Decolonization Of Africa And Its Economic Impact Essay

Since the Decolonization of Africa, around the 1960s, sub-Saharan African ( SSA ) states have non been able to develop themselves successfully. SSA states refer to all the states located in the South of the Saharan desert ; there are 48 of them. In 2008, the entire population of the SSA states was 820 million[ I ]; the largest being Nigeria with 154 million people while six SSA states had a population of less than two million dwellers. From 1974 to the mid 1990s, Africa was the lone continent that had a negative GDP growing rate[ two ].

Corruptness, dearth, drouth, poorness, AIDS, civil wars are all factors that have contributed to the deficiency of economic growing. All these jobs that African states are confronting demand to be solved in order to accomplish economic growing and reform that will let them to maximise their resources. The most distressing fact is that Sub-saharan African states have the potency for important growing, but alternatively those resources become beginnings of internal struggles. Those natural resources could be assets on other continents as becomes a load in Africa.

1. The Colonial Legacy

From the 1880s until the sixtiess, African states were colonized by European states. France, England, Portugal, Germany and Belgium were the chief states that colonized different parts of the African continent[ three ]. The separation of part and the infliction of different policies affected the continent in both a bad and a good manner. Like Karl Marx said, “ The state that is more developed industrially merely shows to the less developed the image of its ain hereafter ”. In other words, Marx was connoting that despite the European colonisation of Africa, the African states benefited because the Europeans helped them develop new substructure such as railwaies, ports and airdromes[ four ].

On the contrary, one can reason that the lone ground the Europeans industrialized those states was to ease the conveyance of natural resources to Europe. Many economic experts believe that imperialism merely benefited the Europeans, in which they exploited African states and so left[ V ]. Subsequently, after the European states left Africa, the purportedly elect leaders that emerged from decolonisation failed to properly regulate their states or to assist them develop economically. This has led to the undeniable fact that many states, after deriving independency, have found themselves in large problem. Insecurity, poorness, underdevelopment and socio-economic instabilities have made Africa a continent that vacillates between hope and disenchantment.

– Internal barrier to Development

Trying to make a complete list of the causes of underdevelopment in sub-Saharan Africa would be truly difficult to make because there are so many. Corruptness is one of the chief jobs that these states are confronting. As the economic expert Stephanie Hanson said, “ Corruptness in Africa ranges from high-ranking political transplant on the graduated table of 1000000s of dollars to low-level payoffs to patrol officers or imposts functionaries[ six ]“. The manner these authoritiess map allows the people in power ( the elites ) to pull off as they please ( without control ) the resources of the province[ seven ]. Covering with population control, halting the spread of epidemics like AIDS and malaria, and set up proper democracies along with transparence have non been chief concerns for African leaders.

A survey in 2002 conducted by the African Union showed that the cost of corruptness in the African continent sums to about150 billion a twelvemonth[ eight ]. They besides said that in 2008, African states received 22.5 billion dollars in assistance from developed states yet none of that money was allocated to profiting and assisting the African people. If Africa does non eliminate corruptness, they might even see a important diminution in their GDP growing because they will non have any assistance from other states. Although democracy seems steadfastly established in some states, electoral fraud still remains a common pattern in most of sub-Saharan Africa.

Poverty, societal inequality, rapid population growing and unplanned urbanisation have besides led to the creative activity of societal lawlessness. Unemployment is high, particularly among African young person, and is close to 80 %[ nine ]. For many of them, the lone manner to acquire a occupation and to better their lives is to go forth Africa. Many go as pupils and frequently do non return, others go and live and work illicitly, while some who can non come in Europe the United States lawfully, will try to acquire at that place by boat. However, the latter is frequently highly unsafe and frequently proves to be lifelessly most of the clip[ x ].

Of the 48 sub-Saharan African states, 33 are among the 50 Least Developed Countries ( LDCs ) of the universe[ xi ]. Social inequalities these states are really big where, “ 40 to 70 per centum of the African population lives in slums ”[ xii ]. On norm, 15 % of the population owns 65 % of the wealth and in contrast, 54 % of the population lives on less than $ 1 per twenty-four hours. These spreads create assorted tensenesss between different parts of the population ; the hapless and the rich, landholders and workers, and urban and rural people. As a consequence, many people leave rural countries and migrate to the metropoliss in hopes of holding a better life.

In add-on, the growing of agricultural production can non maintain up with the growing of the population. So, in order to get the better of dearths, authoritiess have to import more nutrient. In 2008, sub-Saharan Africa had 819 million dwellers[ xiii ]with a growing rate about 2.5 % per twelvemonth in 2008.

As a victim of political convulsion and poorness, Africa is even more vulnerable to pandemics. The life anticipation at birth in SSA states is 46 old ages old, which is 32 old ages less than the life anticipation of a individual in developed states such as the United States, France or Germany. The continent is plagued with diseases like malaria and AIDS. These two epidemics are the most lifelessly in Africa and have become a major barrier to development in many African states. The obliteration of these “ immoralities ” is a requirement for the advancement of SSA countries.A Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease, although less publicized than AIDS, is still the primary cause of mortality in Africa and putting to deaths about 1.5 to 2.7 million people per twelvemonth[ xiv ]( 3000 kids every twenty-four hours ) . Children are chiefly affected by malaria, whose symptoms include terrible febrilities that weaken persons and hence forestall them from working. Malaria has cost sub-Saharan African states a batch of money: 40 % of entire wellness costs for the states that are affected[ xv ].

AIDS has besides caused a existent human-centered crisis every bit good as economic catastrophe in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the 33.4 million people that are infected with the virus worldwide, 22.4 million are African[ xvi ], and 1.9 million are kids. Like malaria, the disease peculiarly affects African productiveness. Among the six states that are the most affected by AIDS, some are besides confronting dearths. These states are Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi and Namibia[ xvii ]. In Botswana, about 24 % of the grownup population is HIV positive[ xviii ]. Another of import fact is that when a pregnant adult female has HIV, her babe will most likely contract the virus excessively. Conflicts and wars ease even more the spread of the virus taking to the fact that African armed forces are at high hazards of taint: “ UNAIDS has antecedently assumed that rates of HIV among armed battlers is 2 to 5 times higher than among civilian populations ”[ xix ].

The pandemics of AIDS and malaria can be reduced in sub-Saharan Africa with the aid of other states. If they allow local companies to bring forth cheaper drugs, more people will hold entree to generic medical specialties. However, the job lies in large pharmaceutical companies that see Africa as a bad investing. “ In the center of 1999, the involvements of the pharmaceutical industry ( via buttonholing through Vice President Al Gore ) had resulted in the US really endangering South Africa with trade countenances for seeking to develop generic and cheaper drugs to contend AIDS “[ xx ]. More money should be spent by these big pharmaceutical companies to seek to develop vaccinums against AIDS or Malaria, but the chance of this occurrence is rather improbable.

The fact is, passing money to develop vaccinums may be good for African states but non for these big pharmaceutical companies. Since African states are hapless, and diseases like malaria and AIDS do non impact first universe states every bit much as 3rd universe states, they are non the chief concern of big pharmaceutical companies, particularly if they are non-beneficial. Lobbyist James Love said that, “ Of diseases in the Third World, AIDS is acquiring the most attending and focal point. Not coincidently, it is besides one of the few diseases that remain a menace to First World states ”[ xxi ]. These companies are better off passing big sums of money in erectile disfunction drugs than researching ways to halt the spread of malaria and AIDS in Africa. Tragic as it is, it ‘s besides the truth ; these big companies put net income over demand.

Like malaria or AIDS, dearth besides ravages SSA. In 2008, 14 million people were at hazard of confronting malnutrition in Africa. One of the grounds why so many people in Africa are affected by dearths is due to the fact that SSA states fail to bring forth adequate nutrient to feed their population – even if they import nutrient, they do n’t ever import plenty. Ethiopia is the state that is most affected by dearth with 10 million dwellers exposed to it in 2008[ xxii ].

3. SSA Natural Resources

A The African continent has a important sum of natural resources. Oil exporting states, like Nigeria or Gabon, after the terminal of the colonisation, have been profiting from investings by big foreign houses and are the fastest turning economic systems today[ xxiii ]. Other states, whose economic state of affairss seem more unstable, have important resources of natural stuffs and are besides get downing to bring forth more involvements. On the negative note, although these resources may hike Africa ‘s growing, they may besides hike corruptness and the lead to the eruption of struggle.

Africa is progressively going a strategic modesty for natural stuffs and hydrocarbons. Many African states are now being placed in the really first ranks of planetary production for gold, diamonds, strategic metals and most particularly, oil[ xxiv ]. These assets, which make them solvable states, can be good in assisting them trade with the Western powers or emerging states like China and Brazil that are in demand of natural stuffs in order to prolong their ain state ‘s industrialisation.

Approximately 50 % of universe ‘s diamond productions come from the Sub-Saharan Africa[ xxv ], chiefly from four states: Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of South Africa[ xxvi ]. In southern Africa, De Beers ( the universe ‘s largest diamond gross revenues ) operated an industrial excavation and controlled over 80 % of the universe ‘s supply of unsmooth diamonds in 1980[ xxvii ]. By 2009, the diamond company sold up to 3.84 billion dollars worth of diamonds[ xxviii ]. These gross revenues were good in several ways. First, the gross revenues and net incomes provided big incomes to the bring forthing states, every bit good as provided employment for many Africans ( De Beers employed around 20,000 workers in Africa in 2005[ xxix ]) . Second, the gross revenues lead to the development of substructure such as roads and airdromes in order to transport diamonds. In November 2006, 19 African states, determined to increase the incomes from the exportation and merchandising of diamond, created the Association of African Diamond Producers ( ADPA )[ xxx ].

It was intended to forestall the export of unsmooth diamonds and finished merchandises and to advance higher value added. Equally good as holding natural resources can be, in order for African states to maximise gross revenues for those resources, they must transform these natural stuffs into finished merchandises. In other words, despite the fact that states like Botswana and Angola are having money from De Beers for their natural diamonds, De Beers is still doing the greater net income by cutting the natural diamonds into finish merchandises. In order for states bring forthing the natural resources to maximise their net incomes, they should be the 1s to churn out and sell the concluding merchandises[ xxxi ].

Africa has the 3rd largest oil militias in the universe after the Middle East and Central Asia[ xxxii ]. Africa puts on the market 8 % of the universe ‘s production. In sub-Saharan Africa, the three largest oil manufacturers are Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria in peculiar. This twelvemonth, the continent ‘s largest manufacturer ( Nigeria ) , is the 8th largest exporter of oil in the universe[ xxxiii ]. On the other manus, new countries of operation have emerged in recent old ages in Chad, Sudan, Western Sahara, Niger and Gulf of Guinea. These new finds of oil are besides grounds why struggles have emerged in those parts ( Chad and Sudan for illustration )[ xxxiv ]. In 2001, over eight billion barrels of militias were discovered in the universe – seven billion have been in West Africa. In 2007, African oil militias were estimated to be 117 billion barrels, or 9.4 % of the universe ‘s militias[ xxxv ]. Between 2004 and 2007, oil production in Africa increased from 7 million barrels per twenty-four hours to 9.5 million or 3.1 % since 2006[ xxxvi ].

African growing is being stimulated by lifting trade good monetary values[ xxxvii ]. The United States and China, now viing for African oil, have redeployed and stepped up their investing policies to prolong or increase their oil supply in the coming decennaries.

Since the mid-1980s, the United States has been seeking to diversify their oil supplies and U.S. functionaries have increased their involvement in Africa. It is a affair of strategic involvement. In fact, the Iraqi crisis has demonstrated the safety of supplies from Africa to those in the Middle East. Nigeria became the fifth largest provider of oil to the United States[ xxxviii ]and Angola exports 40 % of its production to the United States[ xxxix ]. In 2006, African oil constituted 15 % of U.S. ingestion. In ten old ages, it should stand for a one-fourth of U.S. supplies. However, in January 2006, the American company, Chevron, was supplanted in an oil field offshore Nigeria by a Chinese oil company, “ China National Offshore Oil Corp ”, which has invested 2.3 billion dollars[ xl ]. In recent old ages, China has been progressively viing with Western states in Africa.

By allowing African states be acquainted with the fact that that they do n’t hold a colonial yesteryear with them and besides stands as an alternate theoretical account, showing that democracy is non a status for development. China has become the 2nd largest importer of African oil, accounting for 33 % of its supplies[ xli ]. In add-on, since 2006, China has started the building of an oil refinery in Sudan. This oil refinery is meant to stand for a theoretical account of cooperation but is besides a ground why China does non desire take action against Sudan on the on-going race murder in Darfur by approving the authorities[ xlii ].A

The money gained from African natural resources, minerals and oil do non ever finance the development of states. They become alternatively, the beginnings of tenseness and upset that destabilized many states. Diversions are to the hurt of the people. Their net incomes fund civil wars, absolutisms and corruptness.

A The diamonds of Sierra Leone have funded a civil war that has killed around 50, 000 people, of which one million people have been displaced[ xliii ], non to advert, the abduction of kids and adult females who were transformed into soldiers and sex slaves. More by and large, the African population does non gain from natural resources that Africa has ; merely a minority benefit from the net incomes from oil and gas. Nigeria is provided with a undersoil rich in natural gas, metals ( Fe, lead, Zn ) and coal. However, due to corruptness, Nigeria has become the lone state in the universe that has oil resources yet still presents a budget shortage[ xliv ].

In 2010, Nigeria have been recognized by the International Monetary Fund as the eighteenth most corrupt state in the universe, in which merely a little portion the population benefits from oil grosss. Alternatively of utilizing the money from oil to develop the educational system and to construct new substructure, the people in power usage it for to their benefit.[ xlv ]In 2004, the New York Times reported that about $ 500 million were stolen by Sani Abacha ( ex president of Nigeria ) and were in Switzerland ‘s Bankss.

4. How can sub-Saharan Africa Develop?


In 1960, merely 39 % of kids of Francophone Africa were enrolled in primary schools, compared to an norm of 60 % today[ xlvi ]. Since the terminal of the colonisation around the 1960s, these states have managed to develop their instruction systems, yet it still remains hard today to learn and larn from Bamako ( Mali ) to Libreville ( Gabon ). Education is one of the major challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa ; in Africa today 44 % of the population is under 15 old ages[ xlvii ]. In comparing, the per centum of the population under 15 old ages old is 20.2 % in the United States and 15.44 % in the European Union[ xlviii ]. Having a comparatively immature population can be good for African states because they will so hold to pass less money on health care for people over 65 twelvemonth old and can apportion more money towards the young person ( instruction ) .

Another fact about instruction in Sub-Africa is that it differs widely across states and even within them, depending on geographical countries, rural and urban countries every bit good as classs or sex of the pupils. Harmonizing to UNESCO, financess for public instruction in 1980 accounted for 3.8 % of GDP in the provinces of sub-Saharan francophone, compared to 3.1 % in 1988[ xlix ]. Alternatively of disbursement more money on instruction, authoritiess did the really opposite and decreased the sum of money allocated to instruction. The hopes raised by the Jomtien Conference[ cubic decimeter ]( 1990 ) and by the Dakar Forum ( 2000 ) included the chief aims in which instruction for all ( with compulsory instruction for kids ) , increased literacy degrees by 50 % , and gender equity in instruction by 2015, already seemed unachievable.

In order for these states to farther develop, they will hold to pay more attending towards instruction. The correlativity between development and instruction is good known, and an illustration of that would be merely to look at what the East Asiatic Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelams did to develop themselves from 1970 to 1990. They improved their instruction system, doing primary instruction compensatory and free, while besides increasing the rate of registration in secondary instruction every bit good. They built new colleges and universities and besides sent their pupils to analyze in Western states such as the United States, England and France.

Likewise, African states have to acquire in partnership with Western states in order to reform their economic systems[ Li ]. Although Sub-saharan states recognize the fact that instruction is indispensable to the growing of their state and have set programs and ends for the hereafter old ages to come, these ends have ne’er been reached due to the deficiency of leading. In order for there to be development, the outlook of the people in power will besides hold to alter. With a better instruction, the population will be better informed and more capable in make up one’s minding and taking what is best for them and their hereafter. Therefore, they will be able to elect the proper people that will be capable of regulating them efficaciously.

Corruption dictates most of these elections. In order to derive the maximal sum of ballots, many politicians go to rural countries, such as small towns, and corrupt the caput head of the small town with money in exchange for the villagers ‘ ballots. If these villagers were more educated, they would do smarter determinations in electing the right people. In 2007, fewer than 3 out 10 grownup in Africa knew how to read[ lii ]. In comparing, the literacy rate in the United States today is near to 99 % harmonizing to the UNESCO[ liii ]. The better educated a population is, the more efficient they will be and the more productive the state will go.

Economic Reform

The function of the International Monetary ( IMF ) bank in Sub-Saharan Africa is highly important in the development of the SSA states. The IMF was created in 1945 and its intent is to “ advance international pecuniary cooperation ; to ease the enlargement and balanced growing of international trade ”[ liv ]. The IMF is like a universe bank that lends the money of states like the United States, France, and Germany, to less developed states or states in demand of money, such as South-American states. However, like any other bank, they must besides fulfill the loaners with the aid of involvement rates and other economic tools[ lv ]. Around the 1980s, The IMF started to impart big sums of money to African states in order to profit their ain states.

However, a job arose when the African states did non utilize the money decently to construct new substructure, to increase their degree of literacy or to do H2O more accessible to more people. Alternatively, the IMF Lent money to states that were severely governed, with high corruptness and political instabilities. Therefore, alternatively of bettering their economic systems, these authoritiess put their state in greater debt and are now confronting Structural Adjustment policies from The IMF[ lvi ]. Structural Adjustment policies from the IMF have a negative intension because for many people it means that the IMF is traveling to set their state in a worse place than they already were in. If a state is under Structural Adjustment, it will hold for illustration, to take down the revenue enhancements on imports in order to do external merchandises coming from European states or the United States cheaper.

The job is that a batch of African states receive big incomes from the revenue enhancements they set on imported stuffs. These revenue enhancements besides allow merchandises from their state to be cheaper than merchandises coming from the United States or France. However, since revenue enhancements on imported goods are being reduced, African merchandises now have to confront tough competition with the imported merchandises[ lvii ]. A batch of African leaders and politicians are recommending the clearance of debts of hapless states by the IMF merely so they can get away Structural Adjustments and be able to use for loans. In 2005, The IMF and the World Bank cleared the debt of 18 states[ lviii ]. Today, before imparting money to a state in demand, the IMF now verifies whether the money is being utilized in a proper manner, either by bettering instruction systems, substructure or the economic system of that state.

The richest state in Africa today is South Africa with a GDP ( gross domestic merchandise ) of $ 276,219 billion in 2009. Harmonizing to the IMF[ lix ], South Africa has a GDP per capita ( per individual ) of $ 5685. The 2nd most comfortable state is Nigeria with a GDP of $ 207.116 billion and a GDP per capita of $ 1,401. Together, the GDP of Nigeria and South Africa history for about half of the GDP of SSA states[ sixty ]. In comparing, the GDP of the United States is $ 14,256,275 billion with a GDP per capita of $ 46,381. Out of the 48 Sub-saharan states, 27 of them have a GDP per capita of less than a $ 1000. In order for sub-Saharan African states to develop themselves they will besides hold to increase their export every bit good as attract foreign investing. Foreign investing is of import for their development because they need to diversify their economic system by holding other beginnings of income other than merely natural resources or acquiring high involvement loans from foreign states.

Along with political instability, electricity is a major job when it comes to pulling foreign investing. For illustration, in 2005 in Accra, the capital of Ghana, “ nutrient Sns at the Prime Pak tining mill were positioned on the assembly line, ready to be sealed before export. Without warning, the machines came to a screeching arrest, go forthing enterpriser Cyril Francis standing impotently in the dark. Thirty per cent of the cargo spoiled. ”[ lxi ]With electricity job like this, it will be difficult for African states to pull outside concerns. New plans are being put in topographic point to let African states to bring forth adequate energy so blackouts will non go on.

War and political struggle besides halt foreign investing in Africa. Today, there are still many struggles throughout Africa such as war in Darfur and in Casamance ( Senegal ) , political convulsion in C’ote D’Ivoire, Congo, Guinea Bissau and many others. These struggles make outside investings difficult to come in Africa even though there is a batch of possible. Constructing new mills in Africa would be advantageous due to cheap labour and the geographical location of Africa, which would do sub-Saharan African states more competitory than China. It would besides be less to bring forth something in Africa and direct it to Europe or to the United States than it would be from China. The deficiency of substructure has besides held back African states from pulling foreign investing.

The IMF besides reported that a batch of African states do non pull outside investing because it is excessively difficult to use people or to get down a concern. For illustration, the rigidness of employment in Gabon on a graduated table of 1 to 100 is about 60, when it is about 6 for Saudi Arabia. Besides, the cost of get downing a concern in Gabon is 250 times the cost of get downing a concern in Saudi Arabia. Creating employment and financial policies would assist SSA nations pull more foreign investing. Helping private concerns to emerge, leting foreign Bankss to set up, and take downing involvements on local Bankss would do borrowing money a much easier procedure, and would jointly assist the economic systems of SSA states.

In 2006, the IMF reported that from 2000 until 2006, the most successful states in SSA were those that were exporting oil ; these states achieved 8.5 per centum of GDP growing rate in 2004[ lxii ]. The 1s that did non export were less productive and achieved a lower growing rate. During the same period, SSA states made different policies to cut down rising prices, which dropped from about 15 % in 2001, to about 4 % in 2004. In 2001 Europe was still the figure one export finish for SSA goods, but in 2006, the United States became figure one. Asia, largely China, besides increased their dealingss with Africa[ lxiii ].

Another factor that has contributed to the development of SSA states is the enlargement or roar of communicating services. Cellular communications have increased by about 30 % from 1997 to 2007, along with the cyberspace. The entree to internet and the usage of cellular telephones are besides assisting local concerns. For illustration, local concerns used cellular phones in Kenya to reassign money or to have it in their bank history[ lxiv ]. Even Masai husbandmans use their phones to look into the monetary value degrees of different harvests.

Another issue that SSA states have to turn to is planetary warming. Droughts have been a consequence of the rise of temperatures, and have made agribusiness hard. Bettering H2O supplies and edifice canals would let them to maximise their H2O resources.

The considerable sums of internal obstructions in SSA states have significantly led to the underdevelopment of their economic systems, and the acrobatics of economic growing. Faced with societal pandemonium, Sub-saharan states are frequently incapacitated. Indeed, the footing for the regulation of jurisprudence is undermined by corruptness, rigged elections, or the deficiency of resistance. Merely political stableness will enable Africa to take full advantage of its economic potency and resources, which is still far from being the instance. In add-on, states around the universe have to get down caring more about Africa, by increasing force per unit area to set up free elections and to contend against corruptness. Without the aid of other states, Africa will ne’er be able to acquire rid of ongoing dearths or diseases such as malaria and the spreading of HIV/AIDS. Many jobs in Africa can be solved but nil is being done to work out them, African leaders are non making anything and the remainder of the universe does non care.

Europeans states and the United provinces have to get down apportioning money to topographic points in deep demand, such like Darfur or Ethiopia. As of now, the sum of money being spent on military in the universe is $ 780 billion, when it would merely be 13 billion to vouch basic wellness and nutrition for developing states. Likewise, the sum being spent on Pet nutrients in Europe and the United States is $ 17 billion, while it would merely be $ 15 billion to set up basic instruction, H2O and sanitation for all developing states in the universe[ lxv ]. In order for Sub-Saharan Africans states to profit from their all their natural resources, they will hold to happen a manner to halt corruptness at every degrees of their establishments. Strong leading is the key.

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