Kenyan Capitalists, the State, and Development

Kenyan Capitalists, the State, and Development

Kenyan Capitalists, the State, and Development

Kenyan Capitalists, the State, and Development

Excerpt

The 1980s and early 1990s witnessed, almost worldwide, radical initiatives aimed at safeguarding and intensifying national economic performance in a more competitive world. Examples abound of programs contrived to stimulate productivity and to engender a more enabling economic environment in national, regional, and international contexts. In Western Europe, a strategy for forming a larger and more dynamic economic bloc set the stage for strengthening the European Economic Community by attempting to transform it into a closer political alliance. A more surprising and less expected change was in Eastern European countries and the former Soviet Union. There, state-run economies were discarded for private enterprise and competitive politics. In the Americas, the United States—Canada Free Trade Agreement—with Mexico as a projected participant in the larger North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)—became operative; and the goal of forming a common market between Brazil and Argentina by 1999 was shifted to 1994. There was the further intent of involving other South American countries. By far more spectacular changes occurred in Asia, where, besides Japan, the newly industrialized countries (NICs) of South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong graduated into the industrial league on the basis of high value-added international exports. Following in the footsteps of the NICs were the so-called rapidly industrializing countries (RICs)—ASEAN countries (especially Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand), coastal China, and India: their transformation was driven both by exports and large internal markets. Finally, during this period novelty economic experiments, notably the conversion of debt into portfolio or foreign direct investments, gained momentum in some countries with notable success, particularly in Latin America.

In contrast to the recognition in all these cases of the need for new social, economic, and political strategies, the agenda in sub-Saharan Africa remained curiously unchanged. Most African countries remained . . .

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