Things Still Fall Apart shows that Africa is a neglected and exploited continent. Since it was invaded c.1500 by Europeans, it has accumulated only 1 per cent of the world’s wealth, despite containing 16 per cent of the world’s population and immense natural and human resources.
This collection of memories by a Brazilian economist, from his 20 years working on the continent, explains that this relative stationary situation is caused mostly by political decisions. Political decisions made on behalf of domestic rulers and rich countries; meanwhile, the poor have no voice or power.
The book challenges many historical narratives of the continent and unveils issues such as negative primitive accumulation and the politics of sexuality. The findings of this book reflect the reality of the poor and may be considered alarming and challenging – they need special attention and funding. If not, further stagnation, civil conflicts and migratory waves will persist. As a result, suffering for poor and future costs for rich countries will increase.
Nelio Dorea de Oliveira was born in Bahia, Brazil, in 1944. He studied Economics at the Federal University of Bahia, and the University of Glasgow in a PhD programme. He worked at the Ministry of Finance and the National Socio Economic Development Bank (BNDES) in Rio de Janeiro. He moved to Africa to work with the African Development Bank, in conjunction with the World Bank and IMF. Nelio also consulted with the UNDP and Goldman Sachs. He taught at Rio de Janeiro University, Oporto University and at the Tunis Business School. His international career has enabled him to gain a wide range of skills and exposure to different cultures and languages. He is married with two daughters and lives in London.