This essay sample on Poor Infrastructure provides all necessary basic information on this matter, including the most common “for and against” arguments. Below are the introduction, body and conclusion parts of this essay.
Mozambique is still relatively poor as a country in economic terms, although it is rich in others such as copious fishing waters that are underused in the global markets due to poor infrastructure. Mozambique was lead by the Portuguese government who were ill equipped to compete adequately on an international and global level.
When globalisation took off in other African states, Mozambique was left behind, and never had an industrial revolution.
This meant that although there was plenty of opportunity to further develop the country and equip it with the ability to trade on global levels, other capitalist states and markets were far more advanced, with a good infrastructure that opened them up to the markets. The people of Mozambique were poorly educated, many of them illiterate, and because of this they were exploited by other nations.
Many of the countries inhabitants are rough peasants and this exploitation led to a fascist dictatorship. They did not have the opportunities like other countries such as Ghana under the leadership of Nkrumah.
Places like this could colonise as the leaders had skewed their colonies and economies and bequeathed more education to its inhabitants. Mozambique was never going to be able to match the massive trading powers of France and Britain, as Portugal had never prepared it to do so. Portugal had exploited it but not developed it.
The idea behind neocolonisation was to allow maintenance of economic control but allowing it no input. There were no representatives around the table to help with the management of decolonisation.
The only way that Portugal could decolonise Mozambique was through a bloody battle, often in a very vicious manner. The advancing system of France meant also meant that their military were stretched to the limits in trying to protect its country, but stood no chance and were often abandoned, as happened in the civil war. Prior to all this all decisions about the country had gone through the president in Paris, who operated in a Masonic way. Post-modern ideas of independence for Mozambique were hindered by the failure of the Westminster model of government, due to incompatibilities and ill equipped governments.
There were often visible aspects of leaders becoming economy holders of the empire of entrepreneurship. Mozambique’s problems were confounded and exacerbated by the civil aid programmes that supposedly came to help them. The growth centred approach to poverty only compounded this further. Targeted intervention was of no use as the poverty was so widespread. The average wage was well below the poverty line and there was an even harder exertion for the women to secure rewards that were commensurate with their contributions to the independence struggle.
They were often given the opportunity to go to the markets with their produce but were then taxed heavily, and losing out on any sort of profit they may have made, basically a form of legalised extortion. Problems with landmines meant that the land was very dangerous to work on, with a high risk of injury or death. These also helped to slow down economic redevelopment. Many of us will remember the campaigns that were led by Princess Diana showing the terrible injuries that people had suffered through landmines detonating as they worked.
There was a plea for international aid to be brought in to clear away the landmines and to give the people a fair chance to improve themselves and their towns. By implementing harsh and complicated economic pressures on its people, this is difficult enough in a wealthy modern state, the picture is even worse when we talk about African countries. The problems with a rapidly collapsing infrastructure, or as in the case of Mozambique, a non existent infrastructure, alongside its entrenched parastatal sector hostile to any change, which may threaten its interests, the problems not only escalate but become utterly formidable.
In addition to this, the private sector becomes a strange amalgamation of disparate unrelated components. It consists of large multinationals, medium local sized organisations – usually run by Asians, and a huge informal sector that largely comprises of peasant farmers. This means that the private sector is unbalanced and isolated to some extent. Considering all these points it is clear that there should be no rush for the imposition of multi party democracies and an unfettered market economy, even if it was possible to do so for Mozambique.
Surely any change should be done gradually, with long term strategies that work alongside and slowly change the present systems. To sum up, arguments for structural adjustment policies of the International Monetary Fund, and lately on an increasing level in the World Bank, only focus on the microeconomic structures, and not the macroeconomic structures of all African countries including Mozambique. One must recognise the role played by recession in the West, due to declining terms of trade for primary products and the oil crisises.
Those who believe in structural adjustment believe that the majority of african states share a common state corporatism that is economically corrosive and unproductive. Originally the motivation behind these programmes was to liberalise trade, reduce the role of government and parastate industries in the economy, and to end various subsidies to various sections of the population. It was believed that this would end the balance of payment crises and therefore promote economic growth. By the early 1990’s it had been shown that this was not actually the case and that policy based lending had not acheived the intended goals.
A new policy was now required to correct this, and the International Monetary Fund now decided that they needed to create a series of rational law based societies throughout sub-Saharan africa. This policy would need to make it clear that investment decisions were to be made on economic grounds, rather than on politically motivated grounds. This plainly put any emphasis of blame, due to previous policy failure, about the economic crisis in Mozambique and esoecially in Mozambique, was laregely a creation of the individual african states themselves.
This removed any liability and responsibility on the west, protecting its own interests again. If there is no benefit to themselves there is a reluctance to become involved in the countries problems. The retention of these types of attitudes mean that Mozambiques problems are unlikely to see any significant change in the near future. There will be change but only very slowly as discussed earlier. In my beleif I think the Mozambique people have always been given a rough deal, and cannot see that it will change quickly, as the people who hold the power and capability to enforce change are fearful that they may lose some independance, i. e. the middle class bourguoise.
The fear of a lack of control for those in the city, means that the poorer members of society are repressed continually, and because they do not have the capability or knowledge to do something about it, it is unlikely that it will change. I agree that the support given through international aid is necessary, but it should be helping the peasant farmers and the poorer members of society, not just the big boys in the city. This only extenuates the gap between the haves and have nots.