The article evaluates the case for a Marshall Plan for Africa as a solution to the continent’s development dilemma. It argues ‘that rather than a lack of capital, inappropriate economic policies and corrupt governance that have made the continent capital?hostile, are the fundamental causes of Africa’s underdevelopment. These factors have induced domestic capital flight, prevented the inflow of private investment and greatly limited the productivity of aid. The article suggests that democratic politics are more likely to encourage policy and institutional reforms in Africa, noting that the problem of being considered a ‘bad neighbourhood’ is a serious constraint on the growth of Africa’s few thriving economies. It suggests that the developmental challenge in Africa is predominantly political, and concludes that a massive infusion of external capital will only be effective in combination with domestic policy reform and institutional strengthening.