Short-Term Policies for Long-Term Development
As noted in Chapter 1, stabilisation and adjustment dominated policy-making in sub-Saharan Africa throughout the 1980s. Given the persistence of the problems most countries are facing, this situation is likely to continue for the rest of the century. Most of these adjustment policies were usually formulated in collaboration with the major international financial institutions. The policies agreed with these institutions, especially those associated with the IMF, were short term in focus and were designed primarily to restore economic equilibrium. Yet they have had important medium- and long-term implications, particularly since they have been adopted over such a prolonged period. Thus some countries had IMF or World Bank agreements almost continuously throughout the 1980s, while at least 10 countries initiated 10 or more programmes during the decade (see Table 1.2). Despite their medium-term implications, there appears to have been a tendency to neglect long-term development needs when formulating adjustment policies. In some respects, indeed, it appears that the policies being pursued are actually moving African economies away from a desirable long-term path.
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