Economic Development in Africa

Picked up on Weitzenegger’s Website for International Development Cooperation, and its Newsletter.

Published on UNCTAD.org, 123 pages, 2007.

Reclaiming Policy Space, Domestic Resource Mobilization and Developmental States, UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT, Geneva

Excerpt of chapter 3, TOWaRDS a “DEVELOPMEnTaL STaTE”: … In a comprehensive study of these economies, the World Bank was more cautious in its conclusions, to the point of fudging the issues at stake. It identified “market-friendly” policies as part of the policy menu of these countries. At the same time, the Bank acknowledged the role of government policies in the areas of skills acquisition, technological progress, and financial and labour markets (World Bank, 1993). Not surprisingly, therefore, the Bank has been accused of falling prey to the traditional dichotomies of “States versus markets” and “exportoriented versus import substitution”, an attitude which is symptomatic of the reluctance or the unwillingness of conventional economists to acknowledge the contributions of heterodoxy to the development debate (Akyüz et al., 1998).


To the non-conventional (heterodox) school, the performance of these countries is underscored by strategic development and industrial policies that derive from a symbiotic relationship between the political and bureaucratic elite and entrepreneurs. A variety of interventionist measures was used to direct resources away from old to new industries in order to alter their long-term development trajectory. The government–business relations that were critical to the success of this strategy were mediated through various institutions and policies. This ensured that subsequent “economic rents” were marshaled to address the objective of rapid economic growth. The institutional and policy framework of these countries also supported their strategic and systematic integration into the global economy (Amsden, 1989, 1991; Wade, 1990; UNCTAD, 1996a, 1997; Akyüz et al., 1998).

The concept of “developmental States” emanated from this last insight into the performance of NIEs, and as such has become associated with the history of development in East Asia. It incorporates a simultaneous and specific combination of economic, political and institutional structures, which have been used heuristically to elucidate the phenomenal economic growth in the NIEs (Sindzingre, 2004). Nevertheless, not all observers who subscribe to this account have the same perspective on the political and economic philosophy, let alone the role of institutions, that underpin the “economic miracle” of the NIEs. Whilst there is some consensus that the NIEs commonly share some characteristics, some analysts are quick to point out that there are important differences between the institutional and policy framework of the first- and second-tier NIEs, as well as among individual countries (see, for example, UNCTAD, 1996a, 1997; Akyüz et al., 1998; Culpepper, 2006). … (full text).

Link: See the french book: Moise Tshombe, visionnaire assassiné, par Kayemb Uriel Nawej; un plaidoyé pour un Congo en Etats fédérés, comme solution pour ce vaste pays en guerre perpétuel. ISBN: 1-4196-3851-3
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