Africa is the only continent to have grown poorer over the last three decades. Why? The Shackled Continent, Robert Guest's fascinating first book, seeks to diagnose the sickness that continues to hobble Africa's development. Using reportage, first hand experience and economic insight, Robert Guest takes us to the roots of the problems. Two fifths of African nations are at war, AIDS has lowered life expectancy to as young as forty years old and investment is almost impossible as houses that could be used as collateral do not formally belong to their owners. Most shocking of all is the evidence that the billions of dollars of aid, given to Africa has had little perceptible effect on the poor The Shackled Continent offers, sometimes controversially, explanations for this state of affairs. In this magnificent and engaging book, Robert Guest provides an invigorating history and an inspired commentary on the enigma of modern Africa.