By John Mukum Mbaku,  Professor in the Department of Economics, Weber State University, Ogden, USA.

To many Africans engaged in anti-colonial struggles during the 1950s and 1960s,
independence implied the end of the European rule and the subsequent control
over governance by national elites. The newly emerged governments were expected
to promote a public policy agenda aimed at enhancing the ability of the indigenous
peoples to use their resources and talents productively to tackle the problems of
poverty and deprivation. At the same time, the end of European rule was expected
to usher in a new era that would respect ethnic diversity and promote the peaceful
coexistence of numerous ethnic groups that had prevailed through the centuries.
Moreover, the new governments were expected to remedy historical injustices by
empowering the hitherto marginalized segments of the society.rural inhabitants,
women, inhabitants of the urban periphery, and many ethnic minority
as to enable them to effectively participate in post-independence economic growth
and development. The new governments were expected to restructure property
rights, especially with regard to environmental resources, so as to achieve social
equity in their allocation and in sustainable development. It is important to
remember that during colonialism, the Europeans had abrogated the property rights
of the indigenous peoples with regard to land and other environmental resources.
In addition, the Europeans had also engaged in excessive exploitation of the
continent.s natural resources for the benefit of the metropolitan economies. While
some indigenous sections (mostly urban, educated and skilled individuals and
those traditional African rulers who had been co-opted into the colonial administrative
system) shared economic benefits, the African masses at large remained

Similarly, the new governments were expected to provide an institutional
environment that promoted indigenous entrepreneurship, so that the economy
could generate wealth that was needed to deal more effectively with mass poverty
and deprivation. Part of this process involved the framing of rules that protected
property rights, ensured rule of law and empowered the judicial system to settle
trade disputes in a fair and impartial manner. These rules were to constrain the
governing elite from indulging in corruption and rent seeking; encourage investment
in productive activities; provide traders with incentive structures that encourage
wealth creation; and protect the life and property of citizens. In short,
independence was supposed to abolish the despotic, oppressive and exploitative
colonial governance system and replace it with one that focused on the development
of the African nation and its people, respected African values, enhanced the
participation of the indigenous people in government and the economy, and
promoted the peaceful coexistence of the diverse ethnic groups.
However, after more than four decades of independence, most African countries
are still underdeveloped and the people continue to suffer from poverty and material
deprivation. In fact, according to the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP), Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, still remains the poorest part of
the world with most citizens unable to meet their daily basic needs. According to
the UNDP.s (2003) human development index (HDI), of the thirty-four poorest
and least developed countries in the world today, thirty (88 per cent) of them can
be found in Africa. But this article argues that there is still hope for the continent,
if the people reconstruct the post-colonial state through democratic constitution
building and empower themselves with participatory, inclusive, transparent and
accountable structures of governance, and develop and implement regional integration
schemes which enhance the continent.s ability to effectively participate
in and influence the global system. But first let us briefly discuss the reasons
behind Africa.s underdevelopment.

Factors of Underdevelopment

Institutional failure has been widespread throughout much of the continent during
the last forty years.1 In addition to the fact that many Africans have been killed as
a result of violent mobilization by ethnic groups seeking a greater say in governance
and the economy, many others have been tortured, displaced and forced to leave
their homes. The development of the economic policies of many African countries
has been controlled by outside actors (for example, economists at the World Bank
and International Monetary Fund [IMF]) and implemented poorly by national
governments that have never been accountable to the people. Throughout the
continent, the ruling elites have failed to use their official positions to promote
national interests; instead, they have primarily maximized gains for themselves
and their foreign benefactors. In the process, significant numbers of Africans have
been impoverished, marginalized, and deprived of the opportunity to participate
fully and effectively in the process of national development. As a result, the vision
of autonomous and progressive democratic state systems, which gave rise to the
continent.s decolonization process in the 1950s and 1960s, has been completely
According to studies,3 the factors responsible for lack of economic development
in Africa include bureaucratic and political corruption, political violence along
with ethnic conflicts, unmanageable external debts, continued dependence on
primary commodities and on the industrial market economies, pervasive military
intervention in politics; excessive population growth; the economic policies of
the developed countries; shortage of both human and physical capital; and racial
Scholars in recent years have found4 that many of the so-called policy mistakes
committed in the continent during the last several years were actually deliberate
and promoted by politicians and civil servants. These public servants were able to
successfully implement such self-serving economic policies due to the absence
of institutional mechanisms to check corruption and nepotism in high places. In
fact, most of the institutional arrangements put in place by the African countries
after independence actually vested the new leaders with excessive power and deprived
the civil society of its ability to serve as a check on the government.
Thus, the main obstacle to poverty alleviation and human development in Africa
has been the absence of laws and institutions that effectively constrain the state;
enhance entrepreneurial activities and wealth creation; and provide ways to manage
ethnic diversity and ensure the peaceful coexistence of each country.s diverse
population groups.5
The experiences of Cameroon, Zaire, Ghana and several other African countries
have shown that politicians and civil servants continue to adopt self-serving economic
programmes and policies in an effort to generate extra-legal income for
themselves and, in the process, prevent entrepreneurship and the creation of wealth.6
        As argued by Brett, the main causes of economic failure during most of the
post-independence period in Africa .are clearly structural rather than contingent,
since breakdown is almost universal and cannot simply be attributed to particular
national circumstances. Instead, they must stem from the nature of institutional
arrangements developed under colonialism and hastily modified during the political
transition of the 1950s and 1960s..7 According to North, .it is the successes
and failures in human organization that account for the progress and retrogression
of societies..8 Although several of the new African leaders attempted to transform
and restructure the institutional arrangements inherited from the colonialists, they
failed to produce dispensations that reflected African expectations, values and
customs. In addition, the .transformed. institutions failed to adequately constrain
the state and serve as an effective regulator of the behaviour of civil servants and
By the late 1980s, many of Africa.s benefactors had come to recognize the importance
of institutions for economic growth and development, as well as poverty
alleviation in the continent. In fact, the so-called structural adjustment programmes
(SAPs) imposed on the African economies by the Bretton Woods institutions as a
condition for further extension of credit represented part of the effort by these
multilateral agencies to help the African countries provide themselves with domestic
institutional environments that encouraged and enhanced the efficient
allocation of resources. By the early 1990s, the international donor community,
as well as many social scientists working in the continent, had begun to talk of
.good governance. as a critical and important prerequisite for successful poverty
alleviation effort.9 The basic argument was that unless Africans could provide
themselves with governance structures characterized by efficient merit-based civil
services, accountable legislatures, free market economies, impartial judicial
systems, etc., they would continue to suffer from violent ethnic conflict and high
rates of poverty and deprivation. Peace could only be achieved and sustained in
the continent, it was argued, if poverty was dealt with effectively. Successfully
reducing poverty in the continent required that each country engage its citizens in
the reconstruction of the post-colonial state through democratic constitution
making to provide viable and locally-focused institutions.

Some Recent Initiatives for African Development

After the end of the Cold War and cessation of superpower rivalry, it had become
evident that the SAPs and other such programmes had failed to effectively deal
with poverty in Africa. As the new millennium approached, Africa remained pervaded
by chaos, ethnic violence, poor economic performance, high rates of corruption
and public apathy coupled with self-serving leaders.10 At the same time,
however, there was emerging within the continent a new generation of leaders
(notably Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Thabo
Mbeki of South Africa) determined to steer the region in a different direction.
Realizing very well the critical role that institutions play in poverty alleviation,
these new leaders sought to adopt a policy of initiatives and programmes that
would enable the African people to achieve sustainable development and peaceful
coexistence. The New Partnership for Africa.s Development (NEPAD) is the latest
and most ambitious among these programmes.
Since the late 1980s, there have been renewed efforts by domestic and external
actors to transform the continent and improve the African people.s ability to engage
in sustainable development in the new century. These include: (a) The Lagos Plan
of Action for the Economic Development of Africa 1980.2000; (b) Africa.s Priority
Programme for Economic Recovery 1986.1990 (later converted into the UN Programme
of Action for Africa.s Economic Recovery and Development); (c) The
African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment Programme for Socio-
Economic Recovery and Transformation; (d) The African Charter for Popular
Participation for Development; (e) The UN New Agenda for the Development of
Africa in the 1990s; ( f ) New African Initiative (NAI); (g) Millennium Partnership
for the African Recovery Program (MAP), which was sponsored by South African
President, Thabo Mbeki, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria and President
Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria; (h) the OMEGA Plan for Africa, which was
conceived and promoted by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal; and (i) the
Why did the previous efforts fail? First, these initiatives were sponsored by
individuals who were often more interested in promoting themselves and their
countries than in dealing effectively with the multifarious problems of the continent
as a whole. Second, Africa is not a homogeneous society.the continent is populated
by thousands of ethnic and other groups, each with its own unique culture,
language, customs, religion, and social systems. From Cape Town to Cairo, the
continent differs significantly in geography and levels of development, the experiences
of the various societies with globalization and other external influences,
such as colonialism, are not uniform; and the individual countries have different
types of economic and political systems. Although it is safe to say that all African
countries suffer from relatively high rates of poverty and deprivation, the methods
that can work effectively to eradicate poverty in South Africa, for example, may
not work well in some other country in the continent. While land reform is the most
important problem in Zimbabwe today, the contradiction between the marginalized
anglophone minority and the politically and economically dominant francophone
majority is a major crisis in Cameroon today. Hence, an initiative for African
renaissance developed, for example, by Thabo Mbeki without the full and effective
participation of other African policy makers, is not likely to prove useful in the
struggle to deal with the continent's multifarious development problems. Third,
many of these initiatives are often elite-driven, without any effort made to ensure
the full and effective participation of the masses who are most likely to bear the
costs of their implementation. Fourth, sources of funds for the implementation of
these initiatives are often not well-spelled out in these documents. Instead, it is
believed that the continent's traditional benefactors (the developed market economies,
notably the European Union, Japan, Canada and the US) would provide
the necessary resources. Dependence on external funding for economic and social
transformation has resulted in the total neglect of local potential for generation of
funds, which can be mobilized effectively for development. In fact, in many countries
throughout the continent, governments offer many incentives to foreign entrepreneurs
(which include tax holidays and exceptionally generous profit repatriation
terms) to encourage them to invest in their economies, while at the same time implementing
certain policies that discourage indigenous entrepreneurial activities.
Finally, there is no realization of the fact that these initiatives cannot work effectively
without significant domestic institutional reforms to provide a more enabling
environment for both economic and political governance.
This article makes an attempt to examine NEPAD.s viability as a framework
for effective poverty alleviation efforts and sustainable development in the continent.
NEPAD is a consolidation of several past proposals for dealing with poverty in
Africa.11 Hence, most of the ideas are not new. But what is distinct about NEPAD
is that it is supposed to be a continent-wide effort, with all of the continent.s leaders
working together to deal effectively with poverty and underdevelopment. Of
course, this is not the first time that African leaders have attempted to cooperate
in the fight against poverty.

NEPAD: A Critique of Goals, Strategies and Principles

NEPAD, as its proponents claim, is an initiative to vigorously fight poverty and
deprivation in the continent, improve living conditions for all population groups,
significantly improve the region.s participation in global affairs, including the
international economy, and enhance the ability of Africa.s diverse groups to live
together peacefully. To successfully undertake these activities, African countries
have to meet certain preconditions as stipulated in the NEPAD document. These
are reflected in five core principles: (a) good governance; (b) entrenchment of
democracy, peace and security; (c) sound economic policy making and implementation;
(d) productive and mutually beneficial partnerships; and (e) domestic
ownership and leadership of development initiatives.
NEPAD has several positive features. The most important of these include:
1. It seeks to fulfil the notion of self-reliance and argues against continued
2. The central idea behind NEPAD is to help Africa negotiate a new relationship
with its various development partners.
3. It hopes for the development of a new relationship between the continent
and transnational capital.from one in which transnational capital has since
the colonial period exploited Africa.s environmental resources for the benefit
of the metropolitan economies to one that is mutually beneficial, with Africa
being allowed to take its place as a gainful participant in the global economy.
4. Its main thrust is on the participation of people at the grassroots level. It
gives priority to local ownership, control, and management of development
5. It emphasizes the importance of national and regional priorities in the formulation
of development plans.
One cannot deny that though these goals represent some of the most important
aspirations of Africans throughout the continent, some of them are not unique to
NEPAD. They have been stated before by either other African initiatives, such as
The Lagos Plan of Action, or by various international organizations like the United
Nations. In themselves, these objectives are quite noble and it would be difficult
to find any African who would disagree with them. However, there is bound to be
disagreement in Africa regarding the strategy chosen for their implementation
and realization.
NEPAD received wide support from various international quarters. The World
Bank and the IMF, as well as various groups that represent international financial
capital believe that NEPAD represents an effective way to finally deal with Africa.s
poverty and underdevelopment.12 The G7/8 countries at their meeting in Genoa
in July 2001 endorsed NEPAD without making any explicit financial commitment,
while the Davos Conference in New York in January 2002 welcomed the initiative
as a step in the right direction. The new African Union, in its meeting in Lusaka in
October 2001, also endorsed the initiative. At the same time, NEPAD has its fair
share of critics. For example, the Bamako (Mali) Declaration passed by the African
Social Forum in January 2002 rejected what they believe as NEPAD.s obsession
with neo-liberalism and its willingness to integrate Africa into what is essentially
an unjust global trade system.13
Although the statement made by the African Social Forum can be attributed to
more radical elements of Africa.s civil society, it is important to realize that many
Africans have serious reservations about the initiative. Although the initiative talks
at length about local mass ownership of the process and exhorts the people to
mobilize themselves behind it, the architects of NEPAD did not consult the African
people during its formulation and have made no genuine effort to do so as they
prepare to begin implementation. Like many previous development and transformation
efforts in the continent, NEPAD is elite-driven and non-participatory.
For example, as argued by Tandon,14 after the Presidents of South Africa, Nigeria,
Senegal and Algeria had discussed NEPAD among themselves in Abuja, they
first consulted policy makers in the developed western industrial countries and
representatives of the international financial community before making any contact
with the African people whose lives would be directly affected by NEPAD. In fact,
the civil society in Africa got most of the information about NEPAD from the foreign
press and not from the architects of the initiative. Representatives of many
historically marginalized and deprived groups consider NEPAD as yet another
external imposition (which is only different from the SAPs in that it claims to
safeguard services, especially to the poor) designed to generate benefits primarily
for foreign capital, the metropolitan economies and a few privileged indigenous

Key Strategy

To realize its objectives NEPAD calls for the integration of African economies
into the post-Cold War global economy. Conditions for such integration include
trade liberalization and the formation of free markets in Africa. NEPAD envisages
institutional reforms that will significantly reduce the role played by the state in
economic activities, with markets allowed to play a greater role in the allocation
of resources. Such reforms would also enhance the free movement of capital,
allowing foreign investment to play a crucial role in national development. African
economies are expected to become more and not less competitive. With these reforms,
Africa will receive more .development. aid, debt relief and investment
from the developed countries, although NEPAD places more emphasis on foreign
investment than on the other sources of external funds. In addition, African countries
will enjoy improved access to the markets of the industrialized countries of
the North.
However, critics argue that forcing African countries to integrate into a global
system whose rules of operation were designed to advance the interests of the
developed countries is unwise and would only further marginalize Africa and its
citizens. Since the days of colonialism, it is argued, the relationship between Africa
and the metropolitan countries has been asymmetric.the West European countries
and the United States have enormous power to determine the outcomes of any
relationship between them and Africa. The results of this unequal relationship
have been continued poverty and underdevelopment in the continent. Further
integration into the global system under existing conditions, critics of NEPAD
argue, will only exacerbate Africa.s already dismal economic position and push
the continent further to the global periphery.15
Further, the strategy chosen by NEPAD is not very different from that prescribed
by the SAPs imposed on Africa by the IMF and the World Bank. NEPAD fails to
realize that the SAPs actually contributed to numerous economic and social problems
that the continent currently suffers from. The critics agree that the goals put
forth by NEPAD are noble but argue that the strategy being adopted by it will not
achieve those goals and will instead plunge Africa into an even bigger development
crisis. Many alternative strategies have been suggested. Below we examine
one of them.
Those who argue in favour of an alternative strategy believe that each African
country should place human needs above profit maximization. Access to drinking
water is used to illustrate their argument. In the method chosen by NEPAD, these
critics argue, water provision in say, Soweto, South Africa, or any other municipality
in Africa, would be provided by some private company (local or international)
which would function on the basis of profit. However, it is quite possible
that the price fixed by the company on market considerations cannot be afforded
by the consumers. In the NEPAD way, the critics argue, those unable to pay the
market price for water would not have access to it.16

The alternative way calls for the government to declare certain goods basic needs
that all citizens must be granted access to. Clean water, food, adequate housing,
electricity, basic education and transportation are considered some of these basic
needs. These facilities, critics of NEPAD argue, cannot and should not be subjected
to the whims of profit maximizing firms, especially if African countries are to depend
on foreign investment to do so. For one thing, granting foreign capital the
competitive advantages (for example, tax holidays, favourable profit repatriation
terms, free land, subsidized loans, exemptions from various local statutes, etc.)
that they require before they agree to invest in an African country can cause significant
shortfalls in public revenues and endanger fiscal viability. The government
must guarantee citizens. access to these basic needs, regardless of who produces
and distributes them. But it is feared that NEPAD, despite its good intentions,
would .surrender the human rights of the people of Africa (their rights to food,
water, energy, etc.) to the whims of a volatile and untrustworthy global capital..17
Proponents of the alternative strategy argue that African governments should first
guarantee these basic needs/services to their citizens and then oversee the process
through which such services would be provided either by the private or public

Core Principles

The basic thrust of NEPAD is reflected in the set of core principles embedded in
the initiative. As has already been mentioned, the first principle involves good
governance in its broadest sense.a concept that includes good corporate, economic
and political governance. Good governance, it is believed by its proponents,
will at the very least, entail (a) transparency and accountability in both the public and
private spheres (that is, the absence of corruption, rent seeking and other forms
of opportunism); (b) maintenance of the rule of law; (c) provision for traders with
incentives that enhance their involvement in productive activities; (d) protection
of the person and property of individuals; (e) enforcement of property rights and
freely negotiated contracts; and ( f ) the maintenance of an institutional environment
conducive to mutually beneficial free exchange, peaceful coexistence and free
mobility of people. This calls for the establishment and sustaining within each
country of suitable institutions that support the market, guarantee economic freedom,
promote peaceful coexistence of population groups, ensure the .mobility.
of citizens (that is, allow for free internal migration), and enhance wealth creation.
Poverty eradication efforts cannot be successful in the absence of good governance.
The latter is essential for the efficient and productive employment of
resources to create the wealth that can then be used to deal with poverty and improve
the standard of living of the people, especially those who during the last
forty years have been impoverished by perverse economic policies. Further, good
governance is built and relies on the principles of participation and inclusiveness.
Thus, any effort to introduce and sustain good governance in Africa must first
emancipate the people and provide them with the facilities to participate fully
and effectively in national development.
Good governance, however, is a function of each country.s overall institutional
framework. Hence, the first requirement for each African country is to engage the
relevant stakeholder groups in reconstruction and reconstitution of the post-colonial
state through democratic constitution making. This is where NEPAD seems to run
into problems. First, as has already been mentioned, the behaviour of its architects
appears to contradict one of the most important principles of the initiative.mass
participation. There is greater effort to please and appease external actors than to
enhance the participation of the people. Second, from the point of view of most
African countries, NEPAD is an externally imposed initiative. Yet, the economies
of all these countries are likely to be affected significantly should it be implemented.
For example, for attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) into the continent,
NEPAD stipulates that any African country which does not participate in its
.Economic and Political Governance Initiatives. (that is, any country that violates
these governance norms imposed on them by NEPAD) would be subject to western
sanctions, even though most of these African countries were not party to the development
of these norms. As argued by Tandon,18 Nigeria, reacting to Zimbabwe.s
land policy (which western investors, led by Britain, have criticized as draconian
and not in the best interest of global capital), could then accuse Zimbabwe of
contributing to economic and political instability in the region (and endangering
the flow of FDI) and propose that global sanctions be applied. Does Nigeria or
South Africa, through NEPAD, have the right to determine which African country
should get FDI from the West? Finally, how will NEPAD establish within each
African country the types of laws and institutions that promote and enhance good
governance? Since the late 1980s, African countries have been struggling with
the transition to democratic governance systems. Although there have been a few
successes, the transition in most countries in the continent has not moved beyond
elections. Many of these countries are yet to deepen and institutionalize democracy.
If, after more than forty years of independence, most African countries have not
been able to equip themselves with institutional arrangements that promote good
governance, how is NEPAD going to achieve that goal? It is true that the goal of
transforming the post-colonial state to provide citizens with more effective governance
structures is an achievable one. However, strategies adopted by NEPAD,
all of which depend a great deal on external funding, support and direction, may
not achieve such a goal.
The second core principle is entrenchment of democracy, peace and security.
Democracy, to the extent that it improves the ability of relevant stakeholders in
each African country to participate in governance, should contribute significantly
to a climate where peace and security can be sustained. During most of the
post-independence period in Africa, power has been concentrated in the centre.
In some countries, certain ethnic groups have been permanently excluded from
participating in the public policy process. The introduction, deepening and
sustaining of democracy is expected to involve the devolution of power away
from the centre and in favour of regional and local political institutions. A decentralized
model of governance can bring many benefits for Africans. It can be
more responsive to the interests, values and needs of both large (dominant) and
small ethnic groups. It can also bring the government closer to the people to make
it more relevant for their day-to-day living. Again, the important question is: how
does NEPAD achieve this?
The third core principle is sound economic policy making and implementation.
In 1996, Mancur Olson argued that the most important problem with regard to the
economic development of poor countries was the inability of the domestic economy
to fully realize its production potentials through the involvement and efforts of its
utilizers. A country cannot realize its production potential if it is unable to efficiently
exploit all the gains from specialization and trade. Except for a few, many
countries have failed to realize .many of the largest gains from specialization and
trade.. This is mainly because these countries lack .the institutions that enforce
contracts impartially, and so they lose most of the gains from those transactions
(like those in the capital market) that require impartial third party enforcement..19
In fact, most of the countries in Africa today do not have institutions that can
guarantee the long-term security of property rights and hence have been unable
to attract the necessary investment in capital intensive manufacturing processes.
Effective poverty eradication requires that economic policy be sound, relevant
and enhance the ability of all the people, especially the poor, to use their resources
and talents productively to create the wealth that they need. It is true that NEPAD
considers sound economic policy important. But does NEPAD enhance the ability
of each African country to achieve soundness in its economic policy, especially
given the fact that the initiative seems to pander to external interests? Traditionally,
rural dwellers, whose agricultural activities have contributed significantly to
national output in the African countries, have rarely been consulted in the development
and execution of national economic policy. As a consequence, most public
policies have failed to reflect the interests of this important section of society.
Instead, public policy has been employed regularly as a tool to redistribute income
and wealth in favour of urban-based politically dominant groups. In order for the
African countries to produce sound economic policies, they must make the process
The fourth core principle elaborated in the NEPAD document is productive
partnerships between African countries and their bilateral and multilateral partners.
The main objective is to enhance the ability of each African country to participate
in the global economy through development aid, foreign investment, export and
import trade, cultural and intellectual exchanges, etc. Partnerships between African
entrepreneurs and those in the developed world, if they are voluntary and mutually
beneficial, would serve well to deal with the problems of underdevelopment in the
continent. However, there is doubt whether what NEPAD is proposing would actually
lead to such a beneficial partnership or result in a mere perpetuation of the
one-sided dependency imposed on the continent during colonialism and which
continued throughout the Cold War period.
A former executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa argued
that although African leaders see NEPAD as a partnership between them and
donors for the elimination of poverty in the continent and the improvement of
living conditions, especially among historically deprived groups and communities,
the donors do not see or admit to such a relationship.20 Western countries view
themselves as generous nations seeking to help Africa pull itself out of a development
quagmire that has haunted the continent during the entire post-independence
period. In its self-appointed role as the .benevolent guardian. of Africa and
Africans, the West has appropriated for itself the right to dictate policy and
determine the destiny of the continent and its people. According to this view,
the West is the donor and Africa the recipient; there is no partnership between the
West and African leaders for the development of the continent. Therefore, the
relationship is one-sided, with the bulk of the benefits accruing to the metropolitan
Further, it is not clear how NEPAD expects to build productive partnerships
with nations that continue to see Africa simply as a source of cheap raw materials
for their industries and markets for their excess production. African governments
should have first sought to develop partnerships between themselves and their
people before venturing into .negotiations. with external actors. Such partnerships
would have allowed the African leaders to fully understand and appreciate the
nature of the continent.s development problems and gather from the people what
strategies they believe should be adopted to deal with those. Negotiations with
external actors would have made sense only after full and effective consultations
with the people.
The final core principle relates to domestic ownership and leadership. The experience
of the last forty years has shown that unless Africans can claim ownership
of development programmes and exercise full control over their formulation and
implementation, such programmes are not likely to succeed. Ownership and control
of public policy by relevant stakeholder groups is critical for the success of any
poverty alleviation programme. Experiences with the IMF and World Bank imposed
SAPs have proved that lack of ownership and participation cause a great
deal of public resentment and hostility. Without local ownership, development
programmes are not likely to be accepted or recognized at the local level as legitimate
tools for poverty alleviation. Thus, poverty can only be tackled effectively and
communities developed when the local people are allowed to lead the development

Challenges of Poverty Eradication

As to the question whether NEPAD is a viable poverty eradication tool for Africa,
the answer has to be in the negative for many reasons. First, many Africans find
western support for NEPAD ironic and view it with suspicion given the fact that
since independence, they have never been allowed to decide their own policies
by the international financial institutions with the complicity of western donors.22
In fact, the Bretton Woods institutions effectively derailed several .home-grown.
development efforts (for example, The Lagos Plan of Action) and forced the continent
to remain on the periphery of the global economy. The SAPs caused many
development problems for Africa, including endangering food security. For
example, the IMF.s obsession with the production of cash crops (like coffee,
bananas, cocoa, and cotton), which could be exported and the earnings from which
could be used to service the debt, forced African governments to adopt agricultural
policies that discouraged the production of foodstuffs. In the process, many countries
sacrificed food security for debt service.23 If that was the past experience
why did the World Bank and the IMF, as well as many developed countries, welcome
NEPAD with such enthusiasm? Is it because it is actually a vehicle for the
maximization of western objectives in Africa or have the West and these multilateral
institutions suddenly changed their attitudes toward African development? It is
true that in recent years, especially since the end of the Cold War, the western
industrial market economies have been hinting at an attitude change with respect
to their views of underdevelopment in Africa. However, many of the post-Cold
War efforts initiated and carried out by the West (for example, various .debt relief .
efforts, including Heavily Indebted Poor Countries [HIPC]), have failed to have
any significant impact on poverty eradication in the continent.
The influence of the international financial institutions on Africa would have
been minimized had African policy makers not been so dependent on external
resources. In addition, most of these leaders had very narrow domestic political
bases, headed regimes that did not enjoy the support of the people at large and
were known for their reluctance to utilize the available resources for the development
of their own people. Hence, while the World Bank and the IMF may be at
fault for contributing to the failure of many of Africa.s development initiatives, it
is important to note that the lack of political will and resources doomed the majority
of these initiatives. NEPAD is likely to suffer a similar fate.
During the colonial period, the West through its mercantile companies dictated
development policy in Africa. Throughout the Cold War, it continued to interfere
in Africa.s development through its transnational firms. Even after the end of the
Cold War, the West.s approach to Africa.s development remains the same. This
externally-led development policy continues to cause major problems for Africa
and its people. These include inequality in the distribution of income and wealth;
agro-ecological degradation; violent ethnic mobilization; increased levels of poverty
and material deprivation, especially among historically marginalized groups
and communities; corruption, rent seeking, and other forms of political opportunism;
and marginalization of indigenous entrepreneurship. The NEPAD initiative
seems to offer opportunities for the West to continue with its exploitation of African
resources for its own benefit, despite the fact that the initiative is projected by its
proponents as a vehicle for genuine development in the continent. As already
mentioned, NEPAD is an elite-driven and top-down initiative developed by a few
African leaders with the help of their foreign benefactors, with virtually no input
from the continent.s most important stakeholders.the people. In fact, most of
the continent.s political leaders were not even consulted.
Genuine poverty eradication efforts in Africa must be built upon (a) self-reliance;
(b) self-sustaining development projects; (c) fair and equitable distribution of the
benefits of economic growth; and (d) popular participation. The various failed
development initiatives listed earlier emphasized these fundamental principles
which NEPAD also emphasizes. Further, like the previous initiatives, it also depends
on the donor community for resources and, therefore, subjects itself to significant
levels of direct supervision by the Bretton Woods institutions. Does such
control by the Bretton Woods institutions not contradict and indeed invalidate the
argument that NEPAD is home-grown and owned by Africans? Would not its
control by the international financial institutions exacerbate Africa.s neo-colonialist
position and further marginalize the continent in the global economy and international
affairs? Can NEPAD successfully free Africa from the grips of the Bretton
Woods institutions and finally place the continent on the road to genuine sustainable
development? This seems unlikely if funding for NEPAD is to come primarily
from international donors, and African leaders remain essentially unable or unwilling
to pursue development initiatives that effectively utilize domestic resources
for wealth creation.24
The expectations of NEPAD are that the developed market economies would
transfer large amounts of financial resources and technology to Africa as was
done to Europe through the Marshall Plan shortly after the Second World War.
However, unlike NEPAD, the Marshall Plan was a mutually beneficial arrangement
between the United States and the European countries. The United States provided
the financial resources that pulled Europe out of its post-war development quagmire.
Europe.s rapid recovery was crucial to US business and security interests. A peaceful
and economically powerful western Europe created an important market for
US trade and provided a critical ally in the fight against communism. While genuine
development can turn Africa into an important trade partner for the US and other
developed economies and provide them a reliable partner in the fight against
global terrorism, NEPAD does not appear to be the sort of initiative that would
accomplish these objectives.
Further, although the Second World War destroyed a lot of Europe.s economic
infrastructure, the foundation of its institutional framework remained intact. In
addition, there was great potential for the mobilization of the human capital needed
to effectively manage both political and economic institutions. Hence, financial
resources were needed to rehabilitate this potential and put Europe on the road to
development. Today.s Africa, however, is not like Europe after the Second World
War. As argued by Adedeji, there is no damaged infrastructure to rehabilitate as
was the case in post-war Europe.25 Throughout Africa, economic infrastructure
needs to be constructed from scratch. In addition, the post-colonial state must be
completely dismantled and reconstructed to provide structures of governance that
are relevant to the lives of the people.structures that enhance the ability of the
people to achieve self-reliance, sustainable development, peaceful coexistence
and full and effective participation in political and economic governance. Given
NEPAD.s underlying assumption of and dependence on increased development
aid and investment from the developed countries, it is doubtful if it can pursue
these principles. On the other hand, independent pursuit of a self-reliant development
strategy is unrealistic for NEPAD. In that case, Africa is not likely to receive
any resources from the West to finance the programmes underlined in the initiative.
This is the real dilemma.
The NEPAD document does not mention how it will force the global system to
become fairer and treat African traders in a more equitable manner. It, however,
leaves the task to the international community, meaning the Bretton Woods institutions
and their benefactors, the developed market economies. Critics of NEPAD
consider this very naïve. Why should the West change a global trading system
that brings them huge benefits and replace it with one that is likely to place them
on a competitive disadvantage?26
Finally, even if the global trading rules are made fairer and more equitable,
Africa would still be unable to compete effectively because the existing institutional
arrangements in most African countries do not enhance and support investment
in productive activities. Instead, they encourage corruption, rent seeking and other
forms of opportunism, making it very difficult for Africans to engage in entrepreneurial
activities and produce goods that can compete globally both in terms
of price and quality. NEPAD has promised, of course, to force African countries
to change their domestic institutional environments and provide traders with more
effective laws and institutions. But how that objective will be achieved is not
clearly articulated.

Institutional Reforms: Key to Africa.s Development

The most urgent need in Africa today is for each country to create enough wealth
to meet rising aspirations of the people and deal effectively with poverty. To
generate the wealth that they need, Africans must equip themselves with institutions
that support market activities. Such institutions are critical in the fight against
poverty. For example, market-supporting institutions determine access to credit
and either enhance or constrain the ability of the poor to use their talents and resources
in productive ways. It is now well known that weak institutions encourage
and sustain corrupt bureaucracies, making it quite difficult for the poor to have
access to life sustaining public goods and services (for example, clean water,
health services, education, etc.). If the police and the judiciary are corrupt, investors
(both domestic and foreign) are likely to see the state as unwilling to protect their
property rights and hence are not likely to engage in those activities that create
wealth and provide resources for poverty elimination. If, for example, a country
does not have mechanisms for the effective and fair resolution of trade disputes,
the development of trade and markets is likely to be stunted. On the other hand,
the presence of legal systems that adjudicate disputes in a fair and impartial manner
usually encourages firms to undertake riskier (but critical) investment activities.27
Although NEPAD recognizes the importance of strong institutions for poverty
alleviation and economic development, the initiative.s interest in institutional
reforms seems to be driven by the desire to attract foreign resources to the continent.
State reconstruction in Africa must be undertaken to enhance the ability of the
people to govern themselves and allocate their resources efficiently and equitably
and to please external actors.
Since a country.s institutions have a significant impact on the way in which
conflicts are resolved, they play a crucial role in the effective management of
ethnic conflicts. Destructive ethnic mobilization is likely to be minimized if the
country.s institutions provide all ethnic groups with fair and predictable rules for
competition for scarce resources and the benefits of economic growth, as well as
structures for the peaceful resolution of conflict. Hence, one way to secure peace
is to provide all the diverse groups with institutions that enhance their ability to
live together peacefully. The NEPAD initiative, as mentioned earlier, is not very
clear on how these institutions would be developed and sustained.
Four approaches to building viable and sustainable institutions across all economic
and political sectors within and across countries have been recognized. First,
such institutions should be designed which are locally focused and complement
existing structures or systems. Take, for example, corruption control programmes
in Africa. Where the mass media is already making a significant contribution to
exposing corrupt behaviour in public services, policy makers should develop institutions
that enhance and promote transparency, as well as utilize the information
generated by the press to prosecute those implicated in corruption. Laws should
be passed that enhance the ability of the media to function as a watchdog on the
activities of the civil service and other sectors of society. In the area of state regulation
of economic activity, institutions should be developed that complement
private sector activities and enhance the ability of entrepreneurs to engage in
productive activities.
Second, more effective and sustainable institutions should be created through
innovation and experimentation. While innovating institutions, it is important to
make the process participatory and inclusive. As evident from the development
of microfinance systems in Bangladesh, it is critical that various sections within
the society be involved in all aspects of development and implementation of policy.
28 The government must be willing to cooperate with the private sector also.
This is how individuals and communities can participate in the development process
while power is devolved away from the centre in favour of regional and local
bodies. In fact, allowing local communities to produce some of the public goods
and services that they need will not only encourage innovations but also improve
Third, it is essential to improve cooperation between communities through information
flow and exchange. Free flow of information and relatively unregulated
trade can contribute significantly to the building of institutions by creating demand
for institutions that support markets. Free trade, of course, has other benefits. It
expands the size of domestic markets, providing local entrepreneurs with the ability
to exploit technological economies of scale more efficiently. Exposure to a larger
and more technologically sophisticated market implies that entrepreneurs will
require formal institutions that provide them with the information they need to
remain competitive, as well as serve them in the enforcement of contracts. Free
trade exposes firms to new knowledge and improves the ability of managers to
perform more efficiently. It increases competition and forces businesses to be
more efficient in the production and delivery of goods and services. It produces
new forms of risk for countries, forcing them to design new and additional institutions
to deal with such risk. It brings new market participants from other
countries, all of whom are likely to demand more effective institutions to govern
Fourth, competition should be promoted among firms and individuals in such
a way as to enhance more efficient allocation of resources. As has been shown by
several researchers, existing institutional structures in the African countries inhibit
competition and contribute significantly to corruption and the misallocation of
resources.30 Increased competition can create the need for new institutions and at
the same time make existing institutions more efficient. For example, in the mid-
1990s, many countries in Africa undertook the liberalization of their foreign exchange
markets. As part of the process, the government permitted privately owned
foreign exchange bureaus to operate. In addition to the fact that the central bank.s
monopoly on the sale and purchase of foreign exchange was broken, a significant
level of venality associated with foreign exchange transactions in the central bank
was reduced. A more competitive foreign exchange market in many of these countries
improved allocative efficiency and strengthened national financial markets.
In addition, commercial banks became more efficient as they faced increased
competition from foreign exchange bureaus and from foreign financial institutions.
Competition between political units within a country can also lead to the creation
of new institutions. For example, competition between states or provinces within
a country for investment can lead to the creation of more educational institutions
to train the skilled manpower needed to attract investment. Quite often, competition
can actually reduce the need for formal (governmental) institutions, since the
forces of competition can serve the functions previously performed by regulation.
Institutional reforms, as suggested earlier, could result in the creation of new
institutions, the dismantling of some existing ones and the strengthening of others.
These activities will invariably alter, in a significant way, the relationship between
the government and the diverse groups that it serves. Although many of the institutional
changes are expected to bring benefits for all Africans in the long term,
it is important to recognize that in the short term some individuals and groups
may suffer in terms of a reduced standard of living. Among those whose standard
of living is expected to be affected negatively are the historically marginalized
and excluded groups (for example, women, children and youth, rural dwellers
and the urban poor).
Let us now illustrate our point by limiting the discussion to just one aspect of
institutional reforms.that involving privatization and increased reliance on markets
for the allocation of resources. Before we proceed, it is important to note that
we fully support an increased role for the private sector as a way to improve
resource allocation and enhance wealth creation. That said, let us then recognize
that privatization involves the surrender of several public functions and their
subsequent transfer to the private sector. Such a process has significant impact on
governance and, hence, on the welfare of many citizens, primarily the poor who
constitute the bulk of the population of most African countries.
Throughout Africa today, the poor are the least likely to have effective access
to adequate healthcare, clean water, decent affordable housing or shelter, education,
loans for entrepreneurial activities, prenatal care, sanitation services,
electricity and other forms of power, legal representation, and other services essential
for the maintenance of a reasonable standard of living. Implementation of
the reforms mentioned above is expected to involve the privatization of many of
these services. Should that happen, advocates for the poor fear that many of these
people.especially women, children and the youth, rural inhabitants, the urban
poor and members of several minority ethnic groups.all of whom lack political
influence and the resources to engage in market transactions, could suffer further
marginalization and impoverishment. They could, for example, be deprived of
free life sustaining services such as clean water and primary healthcare as the
private sector would try to reduce costs and maximize profits. In the urban areas,
for example, private operators may find delivering clean water to poor neighbourhoods
highly risky and not cost effective and as a result, decide not to provide
these people with any service. Private producers and distributors of electricity
may prefer to serve only urban areas where the infrastructure already exists for
the servicing of households and business firms and neglect rural areas where
delivery of services is likely to be more difficult and not as profitable. Privately
owned financial institutions may decide not to lend money to rural farmers (especially
women) whose property rights are not well-defined and enforced and who,
in many instances, cannot use their land as collateral for loans.
Any institutional reforms to make markets function more effectively, therefore,
may actually impose severe costs, at least in the short run, on vulnerable groups.
How can these institutional reforms be undertaken without negatively affecting
the welfare of the poor? The answer lies in the process through which the reforms
are designed and executed. Again, we use the process of privatization to illustrate
this point.
Privatization can provide each African country with many benefits. These
include: (a) increased participation of the private sector in productive activities,
including wealth creation; (b) development and sustainability of a more market
oriented economy; (c) provision of a more predictable and fair process for individuals
and groups to compete for the benefits of economic growth and development;
and (d) the achievement of a more efficient and competitive domestic economy,
one that can participate more gainfully in the global economy. By reducing state
activities in the economy, a significant level of discretion is taken away from
civil servants and politicians, making it much more difficult for them to indulge
in corruption and other forms of opportunism. Thus, if privatization is undertaken
as part of a comprehensive programme to reconstruct the post-colonial state, the
process can contribute significantly to improved economic and political governance.
Of course, as has already been mentioned, privatization has important welfare
implications for the poor. If the process is carried out in an undemocratic manner,
the outcome will be a dispensation that is incapable of serving the needs and expectations
of all relevant stakeholders. Hence, the most effective way to undertake
privatization is to begin with state reconstruction through democratic constitution
making. The people must be enfranchised, empowered and provided the facilities
to participate fully and effectively in institutional reconstruction. Through this
process, the diverse groups in each country can define and elaborate in the constitution
a role for the state that takes into consideration their needs and expectations.
It is only after such a role for each level of government has been defined
 that participants in the constitution-making process can determine which economic
functions should be retained by the state (either in the short or long run) and
which should be surrendered to the private sector.
Further, adopting a decentralized governance structure can enhance the ability
of local communities to determine a role for the government that maximizes their
interests and allows them to provide adequate protection to all sections of society
against unexpected changes in economic conditions. While market allocation
should be the long-term goal for the country within a decentralized system, governmental
jurisdictions at the local level can be allowed to offer fiscal packages that
call for public subsidization (and in certain circumstances, public control) of certain
basic services, in an effort to minimize the hardship associated with sudden government
withdrawal from these critical sectors. In various critical areas (for example,
healthcare, nutrition for children and pregnant mothers, HIV/AIDS education, primary
and adult education, credit counselling, especially for rural farmers, shelter,
etc.), local governments may decide to retain subsidies, at least in the short run,
until their private sectors have developed the capacity to provide these services
efficiently and in a manner affordable to their populations.

Towards Regional Integration
Africa must take care of its domestic problems before it can face the outside world.
As described earlier, each country must engage in institutional reforms at the outset.
The African countries must create viable integration schemes that can help
them (a) compete more gainfully in the global economy; (b) force a restructuring
of the international trading system to minimize many of the disadvantages suffered
by African traders; and (c) deal more effectively with the international financial
The UN Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union, various opinion
makers, and many social scientists working in Africa see regional economic integration
as a viable way to improve economic conditions in the continent and enhance
its ability to participate more gainfully in the global economy. First, the
emergence of powerful economic blocs such as the European Union (EU) and the
North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) have made regional integration in
Africa imperative. For one thing, if both NAFTA and the EU become protectionist,
this could spell disaster for Africa, given the fact that most countries in the continent
at present are engaged in a significant amount of trade with these two blocs. Second,
given the relative economic strength of both the EU and NAFTA, these two
are most likely to dominate global political and economic affairs for many years
to come. The ability of African countries to participate in and benefit from a global
economy dominated by NAFTA and the EU will largely depend on the level of
the continent.s success at regional integration. Strong and viable regional integration
schemes will significantly strengthen the ability of the continent to negotiate
with NAFTA, the EU, and other such economic unions for the benefits of global
trade. Collective action will improve Africa.s bargaining power and allow the
continent to extract more benefits from international trade. Third, most African
countries have domestic markets that are quite small and not particularly viable.
As a consequence, the development of industrial capacity is limited by the inability
of local industries to efficiently and effectively exploit technological economies
of scale. Regional integration will increase the size of domestic markets and enhance
the ability of local manufacturers to benefit from economies of scale. In
addition, integration will also increase the area within which emerging domestic
industries can be provided the assistance they need to grow, mature, and become
globally competitive in terms of both price and output. Finally, regional integration
will enhance the ability of African economies to cope with the challenges of globalization.
For example, regional cooperation could make it easier and more efficient
for African countries to avail themselves of technological innovations in information
processing and communication such as the Internet.
Further, the basis of regional integration should not be confined to economic
growth alone; instead it should be economic and human development. Unlike
economic growth, development emphasizes eradication of poverty; the reduction
of inequalities and inequities in the distribution of income and wealth; improvements
in human capital formation; and technological innovations. Viewed from a
broad perspective, the main objective of the integration scheme should be to harmonize
economic development plans and seek to remove poverty from within
the geographic area covered by the agreement.31
When economic development instead of growth is emphasized, the African
Union will be allowed to examine the unequal distribution of the benefits of integration
and find appropriate ways to eliminate it. Here, equity should be judged
from the level of the country, region within a country and the individual citizen.
This approach minimizes emphasis on increases in per capita income as a measure
of the gains from integration and promotes a more wholesome view of cooperation.
Lawmakers at the union level can identity poor and deprived areas within the
member countries for special emphasis by both the union as well as the respective
governments. Hence, even depressed and marginalized areas within countries
that have relatively high per capita incomes (for example, South Africa) can be
identified and assisted.

During most of the post-independence period, Africans have been unable to find
an effective way to use their resources and talents efficiently and productively to
create the wealth they need. Thus, despite the fact that the continent is endowed
with abundant natural and human resources, it remains one of the poorest regions
of the world. Most of the development programmes designed and executed in the
continent during the last several decades have failed to produce net benefits for
the people. Recently, a group of African leaders have put forth a new programme
called NEPAD, which they claim would effectively transform the continent economically,
socially, and politically and provide it with the wherewithal to achieve
sustainable development and peaceful coexistence.
NEPAD is based on a few core principles, which are considered to be the preconditions
for economic, social, and political renewal. Unfortunately, like earlier
development initiatives. NEPAD is elite-driven, non-participatory, and dependent
on external resources for its success. Instead of serving as an instrument of social,
political, and economic transformation, it is most likely to keep Africans dependent
on the industrial market economies and push the continent further to the periphery
of the global system unless thorough institutional reforms in both political and
economic spheres are achieved by involving all relevant stakeholders.
Effective poverty alleviation efforts in Africa must begin with the enfranchisement
of the African people so as to enable them to reconstruct the post-colonial
state through democratic constitution making and putting in place the necessary
institutional arrangements that enhance indigenous entrepreneurship and maximize
the creation of wealth; promote peaceful coexistence of diverse groups; and adequately
constrain the ruling elite from engaging in opportunistic behaviour. In
addition, Africans should develop viable regional integration schemes, which will
enhance their ability to compete gainfully in the global economy. Such schemes
should also improve Africa.s ability to bring changes in the international system
that are more favourable to the maximization of the continent.s interests.
April 2004


1 E.A. Brett, .Institutional Theory and Social Change in Uganda,. in J. Harriss, J. Hunter and
C.M. Lewis, eds, The New Institutional Economics and Third World Development (London:
Routledge, 1995), p. 200.
2 Ibid.
3 See, World Bank, Accelerated Development in sub-Saharan Africa: An Agenda for Action
(Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 1981); Organization of African Unity (OAU), The Lagos
Plan of Action for the Economic Development of Africa 1980.2000 (Geneva: International Institute
for Labour Studies, 1981); Z. Ergas, .In Search of Development: Some Directions for Further
Investigation,. The Journal of Modern African Studies, vol. 24, no. 2, 1986, pp. 303.33.
4 See J.D. Gwartney and R.G. Holcombe, .Economic Freedom, Constitutional Structure, and
Growth in Developing Countries,. in M.S. Kimenyi and J.M. Mbaku, eds, Institutions and Collective
Choice in Developing Countries: Applications of the Theory of Public Choice (Aldershot, UK:
Ashgate, 1999); Gwartney and Lawson, 1977; J.M. Mbaku, Institutions and Reform in Africa: The
Public Choice Perspective (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997); Brett, .Institutional Theory and Social
5 Brett, .Institutional Theory and Social Change..
6 N. Jua, .Cameroon: Jump-starting an Economic Crisis., in J.M. Mbaku, ed., Corruption and
the Crisis of Institutional Reforms in Africa (Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1998); D.J.
Gould, Bureaucratic Corruption and Underdevelopment in the Third World: The Case of Zaire
(New York: Pergamon Press, 1980); D.J. Gould and T.B. Mukendi, .Bureaucratic Corruption in
Africa: Causes, Consequences and Remedies,. International Journal of Public Administration,
vol. 12, no. 3, 1989, pp. 427.57; V.T. LeVine, Political Corruption: The Ghanaian Case (Stanford:
Hoover Institution, 1975); K.R. Hope, Sr and B.C. Chikulo, eds, Corruption and Development in
Africa: Lessons from Country Case-Studies (London: Macmillan, 2000).
7 Brett, .Institutional Theory and Social Change in Uganda,. p. 200.
8 D.C. North, Structure and Change in Economic History (New York: W.W. Norton & Company,
1981), p. 59.
9 See, G. Saitoti, The Challenges of Economic and Institutional Reforms in Africa (Aldershot:
Ashgate, 2002).
10 Hope and Chikulo, Corruption and Development in Africa: Lessons from Country Case Studies
(London: Macmillan); G.B.N. Ayittey, .Economic Transformation and Governance in Africa: Strategies
for Recovery, Growth, and Development,. in J.M. Mbaku and J.O. Ihonvbere, eds, The Transition
to Democratic Governance in Africa: The Continuing Struggle (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003).
11 NEPAD began as the New African Initiative (INAI) and, in its present form, is a consolidation
of the MAP and the OMEGA Plan for Africa. In addition, it has incorporated ideas from Compact
for African Recovery: Operationalizing the Millennium Partnership for the African Recovery
Programme, prepared by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) at the
request of African Ministers of Finance after their meeting in Addis Ababa in November 2000. In
July 2001, during the annual meeting of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Lusaka
(Zambia), African leaders endorsed the merger of the MAP and the OMEGA Plan into the NAI. In
October 2001, during implementation discussions in Abuja, Nigeria, African leaders agreed to
change the name of the combined programme to NEPAD.
12 J. Mills and J. Oppenheimer, .Partnerships Only Way to Break Cycle of Poverty,. Financial
Times, 1 October 2001; G. Gondwe and C. Madavo, .New Swipe at Fighting Poverty,. Financial
Times, 7 October 2001.
13 The forum, which was attended by as many as 200 social movements, organizations and institutions
from forty-three African countries, declared as follows: .The Forum rejected neo-liberal
globalization and further integration of Africa into an unjust system as a basis for its growth and
development. In this context, there was a strong consensus against initiatives such as NEPAD
(New Partnership for African Development) that are inspired by the IMF-WB strategies of Structural
Adjustment Programmes, trade liberalization that continues to subject Africa to an unequal exchange
(between its exports and its imports), and strictures on governance borrowed from the practices of
western countries and not rooted in the culture and history of the peoples of Africa., http://www.
14 Yash Tandon, .Critical Civil Society Perspectives: Yash Tandon on NEPAD., SEATINI Bulletin,
vol. 5, no. 4 (February) 2002.
 15 Tandon, .Critical Civil Society Perspectives.. Also see the African Social Forum, The Bamako
Declaration/Statement: Another Africa is Possible, english/
16 Yash Tandon, .NEPAD and FDIs: Symmetries and Contradictions., Paper presented at the
African Scholars. Forum on the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), Nairobi,
26.29 April 2002.
17 Tandon, .Critical Civil Society Perspectives..
18 Tandon, .NEPAD and FDIs..
19 M. Olson Jr, .Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government.Big Bills Left on the
Sidewalk: Why Some Nations are Rich, and Others Poor., Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol.
10, no. 2 (spring) 1996, pp. 3.24.
 20 A. Adedeji, .From The Lagos Plan Action to the New Partnership for African Development
and from the Final Act of Lagos to the Constitutive Act: Wither Africa?., Keynote Address delivered
at the African Forum on Envisioning Africa, Nairobi, 26.29 April 2002.
21 J.O. Ihonvbere, .Africa in the Twenty-first Century: The Challenges and Opportunities,. in
J.M. Mbaku, ed., Preparing Africa for the Twenty-first Century: Strategies for Peaceful Coexistence
and Sustainable Development (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 1999).
22 Adedeji, .Keynote Address.. Also see J.O. Ihonvbere, Nigeria: The Politics of Adjustment and
Democracy (Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1994).
23 K. Dunn, .Tales from the Dark Side: Africa.s Challenge to International Relations Theory,.
Journal of Third World Studies, vol. 17, no. 1, 2000, pp. 61.90.
24 Adedeji, .Keynote Address..
25 Ibid.
26 Tandon, .Critical Civil Society Perspectives.; Tandon, .NEPAD and FDIs.; Adedeji, .Keynote
27 World Bank, World Development Report, 2002 (Washington, DC.: The World Bank, 2002).
 28 Ibid.
29 Ibid., p. 17.
30 Hope and Chikulo, Corruption and Development in Africa.
31 Mbaku, Institutions and Reform in Africa: The Public Choice Perspective (Westport CT: Praeger,