The author examines the place of rural manufacturing in central African economies, particularly in promoting the agricultural base essential to economic and social development. He argues forcefully against northern patronage, with its inappropriate and often harmful practices and interventions. Using the blacksmith of Manie and others with whom he has himself worked, as an example, the author presents a case for indigenous, self-sustaining and small-scale rural workshops, as crucial to the economic health of developing nations. Foreign imports and large-scale manufacturing, with their need for unavailable foreign exchange, are a misuse of an industrializing nation's resources. Crucial, however, to the development of people-centred development, is the political will of central governments.
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