Composing a new song: Stories of empowerment from Africa

Independent African countries have faced many challenges on the road to economic and social development. The heritage of colonialism has weighed heavy on their shoulders, and the promises of post-colonialism have not always been fulfilled.

The nature and trajectory of the development project is determined, in large part, by governments. Where they have been limited in – or neglectful of – their capacity to improve the lives of their people, non-government organisations have been quick to respond.

Composing a New Song comprises portraits of five such NGOs, from Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Each was spurred by a moral concern for those sectors of society that were marginalised, or ignored completely, by the march of mainstream development, but each has chosen its own route, its own tactics and its own methods.

These stories, told by the organisations’ founders and senior managers, offer a rare insight into personal motivations, social reactions and political choices – indeed, the real world of development … one that is too often glossed over by more orthodox texts.

Composing a New Song:
Stories of Empowerment from Africa
edited by Hope Chigudu
Weaver Press with The Commonwealth Foundation

ISBN 1 77922 015 4

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