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Magatte Wade’s solution to fighting poverty in Africa

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The three major solutions to tackle poverty in Africa are the change in the legal system, investment in Africa, not handouts and the legacy of colonialism and his attitude to capitalism; the solutions have been proposed by the Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Public Speaker Magatta Wade.

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The Legacy of Law in Africa Since The End of Colonialism

The former French colonial nations which are (French: Afrique-Occidentale française, AOF) was a federation of eight French colonial territories in West Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan (now Mali), French Guinea (now Guinea), Ivory Coast, Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), Dahomey (now Benin) and Niger. Or follow French law or the Napoleonic code, to be more precise, after gaining their independence in the 1950s and 60s.

According to Magatte Wade, the reason for the problems of Africa is the legacy of “French colonial law and what it did to Africa with the law code knob representing a law of the Commons”.

MS Wade advocates for adopting “the British common law or, to be more precise, English common law because it is more representative of the people.”

What is so compelling about the English common law is that unlike French law, which has its roots in the Roman tradition and Salic law, which is a top-heavy legal system that brings laws from above, not from below society.

The solution to instability and violence in Africa is the adoption of English common law by taking away all the current laws that have been built up from above there instead of made by the people from the bottom, thereby making sure the laws mash the people and the cultures from a continent as diverse as Africa in terms of cultures.

The effectiveness of stability created by the adoption of common law can be seen in that the three fastest growing nations in Africa are Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, all ex-British colonial territories.

The British system in terms of law and institutions has left a legacy of stability which can be seen in places like the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and other past colonial territories due to the disability of English law.

Attitudes to Capitalism and Investment

Magatte Wade puts forward the argument that one of the reasons for the lack of economic development in Africa after the end of colonialism is that “from the viewpoint of the free Africans, the reason for their plight and suffering was capitalism also during this period of the 1950s and 1960s the communists in the Soviet Union and pro-Marxists were also fighting for a free Africa”.

This meant that Africa rightly or wrongly developed a negative attitude towards Western capitalism and the pursuit of prosperity through investing in developing a capitalist economy.


The closing argument of Ms Wade is that the solution to fight poverty in Africa is a cultural change in his attitude to capitalism and its power to reshape and “create a prosperous society through the power of African entrepreneurs”.

The other solution is creating a legal system that works for Africans by “starting from scratch and using English common law to tailor the laws to the needs of the people”.

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