Africa's Elusive Quest for Development by M. Houngnikpo

By M. Houngnikpo

Matt Houngnikpo examines how household clash, financial stagnation, political instability, poverty, and underdevelopment have plagued Africa for many years. He argues reversal of the political, monetary, and social plight of Africa lies in larger regulations, reliable governance, and, extra importantly, a brand new kind of African chief and citizen.

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According to Ikenberry and Kupchan, “acquiescence is the result of the socialization of leaders in secondary nations. ”30 Through coercion and material inducement,31 the hegemon structures the international system and socialize weaker states to accept its principles and beliefs. Through what Nye describes as “cooptive power,”32 some nations manage to dictate the rules of the game. Nevertheless, even among those who had to comply, some have handled the constraints and hurdles better than others, which suggests that leadership does matter.

Traditional chiefs who refused to “cooperate” were frequently replaced with friendlier chiefs, even if their authority was challenged. According to Europeans, Africa needed to be brought to the modern world by any means necessary. Such an attitude combined arrogance and ignorance. While it is true that by the nineteenth century, Europe, as compared to other continents, had made tremendous progress thanks to new technological discoveries, it is also true that several brilliant civilizations existed before Europe’s rise.

Already, Barnes observed a false euphoria in postindependent Africa. His contention was that the greatest obstacle A SYNOPSIS OF AFRICA’S PLIGHT 29 to the social and economic progress of the continent was Africans themselves. 42 In his eyes, the kind of independence granted to the continent and the type of leaders at the helm of the continent did not augur well for Africa. The second decade signaled the beginning of a long crisis. The 1970s saw the decline of the initial optimism toward political independence and the concomitant acceptance of the ideology of development by African populations.

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