By M. Houngnikpo
Matt Houngnikpo examines how family 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 higher regulations, reliable governance, and, extra importantly, a brand new kind of African chief and citizen.
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Additional info for Africa’s Elusive Quest for Development
However, the resentment of postindependence autocratic and corrupt regimes took a milder form, with the hope that the tendency to seek consensus a prevalent feature in African societies, would help open a dialogue. Unfortunately, their complaints and demands fell on deaf ears. Having inherited power from the colonizers, the new leaders 40 AFRICA’S ELUSIVE QUEST FOR DEVELOPMENT became determined to remain the sole decision-makers. Their absolute power corrupted them absolutely, and they led the continent to a culde-sac.
29 Unfortunately, power remains very elusive in Africa. Through coercion or benevolence, more powerful nations impose their will on African leaders who acquiesce. 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.
38 Despite its overwhelming wealth in natural and human resources, Africa remains crippled by mass poverty and deprivation because of the African leadership’s handling of the main challenges facing the continent. ”39 The behavior of African leaders vindicates those who opposed decolonization and predicted that Africans would never command the wisdom and moral maturity to govern themselves in peace and progress. 40 Contrary to expectations, independence did very little, if anything, to resolve Africa’s basic problems.
Africa’s Elusive Quest for Development by M. Houngnikpo