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

By Ishrat Husain, Rashid Faruquee

The booklet offers case experiences of Burundi, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania - all selected for the big variety of stipulations current sooner than their person adjustment programmes begun. The reviews ascertain that each time 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 profitable adjustment programme is robust motivation and dedication by means of the management of every country. Too many abrupt, unpredictable and widespread alterations and reversals of guidelines 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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Depending on the methodology, the derived financing requirement can reflect commodity price changes and therefore suggest levels of compensating external assistance. That Burundi's export-to-import-price ratio had deteriorated during the adjustment period is clear: the terms of trade index in 1986 was 148 but registered only 70 in 1991. The effects of the drop in world coffee prices is Page 20 largely to blame. A simple calculation can help highlight the extent of the change. 5 percent of total official development assistance.

In retrospect, the government's reform effort, initiated in 1986, was too optimistic about how quickly the economy could be transformed given the initial limited commitment to the program, the extent of structural distortions in the economy, and the sensitive sociopolitical environment. Other significant factors that limited effectiveness included instability in Rwanda and Zaire, declining terms of trade, and periods of drought. Despite the initial difficulties, Burundi's adjustment program has been path-breaking and should be deemed successful if only in the sense that for the first time it introduced the notions and practice of more effective macroeconomic management.

Page 17 lacking and because privatization policy was not well defined. And technical assistance was often supply-driven by donors and not tailored to support the government's work program. The poor use of technical assistance also prevented the further development of institution-building capabilities. Effective ownership was also constrained by the late establishment of key ministerial and technical committees. It was not until the second operation that a permanent secretariat was established to monitor the program.

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