ISBN 9789996097904
Pages 264
Dimensions 229 x 152mm
Published 2017
Publisher Logos Open Culture, Malawi
Format Paperback

Malawi: A Place Apart

by Asbjørn Eidhammer

This book traces the origins and historical background of the Malawi we meet today. Progress, constraints and setbacks in political, economic, social and cultural aspects of the lives of Malawians are captured alongside an analysis of the country's present situation and prospects for the future. Dialogue, and the lack of it, between Malawi and its main development partners is discussed and overall the study highlights the change required in the collaboration between key actors in order for the country to consolidate its achievements and to move towards the new Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 agreed by world leaders.

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"It is the stranger who comes with a sharper blade', claims one Malawian adage. But stranger Asbjørn Eidhammer is not. He worked tirelessly with Malawians for more than eight years as Norwegian ambassador to Malawi during politically difficult times. Malawi - A Place Apart is a unique and welcome update of the story of the nation examined from the point of view of a highly observant outsider. His subtle exposure of the sometimes hidden economic mismanagement is particularly poignant when people are crying out for open societies everywhere." 

Professor Jack Mapanje, author of Of Chameleons and Gods

"Combining aspects of history, cultural studies, personal memoir and opinion, this rarely published and hard hitting perspective from a former senior member of the donor community analyses the past, current and future prospects of Malawi politics and economics. The book proves yet again the adage that 'sometimes the mlendo (visitor) has the sharper [analytical] knife' with its examination of the issues of politics, poverty and the relationship - or lack of it - between Malawi and its development partners. Throughout it all the author's love for the 'Warm heart of Africa' shines through and all who love Malawi will be stimulated and enriched by this book."

Dr John Lwanda, author of Kamuzu Banda of Malawi: A Study in Promise, Power and Legacy.

"With an insightful and understanding gaze, Asbjørn expresses the nuances of Malawi only a caring visitor can. Full of unmitigated hope and constructive critique, the book concisely paints a tender portrait of a country. Perhaps in equal measure, Malawi offers hope and despair - a sense of contradiction that she embodies so well. It is this sense that Asbjørn carefully and lovingly portrays in this book. Over 50 years since independence from British rule, Malawi is debating the way forward. Discourses, some structured others not, abound. Asbjørn's book is a necessary addition."

Muti Phoya, author of Malawi, Lake of Stars

About the Author

Asbjørn Eidhammer

Asbjørn Eidhammer is a Norwegian political scientist, activist, and diplomat. He served as the Norwegian Ambassador to Malawi from 1999 to 2004 and from 2011 to 2014. Between his missions to Malawi, he was Director of Evaluation at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation for five years. From 1981 to 1984, he was President of the Norwegian Council for Southern Africa, Norway's anti-apartheid movement. He has published books in Norwegian about politics and development in Africa and Malawi.

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