HAS POLICY BEEN THE PRIMARY HINDRANCE TO AFRICAN ECONOMIC GROWTH SINCE 1960?
Published June 18, 2020, 3:28 p.m. by Moderator
Despite market liberalisation policies, increased foreign direct investment (FDI) and development loans from partners, economic growth in Africa has largely remained unchanged. One key area hampering economic development in Africa is unbalanced trade deficits especially with cheaper Chinese imports that have flooded the African markets wiping out the indigenous businesses.
Some of the other reasons hampering economic growth include crippling & unsustainable foreign debts, high investment risk, insufficient foreign direct investment FDI in the manufacturing and information technology sectors, capital flight through corruption or brain drain, lack of regional unity & harmonized trade tariffs, and systemic corruption.
Most Sub-Saharan African countries are at the initial stages of infrastructural development. Many African countries lack adequate road, railroad and seaport infrastructure that are important in enhancing international trade (Ahmed 2016, 46).
The colonial legacy destroyed Africa’s cultures and traditions. The colonial systems were created to maximize control of the African population and its resources. The political systems were authoritarian not democratic. When the European colonial powers left having done very little to improve the infrastructure, the new leaders of Africa adopted the same political and economic systems.
African leaders opted for authoritarian political systems which encouraged corruption, abuse of human rights and very limited involvement of the citizens in shaping economic policies. African traditions of conflict resolutions which were more practical were abandoned for compromised judicial systems. Ethnic discrimination, poverty and persecution of citizens are the leading causes of civil wars in many African countries (Ahmed 2016, 29 - 30).
Climate change has also decimated agricultural production in many African countries driving more people to poverty. Many African governments have weak economic policies that do not take the future into consideration. Africa is also experiencing brain drain with many African professional moving to the West to pursue their careers leaving the African continent with an acute shortage of scientists, economists, doctors, engineers and professors (Ahmed 2016, 39 - 46).
Ahmed, H. (2016). Factors impeding economic growth in sub-saharan Africa despite liberalized trade policies: Perceptions of academic experts (Order No. 10254183). Available from ABI/INFORM Collection. (1873480121). Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1873480121?accountid=45049