The popularity of the first three editions of this book necessitated a fourth revised and updated version to record the many challenges in Africa since the first edition appeared in 1998. Africa is a vast and fascinating continent whose population has exceeded the one billion mark. Africa A-Z attempts to provide, in a concise manner, the facts for an elementary understanding of the continent and its complex problems. The book falls into two main sections; the five chapters on the first main section focus on the continent as a whole, dealing with its physical and human diversity, its eventful history and Africans' struggle for economic survival. The second main section contains profiles of 58 independent countries, ranging from Algeria to Zimbabwe. Presentation of the profiles is uniform, in that the same themes are covered in each profile. The data panels with the profiles contain data not provided in the text. The maps, appearing throughout the text were produced by AISA's cartography department.