Here's a review of a new book entitled Africa: Altered States; Ordinary Miracles." The review is by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who often writes about Darfur, but also about human trafficking in Asia.
The book attempts to correct the generally negative view of Africa that most Westerners have. Richard Dowden, the book's author, shares his experiences working and traveling throughout the continent as well as his concerns with official development assistance/foreign aid.
Kristof agrees with Dowden that Africans themselves need to be more central to stories about the continent. For example, Kristof writes:
"It’s true that the most successful and cost-effective interventions are typically not those started by a grand conference in a capital; rather, they are the grass-roots efforts started by local people with local knowledge addressing local needs. We could do much more to support such efforts, with us Westerners serving as aides and financiers to African social entrepreneurs."