R. C. Eze, Anas E. Elochukwu, Bassey John Jire


It is arguable that the major challenge of nation-building in Africa has been the inability of her political leadership to conquer the phenomena which have detained her nations in the purgatorial conditions of national development since their reclamation of sovereignty from colonial rule. Both colonialism and its most discernible mutant, neo-colonialism, have been accused of laying the sub-structure of the abject conditions that define the continent. It is alleged that these two isms underlie the international economic system that robs the poor (marooned in the netherworld region of the same system). It is these tow isms that supervise the osmotic relationship that exist between the two regions. The key note of an aspect of the allegation is that the neo-colonialist economic nostrums concocted in the boardrooms of the major centre of international capitalism in the Breton Woods make it difficult for the continent to find the coordinates to viable national development. The Washington Consensus, which refers to the recommendations of the Breton Woods Institutions (the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and their affiliates), appears to have caused so much disaffection in Africa because some people think that it exploits the frustration of the national economies by forcing them to implement policies many of which only aggravate the conditions they are intended to remedy. This disaffection with the Washington Consensus is alienating many nations, forcing them to turn to the Chinese model of development which some people have loosely nicknamed the Beijing Consensus. The Beijing Consensus has become widely popular with many Africans in spite of the warning by those who dismiss it as none of the things the continent should turn to for economic salvation. The business of this paper was to unpack the positions assumed in the polemics on the relationship that can possible exist between African development and the Beijing Consensus.

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