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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Political Barriers to African Capitalism
Author:Kennedy, Paul
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Africa
economic policy
Economics and Trade
Politics and Government
Development and Technology
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/161767
Abstract:Many constraints have inhibited indigenous African capitalists from playing a leading role in economic transformation. But the most important of these, by far, has been the ineffective and often obstructive nature of State power, wielded by often incompetent and corrupt leaders largely hostile to the prospect of emergent and potentially rival classes, and the creation of a more pluralistic, diversified social order. In many countries in Africa, the policies implemented by those in power after independence aggravated the underlying problems of the weak State and the susceptibility to external economic pressures. Statism, a reluctance to assist local capitalism, a tendency towards urban bias, and a propensity for top-heavy import-substitution industries, or some combination of these, appear to have contributed markedly to the stagnation experienced by many African economies. If the same State-led institutional preconditions and support for market competition and private enterprise are offered in Africa, as have been typical elsewhere, there seem few reasons to suppose that indigenous entrepreneurs will not prove just as capable of rising to the challenge as have their counterparts in other Third World countries. Notes, ref.