March 11, 2019 How Socialism Destroyed Africa
Equating capitalism with colonialism, Africa’s nationalist leaders rejected it and adopted socialism in the 1960s.
Monday, Mar 11, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
The Heritage Foundation
Equating capitalism with colonialism, Africa’s nationalist leaders rejected it and adopted socialism in the 1960s. Foreign companies were nationalized, a string of state-owned enterprises were established and a plethora of state controls on rent, prices, imports and foreign exchange were imposed to capture the commanding heights of the economy. But nowhere in Africa was the socialist experiment successful. It was a miserable fiasco in country after country including Angola (under dos Santos), Benin (under Kerekou), Ethiopia (under Mengistu), Ghana (under Nkrumah), Guinea (under Toure), Mali (under Keita), Mozambique (under Chissano), Tanzania (under Nyerere), and Zambia, among others.
In 1961, workers on Ghana state farms barely produce enough to feed themselves let alone the nation. In Tanzania, Ujamaa destroyed the country’s agriculture. Ethiopia’s misguided villagization program did the same. Zimbabwe socialist experiment ended in disaster, transforming the country which used to be called the breadbasket of the region into a net food importer, with millions facing starvation. Over 4 million fled the country into neighboring countries such as Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique. Tragically, South Africa is gearing up to repeat these catastrophic mistakes.
COMMENTARY 6 min read
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