Period of Deregulation 1985–2005
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The 1980s and 1990s is commonly referred to as Africa’s lost-decades. In most parts of the continent, economic growth and social development were stagnating. Pushed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, many African governments embarked on policies of liberalisation and deregulation. Hillbom and Green discuss the mixed effects of these reforms. While they dismantled the gate-keeping state and opened up for reform, they had limited impact on the profound structural weakness of the African economies. Most countries continued to depend on exports revenues from a limited number of raw materials and agricultural goods. Liberalisation moved the development focus from the state to other forces such as markets, civil society and NGOs, but they also did not possess a silver bullet for development.
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