Beyond the Malachite Hills

A Life of Colonial Service and Business in the New Africa

Jonathan Lawley



What hope is there for Africa? Since the heady days of decolonization the story seems to be one of unrelenting disaster - dictatorship, ethnic conflict, civil war, and economic failure. All this has been compounded by natural disasters - including the scourge of AIDS. But there is another, less reported, story of Africa; throwing off the colonial past, gaining in pride and embracing the crucial management function; all this in the context of fruitful collaboration with Western business and, increasingly, with Asian markets. Jonathan Lawley paints a vivid and convincing picture of solid political, social and economic progress. Beyond the Malachite Hills is a remarkable testament to his long-lasting and profound involvement with this often misunderstood continent.


The tragic collapse of Zimbabwe dominates the last chapters of this fine and sensitive book. Rich with insight and written with passion - and with an edge of anger and sadness at opportunities wasted and potential squandered - Beyond the Malachite Hills should be read by every diplomat setting off on an Africa posting, not to mention well-meaning aid workers and gap-year students. – Michael Holman, Financial Times


Jonathan Lawley is consultant to the Business Council for Africa. He was born in India and educated in Africa and at Cambridge. Lawley joined the British Colonial Service in pre-independence Northern Rhodesia and served in post-independence Zambia. He has lived and worked throughout Africa.