Define the concept development. What do you think are causes of underdevelopment in Africa? How do you think these issues can be resolved?

Topics: Sociology, Developed country, Human Development Index Pages: 5 (1877 words) Published: January 8, 2014
African countries seam not to show significant change in social, economic and political developments in years despite aid given to these countries. In this paper I will define the concept development and explain different dimensions of development. I will also elaborate why it’s highly stressed with third world countries. I will also define the term ‘underdevelopment,’ then explain why most African nations are affected by it. I will take the Zambian case as an example to try and explain why African countries are underdeveloped and conclude with recommendations on how this issue could be resolved.

The concept ‘development’ is neither new nor old. Development is a continuously changing and dynamic concept. Since the beginning of civilization it has been taking shapes and dimensions. The nature of development as seen in the early 1990s differs considerably from that seen in the early 1950s. (Sapru 2009). According to the Brandt Commission Report (1980), “Development will never be and can never be defined to universal satisfaction.” In social science development is the most depreciated term used says Upholff and Ilchman (1972). Many have defined development in terms of increase in national economy, while others include social improvement in it and still others in terms of increase in the capacity of a political system. Others think Development has no difference with modernization. Development can then be said to be multidimensional in its nature as it holds many dimensions. There are different facets of development being economic development, social development, political development as well as development administration and administrative development. Sapru R.K says,” economic, political, social and administrative development may be viewed as emerging from development without being development. So, while defining the concept of development, it is necessary to take an integrated approach.” Michael Todaro defines development as a multi – dimensional process involving changes in structures, altitudes and institutions as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality and the eradication of absolute poverty. Chi-Yuen defines development as “a process of societal transformation from a traditional society to a modern society, and such a transformation is also known as Modernism.” This definition seems to hold more to me as development involves transformation of the entire economic and social structure. Sapru, R.K says that “development is a process of improving the well-being of the people. It is about raising the standards of living of people, improving their education and health, and also opening out to them new and equal opportunities for a richer and more valid life.” As stated above development takes different dimensions so no single dimension should be discussed separately they all move together as one. Economic, social, political and administrative all these components came into play when development is seen to have taken place. I will briefly elaborate on the four dimensions of development. 1. Economic development – this is an essentially important component of development according to Sapru.R.K. He says by raising national income, reducing poverty and more equitable distribution of wealth and income are all essential components of economic development. According to Kindleberger, “economic growth means more output, and changes in the technical and institutional arrangements by which it is produced.” 2. Social development – is a broad concept, it may be seen as a process of ushering in a new order of existence. The quality of life and the quality of social relations which exist would indicate the level of the order of existence, according to Unnithan T.K.N. (1976). 3. Political development – may be defined as the capacity of a political system to deal with its own fundamental problems more effectively while responding to the changing political demands of the people. Gabriel A. (1963). 4....
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