1st Edition

Disruptions and Rhetoric in African Development Policy

By George Auma Kararach Copyright 2022
    332 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    332 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The book examines the failures and some of the successes of Africa in its efforts to transform into a society where human security or development in the broadest sense is achieved.

    It is argued the African continent had, and will continue, to content with disruptions or change on its path to development. Development policy making in this regard, is an art of setting out strategies to build resilience and take advantage of disruptions or change in whatever format: political, economic, health, diplomatic, demographic or even environmental and climatic. The book discusses nine major disruptions in Africa’s socio-economic life and the limits imposed by the rhetoric in development policy: exclusion and social inequality, environmental degradation and climate change, natural resources and poor beneficiation, trade and aid, food insecurity, demography and migration, pandemics and disease burden, conflict and criminality and technology and innovation.

    The book is intended for intermediate students in African studies, Area Studies, Development Economics, Development Studies, Public Policy and Comparative Politics. In addition will be development practitioners working in developing countries, the UN system, multilateral development banks, donor agencies and regional economic communities in Africa.


    Chapter 1. Development as disruptions – a reconstruction of the theory and practice

    Chapter 2. Social discontent as search for development: from colonialism to independence

    Chapter 3. Natural resources, climate change and poor beneficiation – the potential for a curse

    Chapter 4. Trade versus aid: economics, politics, and dilemmas in development cooperation

    Chapter 5. Food insecurity and agricultural stagnation

    Chapter 6: Demography and migration – seeking out the dividends

    Chapter 7. Pandemics and diseases as forces of dislocation – a post-COVID-19 view

    Chapter 8. Conflict, drugs and criminal upheavals in African development

    Chapter 9. Innovation, AI and technology as handmaiden of development

    Chapter 10: Democracy and social inclusion: bridging public action and development policy rhetoric


    George Kararach is a Lead Economist for the African Development Bank Group, Abidjan, Cote d’Iviore, Visiting Professor at the Wits School of Governance, University of the Witswatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; and a Non-Resident Fellow, Payne Institute, Colorado School of Mines, Illinois, USA and until recently Senior Economist at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

    "Very topical, fresh and welcome approach to familiar and new development challenges in Africa, calling for leaders to take the initiative and think in new, African-led, ways to achieve the structural transformation and sustained development progress the continent so much needs."

    Andy McKay, Professor of Development Economics, University of Sussex.

    "A meticulous and comprehensive evaluation of the development challenges that Africa faces, but one that charts many potential positive paths ahead. Excitingly, Africa's futures are not rigidly determined by its past."

    James A. Robinson, University Professor, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago, USA, and co-author of Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty.

    "Rather than lamenting Africa’s challenges, Dr Kararach takes a refreshing and positive look at the current major disruptions in Africa’s socio-economic life to highlight their potential as drivers of change. A must-read for those yearning for positive and transformational change in Africa."

    Francis Owusu, Professor and the Chair of the Department of Community and Regional Planning, Iowa State University (ISU), USA.

    "A timely and valuable contribution to the development literature. It provides a comprehensive overview of the challenges Africa faces, but also the opportunities that can be available if disruptions are responded to sensibly. An important call for a new way of thinking about structural change and development in Africa."

    John P. Dunne, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Cape Town, South Africa, and University of the West of England, Bristol, UK.

    ''George Kararach’s book is a timely and must read primer for professionals and graduate students considering understanding the contested terrain of modern African development. A delightful and authoritative guide on topical and cutting-edge issues of disruptions and rhetoric in African development.''

    Ramos E. Mabugu, Professor of Economics, Sol Plaatje University, South Africa, and former Head of Research Policy Division, Financial and Fiscal Commission, South Africa.

    "This book presents a comprehensive coverage of the mainstream development policy issues in Africa, with a masterly evaluation of the key strategies adopted by African governments over the last five decades. The book is also futuristic, touching on recent disruptions such as financial technologies and Artificial Intelligence, which are likely to shape future development policy and outcomes on the continent. There is a rich multidisciplinary perspective in the book, which will surely make the work accessible across many audiences. Also, there are some insightful case studies, including an interesting triangulation of the theory, the challenges faced by practitioners and the optimism of policy makers. Dr Kararach has really crafted a condensed version of an encyclopaedia of development policy in Africa, which will be of interest to students, researchers, policy makers and private sector practitioners, within Africa and globally." 

    Victor Murinde, AXA Professor in Global Finance and Director, Centre for Global Finance, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK.

    "A must-read for students of public policy and development economics. Dr Kararach presents a balanced analysis of Africa’s development challenges, while providing a sneak preview into potentially viable solutions as Africa welcomes the fourth industrial revolution.  Disruptions can indeed provide new pathways for the continent by treasuring lessons from the past."

    Lwanga Elizabeth Nanziri, Director, African Centre for Development Finance, University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa.