Economic Development in the Twenty-first Century

Lessons for Africa Throughout History

  • Matthew Kofi Ocran

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. General Background and Governing Issues

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Matthew Kofi Ocran
      Pages 71-130
  3. European Growth and Development That Shaped Africa

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 131-131
    2. Matthew Kofi Ocran
      Pages 133-158
    3. Matthew Kofi Ocran
      Pages 159-196
  4. African Experience in the Long Run

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 197-197
    2. Matthew Kofi Ocran
      Pages 199-220
    3. Matthew Kofi Ocran
      Pages 301-372
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 393-412

About this book


This book uses lessons from history to help African countries take charge of their own economic development agenda. History is an important part of Africa’s economic development narrative, and Ocran investigates how the development outcomes between Africa and Western Europe became so divergent when in the early medieval period average income levels and economic development in the two regions differed only marginally. The sixteenth century marked a turning point, with the emergence of Western European mercantilism and capitalism and their associated exploitation of other countries. In understanding Africa’s economic development, it is crucial to recognise that Africa has not always been poor.

Examining 400 years of enslavement and colonisation, this book takes us to present day Africa and economic issues affecting the continent. With selected case studies from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore to South Korea and China, Ocran proposes ways to break out of the economic development quandary Africa currently faces.

Matthew Kofi Ocran is Professor of Economics and Deputy Dean of Academic Affairs at the Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape, South Africa. His current research interests lie in macroeconomics, development economics, development finance and economic history. 


Economic development in the twenty-first century African economic history African economic development Colonisation Mercantilism Primary Commodities R&D in Africa Emaciation of African Economies Atlantic Slave Trade Commodity Driven Growth Low Growth Trap Economic Governance in Africa Post-independence Economic Collapse Medieval African economies Medieval European economies Economic Growth in Sub Saharan Africa Wealth creation Technological development

Authors and affiliations

  • Matthew Kofi Ocran
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of the Western CapeCape TownSouth Africa

Bibliographic information