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Africa Research Papers

Africa research papers discuss any aspect of Africa that you need explained. Whether it is world history, economics, politics or any other college class, Paper Masters can write you a research paper that will cover any aspect of Africa or an African nation that you need.

African history research illustrates that Africa is considered a failed continent for a number of reasons, not the least of which is because many African countries have histories of colonization and have been unable to independently establish themselves as major players in world politics or the global economy.  Many important regions in the south are only recently liberated from apartheid but have demonstrated in response only limited successful political or economic participation by indigenous peoples.

AfricaIn addition, much of the continent continues to be underdeveloped in an era where industrialization and global competitiveness are imperative.  Although Africa’s history of colonization by European countries has had many negative repercussions, it also worked to industrialize several regions of the continent however the severe climates and arid geography have prevented much of Africa from being fully developed.

Monetary Conditions in Africa

In general, inflation in Africa is the result of poor monetary and fiscal policies established by national governments in response to domestic political pressure to create social programs that reduce poverty.  The proliferation of fiat currencies in the former British colonies of Africa that are deemed essentially worthless in the context of international trade has aggravated the inflationary effect of these policies through the increase in money supply and the acceleration of the velocity of money.  To a large degree, the high inflation rate is the outcome of the politicization of the various national economies in the region, and particularly affects those nations that do not have a strong and independent central banking and reserve system similar to that found in industrialized nations.

With respect to inflation and its causes, there is a clear distinction between the nations that were formerly French colonies and the nations that were formerly British colonies.  Since 1948, fourteen nations that were former French colonies have participated in a common currency plan known as the Communaute Financiere Africaine or CFA.  The CFA nations have has a significantly lower rate of inflation than the nations that were former British colonies.  This is largely due to the use of a quasi-independent central banking system by the CFA, which contrasts with the separate currencies and independent fiscal and monetary policies used by the former British colonies.  As a result, the CFA nations reported the following:

  • An average annual inflation rate of 1.1% between 1966 and 1993
  • A 22% inflation rate for non-CFA nations during the same period (Clement, 3) (See Table). 
  • In the past five years, the inflation rate has remained relatively stable in the CFA nations despite the 1994 the devaluation of the common currency in order to stimulate exports, and remains well below the often staggering rates of inflation in other sub-Sahara nations during this period.

    Inflation Rate (%) Prior to CFA Devaluation

 

1975
1984
Avg.

85

86

87

88

89

90

91

92

93

1966
1993
Avg.

CFA
Nations

11.2

5.6

3.4

.6

2.4

1.2

1.0

.4

.2

-.3

1.1

Non-CFA
Nations

17.8

16.2

16.8

20.4

26.2

26.2

15.8

17.3

26.3

27.2

22.0

The proliferation of currencies in Africa and the high level of inflation that they are subject to outside the CFA has created some interest in the formation of additional monetary unions similar to that the CFA.  Such a monetary union would provide the benefits of an autonomous central bank and a higher degree of fiscal and monetary stability to member nations.  It is unlikely to occur, however, due to the politicization of fiscal and monetary policy that is the norm in the majority of non-CFA nations.  There is great temptation for government leaders to employ inflation as a means of financing deficit spending, which is used to curtail social unrest while distributing largesse to political insiders.  As a result, the leaders of these nations often see the fiscal discipline imposed by outside authorities such as the IMF or a multi-national central bank appear as threat to their respective regimes.  Despite the difficulties that inflation brings to their nations, this seems preferable to the temporary social turmoil that more austere yet more responsible fiscal policies are likely to create.

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