Structural Adjustment Programs in Africa Research Paper

Structural Adjustment Programs in Africa
A discussion of the relevance of structural adjustment programs to the democratization and development in Africa.
# 9662 | 4,434 words | 13 sources | MLA | 2001 | JM

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Structural Adjustment Policies are economic policies which countries must follow in order to qualify for international loans. This paper examines structural adjustment policies as applied to contemporary Africa and the extent to which these policies may or may not be relevant. Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Botswana, are cited as useful case-studies in evaluating the programs. It also analyzes the effects of these policies on health, education, transportation, national budgets and devaluation.

From the Paper:

"From the late 1970s and into the 1980s, there have been a great many arguments concerning the introduction of structural adjustment policies in African territories. In essence, when one speaks of an on-going debate about the relevance of structural adjustment policies, one speaks to the fact that structural adjustment policies had both positive and negative effects on African countries, such as Gambia, Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, Cote d Ivoire, Zaire, Ghana and Zambia, as well as most of Sub-Saharan Africa collectively. By extension, therefore, the debate proceeds as to whether structural adjustment policies were substantively or inherently ineffective, since most of the people suffering under such programmes were the poor and the disadvantaged, a great portion of them being women. Other main arguments concern the fact that by the professed stabilization or restructuring of economies, adjustment policies stressed cuts in expenditure and the reduction of subsidies as well as limited public sector involvement that often augured well for education programmes. The reduction in expenditure on health programmes also caused health risks in the form of the deprivation of Africans of needed facilities and medicines, for example, for diseases such as HIV/AIDS."

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