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Why is Africa so poor? Why are so many of its nations at war? Why is AIDS devastating Africa like nowhere else? And why do African entrepreneurs find it so hard to borrow money? In this provocative and thoughtful book, Robert Guest argues that the continent remains poor primarily because it is badly governed. Since the colonial powers pulled out, the autocrats who largely replaced them have struggled to keep order, let alone create an atmosphere conducive to economic development. The results have been devastating: Two-fifths of African nations are at war, AIDS has lowered life expectancy to as young as 40 years, lack of collateral makes investment almost impossible, and foreign aid has had very little effect on the daily lives of the poor. The Shackled Continent provides a persuasive look into the persistent problems of modern Africa and offers some possible solutions. What Africa needs is peace, the rule of law, and greater freedom for individuals to pursue prosperity without hindrance from their rulers. The prescription may sound simple, but it is tough to administer, as Guest’s investigations from Angola to Zimbabwe reveal.