• Transforming production and class relations • The Cuban revolution's internationalist road"In the decades of wars, economic crises, and explosive class battles that lie ahead, the weight of the toilers of Africa in shaping the future will be greater than ever before."Reporting from Equatorial Guinea in central Africa, the authors focus on the social transformations unfol• Transforming production and class relations • The Cuban revolution's internationalist road"In the decades of wars, economic crises, and explosive class battles that lie ahead, the weight of the toilers of Africa in shaping the future will be greater than ever before."Reporting from Equatorial Guinea in central Africa, the authors focus on the social transformations unfolding, as revenues from offshore oil extraction are used to build infrastructure on which rising labor productivity, industry, and progress depend. Pulled into the world market as never before, both a capitalist class and a working class are being born.Here also, in accounts of the work of volunteer Cuban medical brigades in Equatorial Guinea, is the living example of Cuba's socialist revolution-made possible by workers and farmers who were led five decades ago to take power into their own hands.Woven together, these seemingly disparate threads-the beginning transformation of production and class relations in Equatorial Guinea, and the proletarian course of the Cuban Revolution-show a future to be fought for today.Introduction by Mary-Alice Waters, photos, maps, index....
|Title||:||Capitalism and the Transformation of Africa: Reports from Equatorial Guinea|
|Number of Pages||:||150 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Capitalism and the Transformation of Africa: Reports from Equatorial Guinea Reviews
....the book "provides reliable basic information about contemporary Equatorial Guinea...that would be of much value to any reader who is not familiar with the country." ---From African Studies Quarterly, Spring 2010, Mary‐ Alice Waters and Martin Koppel. Capitalism and the Transformation ofAfrica: Reports from Equatorial Guinea. New York: Pathfinder Press, 2009.Excluding an Introduction and a “Reporter’s notebook,” this book is a collectionof six reports by the above authors and a speech by a diplomat (the Cubanambassador to Equatorial Guinea). The authors are editors of two left‐wingmagazines, New International (Waters) and Militant (Koppel). Waters is also thefounder of Pathfinder, a left‐wing publishing company; Koppel is the Spanishlanguage editor of the company. Both are supporters of the Cuban revolution.The reports are based on the authors’ findings in two trips to Equatorial Guineain 2005 and 2008 and were originally published in Militant.As Mary‐Alice Waters wrote in the Introduction, this book is “a spotlight[on:] the transformation of the instruments of production and the new classrelations emerging today in Equatorial Guinea.” The book focuses on the periodfrom the mid‐1990s, when oil and gas were discovered in commercial quantity inthe continental shelf bordering the two main parts of the country—thecontinental region (Mbini) and the island of Bioko. But it begins with a briefhistorical background. This country, they report, was a Spanish colony, andSpain’s main activity in the colony was plantation farming. Spain did not botherto develop the country socially and in physical terms. The country becameindependent in 1968 but was misruled under its first president (MaciasNguema). In 1979, it was rescued by its current leadership, which is headed byObiang Nguema. Until oil and gas were discovered, it was one of Africa’s leastdeveloped countries—a country of peasant farmers, illiterate, without moderninfrastructure, without industry, and without skilled workers. There are aboutfive ethnic groups in the country. One, the Fang, is predominant. Ethnicity is apolitically salient factor in the country’s affairs.Since the discovery of oil, the authors continue, much has changed in thecountry. Foreign, mainly United States, oil companies were licensed to producethe oil. The wealth from oil is being used to develop massively infrastructure andestablish educational and health facilities. It has also attracted large numbers offoreign experts, workers, and business people. Rather grudgingly, the authorsacknowledge that the changes wrought by oil have raised the standard of livingof the general population and given them hope of a prosperous future. Theyfurtherreport, however, that activities in the oil industry have widened classdifferences and established new forms of domination. Concerning classdifferences, the authors often draw attention to contrasts between theneighborhoods and standards of living of staff of foreign oil and constructioncompanies, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, those of the majority of thecitizens of the country, as well as artisans and traders from other countries. Theyblame such differences on capitalism. But they express the hope that, as the activities of capitalist companies increase the number of the world’s proletariat,Equatorial Guinea’s workers will help to bring about a global socialistrevolution.Aside from the activities of oil companies, the authors report extensivelyon the activities of Cuban health workers in Equatorial Guinea. Under anagreement with Cuba, about 160 Cuban health workers serve in EquatorialGuinea’s hospitals and train its doctors in the country’s newly establisheduniversity as well as in Cuba. The Cubans are paid just a living wage. Theauthors report that, unlike the oil workers, the Cubans live amidst those theywork for, and are not distinguished from them on the basis of wealth. Cuba, theystress, is not in this country to exploit the country, but to help its people developtheir capacity to be self reliant.We conclude by stating that this is not an academic study. It belongs to thecategory of books that would be classified as journalism. It is needful to add,though, that it is good journalism. It provides reliable basic information aboutcontemporary Equatorial Guinea, information that would be of much value toany reader who is not familiar with the country. However, many readers that arenot left‐inclined would find many of the comments of the authors—commentsthat downplay the contributions of capitalist firms and exaggerate those ofsocialist Cuba—rather disquieting.Okechukwu Edward Okeke, Abia State University, Nigeria.African Studies Quarterly | Volume 11, Issues 2 & 3 | Spring 2010http://www.africa.ufl.edu/asq/pdfs/v1...