University of Phoenix
June 2, 2009
Mercosur was founded in 1991 by the Treaty of AsunciÃ³n between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The treaty defines its objectives, principles and instruments and lays down its institutional structure. Mercosur was conceived initially as an essentially economic integration arrangement to promote a custom union and a common market among the four founding countries.Â However, since 2002 the Mercosur leaders have agreed upon the need for a development model in which growth, social justice and peopleâ€™s dignity are linked.
The colonial economy was centered on isolated agricultural and mining centers in which foreign-financed and foreign-managed firms employed local labor to produce raw materials for export to Europe, North America, and Japan. Colonial administrations started most of ...view middle of the document...
Third, since African industrialization was largely initiated by European firms, it was not in the firmsâ€™ interest to create competition for their own products in Europe. Fourth, in the case of some countries, both the colonial and later African governments kept the exchange rates of their currencies too high, making imported consumer goods more affordable.
South Africa and Zimbabwe were two distinct exceptions to this general lack of industrialization. South Africa had been administered by settlers of European descent since the early 20th century. The size and technical skill level of the settler populationâ€”combined with relative autonomy from colonial powersâ€”supported greater economic development, making it possible for industrialization to succeed. In the case of the colony of Rhodesia (what is now Zimbabwe), the white minority regime faced world sanctions for its illegal takeover of the government in 1965, and was forced to embark on homegrown industrial development to meet its own domestic needs. At independence in 1980, Zimbabwe had one of the most developed economies on the continent, second only to South Africa.
Meeting Africaâ€™s infrastructure needs is at the heart of the African Unionâ€™s development framework, the New Partnership for Africaâ€™s Development (NEPAD), which promotes good governance and economic policies that foster rapid and sustainable growth, poverty alleviation and better integration into the global economy. NEPADâ€™s $8 bn Short-Term Action Plan for infrastructure includes 20 priority projects designed to lay the foundations for an integrated African economy and attract medium- and long-term investments to close the continentâ€™s infrastructure gap. Those priorities include:
A West African gas pipeline to transport Nigerian natural gas to neighboring countries to fuel electric power plants modernization and expansion of container-handling facilities at the strategically important Kenyan port of Mombasa the Nile Basin Initiative to strengthen regional cooperation and management of the river, which flows through 10 countries and is the worldâ€™s longest improvement of the ability of Africaâ€™s regional economic communities to plan and manage the development of infrastructure involving more than one country.