Finance and Trade in Africa: Macroeconomic Response in the by Alemayehu Geda (auth.)

By Alemayehu Geda (auth.)

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Indeed, this coercion was sometimes so harsh that the ordinary peasants were paid not in cash, but in bills of credit to the administration's head tax (Munro 1976: 156). : 156-57). In summary, through the process discussed above, the foundations for the existing economic structure of African countries were laid during the colonial period. This was achieved through two channels. Firstly, by directly contributing to the expansion of an enclave of primary commodity-exporting economies. And, secondly, by bringing about a situation of indebtedness, it further accentuated the importance of these activities as sources of foreign exchange required for settling of this debt.

1979 label this the region 'British and French West Africa'); and, thirdly, Africa of the concession-owning companies (Nzula et al. 1979 label this 'Belgian Congo and French Equatorial Africa'). The fundamental distinction between these regions is derived from the manner in which the colonial powers settled the 'land question' (Nzula et al. 1979: 36). In West Africa, commodity production did not take a plantation form. Besides, until quite recently the mineral wealth of the region remained largely untapped (Amin 1972: 115).

Dutt's answer to this question is, 'by specializing in areas or problems' (Dutt 1990: 6). And, one might add, by explicit recognition of the fact that the researcher is dealing with an aspect of a problem which is presumed to fit the overall structure, not as a jigsaw puzzle, but as an integral part of it. This implies an obvious trade-off between depth (in the sense of deeply focusing on the particular) and breadth (which entails focusing on the overall picture). The approach adopted in this study departs from the Popperian one in favour of a realist approach.

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