Wednesday, October 01, 2008

U.S. Financial Crisis: Lessons For Africa

The African Executive, a libertarian website based in Kenya, pens an editorial: "Anti-capitalist pundits in Africa are questioning the efficacy of the Free Market and Capitalism in the light of the financial crisis that has hit the US, prompting the Bush administration’s to have [C]ongress endorse a $700 billion bail out for the beleaguered financial sector. The Free Market/Capitalism ideology was delivered in Africa through colonialism and coups. Comsequently, Africans not only shied away from the fact that self interest (under government watch) drives the world but also associate Free Market economics with the US. Capitalism is about pursuing 'self interest' under the careful watch of the government to curtail harm and unfair practice. Self interest is not a preserve of the US! What happened in the US? The referee (government) slept on his job and let the wrong team (underperforming companies) take home the victory trophy. African governments must neither sleep on the job nor engage in statist submerging of private enterprise. Africa must reform existing constitutions to legitimise the social contract with existing governments and learn to competitively harness self interest to penetrate the global economy."

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