This study of inequality in Africa, first published in 1988, not only rejected the orthodox approach of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which neglected income distribution and advocated greater external economic reliance, but also the statist Lagos Plan of Action, which supported comprehensive planning, large capital-intensive state firms, and increased government intervention in peasant prices. Wayne Nafziger's political economy analysis shows how the colonial legacy, the contemporary global economic system, and the ruling elites' policies of co-opting labour, favouring urban areas, distributing benefits communally, and spending on education to maintain inter-generational class exacerbate discrepancies between regions, urban and rural areas, and bourgeoisie and workers, even under 'African socialism'. The author's policy discussion eschews technoeconomic solutions, arguing that reducing inequality requires democratising political participation as well as economic control.
Table of Contents
List of figures and tables; Acknowledgements; Glossary; Abbreviations; Map; 1. Equality and growth: tradeoff or interlink?; 2. Research without statistics: what are the questions?; 3. African incomes in global perspective; 4. The great descent: inequality and immiserisation; 5. The colonial roots; 6. Transnational relationships; 7. Capitalism, socialism, development and inequality; 8. The ruling class and the people: conflict and discrepancies; 9. Workers, the unemployed, peasants and women; 10. Maintaining class: the role of education; 11. Urban bias and rural poverty; 12. Catching the Nigerian disease: the ruling class and exchange rates; 13. Regional and ethnic inequality; 14. Income distribution in the late twentieth century; Notes; Bibliography; Index.