Looting Africa: The Economics of Exploitation

About the Book

Despite the rhetoric, the people of Sub-Saharan Africa are becoming poorer. From Tony Blair‘s Africa Commission, the G7 finance ministers‘ debt relief, the Live 8 concerts, the Make Poverty History campaign and the G8 Gleneagles promises, to the United Nations 2005 summit and the Hong Kong WTO meeting, Africa‘s gains have been mainly limited to public relations. The central problems remain exploitative debt and financial relationships with the North, phantom aid, unfair trade, distorted investment and the continent‘s brain/skills drain. Moreover, capitalism in most African countries has witnessed the emergence of excessively powerful ruling elites with incomes derived from financial-parasitical accumulation. Without overstressing the ‘mistakes‘ of such elites, this book contextualises Africa‘s wealth outflow within a stagnant but volatile world economy.


Patrick Bond’s book provides a solid theoretical, empirical, and analytical framework showing and proving that the processes of looting the African continent, which started with the slave trade, have continued to this day. Primitive accumulation is inherent in imperialism. Civil society and working people’s organisations in Africa, therefore, should not jump on Blair/Geldof bandwagons and sing in Royal Albert Hall ‘Make Poverty History’; rather they should toyi-toyi in the streets of Abidjan and Antananarivo, Cape Town and Cape Verde, Davos and Geneva, Paris and Hong Kong, insisting, ‘Make Imperialism History’. – Professor Issa Shivji, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

‘Along with Samir Amin, Basil Davidson and the other greats who have allowed us to understand and admire the struggle of modern Africa, Patrick Bond has long taken his place. Patrick‘s books on post-apartheid South Africa have been a beacon, and his latest is a brilliant analysis and timely expose of the rapacious forces ranged against Africans today.‘ – John Pilger

‘The book is typically Bond – a no-holds barred analysis, together with ample empirical evidence, of the destruction of the African continent by capital without conscience… Bond provides updated, synthesised information of Africa‘s wealth and income outflows… cuts through the technical economic jargon’ – Mail and Guardian, 22 September 2006

'…a short but sweeping book, offering a multifaceted analysis of African economic deprivation, and insisting that charitable efforts to address African poverty will fail if they do not confront global and national structures of exploitation. Looting Africa approaches its subject with a telescope rather than microscope – it covers vast territory, seriously ' – Multinational Monitor

‘An important contribution to the political analysis of the continent, as viewed on the inside.' – ComAfrica, Brazil

‘Bond’s book points out at a great deal of valuable information and a compelling critique of Africa’s place in the world.’ – The African Channel, Book review by Ronald Elly Wanda

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