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Groundwood Books

The Betrayal of Africa

Written by Gerald Caplan • Series edited by Jane Springer

For kids 14 years old | Published March 01, 2008 | ISBN 9780888998255

Cover of The Betrayal of Africa

Regular price $11.00 CAD

144 pages | 7.13 in × 5.13 in
Print Format

Also Available as an Ebook

About this book

The Betrayal of Africa

Groundwork Guides

Gerald Caplan • Jane Springer

Educator's Guide ↓

This fascinating look at Africa refutes the common assumption that the Western world is the solution to the challenges the continent faces. An excellent introduction to the subject for young adults.

Think Africa, and many people think of brutal war, endless famine, pervasive corruption, unworthy rulers, universal poverty, an AIDS epidemic out of control. As this book in the Groundwork Guides series shows, these characteristics are both true and a caricature at the same time.

With the bold new presence of China in Africa, with an active and angry civil society demanding more from their governments, and with a new generation of leaders apparently committed to doing better in the future, a real possibility for positive change now exists. But for Africa to move forward, the citizens of rich countries must be aware of the false premises on which their own leaders deal with the continent.

While Africa faces a daunting list of challenges, the vast majority of the continent's citizens live ordinary lives with the hopes and dreams that all of us share.

"[The Groundwork Guides] are excellent books, mandatory for school libraries and the increasing body of young people prepared to take ownership of the situations and problems previous generations have left them." -- Globe and Mail

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:


Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.


Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).


Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

About the Creators

Gerald Caplan

Gerald Caplan is a lifelong social and political activist with a passionate commitment to African development. He lives near Toronto.

Jane Springer

Jane Springer is an author and consultant in international development. She lives in Toronto.

Awards and Praise
...a small book for such a large continent with such huges issues, but this is no superficial primer for neophyte travellers and liberal do-gooders...Caplan and his publishers have produced a book that is popularly written in style, designed with tables and maps that illustrate superbly the basic concept that history does count...The Betrayal of Africa nicely explodes stereotypes that are still used today to justify economic and political exploitation...
  • Commended Booklist Top 10 Youth Series - Nonfiction, 2007