Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Book Review: Angola's warrior Queen

Book review at StrategyPage:

Queen Njinga of Ndongo-Matamba rule her kingdom, a considerable region in what is now northern Angola, for an impressively long period (1624-1663), but is today largely forgotten.

In this, the first ever biography of Njinga, Prof. Heywood (Boston University) reveals an able woman, who was as adept a ruler as any in history. Njinga effectively combined wily diplomacy,
commercial dealings (including slave trading), military power, and even religious policy, to cope with ambitions of Portuguese colonialists, rival kingdoms, and even some envious kinfolk, keeping herself on the throne and her realm independent in the face of numerous threats, at her realm, at times even maintaining relations with to the courts of Portugal and Spain, and even the Vatican.

To tell this story, Heywood draws upon a large body of documentary evidence, primarily Portuguese, as well as many traditional accounts, some of them recorded long ago. As she tells Njinga’s story, Heywood also offers insights into the origins of the kingdom, its political organization, social structure, culture, dynastic connections, and religion.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Central Africa is a mess, but Rwanda is thriving.

StrategyPage on Central Africa notes that there is a polio epidemic, thanks to BokoHarum, a small Ebola outbreak, and lots of refugees fleeing political infighting. Sigh.

the bishops are doing what they always do: documenting human rights problems and trying to get people to make peace:

June 28, 2018: Congolese Catholic Church bishops and lay leaders have accused the Kabila government of neglecting the starvation and general chaos in the southwest (Kasai region). About 14 million people have fled the violence and millions are still unable to return home. Several hundred thousand children in the Kasai region are suffering from malnutrition. The bishops provided documentation collected by priests and nuns in the region.

but there is some good news: Volkswagon is making cars in Rwanda:

June 27, 2018: Volkswagen has opened what it calls a “small vehicle assembly plant” in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali. The facility will assemble cars from parts manufactured in South Africa. The facility can assemble from 5,000 to 10,000 cars a year. The cars will be sold to fleet customers – government ministries, taxi services and other businesses. The government is touting the VW plant as evidence that Rwanda is stable, has a growing economy and is a good place to invest.

Monday, June 25, 2018

explosion in Bulawayo

who threw the bomb in Bulawayo?

AlJ report:

Although Mnangagwa pleaded for unity and peace after he survived the blast, Eldred Masunungure, a political analyst and academic, expressed scepticism about the possibility of a peaceful election next month. Masunungure told Al Jazeera that although the climate towards the polls seemed more promising of less violence compared to other elections since 2000, the explosion sullied hopes for an election free of tension.

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