Fabrice Jaumont has written a book that needed to be written decades ago. Unequal Partners: American Foundations and Higher Education Development in Africa tells the complicated story of how philanthropy has shaped higher education, in both positive and negative ways. Although the “great” philanthropists have been lauded in many books for decades, recent scholarship has challenged their benevolence and that of their foundations. Jaumont provides a fair portrayal of major foundation players in African higher education—those with a long track record and those that have just started to play a role. Rather than present these foundations as saviors that uplift higher education on the continent, Jaumont presents a nuanced view, detailing the profound impact as well as the “unequal” relationships that result when one of the partners has more resources and the other is in need of resources. Of note, the discussions and themes featured in the book are useful to those studying and working with foundations in the USA as well as in Africa. Interestingly, many of the interventions in Africa are similar to those in urban and minority communities in the USA. Overall, Unequal Partners is beautifully written, succinctly and effectively argued, and timely.
-Marybeth Gasman, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA