This facts-and-figures book examines the world's poorest continent, why it has achieved that distinction and what the prospects are for its constituent countries. Which are the ones with potential? Which are the ones for which economic improvement and political stability look as distant as ever? How do infant mortality and life expectancy rates compare? How dependent are different countries on just one or two commodities? This book also looks at the spread of multi-party democracy in Africa and examines the prospects for the new South Africa.