Economic Development in Post-Independent Africa

Economic Development in Post-Independent Africa
The situation in Zaire (today The Democratic Republic of Congo) under the reign of Mobutu Sese Seko is a good illustration of an African tragedy. A nation so rich in national resources – having some of the largest diamond mines in the world – destined for success and growth, becomes victim to one of the worst administrators (if you can even call him that) of the 20th century and one of the best “corruption artist” of all time.

Corruption engulfed the young nation shortly after independence and it hasn’t seen daylight ever since. In a time when Asian countries, Central American countries, and South American countries are making magnificent headway towards development, a tyrant thief who embodies everything evil, sets one of Africa’s main prospects in reverse. This was the situation in Zaire that we shall look at today and examine. We shall focus on the country of Zaire (1965 – 1997), which was Mobutu’s. Mobutu has been toppled as of May 16, 1997 and the country renamed The Democratic republic of Congo.

The Oxford American Dictionary defines a “State” as, “an organized community under one government.” Zaire was anything but organized, anything but a community, and had anything but a government. To justify the claim that Zaire is a good illustration of a “failed state,” we shall show several examples that support this statement. Examples and illustration include Mobutu’s acceptance of bribes from foreign governments, misuse of government budget, embezzlement of export earnings, diversion of foreign aid and loans, a failed Treasury, a failed Central Bank, a highly centralized government, chronic wide-spread rent-seeking, a lack of long-term planning, no political development and stability, near agricultural failure, nepotism, bad investments, inability to repay national debt, human services failure, and overall government failure. All of these contributors to this “failed state” are a direct result of corruption. “Corruption has detrimental effects on economic development. It decreases the efficiency of the civil service and its ability to formulate and implement government development policies, and it robs the country of vast sums of foreign exchange needed for investment” (George Ayittey 262). In other words, corruption puts a “stranglehold on the economic and political levers of powers” (Kempe Ronald Hope Sr. 90-91), thus making it virtually impossible for a government to operate.

The cause of the failed state rest directl

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Economic Development in Post-Independent Africa. (2018, Aug 12). Retrieved from