Pan-Africanism or Post-Neocolonialism: The Dilemma of the Political Economy of Development in Africa
Osei F. Busia
Thesis DT 3.5 1991 B979
x, 121 leaves; 29 cm.
The economic crisis affecting Africa since the beginning of the 1980s has stimulate a variety of responses from both African and international organizations and institutions. Two official documents, the "Lagos Plan of Action" adopted by the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1980, and "Accelerated Development in Sub-Saharan Africa" (known as the "Berg Report") released by the World Bank in 1981, set the framework for an intense debate of African economic development.
The Lagos Plan and the Berg Report, together with their respective successive reports, have contrasting visions for solving the development problems in Africa. The strategy advocated by the Lagos Plan has its intellectual roots in Pan-Africanism. The implication for implementing the Lagos Plan is the reorientation of African economies from an outward-looking toward an inward-looking economies largely for domestic and regional markets. The Berg Report, which symbolizes the World Bank's philosophy of economic liberalism, advocates an outward-looking strategy based on primary commodity exports for foreign markets.
Both the Lagos Plan and the Berg Report, form the nexus of the dilemma of the political economy of development in Africa: regional integration or further incorporation into the new international division of labor. While the long term strategies of the Lagos Plan will reduce the degree of Africa's dependence on the global capitalist economy, without short term policies prescribed by the World Bank, African economies could grind to a standstill.
But the effects of pursuing short term World Bank policies such as structural adjustment, and the perceived impact of current global economic trends on African political economy, have drummed home the imperative need for regional cooperation based on a Pan-African framework.