This chapter deals with economic development in pre-colonial Africa. Was the continent underdeveloped or developing? In this chapter we will see that it was both. Pre-colonial history shows us evidence of progress because of African pioneering abilities, but also setbacks because of the hard conditions people had to face in those days. The chapter shows that Africans were not passive victims. They were innovative and good at adapting although the choices available to them did not provide opportunities of long-term economic development.