Development solutions in a post-consensus world

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

The following paper investigates the current paradigm for economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Following a review of recent literature in international political economy, the author argues the present system is a result of national self-interest in the North, rather than being the best program for development in the South. A critical analysis of the popular Washington Consensus strategy is provided. The author contends these policies underutilize recent advances in the theory of economic development as well as international political economy. Empirical data is used throughout the paper to support the argument. While most of the data comes from leading researchers in the field, a portion is based on primary research into the statements and documents of government officials, international organizations, and non-governmental entities. A case study is used to illustrate the benefits of new theories for growth, as well as to identify the critical determinants of economic development. The author concludes that reforms are needed to improve the economic, political and social development of Sub-Saharan Africa. Policies would improve by properly pacing and sequencing the macroeconomic reforms of the Washington Consensus, building national unity and domestic institutions, focusing on productivity growth and agriculture and utilizing African intellectual and political contributions.

Includes bibliographical references.