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NGOs, the State, and Development in Africa

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This paper discusses the impact of the rise of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and social entrepreneurs on economic development, with a special focus on how they have been used in Africa. The paper describes the decline of the state and the rise of NGOs as a force in economic development under neoliberalism. We then turn to two of the major problems with the roll-back of the state in Africa: the inherent weaknesses of nonstate actors in the development process, and the significant cost that is incurred by undermining the role of state. The paper concludes by suggesting the necessity of reinserting the state as the major vehicle for economic development, albeit in productive partnership with NGOs and social entrepreneurs.
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Keywords: Africa; L31; O55; developmental state; economic development; non-governmental organizations; social entrepreneurship

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Economics, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, 17837, USA

Publication date: October 2, 2014

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