China’s Development Model: What Lessons Can African Countries Take

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By Alan Collins Mpewo

For all paths of life that grace the present generation, is a story of the past inhabitants who made unsettling decisions to shape society as is. Sometimes such decisions have come off as mistakes because of the troubling situation they’ve caused, while still, sometimes such decisions have shaped the societies for the better. China in the same pursuit is part of that story. From a viewpoint of past and not long-gone events, China isn’t unique in the challenges it had to face from many other scattered countries around the globe. Imperialism leads the long line of the troubles it met along the way. With a look at China today, all seems well on the outset, giving an impression to an unsuspecting mind that everything prior has been merry. It’s a long road to walk down the memory lane, of the many failures China has encountered to inform its current status that some nations tend to emulate. But to get there, it was required of a system propagated to lead to desired results at the end of each project. That notwithstanding, the same system was required to maintain and occasionally improve the registered results.

The China Development Model is the system of focus in this article, what it entails, and what the global south may look out for. It goes without saying, that indeed there are numerous differences in the societies in the global south as compared to China. These range from cultures and traditions, political establishments, social setups, religious leanings, to mention but a least. The China Development Model is a unique parallel to the long existent Western free market-based system. A study of the two systems would boldly iron out the obvious differences and China has for over three decades established an alternative system with its development model. The economic pace in China is a point of academic regard due to the massive economic reforms it has implemented in over 30 years. The unexpected shift has led various of its societies to shift from the traditional agriculture to industrialization. The metrics of demand and supply have no half-truths especially when it’s factual that for majority global players, have almost each household at least owning a commodity manufactured from China.

That’s the power and command the industrialization in China has as impact on the global supply trends. The sharp studies by China in the growing trends and shifts in the global economy have kept shaping its focus on creation and innovation. Another main factor has been the need to provide for its population, the largest in the world, to be catered for while keeping it together. A cultural focus of its communism has been important in minimalism of Western infiltration. It thus stages the battle of capitalism versus communism. By 1970, China was isolated by the two powerhouses then, the Soviet Union and USA. How it turned the narrative around to being considered today’s leading global economy is still a marvel. China has overtime intertwined its political ideology and economic needs together, and that way, it has kept uniform in transactions on every possible socioeconomic for a. For a long run of decades, the USA has had a grip of the IMF and World Bank, sinking many global south countries into capitalism. The unsettling reality now lies in the alternative China has created.

The China Development Model has a major point of concern on continuous reduction of poverty levels, and that it has kept achieving. 100 years ago, it would have seemed to have China as one of the countries with the least corruption rates. The outlook is overly distinct. For the Global South, corruption is the largest contributor of the wallowing people that’s been biting many of its inhabitants. It takes an unshakable will and devotion to strike down corruption levels. Just like China has continuously done, the Global South is challenged to develop a nervous system to cut the corruption levels. Otherwise without such understanding, no matter how innovative the global south gets, the efforts will always be of no much great aspiration. Central planning and service delivery is greatly dependent on revenue. The routes revenue allocation takes and where they end up are a reflection of the various societies. There’s compounded poverty albeit the endless efforts by external players to issue a helping hand.

Another main aspect of the China Development Model is its decentralization and foreign investment policies. These have a major focus on advancing local entrepreneurship and robust technology growth. The tech industry that runs on the model technology is the future is constantly renewed. To grow is to know that time is at the center stage, and that informs the need to simplify human activity. There’s no doubt as to why the tech in China has greatly advanced while incorporating its cultures and traditions. The global south has made many errors. One of those is the identity crisis. There has been much of unselective assimilation into systems and cultures at the expense of their own long-standing cultural systems. China isn’t among. The global south should seek to reshape its development order on a traditional front. There’s need to regain its unique identities. Realigning the fiscal needs in the global south as is with the China Development Model will save the global south from constant embarrassment it has suffered for decades. There’s need to write a unique development script going forward.

The writer is a Senior Research Fellow, Development Watch Centre.


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