The First Generation Problems

  • George B. N. Ayittey


As discussed in chapter 3, most postcolonial African nationalist leaders and elites made some serious initial mistakes. They adopted the wrong ideology, socialism, which is alien to Africa, under which they spurned the private sector or the market economy, and placed primary reliance on the state to direct economic development (dirigisme or statism). Statism and socialism were bedfellows in many African countries. State participation in the economy was expanded to ensure “state ownership” of the economy under a regime of state controls on prices, interest rates, exchange rate, and rent. Even in the few countries, such as Ivory Coast, Kenya, and Nigeria, that did not opt for socialism, a large role was envisaged for the state in the economy. In the process, a state monster evolved that came to control almost every conceivable aspect of the economy. The all-powerful, omniscient, and omnipresent state held sway, knowing no bounds and holding no restraint against itselE


Gross Domestic Product Central Bank Foreign Exchange Civil Servant Ivory Coast 
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© George B. N. Ayittey 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • George B. N. Ayittey
    • 1
  1. 1.USA

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