African Decolonization: Economic Failure

African economics decolonization
Figure 1.--Third World leaders after World War II were convinced that a combination of the end of colonialism and socialist economic policies would usher in a er of rapid economic development and prosperity. None of the new post-colonial leaders believed that capitalism and free markets would generate wealth and prosperity. The result was not only economic failure on a massive scale. Only the geneosity of the American people and as Europe recovered, the European people prevented starvation on an unprecedented scale. Here a boy drinks milk as part of an American food program in 1961. Despite the failure of socialist policies Even so, African leaders for decades followed the same failed policies.

The high hopes of independence were for the most part dashed. Rather than a nww era of ecoomic development and prosperity, many africn economies ctually declind. Africa experienced economic failure on a collosal scale. It was already the poorest continent, but became poorer. Living standards in many African countries actually declined after independence. And the more Socialist the government, the greater the fall in living standards. Not only did the economies decline in many of the new nations, but we also have serious famines develop, much worse than during the African colonial era. Socialism and economic planning was not the only problem. Other issues include coruption (made worse as a result of socialist economics), civil war, tribal violence, authoritarian rule, and enironmental issues, factors were resoinsible. And all this occurred despite massite amounts of foreign assistance from Europe and the United States--the very countries that African socialists attempt to blame for their failures. Also the same countries that provided food aid to dabe millions of africans fron starving. A British reader who has lived in Nigeria writes, "No more so than in Nigeria. It has a large, energetic population and enormous natural resources, but graft and economic mismanagement is endemic. The simple matter is if free market ecomics had been pursued, the population would have been made consumers and Nigeria would be a rich country today. Nigeria today has everyone with their hand in the till and a potentially rich people poor." Socialism and government planning has created enormous opprtunities for corruption that would not exist in a free market economy.


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Created: 7:56 PM 11/14/2012
Last updated: 12:04 AM 12/26/2015