Politics And Development In Africa

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Can development be secured in Africa without a 'structural adjustment of politics?

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Can development be secured in Africa without a 'structural adjustment of politics?


Development of any country always been correlated with the political stability in that country. A developing country like Egypt no longer attracts foreign investors due to political unrest in the country. Political structure of any country directly affects the growth and development of that country. Political stability leads to the development of economic stability as argue by Grindle, (2010) that political stability refers that decision makers or legislators are working fine in their respective domain and are making effective policies, and for economic reforms effective and efficient policies are essential. This study will critically evaluate the statement “can development be secured in Africa without a 'structural adjustment of politics?” given by Herbst (2000) and will attempt to provide sufficient answer of the question by not only critically evaluating the statement but by supporting the arguments with relevant examples and scholarly work.

Africa despite being rich in resources is the continent comprises of poor countries. The causes of the tragedy of growth in Africa are frequently attributed to political origins. From this point of view, the institutional approach presents economic divergence as result of institutional divergence. Emphasis is placed on the lack of responsibility of the states that allow corrupt governments survive and irrational economic policies remain in place. Such arguments are supported by empirical studies and studies of cases, as for example the case of Nigeria and Ghana, where military governments who were immunized against the electoral challenge and have engaged in looting the National Treasury. This encourages the decline of the national economy of the countries. The main issue which this study would address in connection of the statement by Herbst (2000) is the lack of democratization. Democracy is one of the most successful form of political system, however in Africa lack of democratization implies to it lower growth, more corruption and more inefficiency, countries like Ghana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola and others. One of the main causes of what bar these countries grow is the ethnic diversities in not only above mentioned countries but in the whole continent of Africa.

Ethnic diversity

Wars, institutional weaknesses and even bad policies reflect a fundamental characteristic of African societies: a significant ethnic diversity. This can lead to a significant civil challenge, political instability, and destructive competition for annuities on the part of the ethnic fractions. Some groups struggle to the appropriation of resources through economic policies or the budget of the Government. Indeed, ethnically fragmented societies promote research of annuity by the various groups, and it is more difficult to reach a consensus for good policies in an environment polarized as indicated by (Dans & Webb, 2004). Moreover, ethnic diversity may encourage policies harmful to long-term growth, financial repression and exchange rate overvalued, where such policies create rents for the group to the power to the depends on other groups (Herbst, 2000).

 Dans & Webb, (2004) ...
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