Democracy, development and regionalism in Africa
Author(s)/Corporate Author (s)Asante, S. K. B.;
United Nations. Economic Commission for Africa. Multidisciplinary Regional Advisory Group;
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The multiparty democratic wind of change which has been blowing through the corridors of Africa since the late 1980s has undoubtedly renewed the long-running debate about the relationship between democracy and development. The debate has been considerably heightened and vigorously sustained by first, the Economic commission for Africa's (ECA) thought-provoking African Alternative Framework which links economic progress to political accountability and popular participation, thereby posing a formidable challenge to the Bretton Woods directed orthodox structural adjustment programmes; second, the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) seminar Human Development Report series 2, which seeks to institutionalize the importance of human beings in the development process; and finally, third, the ECA's African Charter for Popular Participation in Development which places popular participation at the centre of economic development. Since then, linkage of the political and economic has become a subject for much discussion and comment but sometimes from a different perspective as, for example, the linking of aid to political reform, as reflected in the agenda of both donor countries and the aid agencies.