence and respect. However, many of these convictions have long outlived their applicability as people constantly change. This touches on the position of women in Africa and other cultural issues. This book creates an engagement to evaluate the subjects of gender in African societies and their roles in development. I believe that if anything encourages us to see everyone as equal, regardless of gender, it should be the benefit of collectivity. If everyone made efforts towards development with equal opportunity to do so, maybe the continent would have been able to reach its much-desired goals.

In addition, aside from development as regards orientations, it is also reflective in the well beings of individuals. Unarguably, Africa has a reputable traditional and modern medical system drawn far back into history and responsible for the sustenance of human health and well-being. However, medical conditions have changed, and diseases previously unknown to African medical science and practices have emerged. After contact with other parts of the world, the continent started understanding the medical explanations behind some conditions that were thought to be curses or normal. But, while the advancement in knowledge has put the continent in a good light, has the continent been able to catch up with other medical developments around the world? In some parts of Africa, maybe a bit, we cannot boast that development is needed enough to solve most of the contemporary world’s critical issues. These are issues addressed in this book, and it does justice to the conversation.

READ ALSO: Soyinka, Pyrates Confraternity And The God Factor

Lastly, the book recognizes the importance of trade and commerce to the continent’s development. In all ramifications, national, intra-continental, and other international trades are pivotal to development. Recognizing this, the book has deemed it fit to explore issues surrounding the free flow of trade and commercial activities on the continent. With some of the recommendations and insights, the continent can explore options to turn around current situations.

I salute the initiative of the three editors—Olufunke Adeboye, Benjamin Anaemene, and Bernard B. Fyanka—in initiating and completing this book. I wish Professor Osuntokun a happy celebration and book launch on Tuesday, December 20, at the University of Lagos.

Falola is a Nigerian historian and professor of African Studies. He is currently the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.

 

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