The following remarks were delivered by Callisto Madavo, former Vice President for Africa at the World Bank, at a Congressional Staff Forum on Africa Retreat,convened by the Woodrow Wilson International Center March 8-10, 2005. A noted Zimbabwean economist, Callisto Madavo served as World Bank Vice President 1996-2005. Over the course of a distinguished 36-year career at the Bank, which included postings in the Middle East, East Asia and Africa, Madavo witnessed both the successes and failures of poverty reduction strategies in multiple settings. Now, with the world’s attention being increasingly drawn to the challenge of poverty reduction in Africa, Madavo offers an important perspective on the context and history of the economic challenges facing the continent.