Accepted paper:

Revisiting Development Discourse in Africa: Towards a Better Approach to the Socio-Economic Development of the African Continent

Authors:

Vusi Gumede (University of South Africa)

Paper short abstract:

The paper reflects on a better approach to development and fostering democracy as well as associated issues. In the main, the paper proposes a better approach to socio-economic development in Africa, taking into account the paramount importance of democracy, human rights and peace-building.

Paper long abstract:

The paper revisits the discourse on development in Africa, following on footsteps of leading development thinkers in Africa. About twenty years ago, Claude Ake (1996) extensively dealt with the question of development (or lack thereof) in Africa. Ake's important book was published same year as Arturo Escobar's Encountering Development. Indeed, the debate about development - inclusive development to be specific - has continued unabated. Escobar (1996) essentially argued that the narrative of development had been problematic as it had not taken into account how the Third World was encountering development. Then there is Amartya Sen (1999) who views development as freedom. Concern with or about development in Africa, much earlier, was about underdevelopment as Walter Rodney's timeless book (How Europe Underdeveloped Africa) and Frantz Fanon's works (especially in The Wretched of the Earth), among others, demonstrated. With the exception of Ake (1996) and the various works of Samir Amin, most works have not sufficiently problematized development and in particular not many proposals have been advanced towards ensuring that development is inclusive in Africa. The paper, as it revisits the discourse on development in Africa, examines the role of social policy for inclusive development with the aim of proposing how, from the perspective of social policy, could development be more inclusive in Africa. While the paper tackles inclusive development or socio-economic development (in Africa) broadly, it reflects on a better approach to development and fostering democracy as well as associated issues.

panel P203
Uncovering the merits of African approaches to foster democracy, human rights, and conflicts resolutions in Africa