Economic Liberation and development in Africa (Printed)
In this endnote address delivered at the 11th General Assembly of CODESRIA, held in Maputo in 2005, Jomo Kwame Sundaram notes that over three decades of economic stagnation, contraction and increased poverty have taken a huge toll on Africa’s economic, social and political fabric; and pro-active efforts are urgently required in order to build new capacities and capabilities for development. He argues that much of the ostensible conventional wisdom regarding African development and poverty is often both erroneous and harmful.
Even the IMF has acknowledged that international financial liberalization has exacerbated volatility. Worse still, there is strong evidence that some of the economic policy advice given to, and conditionalities imposed on governments in Africa have reflected vested interests and prejudice. In view of these, and the fact that economic growth and development do not necessarily reduce poverty and inequalities, Sundaram calls for greater ‘policy space’ for African governments to choose or design their own development strategies, as well as develop and implement more appropriate development policies.