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Mr. Manuel Guitián

This paper reviews the World Bank lending for structural adjustment. The World Bank has always stressed the need to use limited investable resources efficiently. It has attempted to identify investment priorities in recipient countries and lent for projects that promised a high rate of return. The Bank’s Operational Manual defines structural adjustment lending as nonproject lending to support programs of policy and institutional change necessary to modify the structure of an economy so that it can maintain both its growth rate and the viability of its balance of payments in the medium term.

MARIAN E. BOND

Although sub-Saharan African countries differ greatly in their geographical and physical conditions, weather patterns, and cultural heritage, the similarity of their economic structures is striking. In particular, in nearly all these countries the agricultural sector remains dominant, and its well-being is crucial to the economy. It provides the earnings that support the industrial sector in its take-off into economic growth and the bulk of exports. Indeed, few countries have achieved sustained economic growth without first, or simultaneously, developing their agricultural sector. Nevertheless, over the 1970s the rate of growth of agricultural production in many of these sub-Saharan African countries declined from even the slow rates of the 1960s (Table 1).

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

When Ghana’s new Investors Advisory Council (IAC) held its debut meeting on May 3, members identified 18 problem areas in government policy, which have been assigned to relevant ministries for action within six months. They include regulatory reforms related to land ownership and mining and labor laws; safety and security; infrastructure, especially for energy, telecommunications, and information technology; financial services infrastructure; public sector sensitivity to the private sector; restoration of competitiveness to the mining sector; the economy’s dependence on aid and commodity exports; and the need for a partnership among government, private sector industries, and labor.

Mr. Paul Collier

Africa's Middle-Class Motor finds growing evidence that a recent resurgence in the continent's economic well-being has staying power. In his overview article, Harvard professor Calestous Juma says the emphasis for too long has been on eradicating poverty through aid rather than promoting prosperity through improved infrastructure, education, entrepreneurship, and trade. That is now changing: there is a growing emphasis on policies that produce a middle class. The new African middle class may not have the buying power of a Western middle class but it demands enough goods and services to support stronger economic growth, which, as IMF African Department head Antoinette Sayeh points out, in turn helps the poorest members of society. Oxford University economist Paul Collier discusses a crucial component of Africa's needed infrastructure: railways. It is a continent eminently suited to rail, development of which has been held back more by political than economic reasons. But even as sub-Saharan African thrives, its largest and most important economy, South Africa, has had an anemic performance in recent years. We also profile Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's colorful economic czar. "Picture This" mines current trends to predict what Africa will look like a half century from now and "Data Spotlight" looks at increased regional trade in Africa. Elsewhere, Cornell Professor Eswar Prasad, examines a global role reversal in which emerging, not advanced, economies are displaying resilience in the face of the global economic crisis. The University of Queensland's John Quiggin, who wrote Zombie Economics, examines whether it makes sense in many cases to sell public enterprises. Economists Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago and Rodney Ramcharan of the U.S. Federal Reserve find clues to current asset booms and busts in the behavior of U.S. farmland prices a century ago.

Abstract

This volume, edited by Michel A. Dessart and Roland E. Ubogu, records the presentations made and discussions held during the Inaugural Seminar of the Joint Africa Institute (JAI). The JAI was established in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, by the African Development Bank, the IMF, and the World Bank to meet the pressing training needs of the African continent. The participants discussed four main topics: the changing role of the state, governance, and new capacity requirements; the challenge of achieving macroeconomic stability in Africa; the requirement for capacity building in Africa; and the role of international financial institutions in capacity building in Africa. The seminar was held in November 1999, but the topics and recommendations of the seminar remain current and of particular importance today. The seminar was held in English and French, and both language versions are contained in this volume. 240 pp. 2001

Anwar Shah and Mark Schacter

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Mr. F. Rozwadowski, Mr. Siddharth Tiwari, Mr. David Robinson, and Ms. Susan M Schadler

Abstract

This paper evaluates progress made under ESAF-supported programs in attaining external viability, restoring economic growth, and implementing structural reforms. Performance is evaluated for 19 countries that entered ESAF arrangements by mid-1992, against the background of their initial conditions, external environment, and implementation of structural and macroeconomic policies.