This article will examine the ways in which the right and a large part of the left have converged in their assessment of the African problem, united both in their denigration of dependency theory and in their belief that state intervention lies at the root of Africa's problem and that market forces represent a powerful and historically progressive force in Africa today. In this context it will consider the assumptions, the evidence and the arguments that support both the right's 'new orthodoxy' and the left's ironic rediscovery of 'the acceptable face of capitalism' in the smouldering ruins of Africa's economies.