THE CHALLENGE OF NATIONHOOD - TOM MBOYA

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THE CHALLENGE OF NATIONHOOD - TOM MBOYA

At the time of his assassination (July 5, 1969) Mboya, Kenya's Minister for Economic Planning and Development, was preparing this selection of his speeches and writings as a ""record of some of his ideas and ideals which have been of great importance in the shaping of independent Kenya"" (President Jomo Kenyatta). The pieces range chronologically from an address on ""African Freedom"" at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1959 to a New York Times article on ""Africa and Afro-America"" completed shortly before his death, and they reflect his enormous contributions to the dialogue between Africans and non-Africans, to the pan-African movement, and to the economic, social, and political development of Kenya. Mboya articulates many of the same basic concerns expressed in his independence-eve volume Freedom and After (1963): the strains and challenges for a continent ""going through multiple transitions--all at the same time: from colonialism to independence; from illiteracy to literacy: from subsistence agriculture to a monetary modern economy: from tribal rural life to a new urban cosmopolitan life; from traditional tribal custom to Christianity and new attitudes to our women and youth."" What he provides is not so much definitive answers to Africa's manifold problems as a sensitive sounding of the realities underlying those problems and their solution. The section of addresses devoted to Kenya itself explores the roles of the party system, the trade unions, African socialism, intellectuals, and women in national development, and the tensions between Western influences and African traditions, between central and tribal authority, between individual liberty and coercion in the national interest. The other two sections examine different aspects of Africa's continental and global relations. Lucid presentations, calm but committed, from a major African spokesman untimely silenced.

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