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Development and Peace in Africa

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Development is not often regarded as a function of peace in both development theory and development discourse. In the context of post-colonial Africa, both internal security and external security should be crucial considerations in the pursuit of development alternatives. The reason for considering development and security is that part of Africa’s development impasse can be attributed to internal political terror since the Cold War. While development theory and discourse from modernisation theory to global neo-liberalism have dominated ‘development’ strategies in Africa and produced an Africa bereft of development, political terror has systematically undermined both development and security. Political terror, as sponsored by foreign forces and signified by collateral damage, not only produced extensive fear and destabilisation, it hit at the very core of development – human resources, political establishments and economic order. The end of the Cold War has not seen an end to political terror in Africa, but it has features that need to be considered for Africa’s development alternatives. Some of the features are the reduction in Africa’s foreign aid, disarmament, and the re-invention of the philosophical foundations of the state in Africa. This calls for a transition from a military state towards a developmental state with citizens participating to curb internal conflict and face the external challenges of the new post-Cold War global system.


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