In its Economic Development in Africa Report 2012 published recently, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) focuses on the continent’s dependence on natural resources as drivers of economic growth. The agency noted that though Africa has experienced relatively fast growth since the start of the new millennium, the pace of the expansion is unsustainable.
African politicians and policymakers have probably been watching with a sense of schadenfreude the unfolding drama of the public debt dilemma facing governments in the West. Not too long ago western commentators were poking fun at African nations crippled by high debt burdens, while multilateral agencies were advising African leaders on the wisdom of financial prudence.
Slave trade: a root of contemporary African crisis
The slave trade was a crucial part of the development of international capitalism. The role of African ruling classes in the trade was not very different from the position of contemporary African elites. They both traded the resources of their people for self-gratification, argues Tunde Obadina.
Blaming Africa's woes on colonialism and neo-colonialism strikes a cord with many educated Africans, but the focus on external forces has drawn attention away from internal factors crucial to an understanding of Africa's condition. With or without colonialisation, African societies would still today be faced with fundamental economic dilemmas, argues Tunde Obadina