Africa, the third world and the strategy for international development
Ghai, Dharam P.
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The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the present strategy for international development as presented in various international documents such as the Pearson Commission Report and the UN Report on the Second Development Decade, from the perspective of African countries. The basic thesis of the paper is that the existing strategy on international development, with its targets and policies in the fields of trade and aid, is biased in favour of the relatively advanced developing countries and unless special measures are taken, would have the effect of deepening inequalities among the countries of the Third World. The paper proceeds by considering the rationale for special measures in favour of the least developed countries, most of which are to b found in Africa. It then analyzes the economic stratification developing within the Third World. The main elements of the international strategy for development are outlined; international commodities schemes, generalised system of preferences, and export credits in the field of trade; and development assistance targets, role of multilateral institutions, criteria for aid-givin, and growing emphasis on programme aid in the field of aid. It is then shown that unless special provisions are made, the effect of the implementation of these recommendations will be to favour the more advanced of the developing countries, often at the expense of the least developed countries. The reasons for the failure to devise and implement special measures in favour of the least developed countries are analyzed. The paper concludes by making a number of recommendations designed to ensure that the interests of the most disadvantaged part of the Third World are effectively incorporated in the measures taken for global development.