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The wealth of some and the poverty of Sub Saharan Africa

  • John M. Luiz

Purpose – The economic growth performance of Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) over the past few decades has confounded economists. The paper examines the nature and causes of the region's marginalisation. Design/methodology/approach – Analyses areas of marginalisation including: technologically, economically, socially, politically, and even intellectually. The aim here is to document all these facets in a comparative manner and to examine prospects for their reversal. Findings – The poverty of SSA has many dimensions and causes, both internal and external. Certainly part of its underdevelopment is attributable to bad luck, initial conditions, and an unfavourable international economic environment. However, the region has to accept much of the responsibility for its plight because its present state is also largely an outcome of poor policy choice and bad governance. Thus, whilst we cannot account for every facet of the question of “why some nations are rich and others poor” we are nonetheless left with some very real certainties. Practical implications – The most important implication is that the principal therapy for poverty in SSA comes from within by addressing the internal obstacles to growth. However, the international community has an important role to play in addressing the uneven global trading system which is hampering development prospects and this needs to happen in the current trading round. Originality/value – The paper provides a comprehensive account of the sources of Africa's underdevelopment in a comparative manner. It will be of interest to all social scientists and policymakers interested in development issues.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.

Volume (Year): 33 (2006)
Issue (Month): 9 (September)
Pages: 625-648

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:33:y:2006:i:9:p:625-648
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