"Economic—Independence in Africa" Edited by D.P. Ghai, East African Literature Bureau, 1973.

M. Mumtaz Malik

Abstract


"Economic Independence in Africa" is a collection of ten
articles on economic self-reliance in the African context. It is divided
into two parts. Part I concentrates on the definition of self reliance
and strategies which a developing country may adopt to achieve this.
Part II contains case studies of Kenya, Zambia, Egypt and Sudan. The
first article, "The concept and strategies of economic independence" is
contributed by D.P. Ghai. The author has given two interpretations of
the concept. In the structurlist sense, it refers to the need to bring
about structural changes in the production and trade of developing
countries. Moreover it also implies the substitution of national for
foreign capital, skills and enterprise. The phrase' economic
independence' has been used in the latter sense in this paper. The
author, however, does not realise that economic independence is a
many-sided phenomenon and the state take-over of foreign enterprises may
not necessarily lead to effective economic control of their resources by
the develop¬ing countries, who depend heavily (in the structurlist
sense) on the developed countries. The second essay is by H.M.A. Onttri,
who is of the opinion that economic independence would have to be sought
within a framework of interdependence between nations with unequal
economic and political power. He does not reconcile the apparently
conflicting goals of economic interdepen¬dence and economic
independence. The third article entitled, "Economic Independence and
Economic Cooperation", is contributed by Mr. R.H. Green. This is
particularly interesting because it emphasizes the need for structural
changes in African economies so as to pave the way for more effective
national control of economic decision-making. Moreover, he thinks that
economic cooperation amongst African economies is not contradictory to
the goal of economic independence. His case that economic cooperation
can enhance the degree of economic independence attainable by African
economies rests on their ability to increase decision-making and
implementation by promoting economies of scale in larger indegenous
manufacturing units, and by encouraging speci¬alization.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v13i1pp.113-114

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