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Rodneys classic study of the impact

of European capitalism on the continent of


Africa continues to provoke, inspire, and educate
it resonates more than ever before.
Angela Davis
University of California, Santa Cruz

HOW EUROPE

UNDERDEVELOPED

AFRICA

Walter Rodney

Walter Rodney was born in Guyana in 1942. He taught at the University of


Dar es Salaam and is recognised as one of the Caribbeans most brilliant minds.
Combining scholarship with activism, he became a voice for the oppressed and
was the leading figure in the resistance against the authoritarian government in
Guyana. In 1980, aged 38, Rodney was assassinated.

If Walter Rodneys assassins were under the impression that they could
arrest the flow of his ideas by destroying his body, they could have not been
more wrong. Three decades later, Rodneys classic study of the impact of
European capitalism on the continent of Africa continues to provoke, inspire,
and educate. In the context of the new resistance to global capitalism, his
captivating analysis resonates more than ever before.
Angela Davis, University of California, Santa Cruz

How Europe Underdeveloped Africa helped to transform the thinking


of a generation of activists. Using a concrete analysis Rodney examined
the impact of slavery and colonialism on the continent, thereby laying the
foundation for strategies for genuine liberation. Todays republication should
not only inspire a new generation of activists and scholars but also help in the
development of updated strategies for challenging neo-liberal globalization and
neo-colonialism.
Bill Fletcher, Jr., international activist and writer, co-author of Solidarity
Divided

This book is for all bold enough to envision an end to capitalist exploitation
and the rise of a safer planet, a stronger Africa and a better world in the 21st
century and beyond.
Emira Woods, co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for
Policy Studies

In this book, Walter Rodney admonished us forty years ago that,


Not only are there African accomplices inside the imperialist system, but
every African has a responsibility to understand the system and work for
its overthrow. The republishing of this book is another reminder of our
responsibility.
Horace Campbell, Professor of African American Studies and Political
Science at Syracuse University

This classic work of black political thought, political economy, and African
history inspired scholars and political activists in the struggle against
colonialism and its misrepresentations of the past. I applaud this reissue,
which should bring Rodneys prescient analysis to a new generation struggling
from below, in whose hands, he would have reminded us, is no less than the
future of humankind.
Lewis R. Gordon, Author of An Introduction to Africana Philosophy

How Europe

Underdeveloped

Africa

Through the voices of the peoples of Africa and the


global South, Pambazuka Press and Pambazuka News
disseminate analysis and debate on the struggle for
freedom and justice.

Pambazuka Press www.pambazukapress.org


A Pan-African publisher of progressive books and DVDs on Africa and
the global South that aim to stimulate discussion, analysis and engagement.
Our publications address issues of human rights, social justice, advocacy, the
politics of aid, development and international finance, womens rights, emerging
powers and activism. They are primarily written by well-known African
academics and activists. Most books are also available as ebooks.

Pambazuka News www.pambazuka.org


The award-winning and influential electronic weekly newsletter providing
a platform for progressive Pan-African perspectives on politics, development
and global affairs. With more than 2,800 contributors across the continent
and a readership of more than 660,000, Pambazuka News has become
the indispensable source of authentic voices of Africas social
analysts and activists.
Pambazuka Press and Pambazuka News are published by Fahamu
(www.fahamu.org)

CODESRIA www.codesria.org
The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
(CODESRIA) is an independent pan-African organisation whose principal
objectives are to facilitate research, promote research-based publishing and create
multiple forums geared towards the exchange of views and information among
African researchers. All these are aimed at reducing the fragmentation of research
on the continent through the creation of thematic research networks that
cut across linguistic and regional boundaries.

How Europe

Underdeveloped

Africa

Walter Rodney

An imprint of Fahamu

Published 2012 by Pambazuka Press, an imprint of Fahamu


Cape Town, Dakar, Nairobi and Oxford
www.pambazukapress.org www.fahamu.org www.pambazuka.org
and
CODESRIA
Dakar
www.codesria.org
Fahamu Kenya, PO Box 47158, 00100 GPO, Nairobi, Kenya
Fahamu Senegal, 9 Cit Sonatel 2, BP 13083 Dakar Grand-Yoff, Dakar, Senegal
Fahamu South Africa, c/o 19 Nerina Crescent, Fish Hoek, 7975 Cape Town, South Africa
Fahamu UK, 2nd floor, 51 Cornmarket Street, Oxford OX1 3HA, UK
CODESRIA, Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop X Canal IV, BP 3304, CP 18524, Dakar, Senegal
Available in the United States of America from Black Classic Press, Inc, PO Box 13414,
Baltimore, MD 21203
Copyright 1972 Walter Rodney
Copyright 2012 Patricia Rodney
Published in 1972 by Bogle-LOuverture Publications,
London and Tanzania Publishing House, Dar es Salaam
First published in the United States 1974 by Howard University Press
Revised edition 1981
Introduction copyright 1981 by Vincent Harding, William Strickland and Robert Hill
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or any manner, electronic
or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval
system, without written permission from the publisher.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN: 978-1-906387-94-5 paperback
ISBN: 978-1-906387-95-2 ebook pdf
ISBN: 978-0-85749-097-1 ebook epub
ISBN: 978-0-85749-098-8 ebook Kindle

The Foundation continues Rodneys legacy and is currently supporting


programs in Guyana, Ghana and Tanzania.
www.walterrodneyfoundation.org.

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HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA

Addition to the Preface


The changes in this new edition of How Europe Underdeveloped Africa include
a new cover, an updated preface, and a brief description of the Walter Rodney
Foundations mission and purpose. The actual text has not been altered or
changed in any way, other than for typographical corrections.
It is extraordinary that Walters work is as relevant today as when it was first
written. The African continent continues to face similar issues to those he so
profoundly wrote about. The text provides a framework for examining not only
the role of developed countries but that of Africa in shaping its own relationship
and continued dependence on the Western Hemisphere. The lessons are also
applicable to other underdeveloped/developing nations as they examine their
own relationship of exploitation with developed countries in this contemporary age of globalization.
How Europe Underdeveloped Africa was first published by Tanzania Publishing
House and Bogle LOuverture Publications in 1972. The text was most recently
published by Howard University Press from 1989 until 2011. In 2011, the
Rodney family decided to work with Black Classic Press and Pambazuka Press
to ensure that the book and its message become more accessible to readers
worldwide as they explore the nature of their exploitation. This was Walters
hope and purpose.
Patricia Rodney

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HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA

Page 289: Index

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HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA

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HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA

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HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA

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HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA

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HOW EUROPE UNDERDEVELOPED AFRICA

African Awakening:
The Emerging Revolutions
Edited by Firoze Manji and Sokari Ekine

2012
paperback
978-0-85749-021-6
also available in pdf, epub
and Kindle formats

The tumultuous uprisings of citizens in Tunisia,


Egypt and Libya have seized the attention of
media analysts who have characterised these as
Arab revolutions. But concurrent uprisings in
other parts of the African continent have had
much less attention.
African Awakening is unique in offering
incisive contributions from writers and
activists across the continent analysing the
protests, strikes and other actions in Algeria,
Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cte dIvoire,
Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Mauritania, Morocco,
Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland,
Uganda, Western Sahara and Zimbabwe as
well as in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.
These essays reveal struggles that constitute
a reawakening of the spirit of freedom and
justice for the majority and present the 2011
uprisings in their African context.

A fine collection of insurgent voices and analyses


from a continental rebellion
Raj Patel, award-winning writer, activist and academic

Order your copy from www.pambazukapress.org

Maldevelopment: Anatomy of a Global


Failure
Samir Amin

2011
paperback
978-1-906387-79-2
also available in pdf, epub
and Kindle formats

Samir Amin explains with great clarity the


complex changes of the late 20th and early 21st
centuries, including the transformations in
Eastern Europe and in the world economy, the
growth of capitalism in China and the Wests
increasingly questioned materialist goals.
He examines the failure of development
from a political stand-point with particular
emphasis on Africa. The capitalist state in
the peripheries cannot provide a basis for
further development, it can only exacerbate
inequalities. The world needs to be remade
based on SouthSouth cooperation, delinking
the South from the North. This could lead to
a genuinely polycentric world that provides
Asia, Africa and Latin America with real scope
for development.

One can always rely on Samir Amin to provide us with


a provocative guide to forces at work in the global economy.
In Maldevelopment, he offers invaluable insights into the dynamics
of the subordination of the economies of the South to the those of
the North in the regime of global capitalism.
Walden Bello, Professor of Sociology and Public Administration
at the University of the Philippines Diliman,
and executive director of Focus on the Global South

Order your copy from www.pambazukapress.org

Reclaiming African History


Jacques Depelchin

2011
paperback
978-1-906387-98-3
also available in pdf,
epub and Kindle formats

Depelchins thought-provoking essays


(previously published in Pambazuka News
and by the Ota Bega Alliance) show that
through African histories it is possible to
reconnect to all the histories of those who have
been disconnected: shackdwellers the poor, the
dispossessed His analysis of African history
demonstrates how peoples have been forced
into looking at their own histories through a
shattered mirror, deliberately and forcefully
crushed so as to render the exercise practically
impossible. But history could be written in a
way that would free it from European and US
historical intellectual frameworks.
Reclaiming African History enables a
reconnection to humanity not only for the
sake of Africa, but for the sake of those who
did everything to bury African history.

The value of this small and affordable book is to stimulate


a re-think of Africans predicament and an understanding of its
historical causes... Important for all interested in African and
diasporan studies, history, and politics, with an additional salience for
those such as social activists, NGOs, and journalists concerned
to comment and act on African crises.
Peter Limb, The African Book Publishing Record

Order your copy from www.pambazukapress.org

Walter Rodneys groundbreaking analysis, republished in conjunction with the Walter Rodney Foundation and with a new preface by
Patricia Rodney, shows how the wealthy countries and international
capitalism bear major responsibility for impoverishing Africa. This
revolutionary text remains an essential introduction to the dynamics
of Africas relations with the West.

A milestone in the history of Africa thinking for itself.


Samir Amin, director of the Forum du Tiers Monde (Third World Forum), Dakar

Walter Rodneys magisterial opus is recognised globally as a landmark in African studies, not to
mention the history of colonialism and imperialism. Beautifully written and expertly argued, it is
that rare book that can be called a classic. It belongs on every bookshelf.
Gerald Horne, historian, author, activist

A masterpiece of historical analysis that has remained both pointed and relevant in spite of the
passage of time.
Adebayo Olukoshi, director of the UN African Institute for Economic Development and Planning

As the world capitalist system is showing signs of collapse, Walter Rodneys brilliant study is
re-emerging as a classic which Pan-Africanists should read and re-read.
Issa G. Shivji, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Research Chair in Pan-African Studies, University of Dar es Salaam

Every person in Africa and of African descent, and every European, would be the richer for
studying this text and taking its lessons to heart.
Norman Girvan, Professor Emeritus, University of the West Indies

This book is a legendary classic that galvanised freedom fighters around the world. We miss
Walter Rodney but we do have his great witness and work!
Cornel West, philosopher, author, critic, activist and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America

Walter Rodneys seminal and revolutionary text has nurtured generations of radical thinkers
all over the world and has become prophetic in its scathing relevance for todays militarised
globalisation and the new hi-tech corporate scramble for Africa.
Amina Mama, director of the Women and Gender Studies program, University of California, Davis

An imprint of Fahamu