Recommended Reading

Despite being so isolated, the future and fate of the Lake Tanganyika Basin could not be more connected to the rest of the world. Rich in natural resources like oil and minerals and a place of enormous environmental importance because it contains one fifth of the world’s fresh water, the lake exists at the nexus of several global struggles. Check out some of the titles below to learn more.


Congo and the Great Lakes

The Trouble with the Congo by Séverine Autesserre

Blood River by Tim Butcher

Consuming the Congo: War and Conflict Minerals in the World’s Deadliest Place by Peter Eichstaedt

The Democratic Republic of Congo: Between Hope and Despair by Michael Deibert

The Dynamics of Violence in Central Africa by René Lemarchand

Africa’s World War: Congo, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Making of a Continental Catastrophe by Gerard Prunier

Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa’s Deadliest War by Ben Rawlence

The Great African War: Congo and Regional Geopolitics, 1996-2006 by Filip Reyntjens

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters by Jason Stearns

In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz by Michela Wrong



The Lake Regions of Central Africa: Volume 1 by Sir Richard Burton

Mimi and Toutou’s Big Adventure by Giles Foden

King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild

The State of Africa by Martin Meredith

The Congo: From Leopold to Kabila: A People’s History by Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja

Congo: The Epic History of a People by David Van Reybrouck


Aid and Development

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by  Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo

Understanding Poverty edited by Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, Roland Benabou and Dilip Mookherjee

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It by Paul Collier

The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor by William Easterly

Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It by Morten Jerven

Smart Aid For African Development edited by Richard Joseph and Alexandra Gillies

More Than Good Intentions: Improving the Ways the World’s Poor Borrow, Save, Farm, Learn, and Stay Healthy by Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel

Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo

The Idealist: Jeffrey Sachs and the Quest to End Poverty by Nina Munk

The Crisis Caravan by Linda Polman (UK edition: War Games: The Story of Aid and War in Modern Times)

Aid on the Edge of Chaos: Rethinking International Cooperation in a Complex World by Ben Ramalingam

The Politics of Aid edited by Lindsay Whitfield


China and Africa

The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa by Deborah Brautigam

African Perspectives on China and Africa edited by Firoze Manji and Stephen Marks

Winner Take All: China’s Race for Resources and What it Means for the World by Dambisa Moyo

China into Africa by Robert I. Rotberg

China and Africa: A Century of Engagement by David H. Shinn and Joshua Eisenman

The Devouring Dragon: How China’s Rise Threatens Our Natural World by Craig Simons


Natural Resources

Oil Wealth in Central Africa: Policies for Inclusive Growth by Bernardin Akitoby and Sharmini Coorey

The Burning Question: We Can’t Burn Half the World’s Oil, Coal, and Gas. So How Do We Quit? by Mike Berners-Lee and Duncan Clark

The Atlas of Water, Second Edition: Mapping the World’s Most Critical Resource by Maggie Black, Jannet King, Candida Lacey

Water, Peace, and War: Confronting the Global Water Crisis by Brahma Chellaney

The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman

The Politics of Water in Africa: Norms, Environmental Regions and Transboundary Cooperation in the Orange-Senqu and Nile Rivers by Inga M. Jacobs

When the Rivers Run Dry: Water–The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century Paperback by Fred Pearce

The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century by Alex Prud’homme

Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil Paperback by Robert Rapier

The Oil Curse by Michael L. Ross

Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization by Steven Solomon

The Scramble for African Oil: Oppression, Corruption and War for Control of Africa’s Natural Resources by Douglas A. Yates


Tropical Diseases

The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear by Seth Mnookin

Lifeblood: How to Change the World One Dead Mosquito at a Time by Alex Perry

No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses by Peter Piot

The Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years by Sonia Shah

Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and How the World Can Finally Overcome It by Craig Timberg and Daniel Halperin

The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age by Nathan Wolfe


Fiction and Human Interest

The Zanzibar Chest by Aidan Hartley

Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder

The Benevolent American in the Heart of Darkness by Albert Russo