Finance and Trade in Africa: Macroeconomic Response in the by Alemayehu Geda (auth.)

By Alemayehu Geda (auth.)

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According to Austen, the fact that colonial governments, (with the possible exception of the Union of South Africa), saw themselves primarily as representatives of the 'mother' (colonial) country, which was benefiting from the existing pattern of trade, explains why they pursued policies which were directly and indirectly designed to block efforts at local industrialization (Austen 1987: 133). In order to achieve these dual objectives, of inducing the colonies to be suppliers of inputs, and markets for manufactured goods, various methods of coercion were employed.

1979)20 argued that the region was characterized by peasant production, which was mainly a natural and closed economy, with a substantial number of people leading a nomadic existence (Nzula et al. 1979: 38). 21 Amin also notes that the African societies of the pre-colonial period developed autonomously (Amin 1972: 107-8). Thus, one may reasonably Introduction 19 conclude that, although its economy was not as complex as that of West Africa, nevertheless, that the ESA region had some degree of autonomy in its economic activity, and, hence, was not as dependent on the export of commodities, particularly to Europe.

And, finally, focusing on the required needs, particularly in relation to food self-sufficiency, reducing import dependence, re-alignment of consumption and production patterns and managing of debt and debt servicing. Just as many have argued in favour of the Bank/IMF view, so too, many analysts have come out in support of the ECA's position. Thus, various studies have emphasized Africa's extreme dependence on primary commodity exports (see Ngwenya & Bugembe 1987, Fantu 1992, Adedeji 1993). Siting this discussion in a broader historical context, these studies have highlighted the impact of colonialism in establishing the rules by which Africa might participate in the world economy.

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