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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue
Title:How to Rebuild Africa
Author:Ellis, StephenISNI
Year:2005
Periodical:Foreign Affairs (ISSN 0015-7120)
Volume:84
Issue:5
Period:September-October
Pages:135-148
Language:English
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:foreign intervention
State collapse
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Politics and Government
Abstract:This article discusses strategies for aiding dysfunctional States in Africa, arguing that the international community needs to rethink its approach to helping Africa. The conventional view relies on a misleading mechanical metaphor, which leads policymakers to suppose that, like broken machines, Africa can be repaired by good mechanics. A better approach would begin with a diagnosis that takes account of the States' individual characters. Three major inadequacies in current State-fixing missions are their limited time frames, their historical imprecision, and their narrow orientation toward individual States, ignoring regional dynamics. The case of Sierra Leone, which has been undergoing rebuilding efforts longer than any other African State, is described to illustrate the argument. The author concludes that instead of more money, what Africa really needs is governments that are responsible to their own voters and that are largely self-financing. Providing basic security remains an essential step in any rebuilding effort, but traditional peacekeeping is not enough. Occasionally, effective intervention will require overriding traditional national sovereignty. This understanding should allow for a new form of international engagement in Africa, namely trusteeships for certain failed States. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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