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Howard Stein- CSGR Working Paper No. 32/99 - May 1999

Globalisation, Adjustment and the Structural Transformation of African Economies?: The Role of International Financial Institutions

Under the auspices of the World Bank and IMF, for almost two decades, sub-Saharan African countries have implemented structural adjustment, an orthodox package of economic reform measures. During this period there has been an unprecedented proliferation of technology investment and trade in the world economy. However sub-Saharan Africa has performed poorly under adjustment and has been largely marginalized from the international economy. The paper investigates the problems with the theoretical model underlying structural adjustment policies to explain why the model is not conducive to either African development or Africa’s increasing participation in the global economy. An example is used to illustrate the existence of an alternative set of policies that may be better suited for Africa.

Keywords: Structural adjustment, sub-Saharan Africa, globalisation, economic development.
JEL Classification: O23
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