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This history of modern Africa takes as its starting point the year 1800,
because, although by that time the greater part of the interior of Africa
had become known to the outside world, most of the initiatives for political
and economic change still remained in the hands of African rulers
and their peoples.
The book falls into three parts. The first describes the precolonial history
of Africa, while the middle section deals thematically with partition
and colonial rule. The third part details the emergence of the modern
nation states of Africa and their history. Throughout the 200 years covered
by the book, Africa, and not its invaders, is at the centre of the story.
The authors are as concerned with the continuity of African history as
with the changes that have taken place during this period.
The new edition covers events up to the middle of 2003, and takes
account of the fresh perspectives brought about by the end of the Cold
War and the new global situation following the events of 11 September
2001. It is also concerned with the demographic trends that are at the
heart of so many African problems today, with the ravages of diseases
such as HIV/AIDS and malaria and with the conflicts waged by warlords
fighting for control of scarce resources.

Roland Oliver-Africa since 1800 (2005)