Africa and the Demographic Consequences of the Columbian Exchange

Ewout Frankema*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Patrick Manning has been one of the leading scholars of African historical demography since the late 1970s. This essay takes stock of his contribution to the field and highlights some of the debates in which Manning has participated over the past forty years. The essay also discusses some of the main challenges of extrapolating African population series into previous centuries, arguing that the models designed by Manning capture the potential negative consequences of the trans-Atlantic slave trade on African population development since 1500 well, but that the next step forward requires methods for estimating the positive effects of the introduction and diffusion of New World food crops in Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-79
JournalAsian Review of World Histories
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2019


  • Africa
  • Columbian exchange
  • historical demography
  • Patrick Manning

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