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Geography Essay

1601 words - 7 pages

Sean Collin
Geography 101
Essay # 2

There are over 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the wealth of natural resources and the prevalence of wealth in the northern segments of Africa have led many to speculate about the equity and economic development in the sub-Sahara. Unfortunately, the progression of economic, political and social factors in this region have done little to improve the overall conditions, and have instead demonstrated a consistent bias towards the government and the social elites that has impacted the chances of successful development in the region. Since the end of World War II, changes in the infrastructure, the political forces, and in the capacity for ...view middle of the document...

It has been recognized that of the 40-50 poorest counties of the world, most are located in the sub-Sahara, and even though there are larger populations of impoverished people in South Asia, “Africa still is considered the poorest population in the world and this problem has been increasing for decades“ (Stryker, 1986).
It has been argued that the factors that have led to a lack of efficacy in the economic picture of the sub-Sahara is directly linked to the process of British control. During the era of early colonial rule, British administrators exercised what has been described as “indirect rule” which was created to maintain military and political control (Berry, 1992). “This inherently impacted the conditions of access to land, labor and agricultural tracks which in turn determined the progression of agricultural commercialization and the migration of labor” (Berry, 1992). For decades, the struggle to maintain control over a commercial agrarian base and to provide for the distinct call for industrialization has had limited acceptance and widespread opposition to those driving for dictated control.
“As a result of the issues that emerged during the colonial era, the shaping of government and the development of elite groupings within the social constructs, and subsequently the emerging social conditioning, created inherent inequities between the government and the agrarian labor force” (Berry, 1992). Struggles to unite localized native laws and customs and emerging governmental constructs modeled after colonizer perspectives, clearly designed the inequities that would become a major component of the social order. “It has been argued that failed efforts to promote stability and social order and a heightened sense of the disequilibrium and the authoritarian rule in many regions has been a fundamental key to understanding the implications of widespread social and political divisions” (Berry, 1992).
“It has been argued that everything from the distribution of wealth to the allocation of defense spending since the 1960s has reflected the lack of equity in the social and economic conditions of the sub-Saharan nations” (Gyimah-Brempong, 1992). It has also been argued that the policy makers in the sub-Sahara maximize their political survival at the cost of arrested economic development and this can be demonstrated through social indicators that have worsened over the past 30 years, “as well the maintenance of perceptions regarding the counties of this region and the notion that the regression that occurred was a necessary part of the rationale for economic development that negated participation by the agrarian sector” (Seitz, 1991).
There are a number of factors that must be considered first before attempting to evaluate the perspectives of leadership and their progress in terms of economic conditions and their own political protection. “First, it is necessary to recognize that the problems that have stemmed from declining agrarian controls is...

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