While other developing regions have growth, Africa has become synonymous with poverty and conflict. Continuing divergence would generate unmanageable problems. Tribalism, legacies of colonialism, disease, and IMF policies have all been peddled as explanations. Modern economics can take us beyond the political posturing that has dominated discussion. It offers a distinctive diagnosis of Africa 's problems, and a practical agenda for what can be done.
Professor Paul Collier is Professor of Economics at Oxford University and Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. For five years he was Director of the research department of the World Bank, brought in by Joe Stiglitz, and he was senior advisor to the Commission for Africa. His new book, War and Peace, is about to be published. See lecture slides here. Download the 2006 RES Annual Public lecture by Paul Collier here