Every day millions of internet users ask Google life’s most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries

Now here’s a question that demands an answer. Why is it that arguably the world’s richest continent – in terms of natural resources – has some of the world’s poorest people? To answer it, we’d need to take a trip down memory lane. Already I can sense you rolling your eyes deep into the back of your head. “If I hear one more time about slavery in Africa …”

We often seem to be a people with little patience for history or interest in the impact of past events on present realities. But time isn’t linear and we aren’t always moving forward. There is no other way to understand Africa today without considering the history of the continent.

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