This introductory book covers West Africa's history, social organization, and contemporary setting. It analyzes the many present-day problems facing West Africans such as the lack of development, dependency on economic relations with wealthy countries, poor governance, interference by the military in civilian affairs, corruption, and the lack of functioning democratic governments. This book also shows how West African indigenous civilization developed its humanitarian, democratic, and communalistic nature. Traditional political processes and ancestral customs are put forth as ways of solving West Africa's modern problems.
Divided into three main parts: "The Setting and Social Organization," "The History of West Africa," and "The Modern Era," the main objective of this textbook is to teach students about the depth of African civilization and how its principles can be used to address modern-day problems in West Africa. Mendonsa expresses the opinion that in order to solve current problems plaguing the region, a knowledge of history, African culture, and ancient African beliefs is crucial.
The Teacher's Manual includes chapter outlines and summaries, key points, sample questions, and suggested films and websites.
“From the details given in this book, there is no doubt that the author has done intensive research. He supplies some new information and provides a wide coverage of West Africa from ancient to contemporary times. There are impressive illustrations and a glossary. From my own teaching and research experience, I find this book very useful.” — African History, Volume 46, 2005
If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.