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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Structural Adjustment and Structural Change in Sub-Saharan Africa: Some Provisional Conclusions
Author:Gibbon, Peter
Periodical:Development and Change
Geographic term:Subsaharan Africa
economic policy
Politics and Government
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
External link:https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7660.1996.tb00610.x
Abstract:There are severe methodological difficulties with all existing efforts to draw causal conclusions about the effects of structural adjustment programmes (SAPs) in sub-Saharan Africa. An alternative procedure suggested in this paper starts out from a critical evaluation of some of the assumptions about socioeconomic realities in Africa implicit in adjustment policy recommendations, initially focusing on their appropriateness for understanding pre and no-adjustment situations. It describes certain structural changes in the private sector and social service provision, which appear to be arising in several adjusting countries in Africa. The two most important changes identified are a rise in the relative importance of trading capitals which are dependent upon illicit links to the State, and a growing subordination of social service provision to private interests of specific class, occupational and ideological complexions. Returning to adjustment programmes, it is then demonstrated that these changes are emergent properties of the interaction of the reforms with actually existing socioeconomic structures. The study draws on evidence gathered by the structural adjustment research programme of Nordiska Afrikainstitutet in 1992-1994 in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.