International politics of structural adjustment in sub-Saharan Africa 1983-1990 : with special reference to Ghana and Nigeria
Sub-Saharan Africa entered the 1980s faced with a crisis of unprecedented proportions. The economies of the region which were already in decline by the late 1970s, were in danger of collapse. The severity of the crisis was also reflected in rising indebtedness, social decay and political instability. To tackle it, African leaders met at an extraordinary economic summit in Lagos in 1980 and adopted a common strategy which became known as the Lagos Plan of Action. The crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa is part of a general world-wide economic recession stemming from a period of economic decline in the leading industrial economies. As a result, the leading industrialised countries and international institutions designed strategies to tackle the crisis both at the global level and in the developing countries such as those in Sub-Saharan Africa. For Africa, the strategy adopted by the World Bank and the IMF was that of structural adjustment. The orthodox approach of the World Bank generated controversy as to its suitability to the African situation. This disagreement was a reflection of conflicting political interests as well as power relations both internationally, and within African states. This thesis analyses the impact of the politics of structural adjustment programmes in Africa, with special reference to Ghana and Nigeria between 1983-1990. The arguement is that orthodox structural adjustment has failed to reverse the decline in Africa largely because of continuing disagreement between African governments and international institutions over the content and direction of adjustment. The study is presented over eight chapters. The introductory chapter sets the agenda. Chapter one covers the international dimension of the African crisis, while chapter two looks at the internal dimension. Chapter three contains a detailed analysis of the international politics of structural adjustment. Chapters four and five discuss the adjustment programme in Ghana and its impact on the country's political economy. The Nigerian experience is similarly examined in chapters six and seven. The conclusion, chapter eight, addresses the issues behind the failure of orthodox adjustment in Africa and makes recommendations.