The role of Africa in the global economy is changing as a result of new corporate strategies, changing international trade regulation and innovative ways of overseeing the globalized production and distribution of goods. African participants in the global economy are facing demands for higher levels of performance and quality. Their responses have generated the occasional success but also many failures. Noted researchers Peter Gibbon and Stefano Ponte describe the central processes that are at the same time integrating some into the global economy while marginalizing others. They show the effects of these processes on African countries, farms and firms through an innovative combination of Global Value Chain analysis and Convention Theory. In doing so, the authors present a timely overview of the economic challenges that lay ahead in Africa and point to ways to best address them.