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Monday's debate in Doha was once intended to lead to a vote on scheduling World Cups every two years for men and women. The International Olympic Committee spoke out against FIFA taking time and attention away from championships in other major sports events. Still, he did not commit to calling a vote when the members next formally meet in person, on March 31 in Doha, and was vague about any future timetable. FIFA aims to drive soccer development and close the gap on European and South American dominance by giving more teams from other regions more chances to play at World Cups. FIFA commissioned market research firm Nielsen and the Open Economics organization to undertake research to show the game also could be wealthier by playing its flagship events more often.

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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. African voices on structural adjustment: a companion to Our continent, our future.

Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 0———0. Structural adjustment Economic policy — Africa. Africa — Economic conditions, —. Africa — Economic policy, 4. Africa — Social conditions, —. Mkandawire, P.

Soludo, Charles Chukwuma. Africa World Press, Inc. International Development Research Centre Canada. A47For most African scholars who live in and study these economies, the World Bank reports were yet another major disjuncture between reality and dogma. The urge to provide a critical response to the reports in order to straighten the issues was irresistible. The need for such critical appraisal of the structural adjustment program SAP as a development strategy provides the immediate rationale for this project.

There was thus the broader goal of Africans reclaiming the initiative and providing a framework for thinking Africa out of the current economic crisis. A careful reading of the writings of African scholars on the subject indicates a discernible trend in terms of an emerging perspective. The perspective derives from the failures of SAPs as well as lessons of experience on what kinds of policies are required, which ones can work, and what kind of issues should be addressed.

It is also a perspective that is informed by the lessons derivable from the experiences of other, more successful economies, especially in Asia, and in fuller appreciation of the constraints and opportunities offered by the new and continuously evolving international environment. A second but no less important goal of the project is thus to sift such perspective in a volume as a way of initiating and advancing continued dialogue on those issues.

In pursuit of these objectives, about 30 studies largely determined by the authors through research proposals were commissioned. About 25 of such were by economists, making it the project with the largest participation of African economists on the issue of adjustment and the way forward.

Participants in the project set out to analyze the various policies under SAP from the perspective of development broadly understood as involving economic growth, structural change, and elimination of poverty. The results of the studies were presented at two research workshops in Abidjan inEach paper was rigorously reviewed by a discussant, and the collective peer review and extensive discussions following each presentation helped to enrich the final product.

In the end, the only thing common in all the reports is the conclusion that adjustment has not worked as promised. Each paper concludes with a number of recommendations about the way forward. Coverage of the broad range of issues, rather than just judgement about the quality of the papers per se, informed the selection. Needless to say, most of the papers for the project are of very high quality. We have selected papers that touch on issues which have been accorded very little attention in the SAP framework and its evaluation studies, or ones which have generated the most controversy.

The issues covered in the selected papers include: critical evaluation of the model and methodologies for performance evaluation under SAP; comparative development experiences; trade liberalization and regional integration; SAP, technology, and industrialization in Africa; poverty under adjustment; reforms, external and domestic factors, and implications for agriculture and rural development; and financial sector reforms and resource mobilization. Each of the papers should be read and appreciated in its own right, and we do not attempt to summarize their individual contributions.

In this introductory chapter, we skeletally evaluate the context for the development policy dialogue for Africa, as well as summarize some of the key elements of the emerging African perspective on adjustment and development. To be sure, no amount of excuses can hide the monumental failures of public policy in the past and the complicity of Africans and the outside world in the process.

On the other hand, the international community — the multilateral development institutions especially the Bretton Woods institutions, [BWIs], and bilateral agencies mostly former colonial masters — also bear much of the blame. In what has ensued, Africa has turned into a pawn in the chessboard of experimentation for all manner of ill-digested development theories and pet hypotheses. Again, Africa is largely to blame for sheepishly following along.

Throughout the adjustment years, the BWIs seized much of the initiative, and foreclosed the debate by literally insisting that it was either their way or nothing, with African scholars and policymakers largely relegated to reactive protest.

After over a decade of acrimonious debates and tons of evaluation reports, there is an increasing convergence of views that SAP has not worked, and as designed, it is grossly defective as a policy package for addressing the problems of underdevelopment in the region.

Most African governments signed the documents, and to date, none has publicly dissociated itself from the ideas espoused in them. The World Bank virulently attacked those documents, and every African government that wished to have successful debt rescheduling or aid negotiations distanced. African governments either did not have the confidence and courage to implement their own strategies, or they were constrained by resources to implement programs they did not believe in.

Macroeconomic stability has improved modestly, but many analysts doubt its sustain ability given that in most economies that it has occurred, volatile external finance has been largely responsible. Moreover, stability has been achieved mostly at the great expense of domestic investment-even in basic infrastructure physical infrastructure, and human capital formation which have been recognized to be central for sustainable growth and development.

As Nissanke argues,. The present narrow base for raising fiscal and export revenues means also a continuous implementation of short-term stabilization policies on a perpetual basis, leaving the economies constantly exposed to large external shocks, as primary commodity prices in the world market exhibit not only declining long-term trends but also excessively volatile fluctuations which are detrimental to growth and development.

Saharan African countries have to undertake continuous adjustments to their deteriorating, and highly unstable position in current account balance. The scale of adjustment required has often far exceeded the capacity of these economies to absorb volatilities and manage associated high uncertainty and aggregate systemic risks. The external debt stock of SSA has more than doubled since the adjustment program and without any acceleration in economic growth to sustain its servicing in the future.

Poverty has intensified despite modest recovery in some countries, and human development indicators — life expectancy, infant mortality, and school enrolment — have worsened. The export basket remains undiversified, and though a recovery of about 3. Added to the external debt burden, the external viability of these economies remains in serious doubt.

The fragile industrial base has even shrunk further de-industrialization since the adjustment program in many countries. The already weak African states prior to the adjustment program have become even weaker, and the requisite institutions for development are either very weak or non -existent in some countries. Furthermore, there seems also a broad agreement on the centrality of the market in any framework for organizing economic activity.

However, in the light of the stylized facts about the enduring weaknesses of these economies, there are sharp disagreements about the required strategy to attain the goals of economic policy.

Specifically, there are lingering differences of opinions regarding the choice of policy instruments, timing. These differences notwithstanding, it is evident that the initial gulf in opinions seems to have narrowed considerably. The crisis of the last two decades has underscored the importance of macroeconomic stability. Economic conditionality now routinely insists that countries enter into agreement with the IMF before having access to other sources of funding.

There can be no doubt about the importance of macroeconomic stability for both economic and political well-being of a country. No sustainable growth can take place in a context of hyperinflation and unsustainable balance of payments equilibrium. Indeed what we note is the deterioration in the support given by the financial system to the production system and the tendency to give primacy to the exigencies of financial stabilization even when these undermine economic production and social cohesion.

While perhaps addressing issues of static allocative efficiency and while perhaps appropriate for stabilization policies based on. The report recognized the importance of structural and institutional factors in explaining economic performance in Africa. It suggested that the attention to human resources, technology, regional co-operation, self-reliance and respect for African values provide the main focus of the proposed strategy. The proposed strategy stressed the need to put in place an enabling environment for infrastructure services and incentives to foster efficient production and private initiative; enhanced capacities of people and institutions; and growth strategy that must be both sustainable and equitable.

This was a significant broadening of perspective on behalf of the Bank and was in some way a movement closer to the positions that the UN-ECA had pushed over many years. Needless to emphasize that many development-inducing policies are of a micro- or meso-level nature. The result was that interventionist microeconomic policies that had worked in several successful Asian economies were rejected wholesale in the African case, leaving the state with virtually nothing to do in the development process.

Recently, many countries are realizing that the adjustment costs are simply too enormous, and it is not surprising that many newly elected governments in Britain, France, etc. A development-oriented adjustment program will be investment driven. Consequently, a central piece of policy must include measures that increase investment and improve allocation among sectors and projects.

The presumption in all these is the view that economic policies in Africa will be judged by the extent to which they contribute to economic development broadly understood as involving economic growth, structural change and elimination of poverty. Our argument is that policy needs to simultaneously address a broad range of fundamentals-macroeconomic.

All these should be mutually reinforcing. Some of these policy areas span: trade and industrial policy; human resource and technological development; resource mobilization and external financial dependence; democratic governance, and measures to address the gamut of institutional and administrative bottlenecks of the system see Chapter 4 of the Synthesis Volume for detailed adumbration of these issues.

An aspect of the policy framework under SAP about which a serious re-thinking is imperative pertains to the requirements of rapid industrialization and the consistency of unilateral, deep trade liberalization in the process. The need to effect change in the export structure will inevitably bring discussions of policy issues relating to export diversification, the transformation of production structures, and industrialization, back on the development agenda.

With respect to trade policy, an emerging consensus is that adequate preparations should be made-in terms of relevant supply-side measures and institutional arrangements-to elicit the desired export supply responses before deep liberalization is implemented.

Trade reforms must serve, and be consistent with the requirements for balance of payments constraints, government fiscal viability, and industrialization objectives. The new strategy presupposes an aggressive export-orientation but insists that such a strategy can best be achieved with a dose. Human capital development through investment in education at all levels, especially in science and technology, and research and development activities would serve to provide the requisite skills to compete in modern world.

The soft infrastructure would include the institutional framework for doing business-efficient and transparent regulatory framework, enforcement of contracts and well-defined property rights, insurance and accounting services, development of the money and capital markets, forging of business-government relationship, etc. Furthermore, a gamut of tax, credit, and labor policies would need to be designed to lower the operating costs of firms.

Institutions for provision of long-term finance and procurement of information relating to technologies and markets need to be designed. Perhaps, one of the areas where closer government-business relationships would need to be strengthened in Africa relates to the processing of information relating to foreign markets and technologies.

Long-term growth prospects in Africa will depend on how well agriculture performs. In most countries, agriculture will be a source of foreign exchange and savings. The chosen pattern of agrarian transformation will also determine the course of equity in the growth process. Because of its importance, agriculture has continued to receive policy attention, but it has proven to be the Achilles Heel of virtually every strategy of development in Africa.

The conviction that getting the macroeconomics right would elicit the required response has proved naive. It has become clear that there was a need for sectoral and micro-level policies that would directly address problems of low productivity and low technological levels in African agriculture. More specifically, there is a need for increased investment in infrastructure, in extending markets to reduce transaction costs, in increased extension services, etc.

All these require a much more active state than was allowed for under SAP. There is a need to devise schemes that direct credit to rural producers in a manner that encourages technical innovation. This may involve subsidized credit or inputs.


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