Mr Jean-Germain Gros, Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science, University of Missouri in the USA, has called on African governments to turn to the East in addition to professing home-grown solutions to their economic challenges.
He said China had gone through experiences that developing economies could learn from to propel them to the middle income status.
Professor Gros, who made the call on Thursday when he delivered a lecture at the African University College of Communications (AUCC) in Accra, said economic reforms undertaken by China in the last few years, coupled with the Chinese Revolution which led to the creation of an innovative political system, resulted in that country’s success story today.
The lecture, which was under the topic “Lessons from the Chinese Model of Development”, formed part of the AUCC’s agenda to stimulate debate on issues affecting the country and the entire African continent.
Professor Gros mentioned the Township Village Enterprise and Household Responsibility, among others, which allowed for the establishment of small-scale industries in each village and the regulation of land management, as some of the reforms that China implemented and which must be emulated.
He said Africa entered the 21st century just the way she entered the 20th century, adding that priority was not given to the most pressing issues that would push her to move out of the Third World to a middle income level.
Professor Gros said a critical analysis of the Chinese model showed that Africa also had most of such models but that what was lacking was the political will and enforcement of laws and regulations to ensure that the right thing was done.
He suggested that more resources be made available to farmers to boost local productivity to promote food security on the continent, rather than the importation of food which only generated employment and revenue for the exporting countries.
Professor Gros also called for the streamlining of licensing regimes to avoid the hustle that investors went through to acquire land to establish industries.