The Rostowian linear development theory proposes different stages of development. With this theory, it is likely to view Africa on the development path but it is too imaginary. Most of the economies invest in production, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism in Africa. With this, it is not simple to categorize economies into efficient categories as recommended by the Rostowian linear development theory. The theory of linear development model is also proposed by Gabriel in the year 1991. He argued that the movement of modernity was related to the development production techniques such as automation, increasing the use of computers, using science and technology in manufacturing of economic services and goods.
According to Modernity theorists, countries advance by depending on their versatility and adaptability. The above view can be considered as true. However, the wars, political conflicts, disasters and epidemics can also lead the poor nations back or forth on the path of development. The destructive political conflict which took place in Zimbabwe and the conflict in Sudan and Libya have dragged these countries from the way towards development. Thus according to such examples, it can be concluded that the way towards development is not easy (Matunhu, 2011). Modernization is the process of change where a person and the culture are changed through external. In this situation, modernization of a person must provide motivation, to go with the changing economic and social condition. However, it leads to leaving the person’s values for the values of the colonizers.
The modernization theory is disapproved as it failed to consider the deprived and poor people as the main focus poverty reduction initiatives. Modernity will only achieve the marginal commitment and support for the intervention strategies, if it fails to involve the target community. The intervention or the involvement strategy becomes a forced strategy if it fails to apply the idea of constructing relation between social structure and development agencies. The major weakness of modernization theory is that it provides the oversimplified idea of the social change. Changes are opposed as they bring uncertainty.
Another crippling flaw of modernization theory is that it is based on a process which says that changes are externally initiated in the linear development theory of economic and social development. Changes are initiated externally. The determinist reason does not provide satisfactory view for the cause of changes, as they are initiated from within the developing region and from outside the developing region. This idea supported that foreign powers must decide the development path for Africa. Africa had to face the failure of IMF-imposed economic structural adjustment programme (ESAP) in 1980’s. The reason of failure of ESAP project was that it completely ignored the social, traditional and cultural values of the recipient nation (Matunhu, 2011). This project was ‘Eurocentric’ experiment which drastically failed to pull out Africa from poverty.
The theory proved unsuccessful to identify the ingenuity and initiative of the Africans. The modernization theory stresses on the domination of the metropolitan powers in the development of Africa. This becomes the reason of concern for the contemporary discourse on development of Africa.