The Devlopment of Modern Africa Essay

The Devlopment of Modern Africa Essay

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The Development of Modern Africa

     There are over 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the wealth of natural resources and the prevalence of wealth in the northern segments of Africa have led many to speculate about the equity and economic development in the sub-Sahara. Unfortunately, the progression of economic, political and social factors in this region have done little to improve the overall conditions, and have instead demonstrated a consistent bias towards the government and the social elites that has impacted the chances of successful development in the region. Since the end of World War II, changes in the infrastructure, the political forces, and in the capacity for collective action in many of these countries has underscored what some have described as the “Africa crisis” (Stryker, 1986).
     One of the major issues that still remain in this region is the history of development in the sub-Sahara, generally traced back to the history of British rule, and the relinquishing of colonial control which led to greater regionalization. But there was little in place in terms of expansion planning or economic development in the period following the end of the Second World War, and it can be argued that the struggle for economic development is linked to existing and maintained inequities, based both on social conditioning and political control, that has weakened the agrarian force and impacted the development of industrialization.
During the 1980s, when many countries through out the world were experiencing the successful pull away from years of recession, the countries of the African sub-Sahara were not impacted by this positive transformation, and instead, it was posited that the decline in economic conditions would result in years of continued recession (Stryker, 1986). A number of theorists have attributed this crisis to different components of the politics, the economic base, and the social perspectives, as well as basic problems like the lowest world-wide life expectancy, lowest nutritional and literacy rates, lack of access to medical care, safe water supplies, and support services, and high population growth coupled by the highest infant mortality rates in the world (Stryker, 1986). It has been recognized that of the 40-50 poorest counties of the world, most (2/3) are located in the sub-Saha...

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...ility, the perception that reforms could somehow promote a major transformation within the varied communities of the sub-Sahara placed too great an emphasis on the process of development and too little emphasis on the impact that the division itself would have on existing communities.


Berry, Sara (1992, Summer). Hegemony on a shoestring: indirect rule and access to agricultural land. Africa, v62 n3, pp. 327(29).

Gyimah-Brempong, Kwabena (1992, May). Do African governments favor defense in budgeting? Journal of Peace Research, v29 n2, pp. 191(16).

Jaycox, Edward (1993, March). Structural adjustment spurs African development. Africa News, v38 n2-3, pp. 14(1).

Lonsdale, J.M. (1970). Nationalism and Traditionalism in East Africa. in Collins, R., Ed. Problems in the History of Colonial Africa, 1860-1960. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Seitz, Steven (1991, January-April). The military in black African politics. Journal of Asian and African Studies, v26 n1-2, pp. 61(15).

Stryker, Richard (1986). Poverty, inequality, and development choices in contemporary Africa. in Martin, P. and O’Meara, P., Eds. Africa. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

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