Are Alternative Development Strategies Suitable for Africa to Remedy Its Deepening Crisis?
AGUIBOU Y. YANSANÉ
The question raised in this chapter is whether Africa, haunted by a set of interlocking crises, is ready to experiment with alternative development approaches. If so, these approaches would have to repose on Africa's all-time cherished values of self-reliance, broad popular participation, regionalism, and the support of international institutions. One must ask to what extent this approach can fuse Africa's emerging alternative development strategies with the requisite characteristic of structural adjustment α la International Monetary Fund ( IMF) and the World Bank based on export-led growth and development.
Africa's deepening crisis is caused by weak agricultural growth, decline in industrial output, poor export performance, climbing external debt, and deteriorating social indicators. Also causing difficulty are the continent's domestic policy shortcomings and the worsening international economic environment as well as the irreversible effects of devastating weather patterns and environmental degradation.
Most publications on the state of the African economy and living standards present an extremely bleak view. The continent has witnessed almost a decade and a half of falling per capita incomes and accelerating ecological degradation. Per capita food production in 1992 was lower than in 1980. Export volumes have remained stagnant or declined significantly in most countries. School enrollments have declined since 1980. Food insecurity and colossal external debt have become larger problems. Mounting unemployment, particularly among the educated, demonstrates an educational system that is not responsive