Document Type


Publication Date





An enormous variety of experiences and possibilities characterized African economic systems at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Small village communities continued to till the soil and raise goats, sheep, cows, and chickens using the same techniques of their grandfathers, renewing all the while traditions of social solidarity and hospitality that have characterized rural Africa for centuries.Overhead, however,multinational corporations owned and operated by African nationals organized transcontinental air travel, microwave and satellite transmissions, and cell phone networks. Africa globalized with the rest of the world, though in different ways. Exports of goods and services stagnated even as migration generated new diaspora communities (often illegal as Europe and the United States erected obstacles to legal migration). Imports of new technologies failed to surprise jaded villagers who realized that MP3 files had already replaced their still-fresh compact disc collections.

Chapter of

New Encyclopedia of Africa, 2nd Edition


John Middleton
Joseph C. Miller


From JOHN MIDDLETON & JOSEPH M. New Encyclopedia of Africa, 1E. © 2008 Gale, a part of Cengage, Inc. Reproduced by permission.

Included in

Economics Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.