Jean-Michel Severino, Olivier Ray

Time for Africa Publication date : September 1, 2011

Let's face it, the West does not understand Africa — and the main reason is that we don't know enough about it.

This is the book to read to learn the truth about Africa today, its real problems and its future perspectives. The author, a renowned French expert on Africa, has drawn on his long experience in development issues.

Is the Chinese presence on the continent a positive or a negative factor for African citizens? Are the sub-Saharan regions overpopulated? Will these regions succeed in feeding their rapidly growing population? What will be the impact of climate change on Africa? Is it likely that the number of civil wars and genocides will rise? Or, on the contrary, will the current peaceful tendency persist? Should the West fear the arrival of large waves of African migrants? Can the economic growth of the last few years be expected to last? What will Africa's position be in a multi-polar world?

Demography, economics, ecology, politics, diplomacy: Jean-Michel Severino reviews all these subjects, in the light of existing progress and current trends.

• Written by a distinguished specialist, this is a book on Africa today that will be as valuable to professionals as to curious lay readers.

• Refuting catastrophic clichés, but without omitting the difficulties Africa faces, the author highlights the continent's strengths and hopes.

• This book aims to contribute to a better knowledge of Africa — because without knowledge true cooperation is impossible.

Jean-Michel Severino is the director general of the French Development Agency (afd). An Inspector of Finance, he was formerly the director of development for the French Ministry for Cooperation. He has also worked for the World Bank.