Economic planning is now a commonly acclaimed ideal in the underdeveloped countries, particularly in Africa. Both the theory and the practice were transmitted by the developed countries. Certainly, the advanced economies have very different conceptions of planning, depending on whether they are centrally planned or market-oriented. The former embrace economic planning by ideological predilection; the latter are moving in the direction of ‘indicative’ planning, or at least state intervention on an extended scale. This course was induced by the goad of the crisis-ridden years of the great depression, the exigencies of World War II, the pressures of post-war reconstruction, and the stupendous technological and organisational revolution of our times. In the metropolitan countries—France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom—the idea and practice of economic planning was propagated to the colonies during and after the war.