African Journal Of Business And Economic Research, Volume 2, Nos 2&3by John Kuada
The overarching economic issue in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) today is to ensure a broad-based growth that lifts millions of Africans out of poverty. African countries are therefore consistently compared with high growth Asian countries such as Malaysia and South Korea which were at similar levels of economic growth as African countries for barely five decades ago. But while the Asian continent now enjoys the accolade of "economic miracle", the African situation is usually described by such adjectives as "disaster" and "tragedy" due to decades of non-growth experienced by nearly all SSA countries (Akyüz and Gore 2001). The search for growth sustaining economic policies for Africa is therefore as urgent today as it was half a century ago when the torchlight of de-colonilisation was set ablaze in Ghana.
The contributions from these papers suggest that the social dimension of economics requires a greater attention, if we are to find a more sustaining growth strategy for Africa. Several scholars have attributed the remarkable growth in Asian countries to their underlying cultural values and effective use of social capital derived from their networks of social relations. According to these studies the Asian people tend to have a strong sense of collective social obligation - i.e. an obligation to fulfil their individual needs without jeopardising the chances of others to fulfil theirs or the entire community to survive and progress (Biggart and Hamilton 1992; Whitley 1992, 1994).
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