Les entreprises multinationales peuvent-elles sauver l’Afrique ?

Les entreprises multinationales ont été le moteur de la transition postcommuniste en Europe orientale. Elles ont entraîné l’émergence de nouvelles compétences et de nouvelles technologies et ont apporté la formation professionnelle et de meilleures conditions de travail. Elles ont sauvé les systèmes bancaires, modernisé les réseaux de télécommunications, reconstruit les industries à la dérive, augmenté la qualité des marchandises et aboli le système confortable des passe-droits qui spoliait les citoyens ordinaires depuis des décennies.

L’Europe orientale constitue-t-elle une exception ? Les entreprises multinationales peuvent-elles aussi être bénéfiques à d‘autres régions défavorisées telles que l’Afrique subsaharienne, où l’héritage du colonialisme, l’apartheid et une mauvaise administration ont créé un environnement économique fondamentalement différent  de celui des pays d’Europe orientale ?

Selon l’opinion commune, l’Europe orientale se trouvait dans une situation exceptionnelle lui permettant de tirer profit des atouts des entreprises multinationales : sa main d’œuvre était bien formée surtout dans les domaines de l’ingénierie et des sciences et pouvait ainsi facilement échapper au piège classique des « bas salaires pour des compétences limitées ». Les multinationales ont pu palier aux manques du système communiste en offrant aux employés une gestion moderne, des nouvelles technologies et un savoir-faire dans le domaine du marketing.

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