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In this sprawling inquiry into why several dozen low-income countries, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, collapsed and why some of them subsequently recovered, Mills finds more answers in domestic politics than in international factors.
Frequent predictions of the demise of President Robert Mugabe and Zimbabwe’s collapse have underestimated Mugabe’s political abilities and staying power and the support he enjoys among Zimbabweans.
To succeed in Afghanistan, the international community must tackle corruption, make aid more effective, improve cooperation with the Afghan government, pursue a regional solution to the conflict, and commit to long-term reconstruction.
Mills' answer to the question posed by the title of his book is that Africa’s political leaders have chosen not to undertake the policies that would bring about economic growth. The book unabashedly advocates a pro-business point of view to escape the current morass.