Actors in development

Actors in development »


The idea of development was to a large extent the by-product of the post-war reconstruction process spearheaded by the newly established international institutions such as the International Monetary fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).


Prior to exploring the key issues and debates surrounding the role of state in development, it would be useful to outline Key political, social, and economic realities of the then newly emerging “independent” countries and the key industrialisation policies that they have adopted.


Political features


The end of the World War II heralded the alignment of new world powers within the context of what came to be known as the Cold War period. Colonial rule was replaced by transitional governments, headed by colonial servants, leaders of freedom movements, quasi political parties, monarchist establishments, protectorates etc. These newly independent countries:

  • inherited arbitrarily drawn boundaries and a socio- cultural system (education, judiciary, language, etc.) with a varying degree of influence from their respective colonial power;
  • committed themselves to consolidating state power (army, security, bureaucracy, etc.)
  • were caught up in one form or another in the politics of Cold War.


Economic features


The cold war was also extended to the socio-economic front. In 1947, the USA launched the Marshall Plan (1947, named after the Secretary of State George Marshall) under the European Recovery Programme (ERP).

Norman Lowe, the British Historian interpreted Marshall’s rhetoric as follows:

"Its aim was to promote the economic recovery of Europe, thus ensuring markets for American exports in addition, Communism wasless likely to gain control in a Prosperous Western Europe.”


Newly independent present developing countries emerged as an agricultural based economy of exporters of raw materials and importers of manufactured consumers’ goods. Despite growing urbanisation agriculture remains to be the mains source of livelihood for the majority of people in the developing world.


Contribution of agriculture to development:

  • supplying food to consumers in both agricultural and non-agricultural sector;
  • supplying raw materials to the non-agricultural sector-fibres, leather, timber, charcoal etc.
  • transferring surplus labour to the non-agricultural sector;
  • supplying capital fund (through taxes and savings) to the non-agricultural sector;
  • providing exports (food and raw materials) direct to the outside world;
  • providing a market for non-agricultural product both for direct consumption and for investment form the non-agricultural sector.








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