Africa and the Challenge of Development: Acquiescence and Dependency Versus Freedom and Development

Africa and the Challenge of Development: Acquiescence and Dependency Versus Freedom and Development

Africa and the Challenge of Development: Acquiescence and Dependency Versus Freedom and Development

Africa and the Challenge of Development: Acquiescence and Dependency Versus Freedom and Development

Synopsis

This book provides a practically oriented analysis of Africa's ongoing development problems. In contrast to most theoretical works that attempt to explain underdevelopment as the result of a lack of capital, manpower shortages, or colonial history, Abubakar argues that Africa's development problems should be seen in terms of dependency and a lack of commitment to develop. He argues further that the African governments' attitudes toward development, which until now have not received adequate attention in the literature, are a crucial factor in explaining Africa's problems with underdevelopment.

Excerpt

This book, spanning three years of effort, derives from some years of experience in dealing with development issues. Therefore it is not a theoretical work; it is practically oriented.

A lot has been said and written about African development since independence, much of it from theorists of economic development as well as from UN agencies, but little from practitioners in government directly involved with development work. Consequently the thrust has been to explain underdevelopment in terms of the conventional wisdom: lack of capital, manpower, colonial history, and so on. In this work I argue that Africa's development problems should be seen instead in terms of dependency and lack of commitment to develop. I am aware of the African center-periphery and Latin American-dependency theories. These have gone a long way in explaining underdevelopment, but one factor that has not received adequate attention is the attitude of African governments. The usual thinking blames underdevelopment on colonialism and also makes aid a vital resource for development. Though it is true that colonialism has contributed to underdevelopment, 25 years after independence, the colonial experience should cease to be a scapegoat for Africa's failure to develop. Similarly, aid has never been a solid basis for development. Development comes from the self- reliant effort of the people of a country.

Therefore the fundamental message of this book is that for Africa's development three things are necessary, namely: concrete commitment to development, not simply rhetoric; concrete effort to end dependence on the global economic system; and a people-oriented and self-reliant development strategy. To attain the two last objectives, Africa must unite and must also increase its political and economic interactions with other Third World countries. For instance, Africa could learn the lessons of autarky and self-reliance . . .

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