Abstract innovation and learning based development strategies.



has a vast quantity of natural resource, human resource and a strong culture,
but Africa its characterized still less developed continent. Due to the reason
behind the continent under developed the first reason Africa’s leaders are extremely
corrupted, become adept at externalizing blame and dictators; the second reason
is the peoples believer to western culture (hegemony) and distract indigenous culture;
the second reason the vast resources exploited by developed countries in this
case china is the typical exploiter of African resource; the third reason most
developmental theories are developed for western Europe and we can rise many
reasons for Africa is under developed continent.

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 The main idea is Africa is still under
developed continent so I suggest the fastest economic, social, environmental sustainability
and other factors for growth the developmental state theory is the best and recommended
for spring board for change.















is still a master concept and one of the most indispensable ingredients of
human society. The concept of development was popularized through expansion of
colonization, and underwent various transformations as the source-political
structure of the world changed over time. During the era of colonization,
development was understood as having colonies, organizing the European
societies and its labor and market forces by disorganizing the non-European
colonies (Hoogvelt 2001; Cowen and Shenton 1996; Scott 1998; McMicahel 2000).

And finally I discuss the opportunities and policy options for
African countries seeking innovation and learning based development strategies.
What kind of policies and institutions are necessary in order to transform the
current increase in rents from commodities exports into industrial investment
and upgrading of agriculture and agro-industrial development? This question is
raised in the context of competing theories about economic development. On the
basis of empirical patterns and theoretical considerations, I will discuss
policy options in relation to the African reality and I suggest a developmental
state theory is compatible and its spring board for Africa economic growth.











The significance of the paper

Why Africa
remains underdeveloped despite its potential 
to put expertise analysis 

To suggest
the compatible theories for Africa


Data Sources  

Secondary data sources the main source of for this
paper. Were found in secondary sources of in journal article, conference preceding,
web site, document from the web and for secondary information used.


Why Africa remains
underdeveloped despite its potential?

overview of Africa’s natural resource

Africa has
abundant natural resources which have attracted significant investments in
exploration and extraction in recent years. The continent accounts for about 12%
of the world’s oil reserves about 40 countries in the continent are either
producing or have proven reserves of oil and gas).  Africa has 40% of the
world’s gold, 85 to 95%of chromium and platinum group metals and 85 per cent of
phosphate reserves.  It has more than half of the world’s cobalt, and a
third of its bauxite. US Geological Survey estimates show Africa expanding
its metal and mineral production of 15 important metals by 78% between 2010 and
2017 compared to only 30% in the Americas and Asia. Many African countries have
discovered more and new natural resources, including high grade iron-ore and
diamonds in the past decade, and, in addition, the continent has vast arable
land and timber resources and rich coastal fishing grounds (Wikipedia, natural resource of Africa). 

Such an
abundance and wide array of natural resources and the rising global demand for
these resources provide an opportunity to structurally transform Africa’s
economies.  The major challenge facing African governments in a
transformational agenda is how to translate these enormous wealth and
investment benefits into equitable and inclusive economic growth. This amounts
to a re-examination of the relationship between resource wealth and
development, and the need to consider the implications for inclusive growth and
sustainable development of policy and project in various natural resource
sectors including mining, oil and gas, forestry and fisheries.

Africa has a
large quantity of natural resources,
including diamonds, salt, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, copper, bauxite, silver,
petroleum and cocoa beans, but also woods and tropical fruits. Having a low
human density, for a long period of time Africa has been colonized by more
dynamic groups, exploiting African resources. Some economists have talked
about the ‘scourge of raw materials’, large quantities of rare, raw materials
putting Africa under heavy pressures and tensions, leading to wars and slow
development. Despite this abundance of natural resources, claims suggest that
many Western nations like the United
States, Canada, France and the United Kingdom as well
as emerging economic powerhouses like China often exploit Africa’s
natural resources today, causing most of the value and money from the natural
resources to go to the West and East Asia rather than Africa, further causing
the poverty in Africa (Wikipedia, natural resource of

Why Africa
still poor continent?

The African economy
remains underdeveloped despite decades of conceptualizing, formulating and
implementing various types of economic policies and programs, the African
region contains a growing share of the world’s absolute poor with little power
to influence the allocation of resources. The development challenges of Africa
are deeper than low income, falling trade shares, low savings, and slow growth.
In addition, they include high inequality, uneven access to resources, social
exclusion, insecurity, environmental degradation, HIV/AIDS
pandemic, among others (Nkurayija, 2011).

      Africa’s has a bad leadership

The fact that African
leaders were permitted to get away with ruinous, self-interested decisions must
be attributed, in large part, to a relative lack of democracy (or two
single-party dominance) in Africa. There has been little bottom-up pressure on
leadership to make better choices, although there has been encouraging the
growth of civil society in parts of the continent over the last decade. This
apparent passivity of the populace in the face of bad leadership must, at least
in part, be attributed to a neo-patrimonial culture. In that culture, the “big
man” rules and dispenses favors. He uses all manner of tools to bolster his
rule from traditional governance structures and kinship ties to witchcraft and
the church. The system that many African leaders have preferred thrives on
corruption and nepotism. Corruption is not particular to Africa, of course. But
a leader from other societies where corruption is also a problem in Asia in
particular has displayed a commitment to popular welfare that is lacking in
African leadership (CATO, 2010).

     African Rulers Deserve Most of the Blame

The main reason for
African poverty is the bad choices made by African rulers. The record shows
that countries can grow their economies and develop faster if leaders take
sound decisions in the national interest. In a half century of independence,
Africa has not realized its potential. Instead, its greatest natural assets
have undermined its prosperity. Africa’s youth, for example, is not being
regarded as a huge source of talent and energy to be harnessed. Rather, this
group is regarded as a destabilizing force because it is largely unemployed and
uneducated. This is not only a threat to Africa’s security. By 2025, one in
four young people worldwide will be from sub-Saharan Africa.3 Most of those
young people will be living in Africa’s cities where, by then, the majority of
the continent’s citizens will be located. And if they do not find employment on
the continent, they will seek it elsewhere (CATO, 2010).

Modernization and
dependency theory, nothing to help develop Africa why


Modernization is a
theory of social and economic development that follows functional or consensus
assumptions that societies need to have harmony among their components. This
assumption leads to the belief that modern economies (capitalist) demand
special characteristics in their culture and the structure of social
relationships (Cowen and Shenton 1996; Hoogvelt 2001). 

Modernization is a process of change whereby
external factors have an impact on the individual and on culture. Here,
modernization of person needs to provide motivation, to go along with changing
social and economic situation. Put differently, the development of Africa
should come after diculturalisation of the African people (Matunhu, 2011).


Modernization theory, problems that held back the industrialization of poor
countries were related to the “irrational” way in which resources were
allocated in a traditional society. Traditional societies became modern by
rationalizing resource allocation, and by the elimination of cultural,
institutional and organizational roadblocks that did not allow countries to
develop. Developing countries with traditional societies could evolve by starring
in a stage with an undeveloped and traditional society, and through an
evolutionary linear process change its society by rationalizing it, becoming a
country in a stage with a modern and developed society. The theory identified
different stages, variables and process through which a society develops.
Positivist evolution implied that all societies would pass through the same set
of stages that the western society had passed: from a traditional to a modern
society. The modernization stages were: the traditional
society, preconditions for take-off, 
take-off, the drive to maturity, and the age of high mass consumption.
These five stages of modernization were known as Rostow’s stage theory
(Rostow 1960, Hunt 1989). From a Modernization perspective, the degree of
industrialization, urbanization, and cultural values are the main indicators of
changes in development in a country. Therefore, the level of use and access to
information technologies within a society is captured by these indicators, but
use is basically determined by the degree of rationalization of a society and
culture values towards science and technology. According to Modernization
theory, changes in openness to ideas and a more global sense of belonging would
occur when changes in development occurred. Modernization also implies that a
society’s culture value system and institutional configuration determines its
potential for development. It places the ideas and differing value systems, and
not the material conditions, at the center of the explanation of the
disparities in development (Hoogvelt 2001; Cowen and Shenton 1996).

The Modernization
framework of development was considered by some as an oversimplified and
generalized theory with strong racial stereotype and cultural bias. It ignored
specific historical experiences and phases of prosperity in societies that had
not changed their “traditional culture”. Modernization theory was attacked as a
historical, (ignoring phases of prosperity from a broader historical review),
and ethnocentric (assuming that only one culture and one path were ways to
develop) (Hoodvelt 2001; Rist 2002; Pett and Hartwick 1999)


dependency theory, like modernization theory, emerged in the post-war period,
based on a Marxian understanding of power, it had intellectual roots stretching
into the past. Classical theories of imperialism had also addressed relations
of domination and subjection between nations. According to dependency school,
underdevelopment is seen as the result of unequal power relationships between
rich developed capitalist countries and poorer developing ones. In the past
colonialism embodied the inequality between the colonial powers and their
colonies. As the colonies became independent the inequalities did not
disappear. Powerful developed countries such as the U.S.,
Europe and Japan dominate dependent powerless least developed countries (LDCs) via the capitalist system that continues to
perpetuate power and resource inequalities (Hoogvelt 2001).  Dominant most developed countries (MDCs) have such a technological and industrial
advantage that they can ensure the global economic system works in their own
self-interest. Organizations such as the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO have agendas that benefit the firms,
and consumers of primarily the MDCs. Freeing up world trade, one of the main
aims of the WTO, benefits the wealthy nations that are most involved in world
trade. Creating a level playing field for all countries assumes that all
countries have the necessary equipment to be able to play. For the world’s poor
this is often not the case (Khor 2001, Hoogvelt 2001).  Unlike modernization theory which blames the
culture of the underdeveloped, in dependency model the responsibility for lack
of development within LDCs rests with the MDCs. Advocates of the dependency
theory argue that only substantial reform of the world capitalist system and a
redistribution of assets will “free” LDCs from poverty cycles and enable
development to occur. Measures that the MDCs could take would include the
elimination of world debt and the introduction of global taxes such as the
Tobin Tax. This tax on foreign exchange transactions, named after its
proponent, the American Economist, James Tobin, would generate large revenues
that could be used to pay off debt or fund development projects (Khor 2001;
Hoogvelt 2001).  There are some problems
with this model as well and hence it is very difficult to implement. First,
power is not easily redistributed, as countries that possess it are unlikely to
surrender it. Secondly, it may be that it is not the governments of the MDCs
that hold the power, but large multinational enterprises that are reluctant to
see the world’s resources being reallocated in favor of the LDCs. Thirdly, the
redistribution of assets globally will result in slower rates of growth in the
MDCs and this might be politically unpopular. 

Suggest theories
suitable for Africa           
 Developmental state theory derives fast
economic growth in Africa

Developmental state, or hard state, is a term used by international political economy scholars
to refer to the phenomenon of state-led macroeconomic planning in East
Asia in the late twentieth century. In this
model of capitalism (sometimes
referred to as state development
capitalism), the state has more independent, or autonomous, political
power, as well as more control over the economy. A developmental state is characterized
by having a strong state intervention, as well as extensive regulation and
planning. The term has subsequently been used to describe countries outside
East Asia, which satisfy the criteria of a developmental state (Leftwich, Adrian, 1994).

 The developmental state is sometimes
contrasted with a predatory state or weak state Some of the best prospects
for economic growth in the last few decades have been found in East and Southeast Asia, Japan, South
Korea, China, Singapore, India, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia are
developing at high to moderate levels. Thailand, for example, has grown at
double-digit rates most years since the early 1980s. China has been the world
leader in economic growth since
2001. It is estimated that it took England around
60 years to double its economy when the Industrial Revolution began. It took the United States around 50 years to double its economy during the
American economic take-off in the late nineteenth century. Several East and
Southeast Asian countries today have been doubling their economies every 10
years, specifically, what is meant by a developmental state, is a government
with sufficient organization and power to achieve its development goals (Chang, Ha-Joon, 1999).

There must be a state with the ability to prove
consistent economic guidance and rational and efficient organization, and the
power to back up its long-range economic policies. All of this is important
because the state must be able to resist external demands from outside multinational corporations to
do things for their short-term gain, overcome internal resistance from strong
groups trying to protect short-term narrow interests, and control infighting
within the nation pertaining to who will most benefit from development
projects. Despite all the evidence of the importance of a developmental state,
some international aid agencies have
just recently publicly recognized the fact. The United Nations
Development Program, for example, published a
report in April 2000 which focused on good governance in poor countries as a key to economic development
and overcoming the selfish interests of wealthy elites often behind state
actions in developing nations. The report concludes that “Without good
governance, reliance on trickle-down economic
development and a host of other strategies will not work.” (Wikipedia, Developmental state).

















Concluding remarks  

The African economy remains underdeveloped despite decades of
conceptualizing, formulating and implementing various types of economic
policies and programs. The African region contains a growing share of the
world?s absolute poor with little power to influence the allocation of
resources. Then real income averaged making Africa the poorest region in the
world.  Most countries in Africa remain
largely primary exporters, aid dependent and deeply indebted. In 1997, foreign
debt burden was more than 80 per cent of GDP in net present value terms.
African is the only major region where investment and savings per capita
declined, the savings rate of the typical African country has been the lowest
in the world, the development challenges of Africa are deeper than low income,
falling trade shares, low savings, and slow growth. In addition, they include
high inequality, uneven access to resources, social exclusion, insecurity,
environmental degradation, HIV/AIDS pandemic, among others. In order to reverse
underdevelopment in Africa, several initiatives have been attempted in the
past. The globalization era has negative aspects which may impinge African

The continent in the 21st century is still being
underdeveloped if strategies are not being taken; the African’s would be
characterized by excessive economic and development fragility.

The African countries are nowadays characterized by among
others: the predominance of subsistence and commercial activities, a narrow, is
articulate production base with ill adapted technology; a neglected informal
sector; a degraded environment, uneven development due to the urban bias of
public policies; fragmentation of the economy, openness and excessive external
dependence especially for factor inputs; and weak institutional capabilities.
All over the Africa, insecurity, political instability and rivality are hindering
the continental development, peace still being the major concerns, and post
conflict peace building needs to adopt a strong leadership in terms of good
governance. However, most African countries suffer of bad governance, fragile
leadership and bad governance overwhelm in Africa. Economic growth is deemed
very slow in many African countries due to the inappropriate economic
transformation, the lack of adopting state of development, all of the aforementioned
features does not enable Africa to succeed the 21st century challenges.  The continent is confronting such as the
negative aspects of globalization era, environmental degradation, food
insecurity, pandemic and epidemics, regional integration effects and others
futures of competitiveness of the marketplace with middle, developed and
advanced countries. Arguably, the paper assesses the four primarily
opportunities that Africa could adopt and exploit in order to succeed those
challenges, those are namely: peace with the security and political stability would
be acquired, this peaceful state would enable countries to adopt good
governance with strong leadership, fragile and bad governance would be
eradicated. Governance combined with peace lead to economic transformation, the
core incentives of economic growth. Really with this, the continent should
exploit the maximum benefit from globalization in terms of positive
interdependence. The four integrative elements should lead and vindicate
African development if adopted by all stakeholders.

















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Jean de la Croix Nkurayija. 2011. The Requirements for the African Continent’s
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Adrian, “The Developmental State”, Working Paper No. 6, University of

J. Matunh.
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Hoogvelt, Ankie. (2001). Globalization and the Postcolonial World: New
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