Today, the cohesion of multi-ethnic societies is at risk across the globe. Throughout history, to the present day, African countries have been facing this challenge. Historical inequalities and social division undermine cohesion and sow seeds of instability. How can Africa build a future where ethnic and other differences are a strength, a driver of growth and development, rather than sources of division and instability? Drawing together historians, economists and political scientists, each an authority on Africa, this book delivers a comprehensive study of that question through an exploration of the continent's divided histories, to understand where Africans stand now, and to reflect on how they might now work towards a more trusting society. Numerous case studies, statistical expositions and theoretical reflections bring conceptual clarity to the often poorly understood processes and contexts of social cohesion, not only in Africa, but across the developing and developed world.