The Developmental State in Africa: Problems and Prospects

Peter Meyns (ed), Charity Musamba (ed)
Content Type
Working Paper
Institute for Development and Peace
Against the background of successful developmental experiences in East Asia this report discusses the relevance of the developmental state concept to conditions in Africa. In her contribution Charity Musamba reviews the main theoretical literature on the developmental state and identifies four key features which have informed successful implementation in East Asian countries. With regard to Africa, she challenges the “impossibility theorem” and supports African analysts who defend the need for a democratic developmental state in Africa. Peter Meyns analyzes the development path of an African country, Botswana, which – not withstanding certain weaknesses– can be seen as an example of a successful developmental state in the African context.
Democratization, Development
Political Geography
Africa, Asia