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Chapter Summary

Much of Africa's cultural history is of the oral tradition and must be extracted from the elders and recorded before they depart. After independence, it was the responsibility of African nationalists and elites to build upon the indigenous institutions, not only for cultural but pragmatic reasons as well. Although various analysts have attributed Botswana's success to its mineral wealth of diamonds, a combination of factors have contributed immensely to create the environment vital for economic prosperity. Foremost has been the absence of civil and political strife. By contrast, senseless and endless civil wars have raged in many African countries. On the more pragmatic level, an African economy consists of three sectors: the modern, the informal, and the traditional sectors. The vast majority of the African people live in the latter two sectors. One cannot develop these two sectors without an operational understanding of how they work.

Keywords: Africa's cultural history; African economy; African nationalists; Botswana's success; indigenous institutions



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