The Dependency Cycle in Sub-Saharan Africa

By May 26, 2011Portfolio

Development: The dependency cycle in Sub-Saharan Africa
by Mbongeni Ngulube | Supervisor: Jacqueline Polvora, PhD

In this thesis, I investigate the relationship between development practice, dependency and poverty in the context of Sub Saharan Africa. Located between the end of the colonial period to the present, I trace the evolution of development practice in the postcolony over the past five decades. I analyse the nature of this relationship within the context of increasing poverty and failure of most development projects. I propose three structural elements within development practice that remain unchanged in this period and assert that these work to create dependent communities that are in turn susceptible to poverty. Finally, I frame these theoretical findings into what I term “the dependency cycle” and argue through three recent field experiences and events that occur at different scales of the development process as I have classified it. With these findings I advocate for the idea of what I term “self improvement”.

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