In This Review

The Silent Revolution In Africa: Debt, Development And Democracy
The Silent Revolution In Africa: Debt, Development And Democracy
By Fantu Cheru
Zed Books, 1989, 189 pp

A fresh look at the African debt crisis is always welcome, but this book is largely a recapitulation of familiar facts and arguments, over which the author has spread a thin gloss of undeveloped political prescriptions. Cheru, who teaches Development Studies at American University in Washington, urges Africans to regard the North-South economic relationship as a zero-sum game in which Africa's beleaguered poor will be perpetual victims until they exit from the grip of elite-controlled economies, effect democratic revolutions, unite across national boundaries and use collective default as a weapon to force Africa's creditors to relent. It is implausible but provocative. For heuristic purposes it is perhaps even useful, especially its chapter-length case studies of Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia/Sudan and Zambia.