Fifteen men and women have occupied the position of Assistant Secretary for African Affairs. They charted the course of U.S. Africa policy for fifty years that spanned the dawn of African independence to the present era of globalized engagement. In these pages each Assistant Secretary describes his or her stewardship and assesses the state of the U.S – Africa relations during their tenure. Their perspectives are enhanced by the oral histories of six Foreign Service Officers who recall the excitement and challenges of living and working in Africa and associating with such leaders as Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba and Nelson Mandela. The courage and dedication of all these men and women illuminate every page.