n Africa Insight - In search of African developmental states : challenges and missed opportunities

Volume 39, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The article starts from the premise that development, by definition, must be people-driven. This is because it is their welfare in the political, economic, social and cultural wellbeing which is at stake. This requires development from below rather than the statist notion of development from above. The major thesis of the article is that over the decades, the state in Africa has performed dismally in matters pertaining to development. A conceptualisation of the developmental states is attempted, theoretical issues are articulated, the challenges of the developmental state grappled with, and missed opportunities reflected in the several development projects that are analysed.

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