Copyright © 2006 International Development Options
All Rights Reserved
Volume Four Winter 2005-Spring 2006 Numbers 1-2.
SUB SAHARAN AFRICA AND THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: ISSUES, PERSPECTIVES,
TENSIONS AND CONTRADICTIONS
Quassy Adjapawn Jonathan Makuwira
School of Professional Indigenous Learning,
Development and Leadership Spirituality and Research Center
University of New England Central Queensland University
Armidale NSW 2351, Australia Rockhampton QLD 4702, Australia
Published online: February 10, 2017
Despite the numerous development initiatives by multilateral and bilateral development agencies, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to the world’s poorest people and to many of the least developed countries. Development theorists have utilized various theoretical perspectives to understand and explain the complex nature of the region’s underdevelopment. To date, optimism has faded into pessimism as many of the social indicators for Sub-Saharan Africa continue to decline, raising more questions than answers regarding such a disparity. This article critically examines the reasons why Sub-Saharan Africa’s development continues to lag behind. Employing “Alternative Development”, “Alternatives to Development”, and Post-Development” theories we explain why the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) alone are no panacea to poverty alleviation but rather a blueprint. We contend that Sub-Saharan Africa’s problems transcend the simplistic development views of western epistemology. Rather, they reflect the tension that exists between externally driven and/or imposed development agendas and the indigenous ways of social development. In addition, Sub-Saharan Africa’s development challenges are structurally induced. As such, achieving the MDGs will require a multifarious approach to addressing poverty.