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Social Obstacles to Technology, Technological Change, and the Economic Growth of African Countries: Some Anecdotal Evidence from Economic History

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  • Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich

Abstract

This paper comments on a number of social obstacles to the economic growth and technological change of African economies from the perspective of economic history. Economic history is full of evidence about what held African economies back for years. Some obstacles are of domestic origin such as excessive consumption and luxury masqueraded as public investment. Other obstacles were imposed from outside such as the destruction and weakening of traditional African religions and religious leadership as well as other wide ranging institutions. The combined effects can be summed up in one word: de-institutionalization. De-institutionalization devalued local knowledge (technology) thereby reducing performance. It is not possible to turn the clock back, but current policy is better-off bringing these obstacles into discussion as they stand a good chance of lowering the socalled “Africa dummy” variable common to growth regressions. Future research would also benefit if it sought to adjust conventional economic theory to allow space for the special features of African economies. Market theory is misleading in treating private use rights as antithetical to private ownership rights. For example, the suggestion that land tenure in Africa is anti-growth is inconsistent with the spectacular growth China has experienced even without private property rights.

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  • Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich, 2015. "Social Obstacles to Technology, Technological Change, and the Economic Growth of African Countries: Some Anecdotal Evidence from Economic History," MPRA Paper 63273, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:63273
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    Cited by:

    1. Asongu, Simplice & Kodila-Tedika, Oasis, 2015. "Is Poverty in the African DNA (Gene)?," MPRA Paper 67849, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Asongu, Simplice A & Nwachukwu, Jacinta C., 2016. "Unjust Enrichment from Official Corruption in Africa: Theory and Model on how Lenders have benefited," MPRA Paper 75416, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Asongu, Simplice & Nwachukwu, Jacinta, 2017. "Fuel Exports, Aid and Terrorism," MPRA Paper 81188, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis & Asongu, Simplice & Cinyabuguma, Matthias, 2016. "The White Man’s Burden: On the Effect of African Resistance to European Domination," MPRA Paper 74228, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich, 2017. "The African origins of Euro-American development: Pins on an empirical roadmap," MPRA Paper 79925, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2017. "The Comparative Inclusive Human Development of Globalisation in Africa," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 134(3), pages 1027-1050, December.
    7. Simplice Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2016. "Reconciliation of the Washington Consensus with the Beijing Model in Africa," Working Papers 16/011, African Governance and Development Institute..
    8. Asongu, Simplice A. & Le Roux, Sara, 2017. "Enhancing ICT for inclusive human development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 44-54.
    9. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2016. "Conditional linkages between iron ore exports, foreign aid and terrorism," Mineral Economics, Springer;Raw Materials Group (RMG);Luleå University of Technology, vol. 29(2), pages 57-70, December.
    10. Asongu, Simplice & Boateng, Agyenim & Akamavi, Raphael, 2016. "Mobile Phone Innovation and Inclusive Human Development: Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 75046, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Simplice Asongu & Oasis Kodila-Tedika, 2015. "On the Empirics of Institutions and Quality of Growth: Evidence for Developing Countries," Working Papers 15/041, African Governance and Development Institute..
    12. Simplice A Asongu, 2015. "A Good Turn Deserves Another: Political Stability, Corruption and Corruption-Control," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(4), pages 2037-2048.
    13. Simplice Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2015. "Foreign aid volatility and lifelong learning: demand-side empirics to a textual literature," Working Papers 15/016, African Governance and Development Institute..
    14. Asongu, Simplice, 2015. "Rational Asymmetric Development: Transfer Mispricing and Sub-Saharan Africa’s Extreme Poverty Tragedy," MPRA Paper 71175, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Simplice Asongu, 2015. "Rational Asymmetric Development: Transfer Pricing and Sub-Saharan Africa’s Extreme Poverty Tragedy," Working Papers 15/017, African Governance and Development Institute..
    16. Simplice Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2017. "Educational Quality Thresholds in the Diffusion of Knowledge with Mobile Phones for Inclusive Human Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 17/057, African Governance and Development Institute..
    17. Simplice Asongu & Ivo Leke, 2017. "External Flows and Inclusive Human Development in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 17/058, African Governance and Development Institute..

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social obstacles; growth and change; African economies; ‘primitive’ economies; African traditional economies;

    JEL classification:

    • N17 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Africa; Oceania
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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