Monday, September 26, 2005

Structural Adjustment:Helping or Harming Africa?

Bono made a stand with his Live8 concerts urging the G7 + Russia (G8) to give 100% debt relief to poverty-stricken countries. But is this the most effective way of helping African countries? The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (IBRD) have encouraged African countries to engage in structural adjustment -- to embrace neo-liberalism and globalization, focusing on each country's comparative advantage. How effective has this been? Two African countries, Ghana and Uganda, underwent structural adjustment in the 1980s and now qualify for 100% debt relief. But overall, have SAPs helped or harmed African countries?