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Africa in Crisis

Diane Frost Alex Thomson Tunde Zack-Williams
Price: $ 25

The continent of Africa is in crisis, yet it was not always so. Following the decade of independence in the 1960s there was widespread optimism, but this almost totally disappeared in the 1980s and 1990s. As the millennium unfolds, Africa is faced with seemingly insurmountable problems: economic marginalization from the global market; a major health crisis stemming from the destructive effects of malaria and HIV/AIDS; and chronic political instability after a string of devastating civil wars.

This book argues that the decline in Africa's fortunes as a whole can be dated from the oil crisis and subsequent economic unrest of the late 1970s. Economic mismanagement and political authoritarianism sowed the seeds for the devastating problems of the following decades. International financial institutions imposed structural adjustment programs over most of sub-Saharan Africa that led to the wholesale privatization of state functions. This lucidly detailed account pinpoints the root causes of the crisis, and asks what lies ahead for the continent in the future. Chapters cover key issues in African development; the pitfalls of democratization; political economy and international relations.

Tunde Zack-Williams teaches at the University of Central Lancashire, England.

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