• Self-Help Development Projects and Conceptions of Independence in Lesotho, 1950s-1970s

    Author(s):
    John Aerni-Flessner (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Subject(s):
    Africa, African history, Decolonization, Nationalism, Social history, World history
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Development History, Independence, Lesotho, Self-Help
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6NP1WH8N
    Abstract:
    In the 1960s, the concept of development became increasingly intertwined with conceptions of independence amongst Basotho. Politicians and administrators before and after independence wanted to use development to legitimize their rule and consolidate power for a fairly weak central government. Their inability to procure funding for large projects meant that they were forced to rely on smaller, self-help projects. These small-scale projects became the primary way that people in Lesotho interacted with their first independent government, which indelibly shaped how people conceived of independence. These projects became intensely politicized, however, as government leaders relied on them to build political support. Basotho in youth and community organizations both worked with government-run projects and created their own small projects to bring about some of the changes they hoped to see from independence. The coup of 1970 closed down many of the spaces that had opened in the late colonial and early independence periods, leaving the period 1966-1970 as a moment where the prospect of an independent Lesotho bringing about development seemed most possible.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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