oa Alternation - Being an African in the Twenty-first Century and the Prospects for Africa's Progress1

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



At the turn of the twenty-first century, Africa continues to waddle in poverty, disease, and ignorance, having long lost the momentum of the socio-economic gains of the 1960s and the early 1970s. Worse, still, the continent is being ravaged by intra- and international conflicts, notwithstanding the scourge of AIDS, with devastating effects on life and property. Not only do the development obstacles highlighted in development literature of the 1950s and 1960s continue to persist; new ones have also emerged in post-colonial Africa to compound the economic woes of the continent. Inadequate infrastructure and lack of entrepreneurs; predator-political leaders, intra- and international wars, military intervention in politics, weak and inappropriate institutional arrangements, and political instability appear to be intractable obstacles to development (Mbaku 2000). Others such as the debt crisis, exploitation and destabilization; globalization and marginalisation, and the imposition of a misplaced neo-liberal macroeconomic agenda and the promotion of a 'hegemonic polyarchy', have swung the clock of Africa's progress decades backwards.

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