The Journal of African Policy Studies
Volume 15, Number 1, 2009
The Global Economic and Financial Crisis: An Overview of the Effects on African Countries
"In the wake of the current global financial crisis, experts and analysts agreed that the initial effects on African financial sectors will be minimal because of the limited exposure to the international financial markets. However, African countries are more integrated than before with the world economy through the following transmission channels: international trade, foreign direct and portfolio investments, foreign aid flows, private remittances, and tourism; and since they are predominantly primary commodity exporters, their economies will be negatively affected by the current recession in many developed countries due to the sharp decline in world demand for commodities and in their prices. This paper takes the view that African countries are more susceptible to external shocks than other developing regions of the world because of their flawed macroeconomic fundamentals, but more importantly, the transmission channels emphasize the extent of the region's vulnerabilities."
Mengsteab Tesfayohannes and Hany Besada
Economic Integration as a Contribution to Sustainable Development in the Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is one of the most geopolitically important regions of the world, with great human and natural resource potential. Unfortunately, the region is notorious for its crises and instability. This is due to internal and external destabilising factors related to ethnicity, tribalism, resource sharing, poverty, superpower rivalry, porous borders and hegemonic desires. Although it differs slightly between countries, the average per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of the region is less than $200. Gender disparity in education and economic activity is prevalent in the region at all levels. Over 75% of the labour force is engaged in subsistence agricultural and nomadic activities and the rest are involved in other economic sectors, including informal activities. These statistics are just of the indicators that abject poverty is pervasive in this region. What should be done to improve this situation and promote peace, stability, and sustainable socio-economic development?
One of the most viable strategies is to promote economic integration among the countries in the Horn of Africa. This approach can potentially bring economic prosperity and stability to the region. If the states themselves facilitate and meticulously nurture an interstate and intrastate economic integration process by combining their natural and human resources, they will have a better opportunity to eradicate chronic poverty and promote sustainable socio-economic development. This undoubtedly will help them to make substantial headway in attaining at least some of the UN's declared Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Towards achieving this goal, it would be essential for both local and international initiatives to complement each other.
This paper seeks to briefly highlight the background and genesis of the precarious situation in the region, identify and assess the push and pull factors for establishing the foundations of economic integration, and recommend feasible strategic alternatives intended to promote regional economic integration as a cornerstone for peace, stability and sustainable development. The paper also deals with theoretical foundations and indicative diagnostic studies. In addition, assessing the possibilities and problems of promoting regional economic integration in the Horn of Africa is a precondition for the long-lasting resolution of conflicts and the promotion of good governance and accelerated economic growth. Thus, this paper will serve as a trigger for other researchers to dedicate themselves to empirical and theoretical research focused on more articulated issues pertaining to the region.
Andrew O. Efemini
The Politics of Nigeria and the Development of the Niger Delta Region
The paper argues that Nigeria's underdevelopment cannot be adequately explained and appreciated unless we come to terms with the bad politics and faulty democratization processes it has pursued as a country. The Niger Delta Region is singled out as one region where Nigeria's bad politics manifest so negatively. The region suffers from dependency of the central government and other regions on the oil resources from the region. The Nigerian State has not been able to reposition itself as a truly democratic State with fair and just basic institutions. Institutions that are truly federal in character and promote citizenship rights are best suited to pursue economic programs that are not dependent on resources from one region of the country.
About the Contributors
Hany Besada is a Program Head: Governance of Natural Resources and Senior Researcher: Development Cooperation at the North-South Institute (NSI) in Ottawa. Previously, he was Senior Researcher and Program Leader at the Centre for the International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, Canada. He also worked at the South African Institute of International (SAIIA) in Johannessburg, and South Africa's Department of Local and Provisional Government, Amnesty International, the Joan Kroc Institue of Peace and Justice (IPJ) and the Office of US Senator Dianne Feinstein. Ms. Besada has published several aritcles and book chapters in various publications. Amongst some of the published works is Zimbabwe: Picking Up the Peices (Palgrave, 2011).
Andrew O. Efemini, Ph. D., teaches in the Department of Philosophy, University of Port Harcourt Nigeria. He has several published works to his credit.
Oluwole Owoye, Ph. D.,is professor of Economics in the Department of Social Sciences at Western Connecticut State College in Danbury, Connecticut, USA. Professor Owoye's extensive list of peer reviewed publications on African Financial and Economic issues have appeared in various scholaryly works around the world. In addition to his various academic acheivements, Professor Owoye has also served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Nigeria.
Mengsteab Tesfayohannes, Ph. D., is an Associate Professor of Management (Entrepreneurship, Business Promotional Research, and Strategy) at the Sigmund Weid School of Business, Susquehanna University. He has been a university professor, researcher and business and economic development consultant in academic institutions, governmental and private organizations and various international agencies (including the UN) in South Africa, Botswana, Germany, Austria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Canada. He has over 35 peer reviewed researched articles, chapters in books, tehnical and consultant reports. His areas of interest are Development in Developing Nations; Economic Cooperation and Integration.