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Sub-Saharan Africa also known as black Africa covers an area of 24.3 million square kilometers. The region is obviously one of the poorest as it contains most of the Least Developed States in the world. It forms bulk of ACP counties where diseases like malaria is a chronic impediment to economic development. According to the World Bank, the region’s GDP would have been 32% higher in 2003 if the disease had been eradicated in 1960. The population of sub-Saharan Africa was 800 million in 2007 while the current growth rate is 2.3% ( The United Nations (UN) prediction for the population of the region stands at nearly 1.5 billion in 2050. Figures for life expectancy, malnourishment, and infant mortality and HIV/AIDS infections are also dramatic. More than 40% of the populations in sub-Saharan countries are younger than 15 years old. Sub-Saharan Africahas very high child mortality rate.  In 2002, one in six (17%) children died before the age of five, by 2007 this rate had declined 16%, to one in seven (15%) while it has increased to 24% since 2008 but with the exception of South Africa (www. development .com).

The region has remained in lockstep with violence and instability since their independence from late 1950s to 1960s, mainly due to the failure of past and present leaders to effectively manage and/or reduce conflict drivers within the region. To surmount this problem and prevent the region from careening towards the vortex of failed state, scholars have advocated that leaders that are honest, sincere and committed to social justice, equity, rule of law and other democratic values that help to bond society and promote stability is unavoidably the answer.


Decades after decolonization in Africa especially from 1990, many sub-Saharan Africa states were immersed in seeming intractable leadership crisis. The fruits of peaceful co-existence and harmony which include stability and socio-economic development have remained largely illusive in the region. Echezona (1998:57) rightly observed that “…the crisis which bestride each and every African country… are at the same time ethnic, economic, social and environmental”.

Truly, the period spanning from 1960 to the present christened the Post colonial/ neo-colonial era witnessed an upsurge of development failure in developing countries especially Africa. In Liberia Samuel Doe, Prince Yormie Johnson, and Charles Taylor were the night mares of Liberian as they struggled for seizure of state power consecutively or simultaneously and thereby inflicted economic hardship on the people of Liberia and the sub-Saharan region at large (Echezona, 1993:99). This was not an exception as it was the case across Africa. In Sierra Leone, Paul Koroma, Ahmed Tejankabbah, John Karafa Smart etc. were interlocked in intensive crisis for the capture of the state (Hassan, 2002). In

Somalia, Hussen Mohammed Aideed, Hassan Mohammed Nur Shatigudud, Abdiaji Yusuf Ahmed and SalladHanssan were rivals (Hassan, 2002). In Burundi, and Rwanda, the Tutsi and Hutu were engaged in a frontal blood bizarre. Conflict looks every part of Africa as political leaderships fail to manage economic production justly. The states therefore do not appear as the bank of interest of the generality of the people. A monopolistic capitalism, crises drives away the few foreign investors in sub-Saharan Africa to more stable third world countries in Asia, Latin America, North and South Africa

About five decades after political independent in sub- Saharan Africa, the impact of political leadership on economic development in sub- Saharan Africa is adverse as the full scope of the danger becomes clear. In Sub-Saharan Africa, what appeared as mere ethnic cleansing has turned into a long and brutal civil war in most cases. The consequences of violent conflict on the African continent have been devastating. Similarly, there appears an intensifying economic hardship in the region which seems to account for the declining legitimacy to make authoritative decision for the majority of the citizenry at all levels of governance. In the absence of peace and stability, government legitimacy, and economic growth and development, most states in the region under study are described as failed or

failing states.

While this study does not dispute this supra argument that is mainly associated with Chinua Achebe (1983) and many other sub Saharan scholars, this study seeks to explore the interlinks between the style of leadership and the intensifying crises of economic development in the sub- Saharan Africa with a view to deciphering brighter prospects for African economic development. In this study, we shall explore the following countries for emphases: Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somali, Liberia, Rwanda, Burundi, Gambia,

Ivory Coast, Niger, Chad, Nigeria and Tanzania.



Table of Contents

  • 1.1 Statement of Problem
  • 1.2 Objectives of Study
  • 1.3 Significance of the Study
  • 1.4 Literature Review
    • Leadership Problems and Economic Crises
    • Integration of Saharan African Economies into the Global Economy
    • Leadership and Inter- state relation in sub- Saharan Africa
  • 1.5 Theoretical Framework
  • 1.6 Hypotheses
  • 1.7 Method of Data Collection and analysis

Liberal democracy proposed by the West as the political model for economic development appears to have proven incongruent with African experiences especially the sub Saharan region that continue to be listed by UN, her agencies and other international organization’s ‘bad books’ as the poorest, diseases- ridden and home to most ignorant people in the world. Nonetheless, the US first black President Barrack Obama, in his speech in Ghana reiterated that Africa has remained backward on account of the corrupt leadership since their various independents. He urged Africans to evolve strong institutions and not strong men. Obama also restated that America would no longer dictate to nations the path to political and economic development. The implication is that the US had done so in the past probably through the activities of IMF and World Bank whose conditionalities for loan to the poor regions of the world are at worst described as harsh on the economies of the recipient countries (Echezona, 1993:99).

It is abundantly clear that due to differences in culture, geography, political and socio-economic factors that there are no manuals or handouts on political leadership that a nation should apply to achieve their economic end. We have countless prognosis of action that unwittingly did not work in other places but generated internal upheaval here and there. For example, to a large extent, while Western style democracy has worked perfectly well in North America and Western Europe, it is yet to produce the desired results in Nigeria, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Liberia and many other

countries that have so far experimented with it.

On the socio-economic front, the story is worse as the economies of most sub-

Saharan African states are mono- cultural. Governments of these states underpay and over -tax citizens. Not only that, the region has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, the manufacturing and other allied industries are either dead or performing below capacity. In addition, social infrastructures and services that would have helped to promote socio-economic development are in deplorable conditions. Sustainable economic opportunity in the region is at an average of 58% and human development at about 50 %. This is in contrast with the 80% and 92% rate 85% and 90 % rate found in North America and in Europe respectively (www.moibrahimfoundation .org). The roads are death traps, while electricity supply is erratic and people in urban areas often live in crowded squalor from Abidjan to Abuja.

In the light of the above, we understand why the environment of lawlessness and its consequences are fertile seedbeds for the flourishing of area boys, ethnic militias, child labour, industrial disputes, religious crisis and many other socio-economic predicaments across Africa. It is in connection with these political, economic and social crises that various ethnic groups and civil society organisations in Africa are calling for either National Conference or Constitutional Conference to address what they have tagged the

“Nigerian question, Somalia question, Sudanese question, Gabonese question, Zimbabwean question Congolese question   etc”. It is also against this background that the recent US intelligent report on sub- Saharan Africa ranks it as one of the most unsafe places to do business in the world.

The leadership problem connects with building core state institutions like the police, civil service, the legislature, the judiciary and the executives. Without a good and committed leadership, these institutions cannot function properly. For instance, if you have leaders who have no respect for the rule of law, human rights, minority rights and other values that help to tie and make society stable, you cannot expect the judiciary to function properly. In other words, if leaders desecrate their core institutions, those institutions cannot work creditably. This is the situation in most states in Africa.

However, inquiries on relationship between problems of leadership and economic developments either concentrate in one country especially Nigeria, Liberia and Zimbabwe   or   are carried out with the immediate post colonial Africa in mind (see, Echezona, 1993:99; Hassan, 2002; Hazeley, 2002 and Achebe, 1983). This does not help us to understand the contemporary link between leadership problems and development crises hence this forms the lacuna in literature that we seek to bridge. This study therefore span a period from 1960-2009 with emphasis on the major sub- Saharan African states. Most states in the region are characterized by immanent crises of development; the tendency for the US failed States Index to rank states in the region among the first 20 – 30 states at the risk of violent internal conflict that can erupt like a volcano any moment; and the tendency for apparent shabby scholarly articulation of interlinks of leadership problems and development crises in the region. In the context of the foregoing discourse we pose the following questions:

  • Is there a link between persisting economic crises and incompetence on the part of political leadership in sub- Saharan Africa?
  • Do leadership problems in sub – Saharan Africa account for poor integration of the region’s economies into the global economy?
  • Is leadership failure responsible for poor inter- state relation in sub- Saharan Africa?



The broad objective of this study is to examine the linkage between the method of political leadership and crises of development in sub- Saharan Africa between 1960 and 2009. Specifically, this study has the following objectives


  • To ascertain if there is any link between persisting economic crises and incompetence on the part of political leadership in sub- Saharan Africa.
  • To examine if leadership problems in sub – Saharan Africa account for poor integration of the region’s economies into the global economy in the period under study.
  • To determine whether leadership failure is responsible for poor inter- state relation in sub- Saharan Africa.



The study has both practical and theoretical significance. Practically, the study will inform and guide policy makers of sub-Saharan African states in policy process in relation with their external environment and in their domestic policy making and implementation process to develop their various economies. It will also guide investors to determine the direction of policies of leadership class and the degree of political stability in sub-Saharan African while considering investment friendly sites and also to other business ventures within the region. This study will also serve as a manual for every peace chart in the region between rival groups and provide guide to aid agencies in delivering aid to achieve economic growth and development.

Theoretically, this study furnishes both students and staff of Political Science in particular and Social Sciences in general with new knowledge of leadership failure and crises of development in the region. The study will also serve as the theoretical base for the socio- economic and political transformation of the sub- Saharan African economies. It will also aid the political leadership in preparing development projects and programmes for the region. Finally, this study will serve as a source of secondary data for future researcher in the areas of leadership studies, development crisis and state failure in Africa.



Literature on political leadership is much but has not received enough attention in the recent past, and there are several criticisms of political leadership in Africa and other developing economies. The study is narrowed to the following sub themes deriving from our research questions.

  1. Leadership problem and economic crises
  2. Integration of Saharan African Economies into the global economy
  3. Leadership and Inter- state relations in sub- Saharan Africa.


Echezona (1998) quoting Claude Ake examined the state in capitalist society and related it to the states in Africa. According to him, what distinguishes a capitalist society from other societies is the pervasiveness of commoditization and autonomization. Inherent in this assessment of state in capitalist societies in relation of capitalist states in Africa is the fact that the way capitalism or capitalist state operates in Africa is different from the way it operates in the Western world that hoisted it on Africa. Thus, it was observed that in Africa, there has been willfully wrong placement of emphasis (pervasiveness) on the acquisition of material wealth i.e. (commoditization) and the result of which there emerged the autonomy of dominance by the wealthy ones over the poor ones i.e. autonomization of domination. These were the flaws of capitalist states in Africa and these flaws are invisible in the western capitalist states.

To complicate and worsen the situation Anene and Brown (1981:47) noted  that the colonialist did not stop at merging of incompatible ethnic nations but also went on to sensitizing and fuelling of ethnic division and differences so as to forestall any possible integration and unity of the people in the state-colonies. In a very closely related observation, Anene and Brown stressed on the excess ethnic awareness  as one of the complex legacies of colonial administration in Africa. Moron-Browne rightly observed that one of the injurious legacies of colonial era in Africa was the intensification of ethnic awareness either by altering the demographic balance or by introducing a new political system.

Similarly, Vicker (1993) observes that ethnic conflicts occur as a result of colonial power’s arbitrarily drawn frontiers following the 1884/1885 Berlin colonial partition of Africa. This stems from the fact that most African states are but amalgamation of different ethnic/national groups who have differences in their historical background, cultural language, ideology and religion.

Nonetheless, Ake (1985) viewed leadership in Africa as one of the injurious imports of the capitalist system of production in Africa. He argued that the capitalist system of production brought into Africa a very serious antagonism between and among leaders in different states of Africa, and consequent upon which there ensued crises among them. Hence, Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere and Claude Ake etc had argued that these conflicts are squarely the products of the emergence of capitalism in Africa. They contended that the dynamic interplay of issues in capitalist system of production created antagonistic tendencies among the people since the relations of production are mostly the relations of conflict and crises among different competing interest struggling over the surplus that accrue in the production of goods and services.

Ezema (2001:51) cited some other case illustrations on where the schemes of deprivation or alienation cause leadership crises especially in the period of post cold war years in Africa. These include: the Liberian crises of twentieth century and beyond, the Sierra Leone crises of twentieth century and beyond, also the crises in former Zaire now Democratic Republic of Congo and the several years of apartheid crises in South African etc. In fact, virtually all the leadership crises that have occurred in many Africa states possess the traces of one deprivation or the other. While, this position of relativedeprivation may appear attractive it fails to tell us why deprivation leads to aggression in some areas and not the other. It did not account for the leaders influence in the crises of development and why it has persisted.




Ntuli (2004) stated that the phenomenon of globalization appears to be a product of renewed belief and contestations in a global process, which has drawn the international community at the threshold of a global village. These range from politics, economy, communication and education to even agriculture and food. National economies are all dissolving and distinct management of national economies are all becoming irrelevant and giving way to globalized strategies characterized by powerful market forces. All forms of integration have also been a logical consequence of globalization. These include economic and monetary integration. He observed that these formations have affected not only domestic policies of states but also led to compromise of sovereignty and autonomy in domestic policy making and implementation. According to Ntuli, this process is not new to sub-Saharan African region as a part of global community, events and activities in the region have had their own logical outcomes, which could be attributed to the global evolution. Part of this is found in the renewed vigor and efforts at coming together in addressing regional problems ranging from harmonization of serenity efforts, health legislative activities and process of adjudication. Over and above all is economic and monetary integration, which is believed to be basis for rejuvenation and extractive capabilities of member states. According to Ntuli, despite the effort to integrate the Africa states appear very unlikely to be left behind in emerging global process, since activities bystates in the sub-regions demonstrate reinvigorated desires to become active players in the “new deal” in the interest of their citizens.

Ntuli concluded that the emerging globalization process had incorporated adequately economies of African state. While answering in the affirmative, he insisted that it is not only that globalization has promoted greater developments in the region but also that the globalization process has facilitated the implementation of treaties of economic relation. However, Ntuli’s analysis has not helped us to ascertain the rationale behind the continued problem of integrating African sub-Saharan economies in a world that is increasingly becoming a global village with capitalism as its fulcrum or the effect of leadership in the process. It however gave an insight into the status of African economic integration in to the global economy in positive terms.


Browne (1998) noted that regionalism is not new to the global agenda and that is more and more frequently bracketed with globalization. All forms of political and economic cooperation are receiving a higher priority among countries in all regions and at all levels of development. While stating that regionalism is now in vogue, he noted that there are a few examples of long established regional groupings that have become stronger over time. Notably the European Union and the Association of South-East Asia Nations have but many of those established over the last three decades have been shortlived or have retained mainly symbolic political significance. The author stated that for a number of reasons, there has been a growing commitment to regionalism since the late 1980s. Some of the reasons include increased understanding of the importance of trade and economic openness. Inward-oriented development and self-sufficiency are terms disappearing from the development lexicon.

He equally observed in many parts of the world, there is a more conciliatory political climate. The cold war kept many neighbours at political odds. In its after math, old ideological enemies and political rivals are more willing than before to collaborate. For instance, countries of the Warsaw pact are now joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and seeking membership of the European Union. The same thing is happening in West and Central Asia. The arrival of full democracy in South Africa also gave a new lease of life to the Southern Africa Development Coordination Conference, renamed a Development Community in 1992. There have also been examples of stronger regionalism in East and South Asia.

Browne concluded that regionalism is an important manifestation of greater economic openness being witnessed on a global scale. However, regionalism in the context of a process of global trade liberalization led by the World Trade Organization is ultimately contributory rather than inimical to free trade. By bringing more countries into the fold of liberal and outward – looking economies moreover, regionalism also contribute to continuing reform, especially in countries in a transitional phase away from central planning and management. Finally while noting that regional bodies also undertake important security and peace-keeping initiative, trade provides the driving force for most regional initiatives. While Browne was elaborated on regionalism and interstates relations, he was not emphatic in sub-Saharan Africa and he did not link leadership to this poor interstate relation in the region.

Nwanegbo (2005) briefly interrogated the existing concepts of globalization and regional integration and explored their interconnections in the context of global order. He was more interested in exploring how the recent craze towards the formation of regional bodies could give room to, or enhance globalization; hence of little importance for our review. The author noted that integration entails the building up of a stronger and virile body that will among other things seek to enhance the people’s way of life and to live. It denotes the bringing together of hitherto autonomous regions or centres into a whole. It is the combining of two or more things so that they work together effectively, like the closer integration of the countries economies.

Using African Union as case study of regional integration, the author remarked that globalization is not going to get the friendly cooperation to succeed. This is because some of these regional bodies were established to serve as a center of negotiation, primarily to cover up for the weakness of its constituting countries, in the face of others (the bigger body). The author was equally interested in exploring how the formation of regional bodies could enhance the process of globalization. Notwithstanding the close relationship this has with out task, it did not explore the link between political leadership and interstate relation in the region under study hence, the questions we posed still beg for answers.

Garcia (1998) studied Latin American patterns of globalization and regionalism. She conceptualized globalization to imply changes in the way production is organized as required by the general dismantling of trade barriers and the free mobility of accelerated technological change. Rapid integration of national economies into the global market is another especially conspicuous feature of the process. Garcia remarked that Latin America has been forced to enter the process of globalization. The results of this process in the economic sphere, is the repositioning of Latin America in the world economy, measured by its international competitiveness and in social aspects, have not been encouraging. According to the author, globalization protects the interest of some people more than others. Because of this, the best approach towards joining this process of globalization seems to be through globalization. Although, Garcia analysis was logical, it was interested in globalization and rationalization in Latin America and this will not help us to understand the effect of leadership on global integration of sub-Saharan African economies.

Oyejide (1998) examined globalization and its implications for Africa trade policy and reviewed the trade and patterns of African exports in the context of the regions perceived marginalization in world trade. He started by conceptualizing globalization as increased integration, across countries, of markets for good, services and capital. This in turn implies accelerated expansion of economic activities globally and sharp increases in the movement of tangible and intangible goods across national and regional boundaries. With that movement, individual countries are becoming more closely integrated into the global economy. Their trade linkages and investment flows grow more complex, and cross-border financial movements are more volatile. Deepening integration of trade, markets and finance all mean increasing independence.

The author argued that Africa’s poor export and overall economic growth performance predated and therefore, not directly ascribable to the current wave of globalization. Oyejide was more interested in the marginalization of Africa in world trade and the way to reverse this trend. He did not see leadership as an impediment towards this goal or as a willing ally. In fact, his work did not address the issue of political leadership and economic crises in sub-Saharan Africa.

SimilarlyNnanna (2006) took a look at economic and monetary integration in Africa. He opined that the ultimate goal of regional integration is to create a common economic space among the participating countries. The process entails the harmonization of macroeconomic politics, legal frameworks and real convergence. Some other objectives include the enlargement and diversification of market size, the promotion of intra-regional trade and the strengthening of member countries bargaining power in the global economy. Other characteristics include factor, especially, capital and labour, and the integration of the goods market. The author opines that based on available qualitative and quantitative assessments the monetary union arrangement, Africa does not satisfythe  OCA conditions when measuring against the following criteria; income structure, product market flexibility, labour market mobility, degree of opening, intra-trade relations and asymmetric terms of trade shocks. With regard to income structure, he noted that African regional arrangements fall short of the requirements, as in most regions, one or two countries are at a higher development trajectory than others within the group. As regards market flexibility, it is obvious that most countries in Africa and sub-Saharan Africa in particular depend on limited number of primary commodities. His study was aimed at a comparative analysis of the efforts made by African policy makers towards the achievement of economic and monetary union, as well as to appraise the challenges and prospects of achieving the objective.

Therefore, the question of effect of leadership and economic crises in sub-Saharan African is still not satisfactorily answered. Though scholars have generally pointed out the link between the two variables, it appears none have been specific with sub-Saharan

African being the poorest, most corrupt and unstable region of the world.


Igwe (1997) states that inter state relations in Africa in the post cold war years were relations characterized by crisis management and resolution especially within the political systems of different states. He insisted that leaders in many African states shattered their political systems with series of crises that in most cases resulted into bloody civil wars. Thus, many African relations with the outside world were hinged on negotiation for acquisition and distribution of arms with which the rebels and those in government fought themselves. Although, Igwe captured, the point here vividly he did not narrow his study down to sub-Saharan Africa.

Nwachukwu (1998) observes that leadership and war going on in Africa aid the western countries of the world that manufacture weapons of war to channel their relations with these Africans towards selling and disposing of their manufactured war hardwares.


This led to the proliferation of arms in Africa and also the intensity of crises in the continent.

Given the rampant cases of crises situations in Africa, he observed that the African interaction with the world in the period of post colonial years had also been marked with the request for the resolution of crises between or among the warring factional leaders in many warring states in Africa. Okunola (1995:1251) noted that there have been several calls for peace negotiations and agreements to resolve crisis in the political leaderships of many states in Africa. Then there emerged many peace accords for instance the Abuja accord on Liberian crises, Nairobi accord on crises in Democratic Republic of Congo etc. But on these and more other instances, it should be noted that while some of these peace accords failed to restore peace and hence the search and negotiation for peace continued as the crises lingered on.

Nnoli (1989) argued that the Nigeria politics presents an image of deprivation struggle among leaders of various ethnic groups for the sharing of national resources. He further emphasized that most Nigerian have come to attach credence to the fact that unless their own leaders were in government, they would not have an easy access to the fair share of the national resources. Although his point was cogent, he did not extend this to sun – Saharan Africa

Following literature reviewed, it appears inquiries on relationship between problems of leadership and economic developments are either largely thematic   or   are carried out with the immediate post colonial Africa in mind. This does not help us to understand the contemporary link between leadership problems and development crises. Again, the previous studies failed to emphasize the sub- Saharan African states leadership crises as the poorest region in the world. Also the previous studies did not look at the impact of leadership problems on inter- state relation in sub- Saharan Africa in the period under study. Although the previous studies explored the link between persisting economic crises and incompetence on the part of political leadership in Africa, they did not particularize on sub- Saharan Africa in the period under study. Again, it also appears that the previous studies did not address the relationship between leadership problem in sub – Saharan Africa and integration of the region’s economies into the global economy. These gaps in literature are what this study seeks to bridge. Filling of these lacunas constitute the driving force or the motivating agent for this study.



Although most academic works on leadership and development in the third world countries especially sub-Saharan Africa (the poorest region of the world)  are analyzed either within the post- colonial theory of the state; dependency or centre –periphery models  as the theoretical frameworks of analyses. These frameworks are inadequate for explicating, understanding and explaining the complex link between the super structure and the sub – structure of sub-Saharan African states which have proved almost all IMF and World Bank’s development models inefficient and void. This is because these frameworks are largely descriptive, conservative and devoid of dialectical and scientific analysis that Marxian dialectical Materialistic approach offers (Okolie, 2004; 2005).

This study will be discussed under the framework of Marxian political economy as expounded in A contribution to the critique of political economy Karl Marx (1968). Karl Marx critically reviewed the Hegelian philosophy of right which appeared in 1844 and found that material (economic) life conditions the social, political and intellectual life process in general. In the words of Marx, “it is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but on the contrary, their social being determine their consciousness”. Hence, dialectical materialism, as its defining method is characterized by:

  • Dynamic character of social reality
  • Inter relatedness of different levels of structure
  • Primacy of material condition


In adopting the Marxist political economy as the analytical guide on this research, we emphasize such objects of analysis like: the relations of production of good and services, distribution of national resources and the attendant crises arising from both the relations of production and the distribution of national resources. We emphasize these because they are among the factors of economic indices that had always generated conflict and crises in the societies more especially in the states of Africa. Very often both the relations of production and distribution of national resources are characterized by conflicts antagonism consequent upon which the motive propelling different conflicting factional leaders are seen in terms of endless struggle for a position of dominance not only in the state power in general but also particularly in the material production and distributions in the state. At this juncture, statism is seen as the most potent and co and coercive instrument or structure with which to achieve dominance in the society, and thereby making politics to take predominance over economy. Hence production becomes synonymous with power acquisition so that politics equally means production.

Moreover, in terms of focus, it highlights the primacy of the material conditions of life (Asobie, 1990:17-20; Ake, 1981). Indeed, the approach contains a strong and explicit theoretical formulation as a focus for research, which will, no doubt, continue to be significantly inductive and empirical (Moon, 1991:34). However, its analysis on the substructural and super-structural relationship is faulted when we empirically evaluate the circumstances of developing economies. More especially when we note that the low level of the productive forces in itself undermine efforts at enhancing state autonomy. Thus, in such societies it is not primarily the sub-structure that determines the character of the superstructure. Generally, the reverse is the case. At best both are innately selfreinforcing and reciprocally complementary.

Hence, Alavi (1973:146-7) noted, inter alia, that “the problem of the relationship between the state and the underlying economic structure is more complex than the context in which it was posed”. In furtherance of this, Ekekwe (1986:12) remarked that, “in the periphery of capitalism, factors which have to do with the level of development of the productive forces make the state, through its several institutions and apparatuses, a direct instrument for accumulation for the dominant class or its elements.” Therefore, as observed by Miliband (1969), the state becomes the source of economic power as well as an instrument of it; the state is a major means of production.

Therefore this paradigm tends to analyze the interlink of leadership failure and cries of development in sub- Saharan Africa from several disciplinary perspectives and from all the three levels of analysis namely: individual, state and international system, taking into account the many actors and institutions involved, since each discipline makes important but incomplete contribution to our understanding of global events. Landes (1998) captured this prevailing unequal world order which moves with western Capitalism as its fulcrum was transferred to peripheral African states since their independents. Peripheral capitalism was transferred to the whole of sub-Saharan Africa during the era of colonialism by the superpowers. This was in the economic interest of super powers that were in pursuit of global peace without which world trade collapse and foreign direct investment terminated thus income diminishes.

Frequently, the interest involved in responding to leadership failures in sub- Saharan African states would be economical as well as political. The states in the region become the big market where the political leaders allocate and distribute scarce resources to their citizens on the basis of equality of states. Behind this seeming equality, lie political leaders that still prioritize their personal political and economic interest. Decision on who gets to benefit from this distribution is affected by the capacity of the benefactor to influence seize state power and use it for their selfish interest. Moreover, this analytic frame enabled us to understand the dynamics of poverty regeneration and continual economic decay in sub- Saharan Africa.

Many sub-Saharan African states are operating a mono- cultural capitalist economic system and this makes the removal of the pursuits of personal economic interest difficult. Political channels are necessary to obtain economic advantage. Most leaders in the region use political status to achieve or accumulate wealth by consolidating their position through collusive relation with the powers that be and refuse to leave office. Bulks of these   resources are mined from the environment and the proceeds are siphoned by political leaders. This force of economic interest leads to seat tight tendency among African leaders.


Omar Bongo of Gabon died after 42 years in power; Muammar Gaddafi of Libya has stayed 39 years in the Saddle; Teodoro Obiang Mbasong of Equatorial Guinea has held on for 30 years; Hot on his heels is Mugabe at 29 in Zimbabwe, Hosim, Mubarak of Egypt for 27 years; Paul Biya of Cameroon for 26 years; Yoweri Musevini of Uganda for

23 years; king Mswati 111 of Burkina Faso for 21 years and host of other (Anim, 2009:50). No wonder President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria was so much interested in a third term bid. The saddest side of the story is that these rulers have shown lack of ability to blend strength and experience to achieve the much desired development in Africa, yet they remains in political office for self aggrandizement.

No wonder, various crises situation in sub-Saharan Africa is related to the struggle for national question which is usually in protection of natural resources ranging from Gold to Diamond and Tin to Crude oil. These natural resources are crucial to the survival of the people on whose land it is located while sub-Saharan mono- cultural economies see these resources as the sole source of foreign exchange for the entire state hence world not spare the last military personnel to uproot any group standing in between the state (interest of the dominant class) and the resources.                                              


In this study, we shall explore the following hypotheses:

  • There is a link between incompetence on the part of political leadership and persisting economic crises in sub- Saharan Africa.
  • Leadership problems in sub – Saharan Africa account for poor integration of the region’s economies into the global economy.
  • Leadership failure is responsible for the poor inter- state relations in sub- Saharan Africa.




The study is basically a library research hence we relied on documentary method of data collection. We collected data on leadership problems and crises of development in sub-Saharan farina from secondary sources such as books; journals; UN, ECOWAS, AU, NIIA, World Bank and IMF publications; Seminar, Conference and Workshop papers; Magazines; Newspapers and internet for this study.

Descriptive and explanatory methods of analysis were adopted for this qualitative study to demonstrate the validity and reliability of findings of this study.

The study described the chains of events and actions that characterise political leadership from 1960 to 2009 based on the materials provided by relevant books; journals; UN, ECOWAS, AU, NIIA, World Bank and IMF publications; Seminar, Conference and Workshop papers; Magazines; Newspapers and internet. Simple percentage and statistical tools were also applied in the analysis when necessary.



In order to ensure that this study measures what it claims to be measuring, that is, the relationship between political leadership and economic crisis in sub- Saharan Africa since 1960 to present, we shall rely solely on consistent data of this region on crises of political economy and development since 1960. We consulted newspaper publications, seminar papers, government documents, academic journal bordering on the African political economy and development, publications of international organizations (AU, EU, IMF, UNDP, World Bank, ADB etc) on Africa. We also validated our conclusions by comparing the leadership performances and political economic conditions in sub- Saharan Africa with those of conditions of Northern and Southern African states and the rest of the Third world countries.


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Health Sciences

National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Faculty of Health Sciences Past Questions and Answers.

Agriculture Sciences

National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) Faculty of Agricultural Sciences Past Questions and Answers.

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Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Accounting Project Topics and Materials.


Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Biology Project Topics and Materials.

Business Education

Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Business Education Project Topics and Materials.


Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Chemistry Project Topics and Materials.

Computer Science

Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Computer Science Project Topics and Materials.

Criminology & Security

Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Criminology & Security Project Topics and Materials.


Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Economics Project Topics and Materials.


Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Education Project Topics and Materials.


Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education English/Linguistic Project Topics and Materials.


Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Entrepreneurship Project Topics and Materials.

Environmental Science

Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Environmental Science Project Topics and Materials.


Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Law Project Topics and Materials.


Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Marketing Project Topics and Materials.


Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Physics Project Topics and Materials.

Political Science

Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Political Science Project Topics and Materials.

Public Administration

Universities, Polytechnic's and Colleges of Education Public Administration Project Topics and Materials.

How to login to NOUN Elearn Portal

You can now use you matric number to login as your username and  password in a lowercase.

Note that you are to change your passw...

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