African Geopolitics

For over a thousand years, foreign powers, including the Arabs, Portuguese, Spanish, British, French, and now Chinese, interfered in African affairs to pursue economic and political gains. In a similar way, African rulers exploited this foreign presence for their own ends. Foreigners came in search of slaves, gold, and other natural resources, such as land and manpower for plantations. This process dragged Africa into the global geopolitical scene, resulting in civil wars, colonialism, and environmental demise.

This book provides a brief outline of Africa’s pre-colonial and colonial history, analyzing the economic, sociopolitical, and cultural fields on the level of the continent as a whole but emphasizing the diversity of the actors involved. It concludes by explaining the significant current challenges facing Africa: peace and security, food supplies, and sustainable development.


Philippe Hugon, author (University of Paris, Nanterre) is the director of research at IRIS and is the author of more than 15 books on Africa.

Steve Rendall, translator is professor emeritus of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon and the author of numerous books and articles about French and European literature. He is also editor emeritus of Comparative Literature and has translated over 50 books and 50 articles from French and German, including many available from Markus Wiener. Rendall was awarded both the National Jewish Book Society’s Sandra Brand and Arik Weintraub Award and the Modern Language Association’s Scaglione Prize.