Race Against Time
Searching for Hope in AIDS-Ravaged Africa
Publisher: Anansi, Toronto, Canada
Year Published: 2006 First Published: 2005
Pages: 216pp Price: $18.95 ISBN: 0-88784-753-6
Library of Congress Number: JC571.L534 2006 Dewey: 361.2'6096
Resource Type: Book
Cx Number: CX7153
This book is a compilation of the 2005 Massey Lectures on the topic of the Millennium Development Goals, with a special focus on AIDS in Africa. Lewis' lectures are personal and passionate in their denunciation of the international community's response to the AIDS pandemic and poverty in Africa.
Abstract: This book is a compilation of the 2005 Massey Lectures on the topic of the Millennium Development Goals, with a special focus on AIDS in Africa. Lewis' five lectures are personal and passionate in their denunciation of the international community's response to the AIDS pandemic and poverty in Africa. He draws upon his experience in the United Nations system to make tangible the scale of the AIDS crisis and the bureaucratic nature of the UN response. Lewis also offers stories of hope and practical ways to mitigate this crisis.
The first lecture puts into perspective the current situation in Africa. It focuses on the economic burden that weighs on many African countries, a burden that precludes efforts to address the spread of AIDS. Lewis condemns the massive foreign debts and accompanying macroeconomic policies that constrain public spending.
The second lecture gives an overview of the AIDS pandemic, based chronologically upon the author's own visits to Africa. Introducing crucial factors that affect and are affected by AIDS (such as medical staff shortages, an exploding orphan population and the need for basic nutrition), Lewis demonstrates how the goal of stopping the spread of AIDS is inextricably connected to other Millennium Development Goals.
The third lecture reveals the promises that have been broken regarding education in Africa. Universal, free primary education is critical, Lewis says, because it offers young minds a chance to grow, it builds self-esteem and it exposes students to information about health.
The fourth lecture highlights the historical and ongoing discrimination against women both internal and external to the United Nations. Lewis chronicles landmark conferences on women's issues, but points out the lasting discrepancy between the ambitions of these conferences and the reality that remains. He advocates for a dedicated agency within the UN to address women's equality.
The fifth and final lecture recommends courses of action that could improve the international response to AIDS and help African countries come closer to meeting the Millennium Development Goals.
[Abstract by Tara McElroy]
Table of Contents
1. Context: It Shames and Diminishes Us All
2. Pandemic: My Country is on its Knees
3. Education: An Avalanche of Studies, Little Studying
4. Women: Half the World, Barely Represented
5. Solutions: A Gallery of Alternatives in Good Faith