Social and economic processes in Africa in the 1980s and 1990s are closely linked with the economic reforms of the newly independent States and the values of international cooperation in the sphere of economic development. In fact, these processes are featured with the application of neo-realistic economic theories. The liberalization of the economic systems, in general, was regarded as the engine of further business and economic development.
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In spite of the fact that some African leaders supported the orthodox approaches towards economic reforms, most countries selected the liberal modification principles for modifying the economic structures of their states. On the one hand, this was an important step for the economic recovery of former colonies, and States that were destroyed by civil wars. On the other hand, this liberalization made the economy vulnerable and dependent on foreign investment. Nevertheless, this was the obligatory condition for receiving foreign economic assistance. (Harbeson and Rothchild, 239)
Considering the importance of performing recovery measures, the governments initiated the actions aimed at liberalization of the economy in general, implementation of free trade rules and principles, reforming taxation legislation, etc. These measures were the necessary basis for further recovery of the industry, education, public health, etc. (Kiros, 305)These were the measures for renovating the social life, as the newly created industries, organizations, and bodies required working force. Hence, unemployment was also conquered by providing liberal measures of economic regulation.
The World Bank concluded up to 250 separate agreements with the African States and ADB (African Development Bank) members. In fact, the IMF assistance may be regarded as an integral part of African economic recovery and improvement of the social situation on the continent. In spite of the fact that social, civil, and national conflicts are still common for the African States, the nature of these conflicts is no longer crucial, and military coups are regarded as a less effective tool of reformation in comparison with referendums, polls, demonstrations, etc. (Bond, 206) Hence, the economic reforms helped people and influence forces realize the power of civilized measures. (Chazan, 337)
The political background of economic reforms is closely linked with the necessity to allocate the patronage of the financial resources, as the incoming financial help should be properly allocated for the state and social needs. Additionally, these investments were the only source of civil reforms, as structural adjustments may be regarded as the inevitable part of the social cure process. Considering the fact that society of numerous African countries was deceased with the idea of constant coups and revolutions (as while some people wished to live a quiet life, the others arranged coups and participated in plots), the economic reformation, and financial investments, as a result, were the necessary remedy for the African society. (Forrest, 112)
Nevertheless, when the analysis of the economic situation was arranged by World Bank in 1994, only six countries sustained the basic package of requirements, while the other states failed these requirements because of the changed regimes or highly corrupted governments. Independently of the actual values of the state reforms, the financial investments may be regarded as an important chance to start a new life. However, the long dependence on the economies of colonizers, as well as exploitation of state economies, caused the total impotence of economic structures in most African countries. The attempts to provoke economic recovery were like the artificial ventilation to a dead person.
Bond, Patrick. South Africa and Global Apartheid: Continental and International Policies and Politics. Uppsala: Nordic African Institute, 2004.
Chazan, Naomi, et al. Politics and Society in Contemporary Africa. 3rd ed. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2002.
Forrest, Joshua B. Subnationalism in Africa: Ethnicity, Alliances, and Politics. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2004.
Harbeson, John W., and Donald Rothchild, eds. Africa in World Politics: Post-Cold War Challenges. 2nd ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2001.
Kiros, Teodros. Moral Philosophy and Development: The Human Condition in Africa. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2000.