Editorial from ROAPE Volume 34 Number 113
Imperial, Neo-Liberal Africa?
Now that the fanfare and euphoria surrounding what has been called Tony Blair's passionate denunciation of impoverishment in Africa as ‘a scar on the conscience of the world’, the ‘development buzz’ generated by rock stars and the ‘make poverty history campaign’ has all died down, it seems quite a good time to reflect on the ‘achievements’ to date. These campaigns were preceded by the UN millennium development goals on poverty alleviation, which in turn were followed by the Report of the Commission for Africa. More than a third of the way towards the 2015 goal, it is clear as Salim Lone suggests, that the developed world is falling behind on its commitments to African countries and the plight of many Africans is getting worse. According to Lone, no sub-Saharan African country has met the criteria on poverty alleviation and it would have been unthinkable ‘... that Western Governments, which gleefully presided over the creation of new classes of super-super rich, would use their considerable influence to push African leaders to pursue policies which would shift resources away from the rapacious national elites towards the poor … Nor was it likely the west would permit Africa to stray from the neo-liberal orthodoxies prescribed for the continent by the World Bank and the IMF. ’