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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Structural adjustment and the reform of public enterprises in Africa
Author:Gadio, Cheikh TidianeISNI
Periodical:Démocraties africaines
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:economic policy
public enterprises
Abstract:Public enterprises have played a central role in the political economy of Africa. For a combination of historical, political, ideological, economic, structural and technical reasons, African States have relied heavily on private enterprises in their development strategies. Yet the failure of private enterprises as a system in the first and second decades of independence was massive and unquestionable. The intrinsic flaws of the public enterprise system in Africa argue in favour of the urgency of decisive reform. Overall, the World Bank has been openly involved in pushing the reform agenda in African countries: liberalization, introduction of competition, deregulation. Since the 1980s it has been more aggressively promoting the 'real thing': privatization, divestiture, liquidation of incurable public enterprises or selling of even profitable ones. Privatization, whether in Africa or elsewhere, is often associated with efficiency improvement and ownership transfer. The latter raises the issue of national sovereignty and the fear of a foreign takeover during the privatization process, the more so in Africa in view of the local private sector's limited capacity to participate. Notes, ref.