African Development Initiatives

  • Peter EliasEmail author
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 71)


This chapter seeks to examine Africa’s development initiatives with a view to understanding the different philosophies, perspectives, priorities and impacts regarding Africa’s development. These initiatives are global or continental, homegrown or borrowed, palliative or harmful, reactionary or proactive. The development initiatives also cut across economic development, industrialization, democratic governance, education, health, human rights, regional integration, agriculture, social policy, science and technology, poverty reduction, human settlements and the environment and so on. They include the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2063, the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and so on. Observably, the state of the African continent is a mirror of the performance of these development initiatives. This chapter therefore focuses on the following frequently asked questions: What are African development initiatives? Who formed them and for whose interests? What are their global counterparts? Are there any relationships between the continental and global initiatives and why? What are the existing and current debates? How successful or unsuccessful have the development initiatives been in driving the development of Africa? How can the development initiatives be strengthened to help Africa’s development? The aim of the chapter is to study Africa’s development initiatives with the following specific objectives: to (i) undertake a historical analysis of Africa’s development initiatives to show how, and to what extent, Africa’s development initiatives are shaped by global development; (ii) provide cross-sectional views of the nature and role of Africa’s development initiatives; (iii) show the identities, interests and underlying motivations of Africa’s development initiatives; (iv) evaluate the factors accounting for how successful or unsuccessful Africa’s development initiatives have been; and (v) suggest strategies for strengthening Africa’s development initiatives for regional development. The chapter adopts an extensive desk review and critical analysis of relevant publications of organizations such as ECOWAS, the AU, SADC, the EU, the World Bank and the United Nations, among others, to synthesize historical narratives, policies, responses, practices, and data on regional and sub-regional organizations within and outside Africa for comparison. The nature of African development initiatives cannot be divorced from the rich historical foundations which underpins the various deveploment experiences. The pattern of development in Africa is a product of several forces both locally derived and globally controlled. Therefore, the development indicators and performance should be understood in the context of the dominant controlling philosophical thoughts and associated African development initiatives.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of LagosAkoka-YabaNigeria

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