This chapter focuses on sub-Saharan African countries to illustrate some of the historical, geographical, economic, political, and cultural challenges the region faces in state building, economic development, and integration into the international community. Africa will not reach its full economic potential and fully integrate into the global economy until it achieves political stability and makes significant improvements in education and healthcare. The imperialists left vast inequities in education levels and distribution of wealth, and since independence, corruption, bloated bureaucracies, protectionism, inadequate spending on education, civil conflicts, and high military spending have stunted economic development. The history of the Democratic Republic of the Congo illustrates the many obstacles that have stood in the way of African development and greater integration into the global economy. The inspirational story of Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress attests to the importance of enlightened leadership to human progress.