By J. Clapp

With the adoption of a global Bank-sponsored structural adjustment programme within the mid-1980s, Guinea underwent a dramatic switch in its fiscal and agricultural regulations. The country's event over the last decade illustrates essentially the most urgent difficulties encountered through African international locations pursuing financial reform. This publication analyses those problems by means of analyzing the adjustment adventure in Guinea because it affected the country's total political financial system and the rural zone specifically. It additionally locations this situation in the broader context of African adjustment.

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Additional info for Adjustment and Agriculture in Africa: Farmers, the State, and the World Bank in Guinea

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While it may be argued that this influence on political matters undermines African countries' sovereignty, some assert that broader influence, including political conditionality, is just what is needed. The governments of France, Britain, Belgium, Canada, and the US, for example, have begun to tie their development assistance to the promotion of democracy. The World Bank itself, in response to the heightened interest amongst major donors in linking political and economic reform, has come increasingly come close to advocating such political conditionality.

But while it seems to have abandoned the latter strategy by the early 1990s, it clung to the former. Instead of doing away with market-based reforms, the Bank began to concede, at least in its official literature, that structural adjustment needed to take place within a wider 'enabling environment' if it was going to bring improvements in economic and agricultural performance. At the same time, the Bank saw it as necessary to keep its main line that the general thrust of adjustment strategy was the right one.

6 But it is the ability of these countries to service their debts which is the crucial factor. 7 Because of SSA's lack of credit-worthiness in the eyes of private international bankers, a very high percentage of its debt is official, being either from multilateral institutions such as the World Bank, or from governments. Most of these loans are subject to policy reform conditions insisted upon by the official lenders, giving them considerable leverage over African governments. 8 The economic and agricultural crises in Africa unfolded in a hostile external environment.

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