The case country is Chad, one of the least developed countries located in Central Africa. Chad is bordered by Libya in the north, Niger to the west, Nigeria and Niger in the southwest, Central Africa Republic to the south, and Sudan in the east. Similar to Country A, Chad’s economy was driven by Agriculture although, at the moment, most of its revenue is generated from oil export. Since Independence, the agricultural policy of Chad was controlled by the government. The government-controlled production and trade but it’s interventionist and centralized policies resulted in diminished agricultural output and high levels of poverty (Griffiths, 2011).
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Comparison in economic activities
Chad, like country A, is one of the countries facing intense rural to urban migration and increased numbers of the urban poor. The urban poor, the majority of who come from rural areas go to search for employment in order to feed their families in the villages.
Mostly, those left in villages are women who cultivate domestic crops such as maize, sorghum, and legumes. As a result of inadequate employment opportunities emanating from poor industrialization policies and corruption, citizens searching for employment opportunities in neighboring countries such as Libya has resulted in brain drain and increased levels of poverty in rural areas. Unemployment is one of the most important issues that characterize Low development countries because of corruption, political instability, illiteracy, constant droughts, gender inequality, and wars (Griffiths, 2011).
Just like in country A, Chad in the 1980s started to undertake reforms in the agricultural sector in order to boost food security, create employment, and create an efficient agricultural system. As such, it abandoned its socialistic policy where farms were community-owned and thus encouraged individuals and corporations to own farms and businesses. The revision of agricultural policies stressed utilizing the market forces by providing an optimal environment for farming and ease the government’s control in the country’s economy. The new policies were aimed at supporting the adoption of appropriate technologies through a well-developed and established extension scheme. In addition, it was believed that nongovernmental organizations and foreign donors would offer aid to farmers.
Similar to country A, the Chad government has tried to regulate and monitor the agricultural industry. It has advocated for the interest of stock owners and farmers to ensure that taxation, land policies, macroeconomics, equal distribution of wealth are optimized to stimulate development in rural areas where poverty levels stand at 85% but in practical terms, this has not been achieved because of political rivalry, poor political management, and tribalism. Common in LDCs, unfulfilled promises and the fight for political power have resulted in increasing poverty levels and high levels of illiteracy (Handelman,2011).
There is big gender inequality in Chad. Like other least developed countries, Chad is a male-dominated society where economic, social, and political issues are dominated by men. Whereas inheritance and laws on properties do not discriminate against women, the position of women in the country is an inferior one. Women do not have equal job opportunities because of low education and open prejudice by men.
Just like in country A, women in rural areas perform the most strenuous work in the field where they cultivate domestic food crops. In addition, there are other injustices meted on women in Chad such as early marriage, domestic violence, and limited alternatives to the good life. Due to difficult life, child labor and child prostitution are rampant leading to an increased rate of sexually transmitted diseases, teenage pregnancy, and high rates of crime.
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When women’s health is taken into consideration, Chad’s health indicators are among the lowest in sub-Sahara African. The maternal mortality rate is at 191 per 1000 live births whereas women delivering without a qualified health assistant stand at 76%. The risk factors for maternal mortality are high fertility of 6.3 children per woman, early pregnancy that contributes to 15 percent of national pregnancies, and illiteracy.
Just like in country A, where traditions and official government policies tend to marginalize women, Chad policymakers have been trying to bridge the gender gaps by promoting policies that favor education and employment of women, women progress has been hampered by their male counterparts, both policymakers and ordinary citizens who fear that women empowerment would be a threat to their dominance (Botha, 1992).
International cooperation has been viewed as one of the ways in which least developed countries can attain significant growth. Before the 1980s, most LDCs employed protectionism measures where they barred commodities from other countries but with poor economic growth, increased levels of unemployment, and lack of destination for their exports, they were prompted to open up their borders and liberalize their economies.
In this way, commodities from their countries had a chance of competing with those from other countries. One way of liberalizing their economy is international cooperation that involves forming free-trade pacts. Like country A, Chad entered a number of free trade pacts such as the New Partnership of Africa Development (NEPAD) and Monetary and Economic Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) (Handelman, 2011).
Difference between country A and Chad
The difference between Chad and country A is that currently, the difficult economic condition has forced both men and women to move to cities in search for employment opportunities and the rate of immigration for both men and women has been increasing(Griffiths, 2011).
Botha, D. (1992); “S.H. Frankel: Reminiscences of an Economist”, The South African Journal of Economics 60 (4): 246–255.
Griffiths, R. J. (Ed.). (2011). SOC300: Developing World 11/12: 2011 custom. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Handelman, H. (2011). SOC 300: The challenge of Third World development: 2119 custom edition. Boston, MA: Longman – Pearson Custom Publishing.