Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



“Economic—Independence in Africa” Edited by D.P. Ghai, East African Literature Bureau, 1973.

Economic Independence in Africa is a collection of ten articles on economic self-reliance in the African context. It is divided into two parts. Part I concentrates on the definition of self reliance and strategies which a developing country may adopt to achieve this. Part II contains case studies of Kenya, Zambia, Egypt and Sudan. The first article, “The concept and strategies of economic independence” is contributed by D.P. Ghai. The author has given two interpretations of the concept. In the structuralist sense, it refers to the need to bring about structural changes in the production and trade of developing countries. Moreover it also implies the substitution of national for foreign capital, skills and enterprise. The phrase’ economic independence’ has been used in the latter sense in this paper. The author, however, does not realize that economic independence is a many-sided phenomenon and the state take-over of foreign enterprises may not necessarily lead to effective economic control of their resources by the developing countries, who depend heavily (in the structuralist sense) on the developed countries. The second essay is by H.M.A. Onttri, who is of the opinion that economic independence would have to be sought within a framework of interdependence between nations with unequal economic and political power. He does not reconcile the apparently conflicting goals of economic interdependence and economic independence. The third article entitled, “Economic Independence and Economic Cooperation”, is contributed by Mr. R.H. Green. This is particularly interesting because it emphasizes the need for structural changes in African economies so as to pave the way for more effective national control of economic decision-making. Moreover, he thinks that economic cooperation amongst African economies is not contradictory to the goal of economic independence. His case that economic cooperation can enhance the degree of economic independence attainable by African economies rests on their ability to increase decision-making and implementation by promoting economies of scale in larger indigenous manufacturing units, and by encouraging specialization.

M. Mumtaz Malik

Please download the PDF to view it:

Download PDF