Self-Sufficiency Policy and the Fiscal Consequences of Decolonization

Leigh A. Gardner

in Taxing Colonial Africa

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199661527
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191744877 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Historical Monographs

Self-Sufficiency Policy and the Fiscal Consequences of Decolonization

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The concluding chapter uses a preliminary assessment of the fiscal impacts of decolonization in Kenya and Zambia to reflect on the institutional legacies of British colonial fiscal institutions. It argues Cold War politics of foreign aid and continued technical assistance from the metropole meant that independence made little difference in terms of the loss of imperial subsidies or access to foreign capital. On the other hand, political instability on the borders of both countries resulting from the loss of the hegemonic peace maintained by the imperial powers required rapid increases in defence spending. Further, the expansion of the franchise resulted in large increases in spending on social services, particularly education. The inability of fiscal institutions in either country to cope with these demands illustrates that colonial fiscal systems aimed to maintain order at the lowest possible cost, rather than encourage development.

Keywords: decolonization; nationalist movements; Cold War; defence; political instability; foreign aid; education spending

Chapter.  9249 words.  Illustrated.

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