The greatest confusion and deception of all time- duty-free or free trade policy….

The greatest confusion and deception of all time- duty-free or free trade policy cannot solve the complicated problems of African countries.

Fekadu Bekele (Ph D)
September 11, 2019

Human dignity is offended when persons are denied the opportunity to participate in their own development, when development “takes place over their heads” (Yuengert M. Andrew, What is “Sustainable Prosperity for all” in the Catholic Social Tradition? in: The True Wealth of Nations- Catholic Social Thought and Economic life. Oxford, 2010, p.42)

The Production of economic goods is not an end in itself, but only a means to an end. It takes place with a view to satisfying human needs. This is the ultimate goal of all productive activity in the economic field. (Pesch, Heinrich, Textbook of National Economics, Freiburg, 1923, p. 3)

Introduction

Over the past 50 years, many sub-Saharan African countries have implemented economic policies that came from the West or were mandated by the so-called international community under the auspices of the IMF and the World Bank. More than a trillion dollars flowed into Africa in the form of development aid. All economic policy practices bear the name market economy, without specifying whether such a market economy should be built on the foundations of science and technology or manufacturing or not. Nor is it clear from the outset whether or not such a market economy can contribute to the development of a coherent social structure based on broader division of labor. Many African countries that have become politically independent since the early 1960s and have followed the recommendations of the IMF and the World Bank have hoped that they would create jobs for millions of Africans and thus develop a stable society that encompasses all the elements of a market economy. After 50 years of market economy practices with different names but with the same content, the structural crises of many African countries have rather deepened. Not a single African country has succeeded in establishing a healthy economy and manageable social structures. Many African countries are still dependent on the export of raw materials. Increasing trade deficits and indebtedness are the downside of dependence on raw material exports.  Moreover, many African countries that have implemented the structural adjustment program are characterized by ecological, cultural, social, psychological crises and political instability.

Although the neoliberal economic policies of the IMF and the World Bank have failed miserably, these two institutions, which mainly represent the interests of finance capital, are still key players in the formulation of the economic policies of many sub-Saharan African countries. The military, economic and political order that has emerged after the Second World War, reflecting much more the American interests, led these two institutions to aggressively assert the ideology of the American capital worldwide

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Cover photo : from https://wandilesihlobo.com/



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