Seasons of Rains
Africa and the World
Globalisation has not passed Africa by. The recent boom in commodity prices has had a direct impact on African markets, as has the inescapable presence of new global powers like China on the continent. The massive amount of under-utilised agricultural land in Africa has also drawn buyers from the United States, East Asia, and Middle East. Globalization has also led to opportunities, as infrastructure is developed and mobile-phone based technologies revolutionise the way Africans live and work. Growth rates in many countries in this new, outward-looking Africa are high enough to make even the Chinese jealous.
It is this wider global context that Stephen Ellis tries to draw out in his new book Season of Rains: Africa in the World (Hurst, 2011 ). Ellis does more, though, than place Africa in the context of globalization. He also shifts perceptions of Africa away from the familiar historical framework of colonialism and post-colonialism. There is of course far more to Africa than that.
Season of Rains is an enjoyable read, full of interesting insights and provocative opinions. But beyond this, it offers the reader a new way of viewing Africa in a quickly changing world.