The Economies of Africa

The Economies of Africa

The Economies of Africa

The Economies of Africa


Routledge Library Editions: Development will re-issue works which address economic, political and social aspects of development. Published over more than four decades these books trace the emergence of development as one of the most important contemporary issues and one of the key areas of study for modern social science. The books cover the most important themes within development and include studies of Latin America, Africa and Asia. Authors include Sir Alexander Cairncross, W. Arthur Lewis, Lord Peter Bauer and Cristobal Kay.

An extensive collection of previously hard to access or out of print books, this set presents an unrivalled opportunity to build up a wealth of material in the field of development studies, with a particular focus upon economic and political concerns. The volumes in the collection offer both a global overview of the history of development in the twentieth century, and a huge variety of case studies on the development of individual nations.


With the coming of independence to a large part of the African continent during the last fifteen years there has arisen a growing interest and concern with its problems of economic development. In the new countries themselves this is reflected in their deliberate efforts to bring about a much greater rate of economic growth than was achieved in the past under colonial rule. A variety of paths and strategies has been adopted for this purpose but all find a common focus in economic planning procedures which in objectives are uniformly more ambitious than those practised earlier. Emphasis on growth and development has been accompanied by a steady improvement in the availability and quality of statistical data and by the publication of economic surveys and plans. Outside Africa, concern with African economic development, which of course is part of a widespread concern with the problems of less developed countries generally, finds expression in foreign aid and a proliferation of academic inquiries. From the standpoint of those seeking a broad understanding of the progress and problems of Africa since independence, official documents of both national and international agencies are useful. There are also an increasing number of academic investigations but many of these are concerned with specialized aspects of the economies they study. There is, however, a dearth of critical general studies of African economies, and those available often rest on foundations which do not facilitate inter-African comparisons.

There thus seems to be a place for a set of studies of African countries written by economists who possess an intimate knowledge of their working, making use of official and private studies (some of which they themselves have undertaken) and evaluating the policies, structures, and achievements of these economies for the student of African economic affairs. Such studies make up this book. It consists of seven descriptive and analytical studies of single African economies together with two further studies of groups of countries which, although now politically separate, have had close economic links in the past and which, in the one case at least, continue to enjoy them. The book also contains an introduction, based partly on the country studies and partly on other material, which reviews the general economic situation in relation to a number of key economic issues which have a wide relevance throughout Africa today.

Preliminary discussions among the authors took place in 1964 and the studies were written during the next two to three years. They consider developments culminating in the early and mid-

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