The World Bank, Neo-Classical Economics and the Application of Asian Industrial Policy to Africa
The extraordinary industrial expansion of Asian countries in the last decade stands in stark contrast to the general economic malaise permeating Sub-Saharan Africa. Between 1980 and 1989 industry in East and South East Asia grew at an astounding 10.4 per cent per year. In contrast, Sub-Saharan Africa’s industrial expansion was an anaemic 0.7 per cent per annum. This pattern of rapid industrial expansion in the last few decades has been associated with a rising standard of living in Asia leaving Sub-Saharan Africa further behind. Between 1965 and 1989, GNP per capita grew at 5.2 per cent per year in East and South East Asia while Sub-Saharan Africa could only manage 0.3 per cent per year. By 1989 manufacturing accounted for 33 per cent of GNP in East and South East Asia, while the comparable figure was only 11 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa (World Bank, 1991, pp. 204–9).
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