Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Architects Of Poverty” as Want to Read:
Architects Of Poverty
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Architects Of Poverty

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  173 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Of an estimated 1 billion people in the world who are trapped in a cycle of grinding poverty and despair, a disproportionate number live in sub-Saharan Africa.

In this account, Moeletsi Mbeki analyses the plight of Africa and concludes that the fault lies not with the mass of its people but with its rulers – the political elites who contrive to keep their fellow citizens po
Paperback, 196 pages
Published April 2009 by Picador Africa
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Architects Of Poverty, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Architects Of Poverty

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  173 ratings  ·  19 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Architects Of Poverty
Ray Hartley
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Written by one of South Africa's most original and fearless thinkers, Moeletsi Mbeki's Architects of Poverty is essential reading if you want to understand what's wrong with the national economy. His chapter on South Africa's elites is a tour de force of analytical thinking, tracing the rise of the mining "oligarchs" and how they cut a deal with the ANC which led to black economic empowerment. Its a tragedy that Mbeki has been twice dismissed - first because he is the brother of Thabo Mbeki and ...more
Moeletsi Mbeki is not known for tiptoeing through the tulips and does not waste time in expressing his honest opinion about the current developments in South Africa. The book is an easy read about different issues crippling the South African political landscape. A very welcome voice of reason.
Deepa Daya
Aug 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Amazing book loved it. Although this book was published nearly 10 years ago, Mbeki’s views are still very relevant. The book focuses on how African elites have played a role in keeping their citizens poor. And the blunt nature of Mbeki’s writing kept me coming back for more.
Tshegofatso (tshegomot29)
Jul 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
In this book Moeletsi highlights how the political elites in Africa sell off the continent's assets to the rest of the world. In return for this service these political elites receive crumbs from foreigners who make their fortunes by processing Africa's resources.

He focuses a lot on South Africa and Zimbabwe and provides insightful critique of the rulers of these two countries and how they led their countries to poverty.

This is a very informative book; and an easy read. Some of my favourite sect
Jun 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Most of the 1 billion people who live in poverty are in sub-Saharan Africa. Why is this so?

Mbeki argues that the issue lies with political elites who are concerned with enriching themselves at the expense of the poor.

He argues that capitalism in Africa - his main focus being on South Africa - is based on mercantile capitalism - and it needs to change.

He opens up with a discussion on slavery and colonialism and the 'Scramble for Africa' (Africa's history of been a breeding ground for the extrac
Itai Gurira
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lords of Poverty deals with those who manipulate the existing poverty in the so called third world into an instrument of acquiring masses of wealth, political and economical power for themselves and their organisations in countries they claim to be helping. . . .this book on the other hand focuses on Afrika and how the political elite instead of helping us move from the trenches of Poverty use funds and state policies to enrich themselves and their cronies as well as using resources to quell dis ...more
Bongani Mngomezulu
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book was published in 2009 and I read it in 2017 with the benefit of hindsight. His diagnosis of the problems experienced especially by South Africa and Zimbabwe have proved to be accurate. I like his analysis from the 1800's to the 2000's and how he connects the dots for the reader. His analysis especially on the failures of inter-regional bodies such as SADC was particularly interesting. This book is an honest critique of the current state of affairs. ...more
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, theory, 2019
Very interesting and written in a clear way. I do not understand enough of the continent to judge what Mbeki is saying, so I cannot really have an opinion on his work. Only that I can only imagine that the problem is much more complex than he lets on. Sure I believe that political elites play an important part in the underdevelopment of sub Sahara Africa but that cannot be all can it?
Apr 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Extremely interesting view on African politics and development. Should be prescribed reading for all politicians. I trust that the narrow ray of light provided will be seen, and advice followed.
Andrew Paul Butow
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant!
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good read
Corey Holmes
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
from Cairo to cape town. oh if this was possible eastern civilization would have two superpowers. China and Africa
Great. Enlightening. A must read for prospective South African entrepreneurs.
Richard McIsaac
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was ok
Mbeki provides statistics to support a commentary on the state of affairs in Africa. However, the 'Africa' he describes comprises of South Africa and Zimbabwe. The former is a repeating exception to the arguments he presents while the latter provides no evidence to support his claims.

Namely, that the institutions inherited by the newly formed democracies are the cause of the abhorrent behaviour of many African 'leaders' and their governments.

There can be no doubt that the years of colonialism ha
David Klompas
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Moeletsi Mbeki provides an exhilarating overview of the challenges faced by sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, the book is far too narrow in its focus and provides no practical solutions to the problems that it highlights.
Jun 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, africa
Absolutely worth the read
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, africa
While claiming to be a book on the problems bedeviling Africa, this book actually focuses on the trials of South Africa and Zimbabwe. There are occasional references to other parts of Africa, but the bulk of the book is dedicated to these two countries.

If you are looking to get a cohesive understanding of Moeletsi Mbeki's criticisms of the South African and Zimbabwean leaders, this book will cover what you are looking for. His observations on BEE are particularly interesting.

However, if you ar
Darin Dickson
Aug 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A must read for racists.
rated it really liked it
Mar 23, 2018
Bjorn Matthews
rated it really liked it
Oct 28, 2017
Monsieur Polk
rated it really liked it
Apr 07, 2021
Deidre Baartman
rated it really liked it
May 27, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jul 08, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jun 17, 2012
rated it really liked it
Jun 14, 2013
Asher Monyanga
rated it liked it
Apr 21, 2020
Sisa Petse
rated it it was ok
Sep 21, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2019
Bionic Zukx
rated it did not like it
Aug 26, 2020
Graham Heslop
rated it really liked it
Mar 11, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Mean Streets - Life in the Apartheid Police (Book 3) The Laughs (Mean Streets Police Books)
  • The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War
  • Chris Hani
  • Let My People Go
  • Slovo: The Unfinished Autobiography of ANC leader Joe Slovo
  • Lenin: A Biography
  • Walter and Albertina Sisulu: In Our Lifetime
  • Oliver Tambo Speaks
  • The Thabo Mbeki I Know
  • An Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln
  • Revolutionary Jews From Marx To Trotsky
  • Stalin
  • The Mother of All Questions
  • Ariel: The Restored Edition
  • Secret Revolution: Memoirs of a spy boss
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
  • Revolusi: Indonesië en het ontstaan van de moderne wereld
  • Alles wat er was
See similar books…
Moeletsi Mbeki is a political economist and the deputy chairman of the South African Institute of International Affairs, an independent think tank based at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is the younger brother of former President Thabo Mbeki, of whom he has been a frequent critic, and son of ANC leader Govan Mbeki.

News & Interviews

This collection is short, sweet and to-the-point. Below we have collected the most popular 2021 books as sorted by your fellow readers'...
72 likes · 13 comments