Download Adjustment in Africa: lessons from country case studies by Ishrat Husain, Rashid Faruquee PDF

By Ishrat Husain, Rashid Faruquee

The publication offers case reports of Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania - all selected for the wide range of stipulations current earlier than their person adjustment programmes started. The stories ensure that at any time when adjustment programmes are vigorously pursued, effects are strongly optimistic from the viewpoints of development and relief of poverty. A key aspect in making sure a winning adjustment programme is robust motivation and dedication by way of the management of every state. Too many abrupt, unpredictable and common adjustments and reversals of regulations erode the credibility of the programmes, accentuate the uncertainties, and decelerate investor self assurance. briefly, the good fortune of reforms hinges on coverage balance, continuity and predictability.

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The lesson here is that in attempting to restructure an economywhich implies a redistribution of income and, along with it, powera government must recognize not only the economic but also the social and political bonds that hold a society together. Ignoring these dimensions may limit the effectiveness of an otherwise well-planned reform program. Policymakers should not lose sight of the idiosyncratic nature of African states, since this can hold Page 19 clues to the reasons for their sometimes excessive involvement in productive activities and their reluctance to abandon them.

In none of the seven countries is there any indication of significant declines in total real spending on education and health. In Ghana and Tanzania the increase from the precrisis levels of social expenditure has been impressive, although much needs to be done to improve the quality and delivery of services. In all seven countries the majority of the poor live in rural areas, are smallholders and self-employed, and derive their incomes from producing and marketing food and export crops. Because the rural terms of trade improved in six of the countries (Côte d'Ivoire in the second half of the 1980s is an exception)as a result of devaluation, liberalized marketing, higher producer prices, and lower taxesthe rural poor appear to have benefited from real income gains over an extended period.

Further progress will also depend on the continued liberalization of the economy and the institution of appropriate incentives to encourage economic diversification. Perhaps as a further indication that change is both beneficial and inevitable, in the summer of 1993 the country held its first democratic elections and the outcome surprised almost everyonethe incumbent presidential candidate, and his ethnic group's traditional hold on important government positions and the military, lost to a relatively unknown banker.

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