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Sub-Saharan Political and Economic Structures and the NIEO

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Abstract

This chapter discusses sub-Saharan political and economic structures and the New International Economic Order (NIEO). When considering the political and socio-economic development of Africa south of the Sahara, there has been a marked tendency to see the colonial period of African history as the starting point of the development of the continent. This has obscured the fact that pre-colonial Africa had a long indigenous history of development as witnessed by the historical existence of the great trading kingdoms of the Sahara in the East and of Ghana and Mali in the West. Present-day African leadership is faced with the unique situation of being in a position to completely reconstruct new post-colonial societies based on autonomous political and socio-economic systems and replace the imported and apparently inadequate structures that were part of its colonial heritage. The success of these countries in implementing the strategies of NIEO will depend, to a large extent, on their success in achieving new institutional stability and in fashioning more effective indigenous structures of political and economic life, based on their traditional patterns of development and their cultural heritage.

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