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Season of Rains: Africa in the World. Stephen Ellis
Most of what is written about Africa is framed in terms that have been out of date for years. Too often, it is seen as heading for either disaster or salvation; the realities are more subtle, more complicated than this binary opposition suggests. The continent has over the last century experienced the fastest population growth in the entire history of...
Most of what is written about Africa is framed in terms that have been out of date for years. Too often, it is seen as heading for either disaster or salvation; the realities are more subtle, more complicated than this binary opposition suggests. The continent has over the last century experienced the fastest population growth in the entire history of our planet. This brings pressures environmental and human, but it also changes the logic of Africa's economics. It suggests reasons for hope. Thanks to mobile phones, African retail markets are now becoming integrated; in South Africa, Nigeria and elsewhere, banking is penetrating society; foreign direct investment is higher than ever before. And Africa has 80 per cent of the world's empty agricultural land, which foreigners covet. Yet there is no reason to believe that Africa is heading for political stability. Its so-called 'failed states' are actually here to stay. After two centuries when Europeans and Americans thought of Africa as a continent struggling to catch up, it has arrived. It has developed, but in ways no one foresaw. Season of Rains explains how one billion Africans are changing their continent and changing the world. Stephen Ellis dissects how the postcolonial legacy has been overcome, how Africans are seizing the commercial and political initiative, and why this matters. Africans are reorienting-literally-as they connect to the East. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese, seeking minerals, oil and more, have settled in Africa; conversely the Chinese city of Guangzhou is home to as many as 100,000 Africans. In a series of short, pungently written chapters, Ellis surveys the continent today, offering the reader an indispensable guide to how money, power, religion and indigenous development will shape Africa's coming generations.
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