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The Impacts of the World Bank and IMF Structural Adjustment Programmes on Africa: The Case Study of Cote D'Ivoire, Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe

Authors:
  • The Law Office of Professor Kato Gogo Kingston

Abstract

The impact of the policies advocated by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Africa are under increased scrutiny. African scholars and international NGOs concerned with Africa’s development have asked whether the policies imposed by the World Bank and IMF in Africa have actually helped or hindered the objective of increasing living standards for the majority of Africans. The international call for cancellation of Third World debt has grown steadily over the past few years, highlighting the question of whether IMF policies have contributed to increasing the external debt burden of African countries. Critics of the World Bank and IMF have argued that policies implemented by African Countries, intended to control inflation and generate foreign exchange to help pay off the IMF debts, often result in increased unemployment, poverty and economic polarization thereby impeding sustainable development. The paper commenced by examining the concepts of ‘development’ and ‘underdevelopment’. It then outlined the legal basis of ‘right to development as human right’ and how those rights have been violated by the policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Africa backed by evidence of the performance of African countries with Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) programmes over the period of structural adjustment, looking at such indicators as economic growth, healthcare, education spending, and external indebtedness with particular case study of the impact of structural adjustment policies in four countries - Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2056391
Sacha
Journal of
Volume
1 Number 2 (2011
ISSN
2045
ISSN
2045
www.sachajournals.com
THE IMPACTS
OF THE WORLD BANK AND IMF STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT
PROGRAMMES ON AFRICA: THE CASE STUDY OF COTE D'IVOIRE, SENEGAL,
KINGSTON,
Christina
1
University of Northampton,
2
Ajuru
3
Department of Educational Foundations
4
School of Law
ABSTRACT
The impact of the policies advocated by the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) in Africa are under increased scrutiny. African scholars
and international NGOs concerned with Africa’s development have asked
whether the policies i
actually helped or hindered the objective of increasing living standards for the
majority of Africans. The international call for cancellation of Third World debt
has grown steadily over the past few years, h
IMF policies have contributed to increasing the external debt burden of African
countries. Critics of the World Bank and IMF have argued that policies
implemented by African Countries, intended to control inflation and g
foreign exchange to help pay off the IMF debts, often result in increased
unemployment, poverty and economic polarization thereby impeding
sustainable development. The paper
‘development’ and ‘underdevelopment
to development as human right’ and how those rights have been violated by the
policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Africa
backed by evidence of the performance of African countries
Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) programmes over the period of structural
adjustment, looking at such indicators as economic growth, healthcare,
education spending, and external indebtedness with particular case study of the
impact of st
ructural adjustment policies in four countries
Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Keywords
: World Bank, IMF, SAP, Africa, Development
JEL Classification
1. INTRODUCTION
Many studies have been conducted on various aspects of IMF and World bank; some
contend that the loans obtained from the two mentioned organisations are necessary for poverty
alleviation in the developing countries, others dispute that claim. However, p
110
Journal of
Policy and Strategic Studies
1 Number 2 (2011
) pp. 110-130
2045
-8495 (Print)
2045
-8509 (Online)
www.sachajournals.com
OF THE WORLD BANK AND IMF STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT
PROGRAMMES ON AFRICA: THE CASE STUDY OF COTE D'IVOIRE, SENEGAL,
UGANDA, AND ZIMBABWE
Christina
, S
1
; IRIKANA, Godspower
2
; DIENYE, Victory
KINGSTON Kato Gogo
4
University of Northampton,
Business School, England, United Kingdom
Ignatius University of Education, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Department of Educational Foundations
,
University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
School of Law
, University of Northumbria
, England, United Kingdom
The impact of the policies advocated by the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) in Africa are under increased scrutiny. African scholars
and international NGOs concerned with Africa’s development have asked
whether the policies i
mposed by the World Bank and IMF in Africa have
actually helped or hindered the objective of increasing living standards for the
majority of Africans. The international call for cancellation of Third World debt
has grown steadily over the past few years, h
ighlighting the question of whether
IMF policies have contributed to increasing the external debt burden of African
countries. Critics of the World Bank and IMF have argued that policies
implemented by African Countries, intended to control inflation and g
foreign exchange to help pay off the IMF debts, often result in increased
unemployment, poverty and economic polarization thereby impeding
sustainable development. The paper
commenced by examining
the concepts of
‘development’ and ‘underdevelopment
’. It then outlined the legal basis of ‘right
to development as human right’ and how those rights have been violated by the
policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Africa
backed by evidence of the performance of African countries
with Enhanced
Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) programmes over the period of structural
adjustment, looking at such indicators as economic growth, healthcare,
education spending, and external indebtedness with particular case study of the
ructural adjustment policies in four countries
-
Cote d'Ivoire,
Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
: World Bank, IMF, SAP, Africa, Development
JEL Classification
: E22, E23, F33, F34, F35.
Many studies have been conducted on various aspects of IMF and World bank; some
contend that the loans obtained from the two mentioned organisations are necessary for poverty
alleviation in the developing countries, others dispute that claim. However, p
OF THE WORLD BANK AND IMF STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT
PROGRAMMES ON AFRICA: THE CASE STUDY OF COTE D'IVOIRE, SENEGAL,
; DIENYE, Victory
3
; and,
Business School, England, United Kingdom
Ignatius University of Education, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria
, England, United Kingdom
The impact of the policies advocated by the World Bank and the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) in Africa are under increased scrutiny. African scholars
and international NGOs concerned with Africa’s development have asked
mposed by the World Bank and IMF in Africa have
actually helped or hindered the objective of increasing living standards for the
majority of Africans. The international call for cancellation of Third World debt
ighlighting the question of whether
IMF policies have contributed to increasing the external debt burden of African
countries. Critics of the World Bank and IMF have argued that policies
implemented by African Countries, intended to control inflation and g
enerate
foreign exchange to help pay off the IMF debts, often result in increased
unemployment, poverty and economic polarization thereby impeding
the concepts of
’. It then outlined the legal basis of ‘right
to development as human right’ and how those rights have been violated by the
policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Africa
with Enhanced
Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) programmes over the period of structural
adjustment, looking at such indicators as economic growth, healthcare,
education spending, and external indebtedness with particular case study of the
Cote d'Ivoire,
Many studies have been conducted on various aspects of IMF and World bank; some
contend that the loans obtained from the two mentioned organisations are necessary for poverty
alleviation in the developing countries, others dispute that claim. However, p
revious research on
Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2056391
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
111
the impacts of the conditionalities of IMF loans have rarely analyzed the human rights
consequences of the lending within the recipient countries. In some instances where human rights
are addressed, the analyses have been mainly conceptualized in terms of national regime stability
(Bradlow, 1996; Rajagopal, 1993; Skogly, 2001; Limpach and Michaelowa, 2010). This paper
contributes to the growing research on the human rights effects of the World Bank and the IMF
loans in Africa by harmonizing the existing empirical findings with the theoretical overview of
other strands of the literature.
There is a large body of opinion that Africa’s endemic poverty and pervasive
underdevelopment have defied much of the development policy experiments of the last few
decades. Neutrals observe that, no amount of excuses can hide the monumental failures of the
internal African public policies, the complicity of African governments and the impact of the
influence of the developed nations in the process. On the other hand, Political Economists argue
that, Africa’s underdevelopment has largely resulted from the ways in which African states have
been created and political authority shaped through interactions with the developed countries in
the context of global economic and political systems. In line with the view of the political
economists, previous African leaders, notably; Julius Nyerere, Thomas Sankara and Kwame
Nkuruma affirmed that the economic woes of Africa are due to the vagaries of the external
environment which is controlled by the industrialized countries. They averred that, “Africa has
turned into a pawn in the chessboard of experimentation for all manner of ill-digested
development theories and pet hypotheses.”
1
It could be agreed that development and underdevelopment in human society are two
sides of the same coin. For any debate on Africa’s development to make sense, it is vital to
understand the concepts of both ‘development’ and ‘underdevelopment’. According to Walter
Rodney,
2
“Development in human society is a many-sided process. At the level of the
individual, it implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-
discipline, responsibility and material well-being. Some of these are virtually moral
categories and are difficult to evaluate – depending as they do on the epoch in which
one lives, one’s class origins, and one’s personal code of what is right and what is
wrong. However, what is indisputable is that the achievement of any of those aspects
of personal development is very much tied in with the state of the society as a
whole…each social group comes into contact with others. The relations between
individuals in any two societies are regulated by the form of the two societies. Their
respective political structures are important because the ruling elements within each
group are the ones that begin to dialogue, trade or fight, as the case may be. At the
level of social groups, therefore, development implies an increasing capacity to
regulate both internal and external relationships.”
Rodney further observed that, the term ‘development’ is used in an exclusive economic
sense – the reason being that the type of economy is itself an index of other social features.
3
A
society thus, develops economically as its members jointly increase their capacity for dealing
with the environment. This capacity for dealing with the environment is therefore dependent on
the extent to which the people understand the laws of nature (science); on the extent to which
1
Mkandawire, Thandika and Charles C. Soludo, “Our Continent, Our Future: African Perspectives on Structural
Adjustment”, (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1999, in conjunction with CODESRIA, Dakar, Senegal, and
International Development Research Center, Ottawa, Canada).
2
Walter Rodney, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa”, Washington: Howard University Press, 1982, pp. 3-4
3
Ibid, p. 4
Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2056391
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
112
they put that understanding into practice by devising tools (technology); and on the manner in
which work is organised (division of labour).
4
If one is to subscribe to the preceding view then it
would be right to agree that:
There has been the constant economic development within human society since the
origins of man, because man has multiplied enormously his capacity to win a
living from nature. The magnitude of man’s achievement is best understood by
reflecting on the early history of human society … firstly, the progress from crude
stone tools to the use of metals; secondly, the changeover from hunting and
gathering wild fruit to the domestication of animals and the growing of food crops;
and thirdly, the improvement in the character of work from being an individualistic
activity towards an activity which assumes a social character through the
participation of many.
5
The above explanations of the concept of development simply imply that
underdevelopment is not the absence of development, because every group of people and,
indeed every country have developed in one way or another and to a greater or lesser extent. For
this reason, the concept of underdevelopment makes sense only as a means of comparing levels
of development. Underdevelopment is very much linked to the fact that human socioeconomic
development has been uneven and from a strictly economic viewpoint some human groups have
advanced further by producing more and becoming more prosperous. The moment that one
group appears to be wealthier than others … enquiry is bound to take place as to the reason for
the difference.
6
For instance, After Britain had begun to move ahead of the rest of Europe in the
18th century, the famous British economist Adam Smith
7
felt it necessary to look into the causes
behind the Wealth of Nations’. At the same time, many Russians were very concerned about
the fact that their country was ‘backward’ in comparison to England, France and Germany in the
18th century and subsequently in the 19th century… At all times, therefore, one of the ideas
behind underdevelopment is a comparative one. It is possible to compare the economic
conditions at two different periods in the same country and determine whether or not it had
developed; and (more importantly) it is possible to compare the economies of any two countries
or sets of countries at any given period of time.
8
Marxist scholars disagree with the foregoing argument. They argue that modern
underdevelopment is the expression of the relationship of exploitation of one country by
another. Walter Rodney subscribed to the view that, all of the countries named as
‘underdeveloped’ in the world are exploited by others; and the underdevelopment with which
the world is now pre-occupied is a product of capitalist, imperialist and colonialist exploitation.
African and Asian societies were developing independently until they were taken over directly
or indirectly by the capitalist powers. When that happened, exploitation increased and the export
of surplus ensued, depriving the societies of the benefit of their natural resources and labour,
that is an integral part of underdevelopment in the contemporary sense.”
9
Perhaps, to understand
the present economic conditions in Africa, one needs to know the reason why Africa has
realised so little of its natural potentials and one also needs to know why so much of its human
and natural resources goes to the developed economies. Though there may be several
4
Ibid, p.4
5
Walter Rodney, op cit, pp. 4-5
6
Ibid, p. 5
7
Adam Smith, “Wealth of Nations”, first published 1776. “Wealth of Nations”, Book IV, Chapter VIII, London:
Everyman’s Library, Sixth edition, 1991.
8
Ibid, pp. 6-7
9
Ibid, p. 8
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
113
explanations to the problem, it seems that the notion that the ‘rich gets richer and the poor gets
poorer’ is cemented in destiny. If the Christian Holy Bible is to be believed, then Africa’s fate
may have been sealed long time ago. In Saint Mathew, Chapter 25 verse 29, it is written that:
10
“For unto everyone that have shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that
have not shall be taken away even that which he have”... Lawyers therefore ask. How can one
hold onto his resources and develop freely without being robbed of its right to such
development? The answer lies in the ability to formulate laws that uphold ones right to
development.
2. THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT AS A HUMAN RIGHT
A major inroads into recognising the right to development as a human right was the
passing of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December
1966. In PART 1, Article 1, It provides that:
“(1) All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely
determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural
development; (2) all peoples may, for their own ends, freely dispose of their natural
wealth and resources without prejudice to any obligations arising out of international
economic co-operation, based upon the principle of mutual benefit, and international law.
In no case may a people be deprived of its own means of subsistence; (3) The States
Parties to the present Covenant, including those having responsibility for the
administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories, shall promote the realization
of the right of self-determination, and shall respect that right, in conformity with the
provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.
Interestingly, PART II, Article 2(1) provides that,
Each State Party … undertakes to take steps, individually and through international
assistance and co-operation, especially economic and technical, to the maximum of its
available resources, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of the
rights recognized in the present Covenant by all appropriate means, including particularly
the adoption of legislative measures.
In 1986, the right to development as a human right was further recognised by the United
Nations by the adoption of the General Assembly Resolution 41/128 which received an
overwhelming majority, with the United States casting the single dissenting vote. This
Declaration came almost thirty-eight years after the adoption of the Universal Declaration of
Human Right.
11
In Article 1, Paragraph 1, it provides that, “the right to development is an
inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to
participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in
which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.” The basic ingredients
10
Reference to this part of the Christian Holy Bible was made by Walter Rodney in a different context. My reference
to same is not intended to convert readers of this paper to Christianity. It is for the purpose of illustration only.
11
The Declaration on the Right to Development was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, resolution
4/128 on December 4, 1986. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by UN General Assembly
Resolution 217 (A) II on December 10, 1948.
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
114
of the Resolution 4/128 of 1986 were clarified by the United Nations Independent Experts on
the Right to Development as follows:
a) The right to development as the particular process of development, in which all human
rights, and fundamental freedoms can be fully realised;
b) A process of step-by-step progressive realisation of all the rights, the implementation of
a development policy to realise these rights, and the relaxation of resource constraints
on these rights through economic growth. The right to this process has to be viewed as a
composite right wherein all the rights are realised together in an interdependent and
integrated manner;
c) The integrity of these rights implies that if any one of them is violated, the composite
right to development is also violated;
d) An improvement of a “vector” of human rights which is composed of different rights
that constitute the right to development. The realisation of the right to development
implies an improvement of this vector, such that there is improvement of some or at
least one of these rights without any other rights being violated;
e) The realization of the right to development as a process of phased realization of
different rights together with rights-based economic growth would depend on the duty
bearers discharging the obligation by adopting appropriate policies. These policies
would aim at realizing the constituent rights such that specific sectoral policies are
harmonized with appropriate macro policies;
f) The duty bearers, as indicated in the Declaration on the Right to Development, are
primarily the nation States, to be supported by the international community, the
international agencies, the bilateral donors, other Governments and multinational
corporations, all with their corresponding obligations. The States must formulate and
design such development policies and implement them consistently with the human
rights standard of non-discrimination and participation, accountability and transparency
with equitable sharing of benefits;
g) The international community must cooperate with the States to enable them to carry out
these policies. These are the obligations of conduct designed to maximize the
likelihood of realizing the right to development and they must be carried out by all the
parties; and,
h) When a right is recognised as a valid claim. States and the international community
have a duty to fulfil the corresponding obligation of conduct, by adopting policies that
can be shown as being most likely to produce the outcomes to satisfy the claim.
12
12
We compiled these information from the following UN official papers: Report of the independent expert (A/55/306);
Right to development - Note by the Secretary General (A/54/401); Note by the Secretariat on the provisional work
programme of the Independent Expert on the right to development (E/CN.4/1999/118); The Right to Development -
Report of the Independent Expert on the Right to Development (E/CN.4/2000/WG.18/CRP.1); The right to development
- Third report of the independent expert (E/CN.4/2001/WG.18/2); Fourth report of the independent expert on the right to
development (E/CN.4/2002/WG.18/2); Fourth report of the independent expert on the right to development Mission
(E/CN.4/2002/WG.18/2/Add.1); Fifth report of the independent expert on the right to development
(E/CN.4/2002/WG.18/6); Fifth report of the independent expert on the right to development
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
115
Simply put, growths that facilitate the realization of all the constituent rights and are the
rights based or consistent with human rights norms must be equitable, non-discriminatory, and
participatory and pursued with accountability and transparency. The logic of including such a
process of rights-based economic growth as an element of the vector of the right to development
has been described in the fifth report. Since the realization of any right involves the increased
availability of some goods or services needed for fulfilling the right, as well as improved,
equitable and non-discriminatory access through public provision and policy action, both of
which use resources, a sustainable realization of all the rights without violating any right would
require an expansion of these resources, or economic growth. Such economic growth must
itself be carried out in a manner consistent with human rights standards. The right to
development in that sense is a right to the process of a phased realization of all the different
rights together with a process of rights-based economic growth.
13
The essential tenets of the
1966 and the 1986 UN Resolutions are that:
a) The right-holders are the collective populations of a state and in the case of minorities and
indigenous peoples, the right-holders are also groups with specified rights within the
collective. And the ultimate beneficiaries of the right to development are individuals.
14
b) The right to development articulated and endorsed as a human right, as in the case of all
human rights, implies corresponding accountability. It is indeed this binary relation which
distinguishes human rights from the general valuing of freedom that exists without a
correlated obligation to help bring about that freedom.
15
c) The right to development is a collective right (third generation rights). However, it is
individuals who are meant ultimately to benefit from the exercise of that right even if they
cannot individually assert the right. The implementation of the rights, whether individual or
group, must ensure the centrality of the individual person as beneficiary, as stated in Article
2(1) of the 1986 Resolution.
d) The right to development articulated and endorsed as a human right, as in the case of all
human rights, implies corresponding accountability. It is indeed this twofold relation which
distinguishes human rights from the broad valuing of freedom that exists without a
concurrent obligation to help bring about that freedom.
The major problems with the 1966 and 1986 UN Resolutions are:
a) Individuals cannot exercise the rights. They held by a group or by society as a whole can
only be exercised by the State on their behalf;
b) The wording of the Resolutions, are too vague and possibly unenforceable; and,
_________________
(E/CN.4/2002/WG.18/6/Add.1); Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: the Right to Development
(E/CN.4/2003/7); Preliminary study of the independent expert on the right to development on the impact of international
economic and financial issues on the enjoyment of human rights (E/CN.4/2003/WG.18/2); and, the Review of progress
and obstacles in the promotion, implementation, operationalisation, and enjoyment of the right to development
(E/CN.4/2004/WG.18/2). Full text could be obtained on the web: www.unchr.ch
13
UNCHR, “Preliminary study of the independent expert on the right to development, Mr. Arjun Sengupta, on the
impact of international economic and financial issues on the enjoyment of human rights”, submitted in accordance
with Commission resolutions 2001/9 and 2002/69, E/CN.4/2003/WG.18/2, 18 February 2006.
14
ibid
15
ibid
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
116
c) There is no provision for the mechanism and system for attributing accountability at all
levels of the development process and access to remedies both for individuals who
constitute the group, and for groups.
3. LOAN CONDITIONALITIES AND HUMAN RIGHTS
The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were formed at the Britton
Woods Conference in New Hampshire, United States, in 1944. They were designed as the
mainstay of the post-war global economic order. The World Bank's focus is the provision of
long-term loans to support development projects. The IMF concentrates on providing loans to
stabilize countries with short-term financial crises.
16
Proponents of the two world bodies argue
that the creation of the two organisations was due to the genuine fear that an unregulated world
market would mean a return to depression, poverty and another world war.
17
The United States
has a veto over decisions about the mandates and the structure of the organisations. This is
because the United States voting share is 17.16% in the IMF and 16.41% in the World Bank. In
both organisations changes to the Articles of agreement require 85% of the votes. Japan holds
the next highest voting shares with 6.27% and 7.87% respectively.
18
The IMF and World Bank
sources of fund are from donor countries namely USA, Japan, France, UK, Italy and Canada.
The World Bank and IMF became increasingly prominent in Africa due to the economic
crisis of the early 1980s. In the late 1970s, rising oil prices, rising interest rates, and falling
prices for other primary commodities left many poor African countries unable to repay
mounting foreign debts. In the early 1980s, Africa's debt crisis worsened. The ratio of its foreign
debt to its export income grew to 500%.
19
African countries needed a huge amount of money to repay foreign debts, sadly,
Africa’s share of world trade was decreasing and export earnings were dwindling as global
prices for primary commodities continue to fall. The reliance of many African countries on
imports of manufactured goods left them importing more while they exported less. Their
balance of payments deficit worsened and their foreign debt burdens became unsustainable.
20
African governments needed new loans to pay their outstanding debts and to meet critical
domestic needs. The World Bank and IMF became key providers of loans to countries that were
unable to borrow elsewhere. They took over from wealthy governments and private banks as the
main source of loans to poor countries. These institutions (IMF and World Bank) provided
‘hard currency loans to African countries to insure repayment of their external debts and to
restore economic stability.
21
For the World bank and IMF to approve loans and grants, a standard policy package
was imposed upon the borrowers. This was a necessary precaution to ensure that the borrowers
would repay the loans. The standard policy package was termed Structural Adjustment
Programme (“SAP”). By the same token, the lenders elucidate that the SAP was aimed at
correcting trade imbalances and government financial deficits. SAP involves cutting back the
16
Ann-Louise Colgan, Hazardous to Health: The World Bank and IMF in Africa, Africa Action Position Paper,
Research Associate, Africa Action, April 2002 full text can read at:
www.africaaction.org/action/sap0204
17
Robert Naiman and Neil Watkins, “A Survey of IMF Structural Adjustment in Africa: growth, Social Spending and
Debt Relief,” Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), April 1999, pp. 4-7.
18
Teresa Hayter and Catherine Watson, Aid: Rhetoric and Reality, London: Pluto Press, 1985, p. 66; Halifax
Initiative, The World Bank and the IMF: Walking the Talk of the G7,” p. 3; Bernard Sanders, “The International
Monetary Fund is Hurting You,” Z Magazine, July/August 1998, p. 94.
19
Kevin Watkins et al, The Oxfam Poverty Report, Oxford: University Press, 1995, p. 74.
20
Ibid, p.74
21
Ibid, pp.74-75
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
117
role of the state and promoting the role of the private sector. The ideology behind these policies
are often labelled “neo-liberalism”, “free market fundamentalism”, or simply put, the
“Washington Consensus.”
22
Proponents of the modernism school of thought emphasises that, the basic assumption
behind structural adjustment was that an increased role for the market would bring benefits to
both the poor and the rich in society. The development of a market economy with a greater role
for the private sector was therefore seen as the key to stimulating economic growth. Structural
adjustment thus, refers to a package of economic policy changes designed by the World Bank
and IMF to fix imbalances’ in trade and government budgets. The modernists further argue
that, in trade, the objective is to improve a country's balance of payments, by increasing exports
and reducing imports thus, the SAP was an ideal mechanism to achieving balance of
payments.
23
Beginning in 1980, SAP was imposed on at least 36 African countries. The IMF
conditionality (SAP) in Africa (and other developing countries alike) requires the debtor
countries to enforce the followings:
a) Privatization of industries (including necessities such as health care and water); cuts in
government spending and imposition of user fees;
b) Liberalizing of capital markets (including currency devaluation);
c) Market based pricing (which tends to raise the cost of basic goods); and,
d) Higher interest rates and trade liberalization.
In Africa, the SAP evolved to cover more areas of domestic policies, not only fiscal,
monetary and trade, but also labour laws, healthcare, environmental regulations, civil service
requirements, energy and government procurement.
24
Adjustment lending represents 100% of
IMF loans. In 2001, approximately 27% of World Bank lending to African countries was for
adjustment.
25
With the full imposition of SAP in 1986, the IMF became one of the most influential
institutions in the world.
26
At the time, its 2,500 staff dictated the economic conditions of the
lives of over 1.4 billion people in 75 developing countries.
27
As Asad Ismi
28
put it, “Never in
history has an international agency exercised such authority.” Between 1980 and 1993, about 70
developing countries were subjected to a total of five hundred and sixty-six stabilisations and
structural adjustment programmes. The 1980s became known by African Intellectuals as “Africa
lost decade.”
29
Between 1984 and 1990, developing countries including Africa countries under
SAP transferred $178 billion to Western commercial banks. By severely restricting government
spending in favour of debt repayment, the loan terms of the IMF eviscerated the African
22
Bird, Graham, “Borrowing from the IMF: The Policy Implications of Recent Empirical Research” World
Development 24, 1996, pp. 1753-1760.
23
Bird, Graham and Dane Rowlands, “The Catalyzing Role of Policy –Based Lending by the IMF and the World
Bank: Fact or Fiction?” Journal of International Development 12, 2000, pp. 951-973.
24
Halifax Initiative, op. cit., p. 2.
25
Ann-Louise Colgan, Hazardous to Health: The World Bank and IMF in Africa, Africa Action Position Paper,
Research Associate, Africa Action, April 2002, www.africaaction.org/action/sap0204
26
“Developing Countries Challenge the Rich,” The Globe and Mail, April 15, 2000; “Third World Urges Global
Human Order,” Toronto Star, April 15, 2000.
27
ibid
28
Asad Ismi, Impoverishing a Continent: The World Bank and the IMF in Africa, 2004, full text available at
www.halifaxinitiative.org
29
ibid
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118
Countries leaving in its wake spiralling poverty and hunger thereby violating Africa’s right to
development.
30
In 1994, the World Bank published a two-volume evaluation study on Adjustment in
Africa”
31
in which it claimed that SAP was working successfully for the benefits of Africa. This
report generated major controversies and reignited the debate about the directions of Africa’s
development. For most critics, the World Bank reports have been yet another major disjuncture
between reality and dogma. It is shocking that the IMF and World Bank could make such
assertion where the total GDP of the entire Africa was equal to that of Austria in 1993.
32
To
fully comprehend the extent to which the World Bank and IMF Structural Adjustment
programmes have contributed to the violation of Africa’s right to development, the case study
and evidence from the following African countries should make the matter clearer:
33
4. THE AFRICAN CASES
4.1 COTE D’IVOIRE (IVORY COAST)
Cote d’Ivoire is the world’s largest cocoa producer providing for 43% of the world’s
output. The cocoa industry was privatised in compliance with the World Bank and IMF
conditionality (SAP). Following the privatisation, between 1988 and 1995, the incidence and
intensity of poverty doubled from 17.8% to 37% of the population. Even though, Cote
d’Ivoire’s exports increased from $3 billion to $5 billion from 1980 to 1995, the GDP remained
stagnant at $10 billion for that period.
34
The strain on the economy meant that farmers were under increased pressure to produce
more cocoa. The need to increase cocoa output led to the illegal exploitation of children. Child
labour became more recurrent. The government lowered the legal age for agricultural work to
twelve. Yet, children under the age of twelve were working in the plantations and violators were
unpunished.
A Study by the United States’ state department in July 2002 found that there were
approximately 15,000 children working on cocoa, coffee and cotton farms in Cote d’Ivoire. The
study also found that Immigrants from neighbouring countries were among the child labourers.
Another combined study by ILO, UNICEF, and the World Bank in the same period found that
there were 38.2% Ghanaian Children, 24.5% Children from Burkina Faso, 25.8% Malian
Children, and 17.3% other Africans children engaged in work in Cote d’Ivoire.
35
This surely is a
violation of the right to development thus, the violation of the human rights of the children.
The loan package (SAP) also required Cote d’Ivoirian government to further reduce
national spending in order to correct the government budget deficit. Reduction in government
expenditures affected the social well-being of the people, as user fees were introduced into the
national health system, and education budgets were cut. Data from a UNICEF study on Cote
d’Ivoire showed a consistent decline in per capita spending on education from 1990 to 1995
30
Bernard Sanders, “The International Monetary Fund is Hurting You,” Z Magazine, July/August 1998, pp.94-95.
Asad Ismi, “Plunder with a Human Face: The World
Bank,” Z Magazine, February 1998, p. 10.
31
Adjustment in Africa: Reform, Results and the Road Ahead (Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 1994)
32
Abdelkader Allaoua and Michael Atkin, "Foreign direct investment in Africa: Trends, constraints and challenges",
Ad hoc Expert Group Meeting on the Revitalization of Investment in Africa: The 1990s and Beyond, Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, 29 November - 1 December 1993.
33
In this paper, I am constrained by space to select four African countries. Coverage of the broad range of issues, and
just judgement about the quality of the paper informed the selection.
34
The World Bank and IMF Policies in Cote d’Ivoire: Impact on Child Labour in the Cocoa Industry, an article of
the International Labour Rights Fund, full text available at www.laborrights.org
35
ibid
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
119
from CFA 20,000 per year to approximately CFA 13,000. Teachers’ wages and salaries were
reduced in conjunction with the structural reforms. A law implemented in 1991 cut starting
salaries of primary, secondary, and university teachers to half the amounts of those hired
previously. This led to a decline in the quality of education as highly skilled personnel left the
country to seek better employment overseas mainly to France and Canada (‘brain drain’).
36
Despite the implementation of the IMF policies, Cote d’Ivoire suffers from a huge debt
burden with an external debt that grew from $7.4 billion to $17.7 billion from 1980-1990.
37
Total debt rose from 73.3% in 1980 to 164.3% in 1990. Cote d’Ivoire became one of the most
indebted countries in the world qualifying the country under the IMF Heavily Indebted Poor
Countries (HIPC) programme. Cote d’Ivoire’s currency was devalued by 50% to reduce the cost
of exports. This affected the poor as their savings and purchasing power declined.
38
Cote
d’Ivoire attempted to alleviate the impact of the SAP by joining other neighbouring coca-
producing countries to form a cartel to control the price of cocoa beans by restricting the supply
of their commodities.
39
In 2000, four African cocoa-producing countries, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana,
Nigeria, and Cameroon agreed to destroy 250,000 tons of cocoa bean to raise prices in the world
market. It still did not do much to alleviate the debt burden of Cote d’Ivoire.
4.2 SENEGAL
Senegal is predominantly an agricultural economy. It first received the IMF loan in
1984. Between 1984 and 2002, it completed 19 transactions with the IMF. Senegal further
received loans under the Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF), as well as the Enhanced
Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF).
40
The IMF-World Bank SAP required Senegal to
implement a number of economic policies including:
“Stabilisation of public finances. To achieve this objective, some of
Senegal’s diplomatic missions were closed and public spending was
cut by 40%. In addition, subsidies for staple food such as cooking oil,
rice and sugar were reduced or eliminated, leading to sharp price
increases; and, Restructuring of State-owned enterprises which
resulted to privatisation, and liquidation of enterprises. Notably, two
enterprises were liquidated in 1985 and 1987, while a third was forced
to reduce its workforce by 75% over a five-year period. This
inevitably led to redundancy of more than 5,000 workers.”
41
According to Dembele
42
, the country’s (Senegal) debt burden is a major obstacle to
poverty reduction efforts. The debt represented 86.2% of GDP in 1994, 80.1% in 1996 and 71.3
% in 2000. After rescheduling, debt service for its part represented 4.5 % of receipts from
36
ibid
37
Garuda, Gopal “The Distributional Effects of IMF : A Cross-Country Analysis” World Development 28, 2000, pp.
1031-51.
38
ibid
39
Edwards, Sebastian and Julio A. Santaella, “Devaluation Controversies in the Developing Countries: Lessons from
the Bretton Woods Era. A Retrospective on the Bretton Woods System”, Michael D. Bordo and Barry Eichengreen,
eds. Chicago: University Press, 1993, pp. 405-55.
40
Yassine Fall, Partners for African Development and Economic Justice, "Gender and Social Dimensions of IMF
Policies in Senegal," in Friends of the Earth and Development Gap for Alternative Policies, "On the Wrong Track: A
Summary Assessment of IMF Interventions in Selected Countries," Washington, January 1998.
41
Demba Moussa Dembele, “Debt and destruction in Senegal: A study of twenty years of IMF and World Bank
policies” London: World Development Movement, November 2003 full text available at www.wdm.org.uk
42
ibid
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120
exports of goods and services and 11 % of tax revenues in 1994. These percentages were 14.6%
and 27.6% in 1996, 12.0% and 21.3% in 1999 and 12.7% and 22.6% in 2000. The structure of
Senegal’s debt indicates that more than 60% is owed to multilateral creditors, of which 41% is
to the World Bank and IMF. About 35% was bilateral debt, 43% of which comprises what are
arrears. Since the early 1980s, due to the accumulation of current account deficits, Senegal has
not been able to meet all its debt obligations each year. Those arrears are added to the debt
outstanding, which are rapidly increasing Senegal’s debts.
43
Senegal was admitted to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC Initiative) in June
2000 by the IMF and the World Bank. By that admission, Senegal agreed to receive US$800
million, or US$450 million in Net Present Value (NPV) in debt relief over a 10-year period. The
IMF and the World Bank were to contribute US$45 million and US$116 million to Senegal,
respectively over a 9-year period.
44
Sadly, the relief stated above only accounted for just 17% of
the country’s debt burden. Thus, had little or no meaningful impact in a country where at least
65 % of the population live on the equivalent of less than one dollar a day.
45
The HIPC process to which Senegal has subscribed is seriously flawed for a range of
reasons. First, the World Bank’s calculation of what constitutes a ‘sustainable’ level of debt in
Senegal is based on the assumption that the country will continue to experience a high growth
rate (5 % or more) for at least 15 years. Between 1980 and 2000, Senegal’s debt multiplied by
2.7, between 1990 and 2000 Senegal paid $3.1 billion as debt service, that is, an annual average
of $281.5 million, compared to an annual average of $215.2 million in 1980-1990.
Consequently, debt owed to the IMF-World Bank Group multiplied by more than six times
between 1980 and 2002 and, HIPC commitments amount to $500 million (NPV) or just 14% of
Senegal’s outstanding debt in 2000.
46
Senegal’s agricultural sector contribution to GDP fell from an average of 18.8% in the
1980s, to 11% in 1990 and to 8.5% in 1999. This decline was reflected in the area of food
production, where growth fell from an average of 3.9% a year in 1980-1990 to 1.8 % in 1990-
1999. During the same period, food production per capita went from a positive growth of 1% to
-1% a year, respectively. As a direct consequence of IMF-World bank policies, Senegal now
produces only 52% of its primary commodities and food.
47
4.3 UGANDA
Between 1971 and 1986, the Ugandan economy deteriorated. But, from 1986 to 1996
per capita GDP grew by almost 40%. In 1987 Uganda obtained the IMF loan through the
Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF), and it later extended its subscription under the ESAF
programme from 1989-1992 and again from 1992-1997. Real per capita GDP growth averaged
4.2% between 1992 and 1997.
48
The IMF credited the initial economic indicator as the success
of its structural adjustment policies.
Critics hit back at such claim by the IMF. They argue that part of this rapid growth
could be explained by the awful decline of the earlier years before the IMF loan. They went
further to argue that, to appreciate a real economic growth, a careful examination of how
43
Demba Moussa Dembele, op. cit.
44
ibid
45
Ibid, notes also found in Carol Thompson, Northern Arizona University, "Africa Economic Development," in
Global Focus: A New Foreign Policy Agenda 1997-1998, Inter-hemispheric Resource Centre Press, 1997, p. 205
46
ibid
47
ibid
48
Knight, Malcolm and Julio A. Santaella, “Economic Determinants of Fund Financial Arrangements”, Journal of
Development Economics 54, 1997, PP. 405-436.
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
121
various sectors of the Ugandan population coped under the growth that coincided with structural
adjustment.
It could be noted that two principal reforms mandated by the IMF arrangements in
Uganda were, trade liberalisation and, the progressive reduction of export taxation. But many
scholars point out that, liberalisation of cash crops had only limited beneficiaries in Uganda.
This was the case because only a small number of rural farmers grow coffee. Secondly, they
observe that, liberalisation had little impact on rural incomes over the period of adjustment
because rural per capita private incomes increased just 4% over the period from 1988 to 1995.
49
Uganda also privatised its public enterprises. This was highly criticised. The Structural
Adjustment Participatory Review International Network (SAPRIN)
50
reported that the
privatisation process in Uganda went too fast and was flawed from the start.
51
In a nutshell, the
privatisation process in Uganda has benefited the government and corporate interests (mainly
from the developed countries) more than the Ugandan people.
The situation in Uganda paints a rather mixed picture. Public spending on healthcare
increased as government spending rose overall. On the other hand, healthcare spending did not
rise as a share of the recurrent budget, and its share was slightly lower in 1994 than it had been
in 1989. Government spending increased over the period but from a very low starting level at
the beginning of 1986, government expenditure represented just 9% of Gross Domestic
Products (GDP). At the same time prices of health care services rose much faster than the rate
of inflation. Real per capita output in health care was lower in each of the years from 1992 to
1994 than it had been in 1989.
52
In 1998, Uganda was the first country to receive the debt relief under the IMF and
World Bank Highly Indebted Poorer Countries (HIPC) Initiative which in theory meant that
about $650 million of Uganda’s multilateral debt stock was to be forgiven. Strangely, the
process of implementation of the actual ‘forgiveness’ of debts was delayed. The IMF put the
process on hold for a further one year. According to Ugandan government projections, the cost
of the one year delay was $193 million in lost relief. This amount is more than double the
projected spending on education or six times total government spending on health in that year.
With the delay, public funds were diverted from priority health care services into debt
repayments.
4.4 ZIMBABWE
There was relatively steady and rapid economic growth in Zimbabwe in the 1980s
before Zimbabwe got involved with the World bank-IMF. Zimbabwe's economy real growth
averaged almost 4% per year during that period. Exports were diversified and became
increasingly oriented towards manufacturing; debts were regularly repaid without the need for
rescheduling; a reasonable degree of food security was attained; and the provision of
educational and health services was dramatically expanded due to major increases in
government spending on social services.
53
49
Kwesi Botchwey et. al, op. cit. also in World Bank, Adjustment in Africa: Reform, Results and the Road Ahead,
Washington, 1994, cited in Oxfam, A Case for Reform: Fifty Years of the IMF and the World Bank, Oxford, UK,
1995, p. 15.
50
SAPRI was launched jointly with the World Bank, national governments, the developed countries and some NGOs
of the developing countries in 1997
51
Denny, Charlotte and Larry Elliott, "Fund admits debt plans will fail poor," The Guardian (U.K.), April 19, 1999
52
"How to Fix the IMF," A paper of Forum sponsored by the Economic Policy Institute, Washington, D.C., April 7,
1999.
53
Peter Gibbons, "Zimbabwe 1991-94," Cited in Engberg-Pederson et al 1997, p. 349-351. Engberg-Pederson, Poul
et al., Limits of Adjustment in Africa: The Effects of Economic Liberalization 1986-1994, (Copenhagen : Centre for
Development Research, in association with James Currey, Oxford, Heinemann, Portsmouth, N.H., 1996.
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
122
The core of the government's redistributive agenda was through increased public
expenditures on education, health, and public sector employment. During the 1980s, much was
achieved both in terms of an expansion of these expenditures and in terms of measurable
indicators of performance.
54
The Infant mortality rate declined from 100 per 1,000 live births to
50 between 1980 and 1988; life expectancy increased from 56 to 64 years due to increased
government spending on healthcare sector.
55
Zimbabwe started the structural adjustment in
1991 after it took a loan of $484 million from the IMF. Unlike many of the countries that
undertake IMF adjustment, Zimbabwe did not institute structural adjustment in response to a
crisis. Zimbabwe took the loan with the intention of energising the country’s rapid economic
growth.
56
The IMF imposed conditions upon Zimbabwe, among the policy changes were: cuts in
fiscal deficit; tax rate reductions in private sectors (mainly to the advantage of the transnational
corporations); and the deregulation of financial markets. It also required the removal of
protections from the manufacturing sector and deregulation of the labour market, lowering the
minimum wage and elimination of the guarantees on employment security.
57
In 1992, barely a year of IMF policies in Zimbabwe, the country was hit by severe
drought. The removal of protections for the manufacturing sector, trade liberalisation, and
reduced government spending combined with the effects of the drought on agricultural
production resulted in economic recession. As a combine result of the above factors, the real
GDP fell by nearly 8% in 1992.
58
In Zimbabwe, economic crisis actually followed rather than
heralded the implementation of structural adjustment.
59
The overall impact of the IMF policies
on Zimbabwe was summarised by Kwesi Botchwey et. al.
60
as follows:
a)
“Between 1991 and 1996, manufacturing output shrunk by 14%;
b)
Real GDP per capita declined by 5.8% from 1991-1996;
c)
Real GDP fell by about 1% between 1991 and 1995. (Even though the IMF predicted 18%
GDP growth over the same period);
d)
Government spending on education dropped. Real per capita expenditure on primary and
secondary education declined by 36% and 25%, respectively, between 1990/91 and
1993/94. Wages and salary for teachers and educational staff fell by between 26% and
43% between 1990 and 1993;
e)
Nominal and real interest rates were high and volatile throughout the period, with nominal
rates often exceeding 40%;
f)
Total private investment declined by 9% in real terms between 1991-96;
g)
In 1991– 1996 spending on health care declined as a share of the budget from 6.4% to
4.3%. The decline in government health care spending occurred during a period of
increasing need of the population for more access to health care. HIV-AIDS disease was
54
Robert Naiman and Neil Watkins, A Survey of the Impacts of IMF Structural Adjustment in Africa: Growth,
Social Spending, and Debt Relief”, April 1999 full text available on the web at:
http://www.cepr.net/publications/debt_1999_04.htm , Robert Naiman and Neil Watkins are Research Associates at
the UN Preamble Centre in Washington, D.C.
55
ibid
56
Marquette, Catherine, "Current Poverty, Structural Adjustment, and Drought in Zimbabwe," World Development,
Vol. 25, no.7, 1997.
57
External Review, p. 179, citing Human Development Group, World Bank, "Understanding Poverty and Human
Resources in Zimbabwe,", December 1996.
58
Robert Naiman and Neil Watkins op. cit
59
Ibid
60
Kwesi Botchwey, Paul Collier, Jan Willem Gunning, and Koichi Hamada, "Report of the Group of Independent
Persons Appointed to Conduct an Evaluation of Certain Aspects of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility,"
January 13, 1998 pp. 172-175.
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
123
spreading rapidly in Zimbabwe. Given the present cost of treating HIV-AIDS patients, the
World Bank predicted that the total cost of treating Zimbabwean citizens infected with
HIV-AIDS was four times the entire 1996 government health budget”.
Based on the foregoing damaging indictment of the World Bank and IMF policies in
Zimbabwe, nearly every generally accepted indicator of a country's debt burden showed that
that Zimbabwe required an exit route from its economic predicament. Surprisingly, Zimbabwe
still does not qualify for the IMF/World Bank HIPC initiative.
5. THE WAY FORWARD
The international community and the African governments must take responsibility for
the promotion of law and development in Africa without the violation of the peoples’ right to
development. Possibly the way forward may include the followings:
5.1 RESPONSIBILITY OF AFRICAN GOVERNMENTS
African Governments should undertake a complete revamp of their investment
incentive packages, taking into account the experiences of other developing regions.
Consideration should be made to tackle the impact of tax concessions, minimum wage and
employment legislation, interest rate policies, training allowances, depreciation allowances,
policies on the repatriation of profits and foreign exchange transactions. Tax concessions,
interest rate policies and accelerated depreciation allowances should be formulated in a manner
to lower the cost of capital.
61
African countries must move on, from solely depending upon primary productions such
as agriculture to industrialisation. An emerging industrialising country would need a number of
policies to develop the tangible and intangible infrastructure required to build up a competitive
industrial sector.
62
These would involve massive investment in providing such tangible
infrastructures as roads, ports, efficient telecommunication and postal services, electricity, and
water supply. For this reason, the governments should focus on developing one infrastructure at
a time and, must be transparent and accountable.
There should be human capital development through investment in education at all
levels, especially in science and technology, and research and development activities which
would serve to provide the requisite skills to compete in the modern world. In addition, the
intangible 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. This could be achieved through effective
61
Sachs, J. "The debt overhang of developing countries", in Guillermo Calvo et al.,(eds.), Debt, Stabilization and
Development: Essays in Honour of Carlos Diaz-Alejandro [Helsinki: World Institute for Development Economic
Research (WIDER) 1984]; and P. Krugman, "Financing vs. forgiving a debt overhang", Journal of Development
Economics, vol. 29, (1988), 253- 268. Also in United Nations Economic and Social Council, “Reviving Investment
In Africa: Constraints And Policies” , Economic Commission for Africa, Sixteenth meeting of the Technical
Thirtieth session of the Commission/ Preparatory Committee of the twenty-first meeting of the Conference Whole of
Ministers, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia / Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 24-28 April 1995 / 1-4 May 1995, E/ECA/CM.21/7
62
Thandika Mkandawire, et. al, op. cit
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
124
partnership within Africa as advocated by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development
(NEPAD).
63
Long-term growth prospects in Africa will depend on how well agriculture performs. If
well developed, agriculture could become an important source of inputs into industry and a
major contributor to the market for some of the indigenous industries.
64
To protect and
meaningfully develop the agricultural sector, the starting point could be an active voice at the
World Trade Organisation (WTO) where Africa could better negotiation on agricultural
subsidies. Secondly, there is the need to devise schemes that direct credit to rural farmers in a
manner that encourages technical innovation. This may involve subsidised credits or inputs.
65
African governments should devise ways and means of sustaining the domestic saving
ratio. Prior to the epoch of IMF loans, some African countries did achieve higher levels of
domestic savings.
66
There is no doubt that such levels can be attained, especially if the debt
projections can be relaxed, allowing the public sector to commence savings. Efforts at
increasing both private and public savings will most likely have a much higher success than the
efforts that have until now been devoted to attracting foreign capital.
The mobilisation of domestic resources should be encouraged. Some scholars have
suggested what they call “forced savings schemes” such as fully funded pension schemes “the
Singapore model” and taxation on luxury consumption goods. For this to succeed some form of
“financial repression” will also have to be tolerated to direct savings and to mobilise capital for
long-term development.
67
There should be sustained efforts to retrieve “flight-capital” (money looted by its rogue
leaders stashed in foreign banks) for investment in national industries. For many African
countries such as Nigeria and Zaire with several tens of billions of dollars in foreign private
bank accounts, any programme that attracts back a significant proportion of such funds could
unleash the required momentum for growth in some sectors. Government leadership in
providing the necessary incentives, legal guarantees of property rights, and personal
encouragement to these ‘owners’ of funds (however acquired) is important.
The transformation of African countries from its present underdeveloped status into
developed states must go beyond merely enhancing its techno-bureaucratic capacity and seek to
drive in such a developmental state within democratic social institutions and governance. This
major challenge requires foresight and a sense of accountability. Such a process is not
facilitated by the current practice that removes key elements of economic policy from
democratic scrutiny by placing them in the hands of “untouchable rouge leaders”. What is
seriously needed is a system of policy-making and democratic governance in which political
actors have the freedom to debate, negotiate and design economic reform packages that are
central to the construction of a new social contract on the basis of which Africa might be guided
into a new era as developed continent.
68
63
Ibid, also in Brautigam, Deborah and Kwesi Botchwey, “The impact of aid dependence on governance and
institutions in Africa,” preliminary draft prepared for AERC/ODC Collaborative Research Project on Managing the
Transition from Aid Dependency in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nairobi, May 21-22, 1998
64
Callaghy, Thomas, Networks and Governance in Africa: Innovation in the Debt Regime. In Intervention and
Transnationalism in Africa: Global-Local Networks of Power”, edited by Thomas M. Callaghy, Ronald Kassimir,
and Robert Latham, pp. 115-48, Cambridge: University Press, 2002.
65
Conway, Patrick, IMF Lending Programs: Participation and Impact”, Journal of Development Economics 45:
365-91, 1994.
66
Dollar, David, and Jakob Svensson, “What Explains the Success or Failure of Structural Adjustment Programs”,
Economic Journal Vol. 110: pp. 894-917, 2000.
67
"Civil Society Perspectives on Structural Adjustment Policies," Report of the Ugandan Opening National SAPRI
Forum, 18-19 June 1998.
68
Mkandawire, Thandika and Charles C. Soludo, Our Continent, Our Future: African Perspectives on Structural
Adjustment”, (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1999, in conjunction with CODESRIA, Dakar, Senegal, and
International Development Research Center, Ottawa, Canada).
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
125
Africa's current efforts at regional integration can be another way of attracting
investors. Regional integration should be accorded all the enthusiasm that it deserves. In this
regard, the intent of the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community by the
year 2028 should be pursued by all African Governments.
69
5.2 THE ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
Africa's creditors should agree that Africa's viability can only be built with positive
transfer flows. This requires measures for the alleviation and cancellation of sizable volumes of
the continent's external debts and resorting to debt-equity swaps and various types of debt-
development swaps linking external and internal debts with investments and growth through the
privatization process.
70
It is difficult to advocate for the dissolution of the IMF-World Bank because of the
negative impact of its adjustment programmes in Africa. It will be of great assistance if the
donor countries (the financier of the IMF-World Bank group) should permit the IMF-World
Bank to allow for long term loan and grant packages for the borrowers instead of the present
short term policy of the IMF. Otherwise, the package should be reconsidered in the light of the
dwindling public sector investment in the borrower’s countries.
6. CONCLUSION
The free market fundamentalism of the World Bank and IMF has had a disastrous
impact on Africa's development contrary to the stated aims of the SAP which from the
perspective of development broadly understood as involving economic growth, structural
change, and elimination of poverty. Macroeconomic stability has improved modestly in a few
African countries, but many analysts doubt its sustainability given the experience of Cote
d'Ivoire, Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. In Uganda however, where slight macroeconomic
stability has occurred, volatile external finance has been largely responsible.
71
Moreover,
stability has been achieved mostly at the great expense of domestic investment even in basic
infrastructures which are central to sustainable growth and development.
In a large number of African countries infrastructural base and human capital formation
which was deemed to be fragile at the beginning of SAP have even deteriorated further
throughout the adjustment period. Africa’s capacity for managing the crisis has been further
diminished through massive “brain drain(migration of highly skilled labour overseas) and
demoralised civil service caused by sharply declining wages and salaries, massive
retrenchment, relentless vilification for corruption and insensitive denigration of their
competence by foreign “experts” on “capacity-building” missions. Poverty has intensified
despite a modest recovery in some African countries, and human development indicators (life
expectancy, infant mortality, and school enrolment) are in the negative quartile of indices.
69
S.E. Omoruyi, "The financial sector in Africa. Overview and reforms in economic adjustment programmes",
Economic and Financial Review of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Volume 29, No. 2, June 1991. Also in United
Nations Economic and Social Council, “Reviving Investment In Africa: Constraints And Policies” , Economic
Commission for Africa, Sixteenth meeting of the Technical Thirtieth session of the Commission/ Preparatory
Committee of the twenty-first meeting of the Conference Whole of Ministers, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia / Addis Ababa,
Ethiopia, 24-28 April 1995 / 1-4 May 1995, E/ECA/CM.21/7
70
United Nations Economic and Social Council, “Reviving Investment In Africa: Constraints And Policies” ,
Economic Commission for Africa, Sixteenth meeting of the Technical Thirtieth session of the Commission/
Preparatory Committee of the twenty-first meeting of the Conference Whole of Ministers, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia /
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 24-28 April 1995 / 1-4 May 1995, E/ECA/CM.21/7.
71
Ibid. Also cited in Mkandawire, Thandika and Charles C. Soludo, op.cit.
Sacha Journal of Policy and Strategic Studies, Volume 1 Number 2 (2011); pp. 110-130
126
Whilst the World Bank and IMF require budget cuts in the public sectors of the African
countries, the Structural Adjustment Programme permitted public sector spending on arms and
the overall military sector. As a direct result, African government spending on arms import
increased leading to the proliferation of arms in the continent thereby increasing the occurrence
of conflicts and the violation of human rights on a wider scale. The United States (one of the
architects of the IMF) is the world’s biggest arms exporter. In 1999, the United States exported
well over $11.8 billion arms and armaments, out of which about $7.6 billion worth were sold in
Africa at the peak of SAP.
72
Sad, isn’t it?
For African countries to have real chances of pursuing successful development under
the IMF-World Bank Structural Adjustment, lessons should be derived from the experiences of
other more successful economies, especially in South East Asia where IMF-World Bank
Structural Adjustment has succeeded in fostering socio-economic development.
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