Some of the fundamental differences between two economic systems which, by and large, have come into conflict with one another in Africa south of the Sahara are analised, i.e. traditional African economies and western, capitalist oriented economies. The dire economic conditions prevailing in
Africa are the result, to a large extent, of a long history of exploitation and
economic disempowerment particularly by western powers. Not all the
strategies and programs to counter this poverty are equally appropriate or
acceptable. In the meantime a unique coping mechanism is developing, particularly within African Independent Churches which may provide some answers.