The Concept ‘Development’ Revisited towards Understanding: in the Context of Sub-Saharan Africa

  •  Brian-Vincent IKEJIAKU    


There has been lingering contention on what development means in the African context. The meaning of development in the African context is crucial in order to know whether Africa is developing or not, particularly since 1970. This debate becomes critical when it is appreciated that Africa appears as the least developed continent in the world. This paper conceptualises ‘development’; in doing this, the paper considers both economic and political development, and looks into the complex question: Must economic development precede political development in Africa or vice-versa? In an attempt to address these issues, the paper considers and examines the views of many scholars and studies on these subject matters. While the paper recognises the rise and importance of recent global development paradigms, such as feminism, and green-environmentalism, it however, applies the long traditional approaches – modernisation, liberalism, dependency and Marxism in analysing the meaning of development in Sub-Saharan African context. This is because this paper is concerned with the real development stage of this Sub continent of Africa, and not merely an intellectual exercise. The paper finally proffers a definition of development, which it believes to be germane in the context of real developmental stage of Sub-Saharan Africa.

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