Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Politics of Mozambique

This week we were asked to read Carrie Manning’s The Politics of Peace in Mozambique: Post Conflict Democratization, 1992-2000. In this book, Manning describes Mozambique’s quest for democracy from a more positive, unbiased perspective than Anne Pitcher’s Transforming Mozambique. While each work was extremely informative, Pitcher chose to focus more on the statistical (i.e. political and economic) side of the country’s democratic progress. Manning gave Mozambique a personality through her use of perspective from its citizens. Manning more clearly describes the reasoning behind happenings, whereas I found Pitcher’s book to concentrate more on the results. In addition, the clarity of Manning’s book painted a better picture of the progress and successes of Mozambique’s struggle for democracy. The significance of this country’s journey and evolution distinguishes it from other African countries.

Another difference between the works of Carrie Manning and Anne Pitcher is their commentary on international relations regarding finance with Mozambique. From the view of Manning, donors are essential to furthering the progress of Mozambique. Donations can be interpreted as signs of support for government actions from foreign institutions. At one point, donors were referred to as “development partners.” However, Manning also points out that these donations are restricted and based on very conditional agreements. In contrast, Pitcher focuses on the adverse effects of commercialization in Mozambique. She is more critical of company involvement and the growing dependence of the Mozambican government on commercial funds.

Carrie Manning will in fact be visiting our class as a guest lecturer. It is such a great opportunity that we are able to meet leading experts on Mozambique, especially when we have just recently read their work. I want to ask Professor Manning in class about what she found most inspiring from her research. What can other African nations learn from Mozambique’s story?

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