Following a review of geography, climate and soils, the course starts with an analysis of Africa's subsistence economies at the start of the colonial period in 1890. The philosophical and moral outlook that animated the colonial conquest is examined in the writings of Fredrick Lugard and Mary Slessor. The process of agriculture in the colonial period as it was influenced by technology, evolving rural food markets and export crop marketing boards is traced up to the mid-1960s. Marketing boards provide the gateway into postcolonial politics and economic policy, the key to Africa's current problems. Further topics include the economics of mineral wealth, African entrepreneurship, the microenterprise sector and structural adjustment. The World Bank, IMF and UN agencies play a major role, owing to the administrative weakness of African governments; the motives and methodologies of these agencies receive close scrutiny.