Washington Consensus, Globalization, Neo Liberalism and the State in Africa: A Critical Exegesis

Alabi Usman, Salihu Bashir


Neoliberalism as a political economic ideology drives the world’s global economy and it’s responsible for the rise and fall of nations especially the advanced and developing world respectively. The global political economy is driven by neoliberal thought and the market has for so long being a medium for distilling the values of a global hegemon that maintains the global political economy and legitimizes its leadership. Washington Consensus is one of the recent policies that expresses neoliberal economic thought and aims at perpetuating the integration of developing world to the global capitalist grid and also recently the Soviet States that emerge out of the ashes of the former Soviet Union. But in all, the Washington Consensus has failed and failed woefully and has plunge the countries where it was adopted into deeper crisis, it has not put into consideration country specific peculiarities and has assumed that Latin America’s problem is peculiar to that of other developing countries. Washington Consensus has even went as far as the new Soviet countries who do not even have a well differentiated market structure therefore has no basis for the Washington Consensus. Yet this has shown that the Washington Consensus is an ideological make up rather than an economic prescription. However Neoliberalism did not stop at that, the pervasiveness of neoliberal ideas has led to globalization which is the present reality of the global political economy, the market becomes a universal phenomenon under globalization thus making neoliberal economic arrangement the end of history. The central argument of this paper on globalization is that it was triggered, it was not supposed to be now, the world was not prepared for globalization and that is why we are having the several backlashes occurring now. What exactly does this portends for the African state, the argument of this paper is for the state. Inspite of globalization, the role of the state cannot be jeopardized; the state in Africa is pivotal to the much needed economic leap of Africa. I also argued that neoliberalism distorted the African economic arrangement and led to the neo-patrimonial nature of the African states which makes it incapable of auto centric development. This paper concludes that there is no better period for Africa to develop than in this age of globalization and that regionalism is pivotal to Africa’s economic advancement

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