Africa Since Independence is an analytical piece by Colin Legum, which deals with four major themes in the realm of Africa's independence. The book itself has it's origins in a series of lectures which the author conducted in 1997at the Indiana university in Bloomington. The author believes Africa has experienced three major phases in its "learning cycle" since the time of independence. The years from 1939-1970, Africa was engulfed in the romantic period, a time in which the dream of liberation was on the minds of most Africans. The second phase "disillusionment," was clustered in the years from 1970-1985. Most African nations had newly achieved their independence, and an attempt to move quickly towards democracy was met with "deadlock" in the ideological division within the liberation movements, hence most nations were in an advent stage of unrest. The year 1988 -? is marked as the period of realism. This period is viewed as the time of Africa's economic deterioration in the international scene. Most African nations find themselves now battling debt from multilateral and bilateral agencies instead of military coups. .
The period of the renaissance, meaning the rebirth of African nations mainly focus on the realities of our times and projections of the state of development in Africa. The author views Africa from an objective perspective that is not blurred by western ideology of development, rather his analysis is conducted from a perspective that sees the dialectics of new nations that came to be from an imperialist situation. A hasten expectation of full democracy and development will further deteriorate the state of African nations, therefore programs by the world bank and the IMF tend to fail in the case of Africa. .
Mainly, Africa's current political and economic situation is foundational in the period of 1939-1970. A wide array of criticism based on the idea of a corrupted Africa was formulated at this particular stage of Africa's development.