Homegrown Development in Africa

Reality or illusion?

By Chukwumerije Okereke, Patricia Agupusi

© 2015 – Routledge

190 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415525749
pub: 2015-04-02
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

Internationally driven development programmes have not been entirely successful in transforming the economic status of African countries. Since the late 1990s many African countries have started to take initiatives to develop an integrated framework that tackles poverty and promotes socio-economic development in their respective countries.

This book provides a critical evaluation of ‘homegrown’ development initiatives in Africa, set up as alternatives to externally sponsored development. Focusing specifically on Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, the book takes a qualitative and comparative approach to offer the first ever in-depth analysis of indigenous development programmes. It examines:

    • How far African states have moved towards more homegrown development strategies.
    • The effects of the shift towards African homegrown socio-economic development strategies and the conditions needed to enhance their success and sustainability.

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of development studies, international politics, political economy, public policy and African politics, sociology and economics.


Okereke and Agupusi provide a refreshing and forceful critique of external meddling in Africa under the guise of development. Going far beyond aid agency doublespeak about "country ownership," they make clear that homegrown development is really about NOT having external agencies or experts in charge.

William Easterly, Professor of Economics at New York University, Co-director of the NYU Development Research Institute, and author of The Tyranny of Experts.

Okereke and Agupusi’s new book ‘Homegrown development in Africa’ is as timely as it is relevant. It comes at a moment of great deal of optimism surrounding development possibilities across Africa. A must read for development scholars and practitioners, the book speaks directly to those who value internally generated sustainable solutions through meaningful ownership of the national development agenda.

Yacob Mulugetta, Professor of Energy and Development Policy, and Director of the MPA programme at the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering & Public Policy (STEaPP) at University College London.

This volume is a must read for scholars and practitioners interested in international development programing in Africa. It provides a rigorous and balanced assessment of ‘homegrown’ development initiatives in Africa, set up as alternatives to externally sponsored development. The key finding that most national development programmes in the continent continue to retain "external character" through over inclination towards external expertise (rather than building endogenous capacity) is sobering, especially in the context of sustainable development in Africa. The observation that "no country has ever managed to achieve sustainable development through externally driven strategies" is a truism that sadly continues to be ignored in many development planning exercises around the world.

Professor Kevin Urama, Managing Director of Quantum Global Research Lab, Switzerland.

Despite repeated rebellions against external domination, from the colonial period to the present, Africa continues to stand as an exemplar of the ineffectuality of externally imposed development strategies. In Homegrown Development, Agupusi and Okereke pursue the search for an alternative that takes advantage of local institutional resources instead of undermining them and draws on local knowledge rather than suppressing it. It is an essential project, not just for improving developmental outcomes in Africa, but for creating better theoretical models of development in general.

Peter B. Evans, Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute Brown University, is also Professor Emeritus in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Home-Grown Development: A Concept Whose Time has Come 2. Development Paradigms: A Contest of Ideas 3. General Overview of Home-Grown Socio-Economic Development Programmes 4. The Coordinated Programme for the Economic and Social Development of Ghana 5. The National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy in Nigeria 6. From Reconstruction to Empowerment: The Challenges of the Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Programme in Post-Apartheid South Africa 7. Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth in Kenya (ERS) 8. The Prospects and Limits of Home-Grown Development

About the Authors

Chukwumeije Okereke is Associate Professor of Environment and Development at the University of Reading, UK

Patricia Agupusi is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University, USA.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in African Politics and International Relations

The African Politics and International Relations series seeks to provide readers with a conceptual and comparative perspective on transformations associated with the rise of Africa in international relations and within the global economy. The series explores the empirical and theoretical implications of the engagement of both old and new players, the redefinition of the continent's politics, socio-economic transitions and changing patterns of region-building, both within Africa and with the global South. The series, through its focus on the reappraisal of the role and conception of African agency, seeks to provide readers with a comprehensive, accessible, and insightful treatment of issues that challenge conventional understandings and representations of Africa.

Contact: d.bach@sciencespobordeaux.fr

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