chapter  8
The Making of a Rentier Class: Wealth Accumulation and Political Control in Senegal
ByCatherine Boone
Pages 28

In post-colonial Africa, no significant stratum or fraction of the wealth-accumulating political class invests in productive activities. In Senegal, clientelist strategies of political control fostered the rise of a rentier political class within the framework of a relatively stable and highly structured regime. Rentiers accumulate wealth through the privatisation of state resources, grants from the state, and the appropriation of rents generated by state intervention in markets. In post-colonial Africa as in other parts of the late developing world, the state has played a central role in shaping patterns of local private accumulation. Class-based analyses of clientelism provide the theoretical basis for developing this point and linking it to the study of local private accumulation. Analysis of the deployment side of the equation has been less systematic. The analysis focuses on how state power was used to structure, constrain, and politicise local wealth accumulation in the post-colonial economy.