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Briefly discuss the factors impeding industrialization in Africa since the early 1990s


Briefly discuss the factors impeding industrialization in Africa since the early 1990s



The 1970s and 1980s saw African countries seeking to industrialize using various models. However, as the 1980s faded away and the 1990s set-in, the African industrialization process experienced fresh challenges, that acted rather negatively in shaping the industrialization process.
Earlier in the decade of 1970s and 1980s African countries sought to borrow from various bilateral and multilateral donors in order to finance wealth creation and/or to jump-start the industrialization process. It so happened that African economies accumulated a lot of debt to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. It is in mid 1980s that the reality started to dawn on African countries that they were spending much more on servicing foreign loans than for their domestic growth. It is this state of affairs that in that came to be known as the Africa debt crisis. In essence therefore the African debt crisis was identified as a major impeding factor to the industrialization process in Africa.
As such, these countries suffered huge balance of payments deficits. This meant that they lacked international hard currencies that were vital for the importation of capital goods which were necessary for the manufacturing and processing industries. As a result of this state of affairs, many African countries lacked the capacity to exploit the necessary natural resources for manufacturing purposes; in addition to the relevant technology, as well as liquid capital that is needed to sustain this process.
The end of the Cold War ushered in a new era in which, incumbent forms of poor governance could not be sustained. As early as 1990 many African governments were faced with armed rebellions which lead to the deposition of long serving personal dictatorial regimes in countries like Ethiopia, Liberia, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda and the former Zaire (DRC Congo). At the same time, former single-party systems were swiftly replaced by multi party sys tems in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda and Malawi yet despite these regime changes and the re-adjustments in the African body politic, the African state continued to suffer a crisis of legitimacy with multi-partism failing to deliver ?the democratization dream?. At the same time, armed rebellions ignited outright civil war; total destruction, wanton human suffering, genocide andregime collapse in countries like Burundi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Somalia and more recently, the Western Darfur region of the Sudan. Those political maladies facing the African state have acted as the major impediments to industrialization on
the continent.
Throughout the 1960s through to the 1990s, the international trading system was under the control of the developed countries of the North under the General Agreement on tariffs and Trade (GATT) arrangement. This system generally failed to treat African countries as equal players in the international trading system. In the same token, the World Trade Organization (WTO), which was formed in 1994 to replace the GATT, also failed to create a favorable environment as far as the place of Africa and the rest of the Third World is concerned. International market shocks, as well as an international trade regime beyond Africa’s control have continued to act as a major setback to Africa’s industrialization process.
francis1897 answered the question on January 12, 2023 at 13:07

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