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The Shackled Continent: Africa's Past, Present and Future

by Robert Guest - £12.99  Pan (2005)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780330419727 | ISBN 10: 0330419722

Africa is the only continent to have grown poorer over the last three decades. Why?
The Shackled Continent, Robert Guest's fascinating first book, seeks to diagnose the sickness that continues to hobble Africa's development. Why are so many African nations at war? Why has AIDS affected Africa so much more than any other region, causing life expectancy in several countries to plummet to below forty? Why are so many African governments corrupt, inept and despotic? Why has foreign aid proven such a failure?
With an engaging combination of first-hand experience and economic insight, Robert Guest offers trenchant and sometimes controversial explanations for this state of affairs. The Shackled Continent examines the logic behind the chaos in Congo and the economic madness of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe. With vivid reporting from big slums and small villages in Malawi, the book explains why so few Africans own their own homes. To illustrate how bad roads and bribe-hungry policemen affect African business, the author rides a beer truck into the Cameroonian rain forest and is stopped at road-blocks forty-seven times.
But there are stories of hope here, too. Uganda, for example, has managed to curb the spread of AIDS. Botswana is peaceful and prosperous. South Africa, the continent's economic engine, has avoided a full-blown civil war. Robert Guest puts such triumphs in a wider context, and asks why there are not more of them. This magnificent book provided an invigorating treatise on how Africa can wake from its slumbers.

(Price & availability last checked: April 2018)

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In booklists: Africa, HIV and AIDS, Poverty & Inequality Worldwide, World History - Africa, HIV and AIDS in Africa,
In categories: World - Africa, Health & Wellbeing, Anti-Capitalism & Global Inequality, History & Biography,

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