This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book addresses the enduring themes and the challenges of development in sub-Saharan Africa. It includes many classic works on African political and economic development, along with important writings on emerging issues in the region. The book focuses mainly on broader comparative questions, rather than descriptions of specific countries or areas. It reviews the colonial legacy in Africa, the pivotal moment of decolonization, and the central challenges encountered by postindependence regimes and describes the leading schools of thought that have influenced the analysis of African development in recent decades. The book concludes with a note on the rationale guiding the selection of readings and an outline of the book's organization. European imperial domination created new territorial boundaries, political relationships, social strata, and economic structures.