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The author focuses on Africa's current food crisis, tracing its origins back to the colonial exploitation of the 19th century. He provides a radical overview of African history and an analysis of post-independence strategies, attacking the response of the World Bank and international development agencies as well as African initiatives like the Lagos Plan of Action. Rau sees a revolution underway in both the rural areas and urban slums, where the poor have withdrawn from the formal market and are developing highly innovative and informal networks of trade.