Government in Africa’s Emerging Market Economies

  • Edgardo Barandiaran
Part of the Studies on the African Economies book series (SAES)


There is a consensus of opinion across the political spectrum that the boundaries of state intervention and management in Africa should be more circumscribed than they have been. Sometimes it is said that the need is not so much for less government as for better government. Extensive state interventions in, and management of, economic life might be desirable, if only their quality were assured. This point glosses the argument only slightly, if, as seems usually the case, the quality of government deteriorates the more there is of it. The consensus to which I referred seems to be present even in official circles of Africa. But that would surely not be so if African economic growth had not been checked in the 1980s, if external debts had not become onerous, and if the real resources available to governments had not consequently diminished. Ideas of what tasks may fittingly be undertaken by governments in Africa have long depended on current financial prospects; governments have been unambitious only so long as they were not becoming richer. (Rimmer, 1989, p. 175)


Foreign Exchange Public Debt Socialist Economy Legal Order Military Spending 
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Copyright information

© Centre for the Study of African Economies 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edgardo Barandiaran

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