Contending Issues in African Development: Advances, Challenges, and the Future

Contending Issues in African Development: Advances, Challenges, and the Future

Contending Issues in African Development: Advances, Challenges, and the Future

Contending Issues in African Development: Advances, Challenges, and the Future

Synopsis

Taking a forward-looking approach, this book critically examines the issues and dynamics central to Africa's problematic development and situates these issues within the continent's unique cultural, political, economic, and social milieu. Moving away from a simple litany of problems bedeviling Africa's economy, the book is the culmination of several scholars' efforts to identify specific causative factors. Each chapter delineates a specific issue, demonstrates the role it plays in overall development, and speculates on probable ways to meet the challenges it poses. The major conceptual and epistemological constructs considered include the tamed African State, social capacity, management of change, reconceptualized gender roles, and economic integration.

Excerpt

Obioma M. Iheduru

African development has been analyzed in various ways. Scholars and policy makers have utilized various approaches to study the dynamics of the African development situation as well as speculate on the particular combination of resources or factors that will facilitate, if not ensure, development. In several of these scholarly and policy endeavors, one thing has, however, remained constant. Dominant analytical variables have almost always centered on certain crucial issues around which any discussions of African development problems have invariably hinged and without which a complete analysis and understanding cannot be made. The question being asked then and now is, are there any unique environmental, cultural, political, and economic issues that undergird and determine the direction of African development? A thorough examination and analysis of these central issues that have hitherto shaped development in Africa form the core of this book.

Several important issues readily come to mind. African polities are said to encompass unstructured economies, hence the need for structural adjustment policies. Other issues include a continuing massive rural to urban migration and its aftermaths of rapid population growth and urbanization; perennial political crises arising from ethnic conflicts and a weak political culture; problems of war, conflict management, and state building; debilitating famine and resultant food scarcity, poverty, authoritarianism, and the absence of a democratic tradition and a bill of human rights; and the lingering problems of the rights and place of women in the African society. Also crucially important is the place of African economies within the world

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