Top 5 books to get started on Africa

We tried here to avoid the usual depressing volumes about famine, war, plague and despot greed.

  1. Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Africa’s Future.George Ayittey’s economic analysis of the continent is now 10 years old, with some data unavoidably out of date, but his conclusions are still provocative and timely.
  2. I Didn’t Do it For You. Journalist Michela Wrong’s controversial Eritreian chronicle does have its share of tragedy and infuriating corruption, but it’s an insightful portrait of an often-overlooked nation.
  3. The Scramble for Africa. Thomas Pakenham’s massive historic survey is now a classic, and though a hefty tome, is quite accessible and entertaining: a perfect place to start to understand the colonial background.
  4. There Was a Country. The literary master Chinua Achebe’s very personal history of the Biafran War in Nigeria. Vivid and moving.
  5. The Battle of Adwa. For those keen on Ethiopia, this issue’s “Passport” country, this gem tells the little-known story of how a nation armed with spears and buffalo shields kicked invading Italy all the way home and shocked the Western world.

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Copyright 2015 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the May 2015 edition of Corporate Risk Canada magazine

Copyright © 2017 Transcontinental Media G.P.
Transcontinental Media G.P.