Ten Reasons Why Sub-Saharan Africa Has Failed to Develop Economically: Can Africans Succeed by Themselves?

Author: Didia, Dal O.
This book focuses on economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa and the factors that have been neglected in past studies but those which have an important impact on the variables of economic development, among them being culture, political instability, corruption, foreign aid, and brain drain.


“I hope that every Africanist and non-Africanists interested in the African continent and its people would welcome this new volume on the woes of the African economy and the prescription it needs to come out of its lethargic conditions… This is a book that reads like a novel and keeps your attention and curiosity going… The language is impeccable and simple to the extent that not only economists but also readers and scholars in other fields of knowledge and training will be able to follow and understand easily.”
-Professor Mario Azevedo,
Dean, College of Liberal Arts,,br> Jackson State University

“This book should make it explicitly clear to students of economics and the other social sciences that, the study of Africa is multifaceted and must be eclectically handled, as Professor Didia has done in this monumental work.”
-Dr. John Karefah Marah,
Professor, African and African American Studies,
SUNY, College at Brockport, NY

“It will help policy makers understand that it is not just the lack of traditional factors of production (i.e. capital) rather other factors that support and give impetus to development.”
-Dr. Baban Hasnat,
Department of Business Administration,
SUNY, College at Brockport, NY

“The monograph explores the reasons why Africa is in the state of economic underdevelopment in the midst of unparalleled growth in globalization and unprecedented increase in wealth creation as compared to its real potentials…it also addresses policy failure and political instability among others as causes for lack of international economic competitiveness for Sub-Saharan Africa.”
-Dr. David Akombo,
Jackson State University

“This work by its admirable and extensive methodology utilizes both primary and secondary sources and the arguments employed throughout are based on solid information and careful analysis that lead to sound conclusions… It is made more interesting by its use of contemporary data and it employs a very useful system of citations and references presented throughout the book and at the end, in the bibliographical section.”
-Dr. Glen Reynolds,
University of Sunderland, UK

Table of Contents

Foreword by Professor Mario Azevedo
Chapter One: Africa in a Global Economy
State of African Economies
Why Focus on Africa
Peculiar Circumstances in Africa’s Economic Development
Ethnic Diversity, Culture and Entrepreneurship
Summary and Conclusion
Chapter Two: Prevailing Orthodoxy in Economic Development Strategies
Ubiquitous Government
Development Without Development Planning
Monuments to Self-Aggrandizement
Weak and Non-Existent Institutions
Rent Seeking and Corruption
Budgeting Process
Macroeconomic Instability
Misguided Subsidies
Public Debt
Pervasive Insecurity
Unemployment and Underemployment
Plutocracy in Place of Democracy
Major Problems with the Prevailing Orthodoxy in Economic
Development Strategies
Shift from Orthodoxy
Summary and Conclusion
Chapter Three: African Culture, Enterprise and Economic Development
What is Culture?
Historical Overview of Culture, Attitudes, and Economic
Outcomes: China Versus Europe
Basic Tenets of African Culture
Issues With the Family-Centric Culture of Africa
Culture and Economic Outcomes
Summary and Conclusion
Chapter Four: Political Instability
What is Political Instability?
Institutional Reforms, Infrastructure and Human Development
International Economic Competitiveness
Natural Resource Exploitation and Environmental Degradation
Corruption and Brain Drain
Economic Growth
The Case of Uganda
The Case of Zimbabwe
Predictable Behaviors of Despotic Regimes : Idi Amin Dada, Robert Mugabe
African’s Top 10 “Big Men” and Others
Towards Political Stability
Summary and Conclusion
Chapter Five: Corruption and Economic Growth
What is Corruption?
Why Corruption Thrives in Africa
Consequences of Corruption on Economic Development
Mitigating Corruption
Summary and Conclusion
Chapter Six: Debt and Development
Developing Countries, Debt Accumulation and Debt Crisis
Debt and Sustainable Development
Mitigating the Debt Crisis
Lessons Learned
Summary and Conclusion
Chapter Seven: Foreign Aid: Catalyst or Inhibitor of Economic Growth
What is Foreign Aid?
Origins of Foreign Aid
Donors and Recipients of Foreign Aid
Impact of Foreign Aid on Economic Development
Empirical Evidence on the Effectiveness of Aid
Are there Alternatives to Aid?
Summary and Conclusion
Chapter Eight: Regional Integration: Accelerating and Consolidating Economic Development
Regional Integration Schemes in Africa
The Lure of integration Schemes
Regional Integration Schemes and Trade
Challenges Facing Integration Schemes
Impact of Integration Schemes on Economic Development
The Way Forward
West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ)
Summary and Conclusion
Chapter Nine: Brain Drain: A Misunderstood Phenomenon
What is Brain Drain?
Why is the Word Concerned about Brain Drain?
Factors Responsible for Brain Drain
The Magnitude of the Brain Drain Worldwide
Benefits of Brain Drain
Brain Drain and Economic Development
Summary and Conclusion
Chapter Ten: The Shift from Orthodoxy
Shift in the Orthodox Roles of Government
Shift in the orthodox Roles of International Organizations and Development Agencies
Shift in African Attitudes
Shift from Fire Brigade Approach to Economic Development
Shift from Plutocracy to Democracy
Summary and Conclusion