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Development aid and transformation process in Africa

Seminar Paper 2008 14 Pages

Business economics - Economic Policy

Excerpt

Index

2. Introduction

3. Development Assistance

4. Criterias for the organization of development cooperation
4.1. Human rights
4.2. Participation of the population in the political process
4.3. Legal certainty and rule of law
4.4. Poverty reduction
4.5. Health care
4.6. Family planning provisions
4.7. Educational provision
4.8. Environmental- and resources protection

5. Conclusion

6. Sources

2. Introduction

The text “Demographic Transition in the Context of Africa’s Development” by Uche C. Isiugo-Abanihe deals with Africa’s development dilemma and the demographic transformation-process. The text says that since the 1950’s there is a big population explosion in Africa because of a rapidly declining mortality rate and a high or stable fertility rate. The author figures out that there are three theories that cause Africa’s development dilemma. The first one says that the population growth is the root of all the problems in Africa. The second one says, that population growth only place an accomplice role and that there are other problems leading mainly to the dilemma. And the third one says that Africa does not face any population problems at all. The author sticks to the second opinion and says, that there are many reasons (not only the population growth), which lead to Africa’s problems.[1] He thinks that poor management and organization, unequal distribution of wealth and political power, corruption and misappropriation of funds, massive military spending and misallocation and misdirection of resources and efforts all together added up to the development dilemma.[2] This is definitely a point I would agree with.

Abanihe also says that it is “the failure of many African governments to achieve well-planned and well-intentioned development goals and objectives.[3] So in general I think his text gives a very good but general insight into Africa’s situation to the time, when the text was written. A thing I’d like to criticize is the fact that Abanihe completely lefts out to mention the development assistance of western countries, that is distributed to Africa and that he does not go very much into detail with his suggestions for improvement. It seems like he really knows what Africa’s problems are and he also knows what Africa did and does wrong but he does not figure out what Africa has to do to escape from the development dilemma. And exactly this is the point, where I want to join the complex of problems with my essay. With the help of newer sources I will summarize some ideas – especially the development assistance – and techniques that are and were applied on Africa to help that continent out of its dilemma.

Some of the recommendations I figured out might be not the most current. They might refer on facts, that already Abanihe considered. A further Problem in Africa is that every country is in a different phase of development. That’s why some recommendations don’t seem being up-to-date. But they are - because even in the time of several decades it even did not succeed ensuring a fundamental base of supply or human right in some countries.

3. Development Assistance

Almost 50 years of international development assistance doesn’t seem to have fulfilled the expectations that were set into it. Mass adversity, indebtedness and nourishing crises spread further in the third world. The number of the people in the third world, living in absolute poverty, still rises. In the poorest countries for example the average per capita income is about 200 US dollar, while it is higher around a multiple in the Federal Republic of Germany. The crisis of the developing countries is a challenge for modernization-theoretical growth- and development- conceptions. It forces to a critical examination of conventional development strategies.[4]

The beginnings of national development assistance date in the 60's. Particularly in the first two development decades one was proceeded from the conception of a retrieving industrialization and modernization of the developing countries. Today these, mainly on economic increase aligned growth- and modernization- strategies are called into question heavily - one observed nevertheless the simultaneous occurrence of high economical growth rates and increasing absolute poverty. After a paraphrase of the former president of the World Bank, Robert McNamara, in his famous Nairobi-speech of 1973 "absolute poverty" can be defined as a "Status of degrading living conditions such as illness, illiteratism, malnutrition and squalidness”.[5] From this observation results the so-called complementary strategy of the development assistance, which is aligned to the satisfaction of the material basic needs of the poor population. But also this strategy is only punctually successful, since it wasn’t able to establish itself as a conceptional basis of development assistance and its effectiveness on the internal structural change in the developing countries remained dependent. Only as prominent proponents of the international assistance system with their fundamental criticism released a principle discussion about the perspectives of development assistance the topic was discussed not only by insiders. Even the Swedish Nobel Prize Laureate Gunnar Myrdal demanded the discontinuation of development assistance. Also here in Germany this discussion released a strong echo over sense and nonsense of development assistance. So at that time large perplexity prevailed regarding promising concepts for the overcoming of the crisis situation in the developing countries.[6]

4. Criterias for the organization of development cooperation

If development cooperation is to be arranged more efficiently in the future - on giver- and taker- side -, the following criteria must be considered:

4.1. Human rights

Many developing[7] countries committed themselves to the adherence of the human rights, which are based on internationally recognized values, in the context of international conventions. However a multiplicity of African countries makes themselves guilty of glaring violations of human rights. In such cases development assistance should only be granted if it flows directly to humanitarian and poverty-fighting purposes.

4.2. Participation of the population in the political process

In February[8] 1990 on the occasion of an international conference in Arusha was codified - in the "African charter for Popular Participation in development and transformation" - to involve the population more deeply into the development process in Africa. In addition democracies with multiple party system and local administrations are necessary. Also the rural population has to be integrated into the democratization process. It may not be reserved to the city dwellers.

4.3. Legal certainty and rule of law

The state[9] has to guarantee the right security of its citizens and institutions with the help of an obligatory juridical system. Since this criterion is not yet fulfilled in many developing countries, development cooperation has to be used in addition to work towards the promotion of the law -, tax- and customs administration etc. The state has to appear only in economic regard as guarantor for property, competition, freedom of contract etc.

[...]


[1] Himmelstrand, U.; Kinyanjui, K.; Mburugu, E. (ed.) (1994): African Perspectives on Development. p 61

[2] Himmelstrand, U.; Kinyanjui, K.; Mburugu, E. (ed.) (1994): African Perspectives on Development. p 70

[3] Himmelstrand, U.; Kinyanjui, K.; Mburugu, E. (ed.) (1994): African Perspectives on Development. p 61

[4] Barthelt, R. (2005): Die Welt vor dem Abgrund: Kriege, Armut, Hunger, Klimaänderung, Umweltzerstörung, Terrorismus, Drogen und Korruption; was kann die Entwicklungshilfe leisten?, Düsseldorf. pp 70

[5] Reiter, B. (1994): Entwicklungshilfe und Transformationsprozess in der Wirtschaftsregion Süd-Ost-Afrika, Berlin. p 3

[6] Radke, R. (1992): Dritte Welt im Aufbruch, Würzburg. p 26

[7] Radke, R. (1992): Dritte Welt im Aufbruch, Würzburg. p 30

[8] Sachs, J. D.; bbp (ed.) (2005): Das Ende der Armut, Bonn. p 233

[9] Barthelt, R. (2005): Die Welt vor dem Abgrund: Kriege, Armut, Hunger, Klimaänderung, Umweltzerstörung, Terrorismus, Drogen und Korruption; was kann die Entwicklungshilfe leisten?, Düsseldorf. p 141

Details

Pages
14
Year
2008
ISBN (eBook)
9783640102464
ISBN (Book)
9783640120550
File size
403 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v93868
Institution / College
Berlin School of Economics
Grade
1,8
Tags
Development Africa Political Economy Social Structure Modern Society

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Title: Development aid and transformation process in Africa