`Africa is a lost cause'. This is a cynical view held widely in the West, in much of the world and even in Africa. Many people in the old European colonial powers - and not only the dwindling band of 'old Africa hands' who served in the colonies - are in despair, lamenting maladministration, corruptiuon, civil and inter-state wars, poverty, famine and the seemingly unstoppable march of AIDS. And all in a great continent with abuntant human and natural resources. The other side of the coin is that hope is beginning to dawn as Africa's plight is recognised by the Africans themselves and its vital strategic, political and economic importance in the age of globalisation is gaining universal appreciation. An 'African renaissance' may seem far-fetched but there is perhaps light at the end of the tunnel.This is the backdrop against which Andrew Sardanis's fascinating story is set. It begins with his work as a journalist in Cyprus - on the receiving end of British colonialism - and moves to Northern Rhodesia where he played a leading role as an international businessman and in the politics of independence leading to the new nation of Zambia. He was at the heart of Zambia's political and business development, and always a sympathetic but critical observer and adviser, both in government and in business, as well as a close but objective friend of leaders including Kenneth Kaunda.