What Ails African Economies

Topics: Africa, Economic development, African Union Pages: 2 (587 words) Published: June 29, 2013
Time and again, we’ve wondered why African countries are still plagued in economic and industrial underdevelopment yet we boast of sufficient natural and human resources coupled with a large internal consumer and industrial market. Several reasons exist and some of the causes are initiated by our very own governments but most of the inadequacies have been forcefully injected into our systems by the colonial masters and other western powers. Historically, the colonial masters deliberately refused to lay the foundation for sustainable economic and industrial development in their African colonies despite immediate presence in abundance of all the resources required. This was simply because they were busy looting Africa’s resources for their processing factories back in Europe. The resultant finished products were sent back to Africa to be sold at exorbitant prices further enriching themselves and leaving Africa in dire poverty. Optimism and hopes of socio-economic prosperity emerged as most African countries achieved independence in the late 1950s. Many hoped the accession of African governments would bring greater development, equality and social justice as opposed to the state of affairs during the colonial era. Africans were allowed control of their own destinies and the boom in the 1960s, with its growing demand for the supply of raw materials further heightened anticipations of prosperity. But these hopes were sunk in the early 1970s as African economies experienced deep pervasive and continuous economic crisis that completely stagnated most of the economies as the foreign and internal debts rose, unemployment rates skyrocketed, and shortages of consumer goods stung. This is where colonial masters and fellow imperialists stepped in through their ‘brain children’-the IMF and World Bank- and ill-advised African governments to introduce price controls, subsidies and devalue their currencies consequently aggravating Africa’s economic woes. Once more the IMF and...
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