“I speak of Africa,” Shakespeare wrote, “and of golden joys.” Martin Meredith quotes William Shakespeare in a book full of fortunes and wealth. But if there is great fortunes in the game, robbery ain’t far away.
The Fortunes of Africa’ by Martin Meredith is a splendid but shocking history book.
Traditionally, Africa is a continent full of riches. Until this very day, it’s deprived of it’s treasures. By oil companies who make deals with corrupt governments. By rogue traders who maintain wars with exchanging for raw materials such as coltan and diamonds. And Land Grab.
Nothing’s new for Africa. In the recently published book ‘The Fortunes of Africa’ Martin Meredith describes how Egypt over 5000 years ago, grew and prospered, thanks to the resources from the African hinterland. The river Nile irrigated their fields and was a fairway that gave access to ivory, ebony, exotic animal skins, frankincense and slaves.
An estimated 24 million men, women and children are trafficked into slavery in recent centuries. European countries took almost the entire continent in possession because of cotton, cocoa, coffee, rubber, ivory, gold, diamonds, copper and oil.
And still, the fortunes of Africa are in demand, perhaps now more than ever. The rising power of China has greatly stimulated the demand for African oil and minerals. In a review in Dutch I described how Meredith describes about agriculture. Read this on Blendle.