Technology, Globalization and Poverty
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Technology, Globalization and Poverty

Jeffrey James

This significant book presents an original examination of the theoretical and empirical interactions between globalization, technology and poverty. Jeffrey James studies the effect of information technology on patterns of globalization and explores how such patterns can be altered to reduce the growing global divide between rich and poor nations.
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Chapter 6: Aid Reform in African Industry: The Technological Dimension

Jeffrey James


INTRODUCTION Spurred in large measure by a long history of disappointing outcomes, across a wide range of countries in the region, improving the effectiveness of aid to Sub-Saharan Africa is a policy issue that is currently receiving a great deal of attention. Most prominent perhaps are the studies that have been conducted under the aegis of the World Bank’s ‘Aid Effectiveness Research’ programme, but one can also cite a large number of publications from other, mainly academic sources (Lancaster (1999), van de Walle and Johnston (1996), Killick (1998), Olaniyan (1996)). Influenced, as it often is, by the conditionality of aid on structural adjustment reforms that began in the 1980s, this literature tends to focus on the trade and macro-economic policies that such reforms require but usually fail to achieve in actual practice. Failures of this kind have undoubtedly played a part in the widespread ineffectiveness of aid in much of Sub-Saharan Africa and it is thus essential that the factors underlying them be better understood. At the same time, however, there are other explanatory variables, of a more micro-economic character, that are being largely neglected in the current debate over aid reform. Of these, perhaps the most important is technology, defined, as it should be, to include not only the choice of different methods of production, but also the process by which indigenous technological capabilities are acquired in a developing country. Neglect of this variable is problematic not only because of the profound influence that we think it has exerted...

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