Matthew Lockwood draws on a substantial body of research to argue that much thinking on Africa from both official donors and from international NGOs alike is flawed, because that thinking either does not recognise or does not draw out the implications of the central role of politics and the state in Africas development problems.
In almost all African countries the political elites are uninterested in leading a development process. Western donor countries and institutions have largely turned a blind eye to this situation, and indeed aid has become an important resource in maintaining anti-developmental states. By contrast, in almost all other successful development episodes such as in East Asia - the state has played a key role. Anti-developmental politics remains a problem even in countries that are seen as "good performers".
The analysis leads to a different policy agenda for aid, trade, debt and corruption, and also a different campaigning agenda for NGOs: agendas that have a focus on support for the emergence of a new kind of politics in Africa.
This is an important book Everybody who is interested in the future of Africa should read it. Larry Elliott, Guardian
..a real tour de force. Its a punchy and very intelligent read, covering everything the campaigner and engaged citizen needs to understand about the African poverty agenda in 2005. David Booth, Overseas Development Institute
..this extraordinarily rich and valuable book [is] essential reading for anyone interested in Africas future. Duncan Green, Head of Research, OXFAM
A thought-provoking thesis Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the deep-rooted difficulties in tackling global poverty. Shriti Vadera, Adviser to the Chancellor, HM Treasury
The Viewpoints series presents research and opinion from authors who seek to influence contemporary debates on policy and practice in international development. Aimed at the concerned general reader as well as the specialist, these books offer the most up-to-date analysis available, in an accessible and affordable format. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.