Democracy and Development in Africa by Claude Ake

By Claude Ake

Regardless of 3 a long time of preoccupations with improvement in Africa, the economies of so much African countries are still-stagnating or regressing.

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OATJ (1986). 10. OAU (1986, p. 27). 11. OAU (1985). 41 12. United Nations (1986). 13. United Nations (1991, p. 63). 14. Adedeji (1988). 15. UNCTAD (1991, p. 10). 16. UNCTAD (1991, p. 8). 17. UNCTAD (1991, pp. 35, 36). 18. Hussein and Faruqee (1994, pp. 270-71). 19. UNECA (1988, p. 21). 20. Mona (1989, p. 46). 21. UNECA (1989b). 22. UNECA (1989a). 23. World Bank (1989b). 24. Adedeji (1990). 25. , A joint Program of Action (1984); Financing Adjustment with Growth in SubSaharan Africa (1986-90); Africa's Adjustment and Growth in the 1980S (1989); SubSaharan Africa: From Crisis to Sustainable Growth (1989); and Adjustment in Africa: Reforms, Results and The Road Ahead (1994) 42 3 Improbable Strategies I have been arguing that the problem in Africa is not so much that development failed as that it never really began.

This is painfully obvious in the case of UNPAAERD. African leaders are beginning to feel that there is little to be lost and much to be gained by adopting an African agenda, At the same time, African countries are more conscious of their weaknesses and the problems of resisting external pressure. Nonetheless, a declining confidence in the feasibility of the exogenous agendas, the worsening crisis, and Africa's increasing economic marginalization in the global system have all built momentum for an endogenous development agenda.

So they were left with an uncomfortable dilemma. They could present their preferred program such as outlined in The Lagos Plan of Action or Alternative Framework, but lacking the resources and the will to soldier on in self-reliance, they could not do much with it. On the other hand, they could count on some assistance in implementing an exogenous agenda such as the agenda of Accelerated Development or structural adjustment, which was invariably not as sensitive to nationalist aspirations and not as politically risky as their own programs, since it came from people who could not be held responsible for their failures.

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