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Economic Neoliberalism and African Development

Augustin Fosu () and Dede Gafa
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Dede Gafa: Department of Economics, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana

No 202074, Working Papers from University of Pretoria, Department of Economics

Abstract: The paper analyses the possible impacts of the neoliberalism policies pursued in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) on the economic development in the region during post-independence. It first presents a brief account of the socioeconomic situation in the immediate post-independence era until the adoption of the stabilisation and structural adjustment programmes by SSA countries. The paper, then, discusses the implementation of `neoliberal' reforms in the region. It also examines SSA's growth and development performance during the pre- and post-reforms periods, and provides some insights into the driving forces behind the region's economic outcomes. The study uncovers notable differences in economic policy across SSA countries, with policy orientation in most countries reflecting `partial' rather than `pure' neoliberalism. Nevertheless, at least at the regional level, there is an apparent reversal from dismal performance to impressive growth, accompanied by major improvements in development indicators following the reforms. These economic gains are observed to have been bolstered by relative political stability and reasonably market-friendly policies, supported by improved democratic institutions. Thus, maintaining such an institutional framework appears critical for continued economic development in Africa.

Pages: 48 pages
Date: 2020-08
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr
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