Reflections on Development and Cooperation edition:First Edition pages:19-32
This paper explores the relationship between development and poverty in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) roughly from the end of the colonial period to the present. I briefly define and trace the historical evolution of development and analyse it within the context of increasing poverty and failure of most develo- pment projects in SSA. I have proposed three structural elements within de- velopment practice that have remained unchanged in this period and assert that these work to create dependent communities that are in turn susceptible to poverty. The critical aspect of the paper is in the intuitive and experiential - as opposed to purely academic - understanding of the three variables: de- velopment, dependency and poverty. Finally, I frame these three theoretical components into what I have provisionally named “the dependency cycle”; and argue with reference to some field experiences that development is the disease that masquerades as the cure of poverty. With this finding I further advocate for the idea of what I term “self improvement”.
[Keywords: development practice, value, dependency, poverty, agency, self-improvement]