A former Africa editor for The Economist, Robert Guest addresses the troubled continent's thorniest problems: war, AIDS, and above all, poverty. Newly updated with a preface that considers political and economic developments of the past six years, The Shackled Continentis engrossing, highly readable, and as entertaining as it is tragic.
Guest pulls the veil off the corruption and intrigue that cripple so many African nations, posing a provocative theory that Africans have been impoverished largely by their own leaders' abuses of power. From the minefields of Angola to the barren wheat fields of Zimbabwe, Guest gathers startling evidence of the misery African leaders have inflicted on their people. But he finds elusive success stories and examples of the resilience and resourcefulness of individual Africans, too; from these, he draws hope that the continent will eventually prosper. Guest offers choices both commonsense and controversial for Africans and for those in the West who wish Africa well.
Africa is the only continent to have grown poorer over the past three decades. Why? Robert Guest's fascinating book seeks to diagnose the sickness that continues to hobble Africa's development. Using reportage, first-hand experience and economic insight, Robert Guest takes us to the roots of the problems. Two fifths of African nations are at war, AIDS has lowered life expectancy to as young as forty and investment is almost impossible as houses that could be used as collateral do not formally belong to their owners. Most shocking of all is the evidence that the billions of dollars of aid, given to Africa has had little perceptible effect on the poor. The Shackled Continent offers insightful, and occassionally controversial, explanations for this state of affairs. In this magnificent and engaging book, Robert Guest provides an invigorating history and an inspired commentary on the enigma of modern Africa and this paperback edition includes a new chapter.
'I doubt whether there is a better brief introduction to the travails of modern Africa and their causes' Anthony Daniels, Sunday Telegraph
'He is a lively and observant reporter who can describe, in a breezy no-nonsense style, the horrors and miseries of Africans in the interior. . .The reader can learn much from this lively and outspoken book' Anthony Sampson, Guardian