Historians of the future, looking back on the early decades of African independence, are likely to highlight its achievements. They will be able to contrast its levels of health, education, economic, social and political development very favourably with the neglect, oppression and exploitation of the previous 100 years. Nevertheless, there is no denying that Africa faces very grave problems in the early decades of the twenty-first century. Two major factors stifling African development have been international debt and, perversely as it may seem, international aid.
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