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close this bookAfrican Agriculture: The Critical Choices (UNU, 1990, 222 p.)
close this folder1. The agricultural revolution and industrialization
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe failure of the modernization strategies
View the documentThe agricultural revolution, but how?
View the documentThe alternative strategy

(introduction...)

Samir Amin

This chapter starts with the recognition that globally, the development strategies implemented in Africa since independence have neither aimed at achieving the priority task of an agricultural revolution, nor really aimed at any significant industrialization, but basically extended the colonial pattern of integration in the world capitalist system. The catastrophic results are now obvious; moreover the Western inspired policies of so-called 'readjustment' to the new conditions created by the global crisis (through the IMF and World Bank recipes) would only worsen the case. Hence another development, fundamentally based on a popular alliance, is the only acceptable alternative. The priority target of achieving the agricultural revolution clearly calls for industrialization, but a pattern of industrialization quite different from the conventional one. This chapter attempts to show the ways in which this pattern presupposes some form of 'delinking' from the system governing the economic global expansion of capitalism. This national and popular content of development, in its turn, is virtually inconceivable without significant change toward democratization of the society, allowing for an autonomous expression of the various social forces and creating the basis for a real civil society. Simultaneously, the weakness of African states, referred to here, calls for co-operation and unity without which any national and popular attempt would remain extremely limited and vulnerable.