Concept and strategies of economic independence in African countries
The purpose of this paper is to review the various concepts of economic independence and to apply them to the African context. The two classical concepts of economic independence embodied in the capitalist and socialist systems are considered and contrasted with the notion of economic independence as expressed in the developing countries. An attempt is made to lend some precision to the latter concept. The paper then surveys the historical roots of economic dependence in the Third World, and relates various aspects of such dependence to the diverse attempts being made to attain economic independence, The second part of the paper is concerned with an analysis of the various strategies for economic independence being pursued in African countries. Although these cannot be categorised into any neat labels imported from the industrialized countries, the main thrust of policies being pursued by African countries to move towards economic independence can be described as predominantly capitalistic or socialistic. The paper considers the strengths and weaknesses of these strategies in the African context, given the objectives of economic independence, rapid and sustained growth, and equitable distribution of income and wealth.