Of all of Africa’s social organizations, the least understood is probably the indigenous economic system. The myth of “hunters and gatherers” persists, giving the impression that Africa had no economic institutions or culture before contact with the Europeans. Inexorably tied to the land, Africans supposedly eked out livings from primitive agriculture. Trade and exchange were supposedly unknown, since self-sufficiency and subsistence farming were the operative goals. Books on precolonial Africa dwelled excessively on the “backwardness” of African technology. But Africa did have economic institutions.
KeywordsEconomic Freedom European Economic Community Slave Trade Gold Coast Rural Market
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