Varieties of Exploitation and their Consequences: Indonesia and the Democratic republic of the Congo Compared

Crawford School of Public Policy | Arndt-Corden Department of Economics | Indonesia Project

Event details

Indonesia Study Group

Date & time

Wednesday 15 December 2010


Coombs Seminar Room B, Coombs Building, Fellows Road, ANU


Anne Booth (The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)


Indonesia Project
+61 2 6125 3794
Both the Belgian Congo (Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and the Netherlands Indies (Indonesia) had a troubled passage to independence, and the immediate post-independence era in both countries was marked by considerable political and economic turmoil. By the late 1960s, two strong leaders, Mobutu and Suharto, had emerged who appeared to have much in common. But while Indonesia’s economic growth since 1970 has been quite robust, the Congo has seen a growth collapse which is extraordinary even by African standards. The paper suggests some explanations for this divergence in terms of policies pursued by the Dutch and Belgian colonial regimes, and by post-independence governments in both countries.

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