Why are the countries of sub-Saharan Africa the poorest in the world? One reason is the set of ill-designed development strategies that the IMF and the World Bank have implemented in the region for nearly half a century. But the centuries-old culture of leadership that is ingrained in many African societies has played an equally disastrous role. Indeed, the overwhelming … [Read more...] about Sub-Saharan Africa’s Leadership to Nowhere
Institute for peace support and conflict management (IFK) Africa-Workshop January 26th to 27th, 2006: Sorting Out the Mess: Wars, Conflicts and Conflict Management in West Africa To assess the expectations West Africa can look forward to from Europe, there is, first, the need to understand the root causes of the problems that have beset the populations and the … [Read more...] about West African expectations of Europe
It takes a threat to oil supplies to get world leaders to pay attention to Africa . Usually neglected by globetrotting statesmen, the continent recently saw visits from US President George W. Bush, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Brazil 's Lula Da Silva, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and many other world leaders. Their public comments were typically devoted to development, … [Read more...] about Africa ‘s Oil Rush
The success that US President George W. Bush and his special envoy, former Secretary of State James Baker, had in getting Iraq's foreign debts canceled or rescheduled shows what can be done when a policy is backed by political will. The contrast with Africa's debts could hardly be starker. Just three years ago, Jubilee 2000 made news when civil society groups, rock stars, and a … [Read more...] about Africa’s Debt Dilemma
The African Union, which replaced the Organization for African Unity (OAU) in 2002, is trying to reproduce the European Union's institutions and ways of acting. But copying the EU blueprint means that nothing has been learned from the past and that nothing is being done to avoid the pitfalls Europe has endured. The biggest flaw in the EU model has been its reliance on a … [Read more...] about Should Africa Follow the EU Model ?
Background The yearning for regional cooperation and economic integration in Africa was born in the United States within the pan-African movement in the 19th Century and has been kept alive ever since among the masses, the elite and the members of the Diaspora. This hope is so compelling that all African leaders have felt obliged to put it heartedly or opportunistically on … [Read more...] about The African Union : A need to go back to the drawing board
Background The yearning for regional cooperation and economic integration in Africa was born in the United States within the pan-African movement in the 19th Century and has been kept alive ever since among the masses, the elite and the members of the Diaspora. This hope is so compelling that all African leaders have felt obliged to put it heartedly or lukewarmly on their … [Read more...] about How best can the EU support the new AU Key Questions for Contact Person
NEPAD, the last plan to kick-start Africa's economic development adopted by the OAU in Lusaka (Zambia) on July, 11, 2001, is articulated around investment in the key sectors of infrastructure, agriculture, health and education. The plan is to be financed by the international community and through private capital flows, mainly from the multinationals. In choosing this way of … [Read more...] about NEPAD : the wrong plan ?
The Heads of African States, some of whom would not hesitate to shun an OAU meeting but would rush to meet the French President at the bi-annual gathering, display everlasting dependence whose foundations are made up of a scar and a web. Nothing illustrates better the incapacity of Francophone African leaders to break away from the former coloniser than the declaration, in … [Read more...] about Franc Zone must go
The former sub-Saharan French colonies did not have to fight for their independence. De Gaulle, then President of France, granted it to them. These countries undertook immediately to dismantle the federal structure in which they were operating and erected trade barriers between them. Paradoxically, they kept the CFA as their common currency. They surrendered the management … [Read more...] about CFA Franc: a Colonial relic
After the collapse of the Mobutu regime Zaire, now renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been left stripped of resources, in spite of the mineral wealth being eyed covetously by foreign investors. Elsewhere, the International Monetary Fund's figures point to a significant improvement in sub-Saharan Africa. However, imposing structural adjustment, privatisation and … [Read more...] about Sub-Saharan Africa on the Sidelines, A false economic dawn?
Marxist economics made the withering away of the state its ultimate goal. However, it is the unabated liberalisation of the world economy, which is translating the old socialist dream into a disquieting reality. It needed the combination of three ingredients to make this twist of history possible. First, there was Nixon's decision in 1972-73 to end the dollar-gold link, which … [Read more...] about CAPITALISM IN CRISIS