Sekou Toure (Panaf Great Lives)
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Hardcover (208 pages)
Reader ReviewsAn Interesting Man
The book describes the life and achievements of Sekou Toure who was the first president of Guinea which he led for 26 years. This was a remarkable feat bearing in mind his modest beginning including a poor family background. He began his political career as a labour activist until he rose to the post of General Secretary of the Postal Workers Union in 1945. He was an excellent orator from which he gained a lot of popularity.
His background in the labour unions established him as a socialist. Sekou Toure was one of the founding members of the Rassemblement Democratic Africain, the party that led the country to its independence. He was elected Mayor of the country's capital city, Conakry and as a deputy to the French National Assembly. His party won the referendum elections that brought his country to independence. His country opted for full independence outside the French sphere of influence (out of the French Communinity) in 1958.
Sekou Toure established a one party state and was a virtual dictator until his death in 1984. This was during the era of the cold war and he declared Guinea a socialist state.
The book exaggegerates the positive impact of this man to his country and the continent. Although he was supposed to be Pan African, he was responsible for human rights abuses against his people and weighed down by the his communist command economic principles, accompanied by economic ineptitude and his one party state which he completely dominated, the country's economy was paralysed, from which it has never fully recovered to date.
So this man's place in history will remain as "just another incompetent third world dictator".