Sunday, September 04, 2005

The captured state

The reason that—South Africa apart—sub-Saharan Africa has not developed is that it has not been in the interests of the controlling elites to develop it. In contrast to the "developmental states" of Asia—such as South Korea and Taiwan—which grew rich in the 1970s and 1980s by educating their populations and investing in export industries, Lockwood calls Africa's states anti-developmental, arguing that they actively discourage business, trade and innovation. In Asia, the rulers, often military men or one-party-state dictators just as in Africa, had a sense of national purpose, and the state broadly functioned for the public good. In Africa, the rulers captured the state, its institutions and sources of wealth, and kept it for themselves. They used it not to generate national wealth, but as sources of patronage to reward followers. Where reforms urged by western donors have threatened their interests, they "have resisted them until they have found ways to secure those interests in other ways," says Lockwood.

This leads to the conclusion that only Africans can develop Africa. "The international community can play only a minor, supporting role in this drama," says Lockwood. This is often a hard lesson for donors to accept. It also casts doubt on the Live 8 message that we—or even eight men in a Scottish hotel in July—can end poverty in Africa. The Make Poverty History message has set everyone up for cruel disillusionment. He also touches on the damage that rich countries still do to Africa. We may not be able to "save" Africa, but we can ensure that we do less harm. That does not just mean reforming our trade rules. It also means ending unnecessary arms sales (see Joe Roeber page 52), tackling corruption by western-based companies in Africa, tracking stolen money in western bank accounts. It means stopping and reversing the brain drain from Africa and thinking creatively of ways in which African professionals abroad can be helped to contribute to development in their own countries. This may not save Africa, but it will remove some of the barriers to it creating its own future.


At September 04, 2005 5:23 PM, Blogger John Sobieski said...

"brain drain from Africa" There are still brains to drain in Africa?

Islam is sucking the last molecule of oxygen and free thought from Africa. There isn't much hope left for Africa. The double satans of cultural retards and Islam will destroy what is left of Africa.

Pedestrian Infidel
The Pedestrian Infidel Blog

At September 04, 2005 8:56 PM, Blogger PD111 said...

OT but well worth reading, asit indicates that a major shift in attitudes is underway.

Brute reality changes the liberal mindset,,2088-1763822,00.html


At September 04, 2005 9:34 PM, Blogger erp said...

Here's some good news from the Sudan. Another Bush success story.

At September 04, 2005 10:23 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

DP111: Yes, a major shift in attitudes is indeed underway, I can feel it. It comes too late to avoid the confrontation, but hopefully just in time to win it.


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