This book explores one of Africa's resilient realities. Looking critically into previous treatment of the subject, Seyoum Hameso argues that ethnic phenomenon in Africa is a wrongly attacked symptom of genuine concerns. The author notes that perverse Western media publicity and unfavorable academic treatment of ethnicity have rendered ethnicity as an alibi for various socio-political disorders in Africa. But they fall short of explaining why it is resilient. The salience of ethnicity ought to be seen in relation to Africa's historical and political experience, which corresponded to despotic, often military, regimes all of which professed to avoid the 'divisiveness' of ethnic diversity. Contrary to received notions, ethnicity can be channeled towards constructively positive ends and it can contribute to the betterment of life in the continent. The book gives useful insights into the history, politics, sociology and economic changes in Africa and it is particularly valuable source of information for anyone interested in Africa's social and political formations.
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April 24, 2001
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