African External Finance in the 1990s (World Bank Symposium) by Ishrat Husain, John Underwood

By Ishrat Husain, John Underwood

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Series. 3'435'096c20 CIP Page iii FOREWORD Most African governments and donors now broadly agree that achieving sustained economic growth depends not only on continuing economic and financial policy reforms but also on a wide array of other action needed to deal with long-term development problems. The World Bank, in partnership with other donors, is supporting initiatives by African countries to deal with these long-term issuesto build the capacity of African institutions, to strengthen human resource development, to improve governance, and to stop environmental degradation.

At first, this strategy seemed to pay off. Strong export demand and high investmentfinanced from export earnings, commercial borrowing, and aidboosted GDP growth. But the strategy began to show its failures as countries stumbled after the first oil shock in 1973-74. (See Annex table 1). In the 1970s most African countries expanded public consumption and investment. Instead of raising savings, they financed much of this with foreign funds, taking advantage of heavier borrowing based on high export prices and negative real interest rates in international markets.

C. A. All rights reserved Manufactured in the United States of America Second printing November 1991 The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this study are entirely those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to the World Bank, to its affiliated organizations, or to members of its Board of Executive Directors or the countries they represent. Because of the informality of this series and to make the publication available with the least possible delay, the manuscript has not been edited as fully as would be the case with a more formal document, and the World Bank accepts no responsibility for errors.

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