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Companies also need to be more involved in the development dialogue that takes place among host governments, bilateral donors, and the international financial institutions IFIs. Some worry that as corporations become involved in education, community development, or environmental programs in host countries, they are taking on functions that African governments ought to be performing.

The simple fact is, however, that many African governments do not have the capacity to implement broad-based development programs.

Transnational corporations and underdevelopment

If they did, the bilateral donors and the IFIs would not be involved either. Nevertheless, companies should ensure that their CSR programs become self-sustaining and that there is a significant capacity building component to what they do. Given the current commodity boom, international companies will be making increasingly large investments in Africa, especially in the extractive sectors.

Not only will this generate significant revenues for the companies and host governments, but it will raise expectations among host governments and civil society organizations that the companies will take a more active, and visible, role in giving back to the communities in which they are active.

With an estimated Chinese companies active in Africa, they too need to be part of this dialogue. There are important environmental and health concerns surrounding Chinese corporate involvement in such areas as mining and hydroelectric dam construction in Africa, as well as worries over Chinese corporate conduct in dealing with African officials.

There is some evidence that Chinese companies on the continent are becoming aware of this need. At the same time, international companies need to enhance their understanding of the development process in order to integrate with national development strategies to maximize the results of their social investments.


Some companies have already hired development specialists to oversee CSR programs and others will likely follow suit. It is an immediate challenge, as noted above, for companies to organize their input so that their CSR efforts are coordinated with other donor programs.

There are white workers and there are white owners of the properties of production. This is why civil rights leaders like George P. Jackson in the United States of America did not limit the struggle to the abolition of racism.

Center for Strategic & International Studies

Their fight was also extended to the pattern of ownership of the means of production and thus the class struggle — the liberation of labour from the exploitation of capital. To have only dealt with the issue of race and left out the pattern of ownership of the wealth and means of production would have been like dealing with the effect and leaving out the cause. Similarly, the African liberation struggle was not just limited to ridding the continent of the white-colonialists, but also creating the condition to avoid the creation of black-colonialists.

Throughout history, Liberia has really not produced indigenous bourgeoisie. The Liberian bourgeois class is found in the state bureaucracy. State power is exercised in the interest of the multinational corporations although the apparatuses of the state executive, legislature and judiciary were instituted democratically by the workers, farmers and poor masses to act in their interest. Paradoxically, when workers resist their exploitation by multinationals, state power sends the armed body of men to crush the class actions of the toilers.

When the people protested against Golden Veroleum for desecrating their traditional shrines in Sinoe County, the state sent in the Emergency Response Unit to violently curb the action of the rural masses. Portion of the surplus value exploited from the wealth produced by the workers is paid to the national government in the forms of taxes and rent. Instead of such funds being used to change the quality of the Liberian society education, health, infrastructure, etc.

The same can be said of hierarchies in the Judiciary! In all of these, Liberia remains the citadel of illiteracy, disease and poverty — conditions, which reproduces the other segments of the exploited class impoverished farmers in the rural communities and poor masses in the urban centres. This has left the social contradictions unresolved.

Thus, the blames of the social crisis in Liberia have been continuously placed on dishonest and corrupt leadership, tribal and religious divisions, the mass illiteracy of the people, etc. But these are just other contradictions that have existed and developed as the result of the continuous existence and development of the dictatorship of the multinational corporations, which is the principal or particular contradiction in the Liberian society.

Once this contradiction is resolved by the secondary aspect exploited masses struggle against the dominant principal aspect owners of multinational corporations and occupants of state power , the Liberian society would enter a new face of socioeconomic development. As it is with every contradiction, the continued domination of the principal aspect of the contradiction goes side by side with the struggle of the opposite, which is the secondary pole of the contradiction.

It is this struggle of opposites that leads to a leap in the development process. With this, quantitative change is transformed into qualitative change. The exploited become the exploiting while the exploiting becomes the exploited. This change from the principal into the secondary and from the secondary into the principal is a simple dialectical logic. Nothing is permanent. Everything is in constant motion, always changing, always coming into being and passing away. This leap in the development process was experienced on 12 April when the masses of the Liberian people overwhelmingly supported the military overthrow of the decadent True Whig Party oligarchy.

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However in recent studies e. Eluka, et al. As in the case of Nigeria where the county exports it crude oil and other natural resources at a very cheap rate to the multinational companies who took it out to refine and sell the refined products back to the country at exorbitant prices. All the theories discussed shared common fundamental characteristics that the development of one country is at the expense of another. Therefore, all countries especially the less development states should strive to be self-sufficient for its basic and endeavor to export more goods than they import.

The applicability and relevance of these theories to the Nigerian situation is discussed in the following paragraphs. The country is still ranked as a developing country despite its enormous natural endowments; and her contemporaries e. India, Singapore having advanced their economies to enviable levels.

The underdevelopment of the country, it is largely claimed, is partly caused by the exploitative nature of multinational firms operating in the country e. Irogbe, ; Eluka, et al. This opinion capture the whole essence of the negativity associated with multinational corporations in Nigeria.

That is why they adopt the ethnocentric model of staff selection where expatriates are given preference in terms of recruitment and selection. However, some authors have differing opinions. They also proposed that multinationals alleviate the technological know-how of the host country through the transfer of knowledge from the expatriate workers to the local employees. Similarly, defenders of multinationals opined that multinational corporations act as engines of development to their host communities Roach, There have been several arguments that multinational corporations contribute enormously to the underdevelopment of developing such as Nigeria.

However, the review above shows that most developing countries also derive some gains from the presence of multinational companies in their domain.

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