These articles cover: early agricultural development; history of agricultural crops; patterns of land use and tenure; introduction and use of metals; economic and technological aspects of the Iron Age; patterns of trade; trade routes and centres; and media of exchange.

Part 1 Colonial theorists and pragmatists: the economic policy of the Congo state, Ruth Slade; Chamberlain's doctrine of tropical African estates, R. Robinson et al; German colonial policy, W.O. Henderson; the dual mandate, Lord Lugard; the Sarraut programme, S.H. Roberts; development and welfare, W.K. Hancock. Part 2 From the "scramble" to independence - a survey of economic development: transportation in sub-Saharan Africa, S.D. Neumark; economic development in French West Africa, C. Coquery-Vidrovitch; the Northern Rhodesian economy and the rise of the copper industry, R.E. Baldwin; Portugal's economic policy in Africa - a reassessment, Z.A. Konczacki; the fiscal role of the marketing boards in Nigerian economic development, 1947-1961, G.K. Helleiner. Part 3 Land, agriculture and trade: economic man in Africa, W.O. Jones; Ghanian capitalist cocoa-farmers, Polly Hill; some social and economic implications of paternalism in Uganda, Cyril Ehrlich; shares of racial groups and of firms in the import trade of Nigeria and the Gold Coast, P.T. Bauer. Part 4 Labour -problems of supply and social aspects: the development of a labour force in sub-Saharan Africa, E.J. Berg; backward-sloping labour-supply functions and African economic behaviour, M.P. Miracle and B. Fetter; the productivity of African labour, P. de Briey; moral effects of wage-earning and the Africans, G.St.J. Orde Browne. Part 5 Capital - some aspects of saving and investment: saving and investment by Africans, W.O. Jones; capital investment in sub-Saharan Africa, Sir Alan Pim; some aspects of investment and economic development in the continent of Africa, S.H. Frankel; foreign investment and technological diffusion - the case of British colonial Africa, T.R. De Gregori.