Africa: Set Your House in Order!

Published on 13th December 2005

Why haven\'t the poorest Africans been able to prosper in the twenty-first century? Authors in this issue think the answer is obvious: economic freedom was denied to them, first by foreign colonial powers and now by indigenous leaders with similarly oppressive practices. Instead of bemoaning the myriad difficulties facing the continent today, the authors boldly propose a program of development--a way forward--for Africa. They investigate how Africa can modernize, build, and improve its indigenous institutions, and argue forcefully that Africa should build and expand upon traditions of free markets and rather than continuing to use exploitative economic structures. Collective and coordinated continental policy measures in capacity-building must first target development of capabilities in the area of entrepreneurship, health, regional integration, human rights and governance.

There is need for a complete restructuring of African economies to ensure a judicious combination of diversified agriculture together with industrialization. African countries should adopt policies that will attract capital, a factor of production in which they are enormously deficient. While encouraging privatization and divesting government of equity in public enterprises, measures should be installed to harness the continent\'s own resources, and provide incentive to attract investment both local and external.

What has changed for over fifty years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was enacted? Are countries committed in observing human rights? Explore the strengths and weaknesses of human rights activists as you journey through Burkina Faso.

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