عمل گرایی و تغییر تدریجی از وابستگی به نئولیبرالیسم: بانک جهانی، رهبران آفریقایی و سیاست توسعه در آفریقا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22968||2003||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11990 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : World Development, Volume 31, Issue 10, October 2003, Pages 1655–1672
The long-standing disagreement between the international community and African leaders over an appropriate development strategy has been settled by the World Bank’s Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) and African leaders’ New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). Both documents support neoliberalism and see increased global integration as the key to Africa’s development. This paper traces Africa’s journey from the dependency/neoliberalism debate in the early 1980s to the current endorsement of neoliberalism. It is argued that the overwhelming global attention and support enjoyed by NEPAD derives from its embrace of Western development ideas as well as changes in the global political economy that have made reformist ideas more acceptable. NEPAD’s success will, however, depend on how African leaders and the international community respond to the initiative.
At no time in the short history of independent Africa has there been such a close convergence in development thinking. Twenty years ago, there were strong disagreements between African leaders and international financial institutions over the causes of the continent’s underdevelopment, the solutions to the crisis and what should be the focus of development effort. The debate, which reflected the dominant ideological positions in the explanation of Africa’s dilemma, was represented by the Organization of African Unity (OAU).1 Economic Commission of Africa (ECA) on the one side and the World Bank (henceforth, the Bank) and other international financial institutions on the other. The OAU/ECA and other supporters of the dependency approach blamed the continent’s underdevelopment on external factors, including foreign capital arising out of the world capitalist system and the massive capital and resource hemorrhage from the continent. The Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other neoliberals, however, insisted that the extant political and economic arrangements in Africa created the disabling environment and slowed the rate of development. Over the years, as these positions were hotly debated and each camp accumulated some experience, the gulf between them has narrowed. In 1998, the Bank adopted a new approach to development called the Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) that signaled a shift away from the donor-led development assistance strategy of the past two decades to the development of a country strategy led by a country itself. Three years after the release of CDF, African leaders also published the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), which abandoned the dependency approach and signified the continent’s endorsement of neoliberalism. This paper was prompted by the remarkable similarities between the CDF and NEPAD and the latter’s deviation from previous initiatives. NEPAD, which is being promoted by a group of African leaders who are sympathetic to Western ideas, should not come as a surprise because opposition to neoliberal policies by African leaders has gradually been eroding over the years as demonstrated by the widespread adoption of structural adjustment programs (SAPs) in the 1980s. But NEPAD is also being touted by proponents and the international media as the first African-created vision that can potentially accelerate growth and sustainable development, eradicate widespread and severe poverty, and halt the marginalization of Africa. There is no question that NEPAD represents a significant step in the debate over African development policy––it has brought new life to the development debate; it seeks to take advantage of the favorable global political and economic environments and transform African economies; it shows the willingness of all involved in African development to talk to each other; and it has created a new sense of optimism and excitement. NEPAD, however, is not the first “home-grown” solution to the African crisis; in fact, African leaders have never been short of grand proposals. Past initiatives were ignored by the international community partly because the international environment at the time was not ripe enough for alternative solutions and partly because they contained issues that contradicted policies supported by the international community. A discussion of Africa’s gradual embrace of neoliberalism culminating in the adoption of NEPAD is important and timely for several reasons. First, although NEPAD is widely being discussed by the media and at many international forums, it has surprisingly received little attention in the development literature. Second, one is also struck by the lack of historical context in the media’s discussions of NEPAD. Third, the international community and in particular, the Bank’s indirect influence on the development of NEPAD through the CDF, has remained unexplored. Fourth, the question of whether Africa’s embrace of neoliberalism would necessarily create favorable conditions for the continent’s development has been assumed but not discussed. Finally, the articulation of NEPAD’s implication for development policy in Africa has so far been left to politicians because the academic community has not given the initiative the vigorous scrutiny that it deserves. This paper is an attempt to address these issues and stimulate academic discussion of NEPAD. After all, NEPAD is probably the most influential initiative to come from African leaders since 1989. The paper has three major objectives: (a) it provides the context for understanding the NEPAD by chronicling the shift from the dependency/neoliberalism debate of the 1980s to the current convergence of ideas on African development; (b) it explores two main factors that account for NEPAD’s support in the international community––its endorsement of neoliberalism and a more receptive international environment; and (c) it undertakes a preliminary assessment of NEPAD and suggests what African leaders and the international community must do to make NEPAD succeed. The remainder of the paper is divided into four sections. Section 2 reviews Africa’s search for development by reviewing the major OAU/ECA and the Bank policy documents from 1980 to the present. Section 3 discusses the international community’s reactions to NEPAD. Section 4 is a preliminary assessment of NEPAD. The final section summarizes the main ideas of the paper and provides a conclusion.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The central concerns over Africa’s development at the beginning of the 1980s involved the causes of the crisis, the appropriate development strategy and the focus of development policy. At that time, the OAU/ECA adopted a dependency approach while the Bank supported a neoliberal approach, and both sides seemed not to agree on any issue. But, due to its immense financial resources and international support, the Bank’s views became dominant as African countries overwhelmingly chose pragmatism over ideology and implemented Bank-supported SAPs. In the following two decades, the ECA and the OAU continued to insist on the need to address both domestic and external causes of the continent’s crisis. They also demanded that the objective of development policy should be broadened to include economic, social, cultural, political and environmental considerations, and that the state must continue to play a role in Africa’s development. Unfortunately, their efforts yielded very little response from the international community and resulted only in cosmetic changes in the Bank’s policies, partly because the leaders themselves were unwilling and/or unable to address the domestic problems and therefore lost the moral authority for demanding changes in external factors. Ironically, while the ECA and the OAU were debating with the international community over the appropriate development strategy, many African countries were busy negotiating with the international financial institutions for loans and implementing SAPs. Thus, even though by the end of the 1990s SAPs were being implemented in many African countries, the OAU and ECA did not officially support the policies. After years of supporting SAPs as a condition for granting loans to poor countries, the Bank was also compelled to change its development approach from SAPs to CDF largely to deflect criticisms of its activities. At its 2001 Summit, the OAU unanimously adopted NEPAD. This is generally seen as a new chapter in African development policy because of the document’s embrace of neoliberalism and its similarity with the Bank’s CDF. The convergence of ideas appears to dovetail Fukuyama’s (1992) claim that we are at “the end of history” because there are no serious alternatives to neoliberalism and therefore the major political and economic trends can be expected to remain essentially unchanged. Fukuyama is right in the sense that no radical transformation in the global political economy seems to be on the horizon, and power continues to be in the hands of those who possess it while the poor continue to remain powerless. We have seen this with Africa’s acceptance of neoliberalism in the hope that it would bring in foreign investment. Fukuyama may also be right about the hegemonic position that liberalism currently enjoys. In such a world, however, neoliberalism will be held responsible for social problems since one can no longer blame communism, socialism, etc., for the failure of economic and political systems. Thus, neoliberalism both in its political or economic expressions would be subjected to intense scrutiny; this could raise questions about its credibility and potentially create avenues of alternatives, even if such alternatives are limited to reformism. For instance, widespread criticism of neoliberalism and the Bank’s activities led to the Bank’s shift from SAPs to CDF. Problems encountered by neoliberalism in Africa also compelled the international community to be receptive to NEPAD. As to whether African leaders could have negotiated a better deal than what NEPAD offers is a different question. It seems that neoliberalism’s hegemony does not necessarily shut the door to all alternatives; in fact, it may have created opportunities for changing the dominant discourse, if even such changes come in through the back door. In sum, NEPAD is a pragmatic strategy by a new breed of African leaders who hope to bring the continent’s problems to global attention. It certainly falls short of demands for structural transformation and the creation of new international economic order, but it is an important step nonetheless. Its ability to end decades of underdevelopment and marginalization of the continent is doubtful, although not unattainable. It would depend on how African leaders and the international community respond to the initiative. One hopes that Mbeki and the other leaders would be able to convince the international community that turning a blind eye to the abject poverty and deprivation in the continent poses a threat to the global neoliberal agenda. The international community may also realize the need to broaden the war on global terrorism by helping to eradicate the conditions that breed terrorism worldwide. But if even the international community fails to provide funds for NEPAD and ignores calls for the removal of protectionist barriers, Africans leaders still owe it to their citizens to provide good governance.