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John I. Akhile, Sr.
UNLEASH AFRICAN TRADE – YOUTUBE CHANNEL
A comprehensive strategy for encouraging economic development in African nations.
In this business book, Akhile (Compensatory Trade Strategy, 2006) takes the reader on a detailed journey through the problems that have hampered economic development in much of Africa and the concrete steps that can overcome many of the hurdles. The analysis draws heavily on the contrasting success of the “Asian Tigers,” particularly Singapore, Japan and South Korea, as instances of successful economies in countries that were once under the control of Western nations.
Akhile guides the reader through a history that may be unfamiliar to many, from the 19th-century Opium Wars to the 1961 assassination of Patrice Lumumba, connecting each element to his central theme of building vibrant and sustainable African economies. Numerous charts and tables provide data to back up Akhile’s analysis, but despite the number of illustrations, the text remains dense, with sentences like “Let us be unequivocally clear that while there is probably a very miniscule minority of altruistic-minded people involved in the charade of non-profits in African countries, the vast business enterprise of aid is not about how to help African people; rather it is to ensure the continued existence of the various and sundry organizations through ever competitive struggles for donations, government contracts and subsidies” throughout. The indictment of foreign aid and nongovernmental organizations is well-developed, as is Akhile’s prescription for developing a viable export-driven economic base that goes beyond the raw materials that African countries have tended to rely on. Although readers who prefer a broader approach to development may find the book limited in its strictly economic focus—the political repression that accompanied growth in Taiwan and Singapore is not mentioned—they will likely find it a useful tool for the aspects of growth it does address. Frequent citations and a detailed list of sources add to the solidity of Akhile’s study and situate the book within the context of other examinations of economic development and prescriptions for growth.
A thorough and well-reasoned, if wordy, exploration of the possibilities for economic growth in Africa.