Book reviews: Robert Guest (2004) “The Shackled Continent: Power, Corruption, and African Lives”

Tadele Zemede Wubayehu


Over the past two decades, extreme poverty has been decreasing in all regions of the world except for sub-Saharan Africa. This attracted the attention of many scholars and policymakers from Africa and other continents of the world to study and understand the reason why Africa has remained so poor. As a result, many scholars have advanced many reasons for poverty and underdevelopment on the continent.  However, no consensus is reached among scholars for poverty and underdevelopment of Africa. 'The shackled continent' is one of the books that has attempted to explain the reasons why Africa has remained so poor. The main of this paper was to critically review the book. The shackled continent has critically analyzed and identified many hobbles that have affected the development process in Africa.  In this regard, the author assumption is that Africa has remained so poor as a result of several factors which includes failures of leadership, tribal politics, bad governance, impacts of AIDs, resource curse, lack of transparent property rights, ethnic strife, corruption, frequent military coups, and development assistance failures. Guest admits that these reasons to some extent contribute to the Africans' development challenges. However, arguably failures of leadership are the main reason for underdevelopment in Africa. The author argues that global capitalism is merely a solution to Africa's problems. This book has many strengths as well as weaknesses.

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Business and Management Studies     ISSN 2374-5916 (Print)     ISSN 2374-5924 (Online)

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