Democracy and Development in Africa by Claude Ake

By Claude Ake

Regardless of 3 a long time of preoccupations with improvement in Africa, the economies of such a lot African international locations are still-stagnating or regressing.

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A Popular Development Strategy The primary principle of development strategy in Africa is that the people have to be the agents, the means, and the end of development. This principle is the underpinning of all development policies; their mechanisms of implementation and the distribution of the benefits of development are fairly obvious. Self-Reliance To own their own development, people have to be self-reliant. As I have tried to show in the preceding pages, development cannot be received; it has to be experienced as participation in the process of bringing it about.

It is helpful if, initially, success is perceivable in the material improvement of the lot of people involved in the development project. The development strategy for Africa will also have to be a strategy for incremental improvement of capabilities and self-esteem at all levels of society. Self-Realization Rather Than Alienation If the people possess their own development, the development process will not turn into an exercise in alienation, as has been the case in much of Africa. What is happening now is an attempt to develop against the peoplea strategy characterized by appropriating the people's right to develop themselves.

It is in agricultural activity that they can immediately participate in economic development; it is the sphere in which they have skills and experience to offer and in which they can most profit by enhancement. But there are other reasons for conceiving development initially as agricultural development, reasons clearly stated in a 1993 World Bank study: Other productive sectors are relatively small. Agriculture provided 32 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on average in 1990. Without agricultural growth at 4 percent per annum, the generally most competitive industrial sector (agro-industry) will not be supplied with the raw material to permit it to grow by its target rate of 5 to 7 percent per annum.

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