Reflections On African Development:
"Certainly, political independence is not in itself sufficient to create the necessary conditions for economic and social development. This is not to say that political freedom is not in itself important. The argument here is that while political liberties are necessary, they are not a sufficient condition for economic growth and development. In order for citizens to engage in productive activities and generate the wealth that they need to meet their needs and deal effectively with poverty, they must be provided with institutions that (1) guarantee economic freedom; (2) adequately constrain state custodians (i.e., civil servants and politicians) and prevent them from engaging in opportunistic behaviors (e.g., rent seeking and corruption); and (3) enhance peaceful coexistence of population groups (i.e., minimize destructive ethnic mobilization). For one thing, unless such state constraining institutions exist, civil servants and politicians will develop and implement perverse economic policies in an effort to generate extra- legal income for themselves. In the process, they will stunt indigenous entrepreneurship and discourage wealth creation. Self- rule, then, only provides a people with the wherewithal to establish and sustain institutions and policies that enhance economic growth and development. It is important that Africans design, by themselves, through democratic processes, institutions that are locally-focused, reflect their individual specificities, customs and traditions, aspirations, relationship with the environment, and expectations for the future."


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