This book analyses the impact of the Western idea of 'modernity' on development and underdevelopment in Africa. It traces the genealogy of the Western idea of modernity from European Enlightenment concepts of the universal nature of human history and development, and shows how this idea was used to justify the Western exploitation and oppression of Africa. It argues that contemporary development, theory and practice is a continuation of the Enlightenment project and that Africa can only achieve real development by rejecting Western modernity and inventing its own forms of modernity. The book is divided into four sections. The first section provides an outline of the theory of modernity in the Enlightenment project. In the second section, an attempt is made to trace the genealogy of the idea of development as modernity and how the African development process gets entangled with it. Here, its evolution is mapped through three periods: early modernity, capitalist modernity and late modernity. Zeroing in on the current era of late or hypermodernity, the book contests the idea that there is something new in globalisation and its neo-liberal development paradigm. The third section turns to the complex but pertinent question of how, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Africa can transcend the impasse of modernity. The fourth and final section sums up the argument and points the way forward.