Economies of African States Since Independence
This chapter discusses the economies of African states since independence, within the context of mono-commodity export concentration, structural adjustment programme, resource curse and corruption, aid, dependency and galloping poverty and inequalities. Over the past four decades, Africa’s economic crises have progressively worsened. Despite a combination of internal and external measures fashioned across the region, the ailment still exhibits symptom of economic stagnation. A number of self and foreign imposed adjustment measures had been vigorously adopted with their concomitant distasteful socio-economic consequences on the people and economies of Africa. Currently, solutions to the economic problems of Africa are being sought at various levels including African governments, African sub-regional and regional inter-governmental associations and institutions. Yet, African’s economic horizon has remained gloomy. In real terms, non-oil commodity prices have fallen, in great proportion. Agriculture’s shares of gross domestic products (GDP) are now a shadow of what they used to be at independence. Cocoa, palm produce, coffee, tobacco, and most other agricultural export commodities are becoming anachronistic across the region. Besides, the declining value of the currencies of many African countries due to a plethora of factors has had grave consequences on nation building in the region. However, the failing commodity prices and many socio-economic problems deriving from various policies designed for short-term problem and maladjustment have continued to shroud the recovery path. Importantly the burden of external debt and debt servicing have consumed a huge chunk of annual GDP of many African countries. Meanwhile, recovery processes are increasingly frustrated by further application for unnecessary loans from China, and neoliberal institutions.