The history of underdevelopment in Africa:
The theory of economic growth and development is divided, and when we say economic development it is not clear how much is agreed upon. Therefore, the intention we are meant for our economic success can be described as a country that is more industrialized, a country that is more productive, and a country which its exports are more than compared in its imports.
Similarly, the indicators of economic development can be said to be the increase in the income of the citizen by focusing on the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), improving the lives of the citizens while the country should play a leading role in improving the quality of health services. education, sanitation and water which also play a significant
Sources: kolumnmagazine.com role in improving the quality of life and increasing life expectancy of the citizens, reducing infant, maternal and adult mortality by preventing and reducing communicable diseases. At the same time, economic development is at the forefront of job creation, poverty reduction and rising life expectancy.
Indeed, when we look at the indicators of economic development and growth that we have outlined above, we see that sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest levels in all economic traits that must be otherwise improved in order to go to the first rung of development. Agreeably, Africa’s larger population is facing difficulty to earn a living.
More than 422 million people live below the poverty line, representing 70% of the world’s population living in extreme poverty. Meanwhile in 2019 33% of the population of Africa were living at only mere $ 1.9 a day. The Sustainable Development Goals, in particular, the goal of Eradicating Extreme Poverty, is projected that Africa will be achieved a promising stride for poverty reduction, Africa by 2030 24% will be still in the poverty line, of course it is an encouraging step but still Africa shows that it is lag behind the rest of the world.
Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the two poorest countries in Africa with almost a quarter of Africa’s poor living in these two countries alone.
Also by 2030 Africa will be 87% of the world’s poor, the reason why Africa is suffering is because the rest of the world is at a high level of poverty reduction, only a few countries may join Africa in lagging behind, North Korea, Haiti, Papua New Guinea and Afghanistan are also showing signs of delays.
How does a Country develop?
According to the Economic Development Theories, a country cannot achieve sustainable economic growth and development Dependence merely on natural resources, agriculture, livestock (At least 10 years of economic growth of not less than 10%).If the country is dependent on consumer Goods, do not wait for that country to prosper economically.
By Consumer Commodity we mean that the country is dependent on unprocessed agricultural production, or natural resources such as iron ore, diamonds, minerals, gold and the like, or crude oil and natural gas.
So my dear readers, isn’t most of Africa a continent of consumer goods? Let’s take countries like Kenya that depend on flower exports, Ethiopia Coffee, Somalia and Somaliland Livestock, Congo Diamond, Zambia Copper and Nigeria Oil all these countries and flocks of all African countries but South Africa received Billions of hard currency from natural resources and consumer goods.
These countries are also politically considered Rent-Seeking States, because their economies depend on raw materials and natural resources. Keeping in mind that raw materials cannot be economically viable, but only in terms of mouth feeding, we recommend that Africa take an economic policy to look to the East.
East Asian countries known as the Tigers or emerging market countries will be important allies for Africa to ask how they got there. Because duplicating their policy and following their path of success in these countries could be one of the easiest ways for Africa to prosper economically. This is because Asia and Africa are two continents that share many same aspects, such as geography, climate, colonial history and the quest for independence, population growth and youth population which is a strength of these two continents and of course, the centuries-old close historical and trade ties. Thus, the economic and governing policies adopted by the Eastern Asian blocs could significantly change the complex situation persisting in Africa.
What can we learn from economically developed countries, especially East Asia?
A clear policy for the development of the country is essential. Policy development and implementation puts the country on the right track. Institutions in African countries are inferior to their counterparts in the rest of the world, and there are widespread delays and a constant bureaucratic system in administration to create institutions that stand on solid foundations.
In terms of the importance of African politicians and technicians, we can recommend the following:
Pursuing, establishing and sustaining these principles can realize the short-term goals and aspirations that African countries must achieve in order for their citizens and future generations to have a developed and prosperous life.
Reform and re-adjust to improve the country’s regulation and laws on investment and trade.
As we have learned, all countries with limited economic development are known to have poor laws and closed trade policies. It is difficult for entrepreneurs and investors to find a legitimate investment and business service based on the trade friend environment of these countries. Often, employment offices associated with these activities are tedious, time-consuming (bureaucratic).
The cornerstone of development is the rule of law and property rights, in his book William Easterly-, The tyranny of experts, urges that “there isn’t of shortage of plans or experts, but a shortage of individual rights in addressing poverty, in this excerpt Africa have to reinforce political rights and rule of law, people in Africa should get an opportunity to be listened to their elected government officials and what they need should those officials put in to plan and later action for implementation, this is the policy that all African nations are afar now.
Perhaps Africa’s tyranny and autocratic governing systems are shortening the alternative economic development possibilities and they do put their people at indifference choices which then leave them hopeless for their lives.
Therefore, the foundation of a well-developed institution, a skilled workforce and friendly open environment that can make the country prosperous must be taken into account. It is important to establish a clear policy and long-term plan for the country’s economy, the country must have a leadership that is ready to realize the country’s long-term vision and lead the right political direction.
Creating a Business Friendly Environment.
Africa must benefit from trade. Trade creates jobs, improves trade balance, and lowers the price of consumer goods through expanding imports and generating revenue by exporting from locally manufactured goods. Most importantly, however, the business generates revenue for the government through excise duties on goods and services.
Much of Africa is struggling to improve and promote international and regional trade. For example, in Africa, which is made up of regions, there is very little domestic trade between neighboring countries. East Africa such as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are estimated to have roughly more than 130 million people but trade between these countries is very low.
The Horn of Africa region, home to more than 200 million people, is no exception. Closed borders, slow movement of people and goods, poor infrastructure especially roads and ports have all made African trade very low, suffocated and limited. Attracting international and local investors plays a major role in the country’s development. Creating a conducive investment environment in the country paves the way for the country’s growth.
Clearly, encouraging investment and building a trusting environment for investors is one of the main drivers of economic growth and sustainable development in a country. Funding creates jobs, improves the lives of citizens and at the same time the government receives taxes to pay for the operation of public services.
Anti- Globalization Advocacy:
Africa faces two competing challenges and dilemmas. Africa and African leaders’ pursuit of socalled globalization is an ideology often pushed by Western countries and their view of the Liberal Market Capitalist poses a serious threat to Africa’s products and products.
In the world of international trade regulation, they are directly linked and it is a portion of the international relationship in economic and trade policy.
Africa’s role in international trade forums is limited, and Africa’s productivity is unmatched by any other products in the developed world and emerging markets in terms of quality, quantity, speed, packaging, trademarks and delivery of goods to international markets. As a result, the continent faces enormous challenges from competing developed and emerging nations. Reducing trade barriers, lowering tariffs, creating free markets and tax-free zones are among the most important concepts on the principle of globalization, especially the free trade zone.
Meanwhile, Africa is facing dangerous regulation from the rest of the world in particularly developed countries like OECD members of those are pursuing a policy of self-preservation and protectionism with the aim of promoting their industrial production and the growth of their private sectors.
Challenges posed by globalization to least developing nations is enormous, because international trade generally favors rich countries, because these countries tend to set international trade policies and standards.
This policy is based on complex regulations aimed at importing goods from foreign countries. Excessive taxes and the consolidation of quotas are part of Africa’s ungrateful measures that have long prevented Africa’s exports industry from thriving.
Creation of Financial Services Sector
One of the policies for sustainable economic development is the development of financial services. Emerging tigers in East and South Asia have been encouraged to set up financial institutions and financial services markets in their countries.
As Africa here is one of the areas recommended to focus on, especially the Micro-finance institution. Creating small businesses is often the business and economic engine of the East Asian countries adding the array as well as to the United States, Japan, The Netherlands, Singapore and the likes.
Almost every year, enormous small businesses, start-ups and recently established (mostly three years old) established on the continent go bankrupt without access to financing and very difficult or lack loan opportunities, so they need to get small loans to pay running costs and purchasing goods which would stimulate the business in the continent ..
Given that Africa is a relatively new and virgin continent in all aspects including the abundant natural resources, the breath taking environment, its terrain and the sizable savannah and plateaus which has an arable land better for agriculture and as well the growing young age population.
Given all this consideration, the engine of economic development can be arguably the foundation of small businesses, so access to credit and investment is essential. The policy taken by African leaders should take into account this factor which will create millions for jobs, livelihoods, as well as government taxes and encourage creativity and invention.
Strengthening Security and Stability
Most of Africa and the Global South are characterized by political and security instability. Lack of political will which guarantees security and the persistence of multi-faceted political instability in these regions reduce the chances of economic development and growth. They reduce the attraction of international investment and increased trade activities.
Therefore, African leaders are suggesting to frame the inevitable strategy to work together to strengthen security, stability and guarantee stability which then later play a viable role in setting policy on trade, investment and international relations.
Remittance, international Aid and others:
Several other factors can be playing a dominant role in Africa growth and development: – like remittance which are a prominent source of income for the larger households of Africans. Remittance seems downplayed but is a promising factor for economic development. Nations like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand and to the far corner of the world the Mexico are receiving billions of dollars each year from their diaspora mainly residing in Europe, North America and Middle East. This influx of hard currencies is sometimes termed as inactive export, because hard currencies are inflow to the country which later makes a major part of the GDP (gross domestic product).
Another important development factor is international Aid. A one may ask how international foreign aid stimulates growth and creates lasting development. Economists like Jeffrey Sachs have been advocating Aid to be distributed to Africa and least developed nations (LDCs). In his book; The End of Poverty, is all but only western sympathy and moral obligation to help the poorest of poor, and he urges that forging aid is contributing to development by taking out of destitute and poverty stricken community from the poverty trap: however, prominent scholars and economists like Paul Collier, William Easterly who is far right for market development over Aid development and Africa born economist and banker Demiso Moyo are all ferociously against foreign aid. All they are arguing is that, foreign Aid is a waste of resources which the recipient has not benefited nor the giver receives nothing. Their argument is based on a notion of “foreign aid is a free gift that puts the pockets of despots and tyranny regimes”. However, I have a medium stand on both sides of foreign aid proponents and their opponents. My stand is advising that a country should consider receiving foreign aid which include a variety of items, such as hard currency, goods in kind and technical know-how to better spend on development projects.
Therefore, if Africa makes good use of international aid by investing to focus on development projects such as infrastructure, social services and the likes, rather than governing and consumers spending it can lead to significant development. But it is important that, according to Dembiso Moyo, Africa must not rely on international aid for a long time and the countries in Africa should have an exit-strategies from foreign development assistants (FDI).
4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEFEmwp7NO8: Speaker: Professor William Easterly at LSE in his book, the Tyranny of Experts and the White Man’s Burden.
5. Dr. Dembiso Moyo Book: The Dead Aid.
6. Professor Jeffrey Sachs Book: The End of Poverty
7. Professor Paul Collier Books: the Bottom Billion and Blundered Planet.
By Saeed Hashi
Development and Geopolitical Analyst, the Horn of Africa and the Gulf.