In the footsteps of Mr Andersson

Milestones in Swedish-Namibia Relations

Namibia was the first country to benefit from Sweden’s official assistance to liberation movements, a change in position that did not come easily, but took more than a decade to achieve through mobilisation of Swedens civil society.

This book tells the story how Sweden ”discovered” Namibia and became partner in a liberation struggle that lasted for nearly 30 years and then switched to assist the South West African country.

A number of individuals, like Charles Andersson in the early days, and Zedeika Ngavirue and Charles Karuisa, hundred years later, played their respective parts in forging the Nambia-Swedish link. And so did Olof Palme and advisors to him, like Bernt Carlsson, who later on became the UN Commissioner for Namibia, and Pierre Schori. A number of Swedish officials and their Namibian counterparts are also presented in the book.

Sweden’s shift from being neutral to a fault – a policy that kept Sweden out of the second world war – to become the leading Western financier of liberation struggles was a controversial shift. The Swedish reason to support liberation struggles had a lot to do with Sweden wanting to pull beyond its weight in world politics by aspiring to be the honest broker between the East and the West. In fact for Palme it was imperative to offer anti-colonial forces a third way between communism and capitalism.

Swedish journalist and author Christer L. Pettersson has followed anti-apartheid and post-liberation politics in Africa for 30 years and has been the Africa correspondent, based on the continent, for two decades, for the Swedish dailies Dagens Industri and Dagens Nyheter.

This is the first title to appear under David Krut Publishing’s new imprint ULWAZI. In the Footsteps of Mr Andersson: Milestones in Swedish-Namibia Relations tells the story of the extraordinary relationship between Sweden and Namibia. It begins in the middle of the nineteenth century, when a Swedish explorer, adventurer, entrepreneur and arms dealer drew the earliest known maps of the areas now known as Namibia, northern Botswana and southern Zimbabwe. The story follows the fortunes of a handful of Namibian students and their Swedish counterparts who met in Stockholm in the 1950s and went on to help pave the way to the independence of Namibia in 1989. It is a tale filled with drama and courage, of serendipity and coincidence, of meetings conducted behind the backs of the superpowers and of political manoeuvring to bring about a country’s transition to freedom and democracy. Swedish journalist Christer L. Pettersson has spent many years writing about southern Africa, both as the Africa correspondent for two Swedish newspapers and as the editor of the online newspaper Africascan. Drawing on his many interviews with some of the most important players in the field of Swedish-Namibia relations, as well as on newspaper articles and other sources, Pettersson brings to life some key events that have shaped the history of Namibia since the 1850s. In the Footsteps of Mr Andersson, Petersson’s third book, was commissioned by the Swedish Embassy in Namibia and the Swedish International Development Cooperation agency (Sida). It is an important contribution to the history of modern Namibia and Sweden’s longstanding relationship with southern Africa.

Christer L. Pettersson
Soft cover
9.1 x 7.3 inches
Full color
146 pages
Price: $30

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