"An excellent introduction. It is not just a well-laid-out narrative, it is a thought-provoking reflection on the arguments that swirl around the image of Africa today." Richard Dowden-Director of the Royal African Society and author of Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles
"Clear, well written, and provocative. Be prepared to have your prejudices challenged." Ray Bush-Professor of African Studies and Development Politics, University of Leeds
"Informed, challenging, and thought provoking." Peter Woodward-Professor of Politics, University of Reading
Beset by war, famine, and corruption, Africa is viewed by many in the West as a helpless charity case. Little seems to change despite decades of massive financial assistance, prompting many to question whether Africa is a lost cause. Although home to diverse and dynamic societies, the continent is often seen as a single entity, and the West treats it as a problem to be `solved'.
This unsentimental and hard-hitting account of the continent today delves into Africa's complex and controversial history to get to the heart of its plight and its dismal economic performance. Presenting outside aid and intervention as potential obstacles to development rather than a miracle cure for Africa's ills, Tom Young argues that the West needs to stop trying to impose its values on the continent. And for real, sustainable change, African governments ultimately have to take responsibility for solving their own problems.