Decolonisation of Development: Samir Amin and the Struggle for an Alternative Development Approach in Africa


Samir Amin remains one of the best political economists advocating an alternative approach to development beyond the selective methods promoted by the Euro-North. Samir was at the forefront of discourses bent on the exposition of the economic, social and political distortions that frustrated development efforts, particularly in Third World Countries. In his honour, this article reflects on the nature of development that Africa needs. The study displays new global processes, such as globalisation, liberalisation, privatisation, contract farming, as part of the Euro-Western efforts to strategically place themselves at the ‘centre’ while fast-tracking the social fragmentation in the periphery and, in particular, destruction of peasant societies. Using the works of Samir Amin, this article argues that it is possible to move beyond the stultifying past and open up discourses on how to decolonise institutions and development frameworks to picket alternative approaches to people-oriented development in Africa. It concludes that growth in Africa needs to be agro-based since the continent as a whole is mostly an agrarian community.

Keywords: Africa, development, home grown policies, Samir Amin, agriculture