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International DevelopmentIdeas, Experience, and Prospects$
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Bruce Currie-Alder, Ravi Kanbur, David M. Malone, and Rohinton Medhora

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199671656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199671656.001.0001

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Economic Development: The Experience of Sub-Saharan Africa

Economic Development: The Experience of Sub-Saharan Africa

(p.732) Chapter 43 Economic Development: The Experience of Sub-Saharan Africa
International Development

Olu Ajakaiye

Afeikhena Jerome

Oxford University Press

This chapter appraises sub-Saharan Africa's development experience in the post‐independence era. The evidence indicates that the experience has been varied and episodic. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, the region has become one of the fastest growing in the world, but structural transformation remains elusive as growth is propelled principally by primary exports—fossil fuel, other minerals, and unprocessed agricultural commodities and forest products. Meanwhile, the private sector is emerging as an innovative force for change; foreign investment, though concentrated in extractive industries, is rising; and democracy is gradually taking firm root despite challenges of rising poverty, climate change, and poor infrastructure. Nonetheless, with the constellation of strong economic growth, improving human development, more accountable governance, avoidance of the “one size fits all” syndrome that characterized its past relationships with development partners, and committed African leadership, the stage should be set for Africa's development breakthrough.

Keywords:   Sub-Saharan Africa, structural adjustment, structural transformation, poverty, development

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