A Continent for the Taking – Howard French- 2007



P 21 where the African practice of slavery hurt most was in helping plant the seed in the European mind for the immense traffic that followed….There was an immense social impact on Africa, too…the authority of kings or chiefs, and the respect of communal laws and customs, was destroyed in less than a generation…


P 36 – The country’s only greatness was its unrealized potential. To paraphrase Charles de Gaulle’s famous, irony-dripping put-down of Brazil, Nigeria was a land whose future would always remay bright


P 58 – Tanzania researcher Wen Kilama said « Imagine seven Boeing 747s filled mostly with children crashing into Mount Kilimanjaro each day, and you begin to get an idea of malaria’ horrifying toll. More than 1M africans die every year of malaria without raising a peep in wealthy countries.


P71 the basket cases of tomorrow can be fairly easily predicted today.  One need only to glimpse at the oil rushes under way in Equatorial Guinea, Chad and Angola or, on a smaller scale, at the scramble in eastern congo for exotic minerals, like coltan, to sense the approaching disaster. And yet the consequences of this commercial predation are no more debated today than in the times of Leopold, perhaps less.


P75 In Congo…With sturdy institutions, and with little experience in the rule of law – problems whose roots would go back to colonial rule – politics was reduced to a game of ethnic brookerage.

…In Africa, both big advances and huge disasters often begin in small countries.


P 102 Johnson murder of Doe in Septembre 90, gruesome, drawn out and filmed….in a herky jerky cinema verité style, would become one of the signal event of West Africa post independance history. As men sliced off Doe’s ears, kicked him and stabbed him, Johnson reapetedly demanded that Doe provide the numbers of the swiss bank accounts…


P135 Even in Matongé, reputed bastion of the oppositio (to Mobutu)…


P138 – the begians enforced tribal distinctions everywhere they went.


P149 about Kisangani, Naipaul had gotten nothing so right as his portrait of Mobutu and Kisangani… «Valuable real estate for a while, and now bush again. You felt like a ghost, not from the past but from the future. You felt that your life and ambition had already been lived out for you and you were looking for relics of that life. You were in a place where the future had come and gone.