Makoba, Johnson W. Rethinking Development Strategies in Africa: The Triple Partnership as An Alternative Approach-- The Case of Uganda.

Author:Wakoko-Studstill, Florence
Position:Book review

Makoba, Johnson W. Rethinking Development Strategies in Africa: The Triple Partnership as An Alternative Approach--The Case of Uganda. African in Development Series Vol. 5. Oxford: Peter Lang, 2011. 287 pp

This book argues that development aid channeled to Sub-Saharan African countries by outside donors has failed to promote economic development and reduce poverty. Uganda, which has received massive donor aid over the past two decades, is used as a case study in this analysis. The author makes a compelling case that development efforts on the continent have failed due to various factors including: widespread political corruption, economic mismanagement, nepotistic patronage, lack of accountability, and insufficient capital. Then, too, there has been an inadequate human and institutional capacity to effectively implement agreed upon development priorities. At the core of Africa's economic and political crisis is the failure of African leadership to provide effective governance and sound economic management.

Chapter One of the book introduces three interrelated themes concerning the development process in Africa. The first theme, using a human-centered perspective, considers development in broad terms of improving peoples' well-being and empowerment (i.e., participation in decision-making in households, communities or national politics). The second theme involves a critical analysis of the two dominant models of development-the state and market--An alternative model is proposed that incorporates development-oriented non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and microfinance institutions(MFIs). The final theme is the detailed elaboration of the role played in Africa's development by aid, trade, foreign direct investment (FDI), and diaspora remittances.

In Chapter Two, the author observes and critiques the use of donor support noting that, in spite of improved macroeconomic performance in Uganda over the past two decades, (due largely to infusions of aid), there has been very little reduction in poverty or inequality, and that the improvement in peoples' overall well-being has not been significant. He specifically questions why development-oriented nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and microfinancial institutions (MFIs) continue to be hailed as effective agents of sustainable grassroots development when a vast majority of the people continue to sink deeper into poverty. With these concerns in mind, the author presents in Chapter Three a body of...

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