2000 年 2000 巻 123 号 p. 1-12,L5
When African states gained their independence in the 1960s, it was hoped that the standard of living would begin to rise. But in fact, the opposite has happened. The news from Africa has been mostly bad. Africa is known as a continent in crisis. Brutal dictatorship, violence, corruption, civil war, refugee, famine—all these have been too common features of Africa. Africa is said to be a continent which depends for its survival on donor's development assistances and non-governmental organization's humanitarian supports. The theory, which is called Afro-pessimism, puts forward to explain the African crisis include the following—neocolonialism, poor leadership, corruption, nepotism, patrimonialism, tribalism, illiteracy, overpopulation, and disease.
Though there are many obstacles and reasons, on the other hand, optimistic views are emerging. According to these views, Africa is a continent of bright hope, rich in natural and human resources. Factors of the Afrooptimism are the political democratization and economic growth, and the emergence of civil society. One kind of Afro-optimism is called an ‘African Renaissance.’ It is possible to paint a more hopeful picture of several pillars of the African Renaissance, which are the following.
Firstly, political democratization is the main pillar. Popular movements have forced governments towards democracy. Secondly, a new generation of leaders is emerging. They hope that economic development will lead to better living standards and greater democracy. Thirdly, many countries are beginning to see real economic growth. The World Bank concluded that Africa's economic performance was improving. Fourthly, foreign investment and trade are growing in many parts of Africa. It is a new tendency that Asian investors are moving in African market. Fifthly, Africans evolve their own civil societies grounded on indigenous foundations. The civil society is an important factor in the democratization process. Sixthly, there are tendencies of resolution of conflicts by their own initiatives and means. Seventhly, regional economic cooperation is spreading.