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Africa's Winds of Change: Memoirs of an International Tanzanian [Hardcover]

Al Noor Kassum
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 30 2007 184511583X 978-1845115838
The 1960s were a tumultuous period in the history of Africa as one country after another won independence from the colonial powers. This was particularly true of Tanzania as it sought to carve out a role for itself between conflicting European and inter-African interests.
It was in these extraordinary times that Al Noor Kassum rose to become a prominent political figure in newly independent Tanzania. Hand-picked by Julius Nyerere - later to become the country's first President - to run for elections on a Tanganyika African National Union ticket, he embarked on a career that brought him to prominence nationally and internationally.
Africa's Winds of Change
documents the changes that have taken place in Tanzania from the middle of the 20th century to the present day, through the prism of an East African Asian experience. The author sheds new light on the character and legacy of Julius Nyerere, who emerges as radically different from the stereotypical anti-Western firebrand which became his image in the West.
Africa's Winds of Change
offers a fascinating personal history of a unique African nation at a critical stage in its development.

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About the Author

Educated in Tanzania and the UK, where he was called to the Bar at the Inns of Court in London, Al Noor Kassum was a prominent figure in Tanzanian politics and the Ismaili Muslim community after the country's independence. He held several ministerial positions within the Tanzanian government and was also the East African Community's Minister of Finance and Administration. He has also held senior positions in Unesco and at the UN Headquarters in New York. Currently, he is Vice-Chancellor of Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania.

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4.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating Memoir of Extraordinary Times April 11 2009
Al Noor Kassum has written a fascinating personal memoir of extraordinary times in newly independent Tanzania. There is a great dearth of literature on the experience of many young African nations who were granted independence in the 1960's. This book helps in a small yet useful measure to fill the gap.

The book is lucidly written with the objectivity that can be expected of a lawyer called to the Bar at the Inns of Court in London. More importantly, Kassum presents the African side of political and economic issues, advancing his case in a careful, step by step manner. The personal style of narration makes it highly readable.

He also discusses how his Ismaili Muslim faith had a great influence on him. In a very modest line on page 3, Kassum indicates his family donated the lands in Dar es Salaam on which the Aga Khan Hospital and an Aga Khan School were built.

In 1954, Aga Khan III appointed Kassum as the Administrator of the Aga Khan schools in Tanganyika. As an alumni of one of the many Aga Khan schools in Tanzania, it was a great treat to read about and relish the strength of vision that led to the development of the schools. The quality of the schools undoubtedly aided in my becoming a lawyer in Canada.

During the tumultuous times that followed, Kassum held several ministerial positions in the Tanzanian government. He should feel a deep sense of satisfaction at the committed contribution he has made to the betterment of his country and community.
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