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The new post colonial state and development

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  1. The new post colonial state was in some respects supportive of, but in other respects, actually hostile to development
  2. Protectionism and nationalisation in the post-colonial economy of the African states has led to the politicization of the economy

Started in 1957 when Ghana gained its independence from Britain, the process of decolonization of tropical Africa was the inevitable consequence of two main watersheds that both occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century: the great depression and the Second World War; 'if the depression had marked an era of retrenchment in Africa, the war was the reverse: a forcing-house of quick change and intense pressure'. Economic pressures from colonizers led to class struggles and social confrontation by Africans, and independence negotiations were brought to the transfer of power from European administrators to 'an emergent indigenous ruling class'. Thus, a large amount of new states were created (the number of constitutionally independent states increased from 75 in 1945 to 190 in 1998). While a state can be defined as 'a specialized and powerful organ of control endowed with the legitimate use of violence, of which the principal function is the allocation and regulation of the resources, it must neutrally establish and maintain law and order among the people.' So, the state must play the role of a neutral referee. But in post-colonial Africa, the state is mainly used as an instrument by the ruling class to attain personal objectives.

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