From the single party model to "representative democracy", from structural adjustment policies to reforms on enhancing "competitiveness" and improving the "business environment", almost all fashionable political and economic models have been experimented on the African continent. Yet, they all clearly failed, as attested by the majority of socio-economic indicators in the areas of nutrition, health, education, employment, etc. According to UN forecasts, Africa will account for a quarter of the world's population by 2050. If Africa is still unable to adequately address the problems faced by its billion inhabitants, how will it do it when its population doubles? Beyond the critique of neo-liberalism, there is therefore a pressing need to reflect about alternatives that will help Africa back out of this dead-end and find its own path. This is the perspective adopted by this book edited by Ndongo Samba Sylla, which compiles contributions of experts on Africa's development issues. Can democracy help to achieve the changes that Africans aspire to? If yes, under what conditions? Otherwise, what is the alternative? How can Africa break with neo-colonial practices that prevent its political, economic and cultural emancipation? What role is there for women in these processes? In view of the paralysis and treason of elites, can social movements be harbingers of the much-awaited radical shifts? What contribution could the private media bring in implementing people-centred alternatives? Rethinking Development attempts to provide answers to these essential questions.
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About the Author
Dr Ndongo Samba Sylla is a Development Economist and Programme and Research Officer at the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Office for West Africa. He coordinated the book "Redécouvrir Sankara. Martyr de la liberté" [Rediscovering Sankara. Freedom Martyr] (Exchange & Dialogue 2012) and just published "Le scandale du commerce équitable. Le marketing de la pauvreté au service des riches" [The Fair Trade Scandal: Marketing Poverty to Benefit the Rich] (Harmattan Senegal, 2013). His recent research focused on the history of the word "Democracy".