Why has Africa failed at the essentials? –


It is undeniable that Africa is both in a position of emergence and in a position of struggle. Indeed, Africa is becoming a valuable player in regional politics around the world. Over the past decades, Africa has seen a sharp increase in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and GDP is expected to grow by 4% to 5% in 2020 and 2021.

This trajectory has enabled Africa to overtake its regional counterparts, even in terms of capital inflows and economic growth. Despite a significant increase in the flow of foreign funds to Africa, inequality of opportunity has peaked in recent times.

Some countries such as Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa receive large capital inflows to start their development process while others have had to endure low capital inflows for a relatively long period (e.g. l ‘Eritrea, Mozambique, Lesotho).

In addition to capital inflows, notable disparities remain in incomes, assets, financial access and opportunities among African countries.

Furthermore, while significant successes have been achieved in ending banditry, terrorism and open conflict in Africa, recent events in countries such as Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, etc. , shed light on the relentless incidence of terrorism and thus extend the continent’s challenges to establishing lasting peace and security among its citizens. All of this has undermined development efforts in Africa.

African national governments and stakeholders are increasingly interested in reform that goes beyond the poverty reduction of poverty reduction strategy papers. For example, the Ethiopian government recently adopted the National Planning Commission in Addis Ababa in 2018 with the intention of accelerating the achievement of the 2030 Agenda; Nigeria’s Vision 2020 is another development plan that seeks to use human and natural resources efficiently to achieve rapid economic growth; many other development plans are being adopted in Uganda, South Africa and many African countries, with no apparent results (Easterly, 2009).

Since the independence of most African nations around the 1960s, African states have adopted different development plans to take into account the structural rigidities of their economies and societies, as detailed in the theoretical and political proposals of economics of the development of the Western world.

Western development economics was devoted to grandiose and visionary models that aimed to induce strategic structural changes with a central role assigned to government in planning and development.

However, these Western models of development have been criticized not only for being irrelevant to Africa’s development goals, but also to the kind of growth trajectories that correspond to Africa’s development path.

In the development model of the Western world, widespread market failures characterized a less developed economy. For African countries to address the almost inevitable problems of market failures, central coordination and resource allocation must be prioritized.

Corroborated by the established model of welfare economics, which argued that government action was necessary to correct market failures, African nations planned their economies centrally to encourage capital formation and accumulation. , effectively excess labor, implement the policy of greater industrialization, eliminate restrictions on foreign exchange constraints and capital controls, and coordinate the allocation of resources through programming and planning.

Although the national development plans of African countries are more ambitious than the growth and social development goals of poverty reduction strategy papers, Africa’s development goals seem ambiguous in the planning context.

Inadequate planning for the realization of the development plan in Africa raises questions of how and why past development plans have failed and the need for a much more robust and comprehensive growth agenda with clear identification of key opportunities and challenges .

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In Africa, planning for effective coordination was just understood in the context of rationality, the deliberate, coherent and coordinated formulation of economic policies without a clear procedure on how to merge the principles of planning for the achievement of development objectives. .

Even with the existing theoretical arrangements (theories of economic growth), African development would not happen automatically. Deciding in advance on the specific plan of action (planning) and involving the goals set for economic development in Africa will ensure that productivity increases alongside population growth in Africa.

Planning challenges in Africa have also been fueled by inadequate capital mobilization (domestic capital and capital outsourcing). For example, there is no consensus on regional financial integration between trading blocs in Africa.

How financial integration affects trading blocs in Africa is one of the fundamental questions that raises concerns about what should be done to improve financial development and growth in Africa.

Aggregated savings schemes should be broad so that private industrialists, merchants, landowners and financial groups can invest a considerable part of their income in a direction conducive to the rapid development of the country.

Dr. Ibrahim A. Adekunle is a Lecturer at Babcock Business School, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria.


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