Afoaku, Osita George 2005 0-7734-6034-9 248 pages This work traces the remote origins of Congo’s current national predicament and the people’s protracted quest for democracy and social justice. The first part of the book provides an account of the political history of modern Congo which sets the context for the second part, an in-depth discussion of the interplay of internal and external forces in Congo and their impact on the politics of democratic transition in the country from 1990 through the early 2000s. Arguing that recent popular resistance against political dictatorship in Congo builds on a long-standing tradition, the author offers critical analysis of post-Cold War configuration of pro-democracy forces (or the appearance thereof) inside the country and at the global level, which compelled President Mobutu to inaugurate political reform in April 1990. Against this backdrop, he assesses the roles played by the Sovereign National Conference (SNC), the transitional institutions established by the SNC, and the Sacred Union of opposition, all of which emerged during the early 1990s in response to the government’s decision to lift the ban on partisan political activity. With particular reference to the 1996–97 war, which toppled Mobutu’s regime, and the 1998–2003 war against the Kabila regime, the author analyses the events leading up to internationalization of Congo’s transition crisis and the roles played by principal actors from the country’s rival political factions and their international allies in the two conflicts. The book concludes with cautious optimism about the prospects for democracy and sustainable economic development in the post-Mobutu Congo and an overview of some of the practical steps that must be taken by the Congolese people and the global community in order to realize these objectives.
Iyenda, Guillaume 2007 0-7734-5269-9 336 pages This book examines the issue of urban poverty and survival strategies in the Congo. The book analyzes the extent of economic decline throughout the country and criticizes proposed Western development strategies before suggesting new strategies for the promotion and articulation of local and native practice of development that are adapted for use in urban Congo. This book contains 9 color photographs.
Spaas, Lieve 2007 0-7734-5167-6 312 pages This book explores the memory, transformations and manifestations of power which have made the Democratic Republic of the Congo such a fascinating and emblematic entity for the contemporary moment. Based on extensive research and journeys across the Congo, the book forms an important contribution to the knowledge of a country that often resists being understood, and intimates itself through images that retain profound mystery. This book contains 28 black and white photographs and 12 color photographs.
Mambu ma Khenzu, Edouard 2006 0-7734-5476-4 364 pages This monograph addresses the modern history of money and finance in the region of the current Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1885 to 1995. The study starts by exploring a series of devices which served as money in the ancient Kingdom of Congo (13th-17th centuries), explaining the significance and limits of the monetary function of such devices in traditional communities accustomed to barter-based mechanisms of exchange. Secondly, monetary and financial provisions set up for the Congo Free State (1885-1908), and the main strands of King Leopold II’s financial policy for the Congo are examined. Thirdly, the study explores the colonial period (1908-1960), revealing the biased approach of the Belgian colonial power to Congolese monetary and financial issues. Finally, an examination of the monetary and financial dimension of major political events and unrest that have occurred in the Congo since 1960 is offered, focusing particularly on the political background of the Congolese monetary collapse of the early 1990s, marked by phases of hyperinflation, which resulted in an increased dollarisation of the economy.