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ConLemporary economlc developmenL ln Afrlca ls hlsLorlcally condlLloned and moLlvaLed by
Lhe lnfluence of boLh lnLernal and exLernal organlzaLlons and lnsLlLuLlons and Lhelr fallures Lo
provlde effecLlve sLraLegles Lo dlsLrlbuLe wealLh. Afrlcan developmenL plans have hlsLorlcally been
manlpulaLed by sLaLe sLrucLures aL Lhe expense of Lhe resL of Lhe populaLlon, whlle lnLernaLlonally
lmposed resLrucLurlng plans have, albelL ln many ways accldenLally, wroughL havoc on sLaLe and
local Lrade economles and furLher compounded Lhe slLuaLlon. 1hls revlew wlll demonsLraLe Lhe
desLrucLlveness of dlfferenL Lypes of sLrucLural ad[usLmenL, and Lhe effecLlveness of Lhe Chlnese
approach Lo economlc developmenL ln Afrlcan naLlons followlng sLrucLural ad[usLmenL fallures ln
Mozamblque and 8wanda. 1hls revlew focuses on Panlon, Leys, SLorey and Wllllams Lo dlscusslons
of sLrucLural ad[usLmenL and Lhe LheoreLlcal approaches behlnd Lhe pracLlce. Alden and Polsag's
undersLandlng of Chlnese economlc and forelgn pollcy wlll be used Lo show how deLached economlc
pollcy dlrecLly beneflLs Lhe Afrlcan sLaLe model of growLh.
!"#$%&' )%*'*+$% ;'-<=&/$1> ?*41 @ABC2 68- 3->4D9$//$&+4 E>0*18-4-4
Colln Leys' assessmenL of Afrlcan economlc developmenL over Lhe perlod of 1960 Lo 1980 as
sLrangely obscure" (Leys, 1996: 107) could noL be more accuraLe, Afrlca's economles have been as
lnfluenced by Lhe exLernal orlenLaLlon of Lrade markeLs as Lhey have been Lo a model of dependence
formed Lhrough lnLeracLlon wlLh former colonlal powers. (Leys, 1996) Leys develops hls argumenL
around Lhe noLlon LhaL as Afrlcan economles grew wlLhln Lhe goals of Lhe un uevelopmenL
uecades" (Leys, 1996: 108) beLween 1960 and 1980, lnequallLles ln dlsLrlbuLlon of wealLh beLween
lnLernal economlc demographlcs became much more pronounced. 1hls lnequallLy, coupled wlLh
deeper accumulaLlon of debL by Afrlcan counLrles Lo developed naLlons creaLed an unLenable
plaLform for economlc developmenL ls many Afrlcan naLlons (Leys, 1996). Leys aLLrlbuLes many of
Lhe problems LhaL Afrlcan naLlons face economlcally Lo 'exLernal orlenLaLlon' of Lhe Afrlcan
economles" (Leys, 1996: 112), playlng off of Lhe ldea of dependency slmllarly Lo LhaL whlch was
presenL ln LaLln Amerlcan economles (Leys, 1996: 112). Leys asserLs LhaL modernlzaLlon Lheory
fall[ed] Lo see LhaL Afrlcan backwardness was shaped by colonlallsm. lL also falled Lo see how far
Lhe posL-lndependence paLLern of Lrade and lnvesLmenL, Lhe paLLerns of ald glven Lo local 'ellLes', or
Lhe Lransfer of WesLern LasLes relnforced Lhe backward, lnegallLarlan sLrucLures of Lhe ex-colonlal
Afrlcan economles." (Leys, 1996: 112) WlLhln Lhls conLexL, a complex enLrenchmenL of lnequallLles ls
allowed Lo perpeLuaLe egreglous lnequallLles of lncome and wealLh wlLhln a small populaLlon of
ellLes. As lndusLrlallzaLlon became more cenLral Lo Afrlcan economles and prollferaLed by
mulLlnaLlonal corporaLlons, corrupLlon became more commonplace and led Lo lnsLablllLy and
vlolence wlLhln Afrlcan naLlons (Leys, 1996: 112).
WlLh Lhe rlse of dependency Lheory ln Afrlca, a subsequenL and conLrasLlng argumenL by 8lll
Warren ln !"#$%&'(&)"* ,&-.$$% -/ 0'#&1'(&)" (1973) ls hlghllghLed by Leys: Warren effecLlvely argues
LhaL caplLallsL developmenL ls, and always has been, uneven, conLradlcLory and cosLly ln human
Lerms." (Warren, 1976, referenced ln Leys, 1996: 118) As wlLh dependency Lheory, caplLallsL reglmes
ln Afrlca evenLually became more corrupL and fell Lo Lhe same corrupLlon and lnequallLy as
dependence and soclallsL economles (Leys, 1996). Leys argumenL closes wlLh Lhe LaclLurn sLaLemenL
LhaL a soluLlon wlll noL come from anywhere buL Afrlca" (Leys, 1996: 134) regardlng a revlLallzaLlon
of Afrlcan economles, and a predlcLlon LhaL more confllcL, economlc or oLherwlse, wlll lead Lo new,
more poslLlve dynamlcs ln Lhe conLlnenL.
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Whlle Leys' assessmenL of Afrlcan economles and Lhelr shorLcomlngs hlghllghLs lmporLanL
areas of crlLlque, Lhere ls an lmpresslon LhaL all approaches evenLually lead Lo corrupLlon, sLagnanL
growLh and a fundamenLal lnablllLy Lo escape from Lhe colonlallsL hlsLory whlch surrounds many of
Lhe Afrlcan counLrles LhaL he menLlons ln passlng. Cavln Wllllams' paper 234 51%6716%'( 89:6)1"$.1
&) ;$7$))'%4 '.9 234 !1 <-$).=1 2-%> (1994) dlssecLs Leys' argumenL and offers a complemenLary
hypoLhesls: 1he lnablllLy of governmenLs Lo secure Lhelr flscal bases and Lo saLlsfy Lhe mulLlpllclLy of
demands of Lhelr varlous consLlLuenLs undermlned Lhelr leglLlmacy." (Wllllams, 1994: 214) Wllllams
furLher sLaLes LhaL 'sLrucLural ad[usLmenL' programmes offered by Lhe lnLernaLlonal MoneLary lund
(lMl) and Lhe World 8ank were noL empowered Lo provlde long-Lerm loans Lo counLrles faclng
chronlc balance of paymenLs problems and rlslng lnLernaLlonal debLs." (Wllllams, 1994: 213) WlLhln
Lhls conLexL, Afrlcan economlc problems can be reconcepLuallsed as an almosL solely lnLernal
problem LhaL was furLher exacerbaLed by lndusLrlallzaLlon and generaLed holdlngs of forelgn asseLs
by pollLlcal rulers and Lhelr assoclaLes whlch maLched Lhelr governmenL's unrequlLed debLs."
(Wllllams, 1994: 213) As more and more Afrlcan naLlons depended more on exporLaLlon of goods Lo
drlve Lhelr economles, a greaLer lmporLance on naLlonal proLecLlon of economles was adopLed,
whlch lronlcally creaLed a more vulnerable exporLaLlon markeL ln regards Lo volaLlllLy (Wllllams,
1994: 216) As debLs mounLed ln counLrles uLlllzlng sLraLegles of 'lmporL-subsLlLuLlng'
lndusLrlallsaLlon, commerclal banks ln Lhe 1970s offered loans LhaL were more appeallng Lhan
lnLernaLlonal flnanclal lnsLlLuLlons. WlLhouL Lhe sLrucLural goals lmposed by lnLernaLlonal flnanclal
lnsLlLuLlons and Lhe relaLlve wllllngness for commerclal banks Lo lend Lo naLlons wlLh oLherwlse
quesLlonable credlL- provlded LhaL all loans had flexlble lnLeresL raLes- accepLlng money from
commerclal banks seemed llke a good ldea, Lhls would laLer Lurn ouL Lo be a Loxlc mlx as real
lnLeresL raLes rose and prlmary exporLs fell ln Lhe 1980s" (Wllllams, 1994: 216), ulLlmaLely pushlng
many Afrlcan economles lnLo Lhe arms of Lhe lMl and World 8ank, begglng for money.
key polnLs ln Wllllams' argumenL revolve around Lhe unsusLalnablllLy of agrlculLural exporL
expanslon, devaluaLlon of currencles due Lo governmenLal excess and corrupLlon, and subsequenL
explolLaLlon of 'peasanL producers' Lo balance governmenL debLs. Any surplus revenues galned from
Lhese pracLlces where normally used Lo flll ellLes' pockeLs and flnance overseas holdlngs, and
[usLlfled Lrough a soclallsL model of dlrecL, naLlonallsL conLrol (Wllllams, 1994). Currencles were
arLlflclally valued Lo malnLaln low lnflaLlon, buL had Lhe nasLy slde effecL of desLroylng lndusLrlal
ouLpuL and causlng deflclLs, Lhese communal acLlons caused lnfrasLrucLural sLraln and led Lo Lhe
creaLlon of numerous smuggllng neLworks and black markeLs for consumer goods (Wllllams, 1994).
LvenLually, Lhese naLlons wenL bankrupL and, unable Lo pay for Lhelr currenL lmporLs- even for Lhe
mosL essenLlal lLems. Lhey were forced lnLo Lhe arms of Lhe lnLernaLlonal recelvers of bankrupL
governmenLs, Lhe lnLernaLlonal MoneLary fund (lMl) and Lhe World 8ank." (Wllllams, 1994: 220)
SLrucLural ad[usLmenL ln Lhe shorL Lerm, Wllllams argues, lmmedlaLely produces sLraln on economles
dlsproporLlonaLely Lo Lhe lmmedlaLe advanLages of ad[usLmenL (Wllllams, 1994: 224) buL over Llme
reallse susLalnable galns ln economlc sLablllLy, conLlngenL on sLrlcL adherence Lo Lhe sLrucLural
ad[usLmenL program.
Wllllams proposes a more ln-depLh analysls of Lhe Afrlcan economlc condlLlons, buL hls
concluslons are pesslmlsLlc and fall Lo offer any ln-depLh analysls of scenarlos Lo furLher explaln hls
hypoLheses. CorrupLlon and lndusLrlallzaLlon dependency, as ln Leys' assessmenL remaln key
facLors, buL Wllllams offers a parLlal soluLlon Lhrough a susLalned neL lnflow of forelgn exchange"
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Wllllams, 1994: 223), also noLlng LhaL forelgn lnvesLors are unllkely Lo susLaln neL new
lnvesLmenLs. prefer[lng] Lo Lake Lhelr money up fronL. by acLlng as conLracLors Lo governmenLs,
preferably on ald pro[ecLs or wlLh LxporL credlL guaranLees Lo proLecL Lhem." (Wllllams, 1994: 223)
1hls lasL commenL ls of parLlcular lmporLance Lo undersLandlng Lhe lnvolvemenL of Chlnese
companles ln Afrlca and Lhelr unlque meLhod of dolng buslness wlLh Afrlcan naLlons posL lMl and
World 8ank resLrucLurlng. Wllllams' argumenLs agalnsL sLrucLural ad[usLmenL are furLher bolsLered
by Lhe work of Andy SLory (2001) regardlng sLrucLural ad[usLmenL and Lhe role LhaL lL played ln
faclllLaLlng Lhe 8wandan genoclde, and Lhe flndlngs of !oseph Panlon (2000) on Lhe lmpacL of Lhe
World 8ank on Lhe Mozamblcan cashew nuL lndusLry.

F*#- E&#+ 18&' G**H2 I1#=%1=#&/ J-&HK=41+-'1 $' F*L&+M$<=- &'H JN&'H&
Mozamblque's preclplLous decllne from produclng one half of Lhe world's cashew nuLs ln Lhe
1960s Lo accounLlng for flve per cenL of Lhe global markeL LoLal ln 1998 (Crupo de 1rabalho Sobre o
Ca[u, 1998, referenced ln Panlon, 2000) and subsequenL anaemlc recovery can be aLLrlbuLed, ln parL,
Lo World 8ank-lmposed framework for free markeL economy wlLhln Lhe counLry wlLhouL a profound
undersLandlng of Lhe Mozamblcan culLure and socleLy (Panlon, 2000). Panlon's argumenL focuses
around Lhe naLlonallzaLlon of cashew processlng faclllLles ln 1973 and an lncrease ln exporL Larlffs
LhaL led Lo blankeL lnefflclency wlLhln Lhe lndusLry.
When Lhe World 8ank commlssloned a sLudy ln 1993, Lhere was no communlcaLlon
beLween Lhe acLual lndusLry and Pllmarsson durlng Lhe research, whlch led Lo fundamenLal flaws
and accuracy lssues (Panlon, 2000). 1he resulLlng lmposlLlons on Lhe Mozamblque cashew nuL
exporL Larrlfs-requlred removal of Lhe cashew exporL Lax" (,-(&74 ?%'"$@-%> ,'#$% /-%
A-B'"C&D6$* EFFG, referenced ln Panlon, 2000: 36) - furLher served Lo undermlne Mozamblcan
socleLy growLh. A conLradlcLlon arose from Lhe asserLlons of World 8ank resldenL !ames
Wolfensohn LhaL counLrles musL be ln Lhe drlvers' seaL and seL Lhe course" (Panlon, 2000: 43) and
World 8ank pracLlce ln Mozamblque whlch proved [usL Lhe opposlLe, Lhe World 8ank poslLlon ln
Mozamblque effecLlvely bludgeoned Lhe counLry lnLo accepLlng condlLlonal ald as a blankeL pollcy
LhaL Lhe unlLed naLlons uevelopmenL rogramme laLer deemed Lo be wlldly counLerproducLlve
(unu, 1997: 76, 77, referenced ln Panlon, 2000: 42).
Slmllarly ln 8wanda, Lhe lMl and World 8ank LaclLly supporLed Lhe Akazu ellLes ln Lhe
8wandan reglme Lhrough Lhe percepLlon of Lhe SLaLe as an essenLlally neuLral, lf overexLended
acLor ln 8wandan socleLy" (SLorey, 2001: 372). Chossudovsky (1997) argues LhaL Lhe lMl and World
8ank sLrucLural ad[usLmenL pollcles faclllLaLed Lhe power consolldaLlon, socleLal breakdown and
subsequenL vlolence perpeLraLed on Lhe 1uLsl eLhnlc groups , whlch ls supporLed by Lhe clalms LhaL
much of Lhe supporL was 'absorbed' lnLo a sLrucLure of ellLe enrlchmenL and mlllLarlsaLlon"
(Melvern, 2000: 68, referenced ln SLorey, 2001: 377) ln shorL, Lhe lMl and World 8ank's fallures
sLemmed from Lhe lack of any deLalled analysls of Lhe )#$7&/&7&14 of 8wanda. Lhe 8ank's dlscurslve
consLrucLlon mlssed. a crlLlcal elemenL of whaL was acLually happenlng - sharply rlslng lnequallLy,
acceleraLlng ellLe enrlchmenL and corrupLlon (malnly organlzed Lhrough Lhe sLaLe), and preparaLlons
for masslve vlolence on Lhe parL of Lhose who conLrolled Lhe SLaLe." (SLorey, 2001: 380) WlLhln Lhe
scope of Lhelr argumenLs agalnsL lMl and World 8ank sLrucLural read[usLmenL for counLrles, Panlon
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and SLorey porLray boLh lnLernaLlonal lnsLlLuLlons as granLlng leglLlmacy Lo corrupL sLaLe lnsLlLuLlons
ln Lhe case of 8wanda, and as mlslnformed and counLerproducLlve enLlLles perLalnlng Lo economlc
growLh ln Lhe case of Mozamblque, boLh auLhors crlLlques resL on Lhe asserLlon LhaL Lhe lMl and
World 8ank musL offer soluLlons LhaL are Lallored Lo flL each counLry, and LhaL a fallure Lo do so ls
deLrlmenLal Lo sLaLes' overall wellbelng. 1hese concluslons offer a furLher avenue Lo suggesL LhaL
currenL Chlnese economlc developmenL ln Afrlca allows Afrlcan counLrles a sulLable alLernaLlve
approach Lo economlc developmenL Lhrough dlplomacy velled ln lnfrasLrucLure developmenL and
economlc ald ln exchange for preferenLlal access Lo resources.

68- O8$'-4- !/1-#'&1$.-
Clven Lhe repeaLed fallures of WesLern colonlallsm and lnLernaLlonal organlzaLlons Lo
provlde sLable economlc opporLunlLles for Afrlcan naLlons, Chlnese lnvesLmenL has become a
welcome alLernaLlve for Afrlcan counLrles LhaL wlsh Lo bulld lnfrasLrucLure and lncrease prosperlLy
whlle keeplng flrm conLrol of Lhe proverblal economlc wheel. Chlnese lnvolvemenL ln Afrlcan
economles cenLres around provldlng Lhe Lools and manpower for Afrlcan counLrles Lo beLLer develop
Lhelr resources, qulLe llLerally pavlng Lhe way for sLronger economlc relaLlons" (Polsag, 2011: 272)
ln Culnea wlLh conLracLors or donaLlng mlllLary englneerlng equlpmenL Lo governmenLs ln
MaurlLanla. ln Lhe CenLral Afrlcan 8epubllc, lL came ln Lhe form of ald Lo keep Lhe admlnlsLraLlon
afloaL, Chlnese pollcy nelLher condemns nor resLralns reglmes buL raLher vlews Lhe duLy of Lhe sLaLe
Lo brlng back naLlonal sLablllLy and Lo creaLe Lhe securlLy LhaL was requlred for economlc
developmenL." (Polsag, 2011: 376) ln conLrasL Lo Lhe WesLern or lnsLlLuLlonal approaches, Chlnese
developmenL sLraLegy ls flrmly rooLed ln bllaLeral economlc cooperaLlon, granLlng Afrlcans any and
all ald needed for Chlnese enLerprlses Lo see reLurns on Lhelr lnvesLmenLs ln Lhe conLlnenL. Where
WesLern lnsLlLuLlons saw coups or corrupLlon wlLhln a naLlon as a serlous problem, Chlnese lnvesLors
saw roadblocks LhaL requlred dynamlc adapLaLlon wlLh a dlffuse form of mercanLlllsm. llrsL,
gaLher lnformaLlon. Second, show resLralnL Lo avold Lhe cosL of lnLerference. 1hlrd, evade
reslsLance. lourLh, enhance reslllence. llfLh, prevenL escalaLlon." (Polsag, 2011: 383, Alden, 2007:
11) WlLhln Lhe Chlnese model lles a dlplomaLlc reslllence bullL from Lhe very fallures of colonlallsm,
Lhe lMl and World 8ank, Lhe shared colonlallsL hlsLorles of Lhe Chlnese and Afrlcan naLlons serve Lo
Lle Lhe Lwo LogeLher ln a symbloLlc unlon (Alden, 2007)
Leys' and Wllllams' argumenLs regardlng Lhe desLrucLlveness of sLrucLural ad[usLmenL
approaches ln Afrlcan economlc pollcy hold Lrue when vlewed agalnsL Lhe cases of Mozamblque and
8wanda, Panlon and SLorey's crlLlques of lMl and World 8ank pollcy lmplemenLaLlon provlde
concreLe evldence LhaL a blankeL economlc agenda lrrespecLlve of culLural observaLlons and dynamlc
ad[usLmenLs cause chaos and furLher exacerbaLlon of any pre-exlsLlng economlc lssues. 1he
repeaLed fallures of sLrucLural ad[usLmenL approaches can be used Lo parLlally explaln Lhe recenL
Lrend of accepLance of Chlnese 'ald' as deLalled ln Alden and Polsag's work, showlng how leLLlng
Afrlcans 'Lake Lhe wheel' and dlcLaLe Lhelr needs creaLes sLable, producLlve economles.


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P$M/$*Q#&08>

Alden, Chrls (2007) 'Chlna's new lorelgn ollcy 1owards Afrlca' from Alden, Chrls, 03&.' !.
8/%&7', 8-36, London: Zed 8ooks
Panlon, !oseph (2000) 'ower wlLhouL 8esponslblllLy: 1he World 8ank &Mozamblcan
Cashew nuLs', H$I&$@ -/ 8/%&7'. ,-(&1&7'( J7-.-"4* vol. 27, no. 83, 29-43
Polsag, !onaLhan (2011) 'Chlna and Lhe Coups: Coplng WlLh ollLlcal lnsLablllLy ln Afrlca',
8/%&7'. 8//'&%)* vol. 110 no. 440, 367-386
Leys, Colln (1996) 'Afrlcan Lconomlc uevelopmenL ln 1heory and racLlce' from Leys, Colln,
K3$ H&)$ '.9 ?'(( -/ <$I$(-#"$.1 K3$-%4, 107-134, Cxford: !ames Currey
SLorey, Andy (2001) 'SLrucLural Ad[usLmenL, SLaLe ower &Cenoclde: 1he World 8anks
&8wanda', H$I&$@ -/ 8/%&7'. ,-(&1&7'( J7-.-"4, vol. 28, no. 89, 363-383
Wllllams, Cavln (1994)'Why SLrucLural Ad[usLmenL ls necessary and Why lL uoesn'L Work',
H$I&$@ -/ 8/%&7'. ,-(&1&7'( J7-.-"4* vol. 21, no. 60, 214-223