In my view two considerations point to a different conclusion. First, without the discovery of diamonds, it is hard to see how post-colonial Botswana could have grown dramatically faster than colonial Bechuanaland. Indeed, during the first three decades of indendence the non-diamond mining sector of Botswana did no better than Zambia Jerven Second, British rule was relatively intense, rather than the opposite, in Bechuanaland.
By the criterion of the number of Africans per administrator, circa it was fifth out of 33 African colonies Richens, forthcoming. Simultaneously French firms were apparently becoming less interested in colonial economies Marseille If so, it is ironic that the French government remained closely involved with its former colonies after their independence, not least through the franc zone.
Again, in the s British firms on the spot expressed concern about their future under independent African governments, but they failed to attract much notice from the decolonising authorities Tignor ; Stockwell Colonial governments and European firms invested in both infrastructure and especially in southern Africa in institutions designed to develop African economies as primary-product exporters.
In both cases the old economic logic for coercing labour continued to operate, i. But there were changes and variations. The resultant income at least enabled many of the slave-owners to become employers instead. Thus, the first generation of post-colonial rulers presided over economies which were as yet too short of educated and cheap labour and sufficient and sufficiently cheap electricity to embark successfully on industrialisation. It has taken post-colonial investment in education and other public goods to move West African economies, and tropical Africa generally, closer to the prospect of a substantial growth of labour-intensive manufacturing, if international competition permits it.
The large-scale use of coercion was the basis for the construction of white-ruled economies that, especially in South Africa, eventually became profitable enough for a partly politically-impelled policy of import-substituting industrialisation to achieve some success. Thus, the rents extracted from African labourers were channelled into structural change, although the process became self-defeating as it progressed, contributing to the fall of apartheid.
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Debating Colonial Legacies of Development Studies | EADI
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Washington: IMF. Inikori, Joseph I. The struggle against the transatlantic slave trade: The role of the State. In Fighting the slave trade: West African strategies , ed. Sylviane A. Diouf, Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Press. Africa and the globalisation process: Western Africa, Journal of Global History 2, no. Jerven, Morten. African economic growth reconsidered: Measurement and performance in East-Central Africa, — Drawing on a range of archival materials, interviews with German development workers and observation, Daniel Bendix provides a convincing account of the discursive and non-discursive continuities from the colonial period into contemporary development interventions.
Based on painstaking research on a previously neglected development context, this book is an impressive and much needed contribution to post-colonial development studies.
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By challenging monolithic narratives of colonization, the book serves as a crucial reminder that we need to recognize the various and multifaceted ways in which colonial power is manifested in contemporary international development. Request Inspection Copy. Add to cart. Buy in the Americas.
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