Topics: Policy, Africa, Economics Pages: 6 (1763 words) Published: April 27, 2014

Moi University

Submitted By: FRED WAICHERE M.

A state may be simply defined as a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government. Claude Ake (1992) defines a state as: The organized aggregate of relatively permanent institutions of governance. It is seen as a set of associations and agencies claiming control over defined territories and their populations. The main components of the state are, consequently, decision making structures (executives, parties and parliaments), decision-enforcing institutions (bureaucracies, parastatal organizations and security forces) and decision-mediating bodies (primary courts, tribunals and investigatory commissions). The character of the state in any particular country is determined by the pattern of organization of these institutions at specific points in time. The government is usually used interchangeably with the state but it however represents the people or officers in power who change from time to time but the state does not change.

The state plays a major role in the development of a country as it is the government/state that enacts key policies are key to economic success and development in a given country. There has however been a lot of contention especially in African countries about the role of the state in regards to development of a country. This is because many African states relied and still rely heavily on foreign markets and expatriates for development in the country. For example in southern Africa most post colonial states depended on expatriates for the formulation of national developmental plans that ran for 5 to 15 years. These plans were also still financed by foreign donors. A similar case was seen in Tanzania whose first phase of its ambitious 15 year development plan was funded by external powers with domestic funding being only a fifth of the raised capital. Hence the there is debate as to whether development is brought about by the state or by market forces that are independent.

The role of the state in development

The state plays the following roles that facilitate development in a country. These roles can be divided into the following categories: a. The role of the state in current development programmes
b. Development of good governance
c. Development of policies

Implementation of reforms

These reforms include structural adjustments in the country that manage and control pricing of commodities in the country. Also the state has the powers to control various institutions including private institutions. The state should aim at implementing stable property rights, enforcing the rules and laws of the land and elimination of corruption. The state should also provide supervision over the provision of public goods and services such as transportation and security.

Implementing development programs

The state plays a major role in implementation of development programs that form a back bone other which development takes place. For example in Tanzania there was implementation of a 15 year development plan with funding from both the state and foreign markets. In Kenya the vision 2030 is another good example of a state drive n development plan that aims at achieving development in the country through various started. The vision 2030 aims to create a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life by 2030.

The pillars for this 2030 development program include: economic pillar that is aiming at a 10% gross domestic product increase by 2012 by targeting tourism, agriculture, whole sale and retail trade, manufacturing, IT services and financial services.

The second pillar in Kenya’s 2030 development program is the social pillar. This pillar aims at investing in the people of Kenya in order to improve the...

References: 1. African Development Indicators, Drawn from World Bank Africa Database, The World Bank, Washington D.C., 2001
2. Ake, C., ‘Democracy and Development in Africa’; The Brookings Institution, Washington DC., 1996
3. Khabele M., ‘The role of the state in development in SADC region’; council for development in Africa, Ghana, 2002
4. The ministry of Industry and commerce of Zimbabwe data base: ‘’, 2012
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