chapter  17
Adjustment with Growth: A Fragile Consensus
ByJohn Ravenhill
Pages 31

African governments may have had to move furthest in order that a consensus on 'adjustment with growth' was realised, but this has been facilitated by a modification of the Bank's stance since the publication of Accelerated Development. The introduction of conditionality results in part from the view that, in success or failure at structural adjustment, vested interests count as much as the rationality of policy-making. There are two issues that sometimes appear to be confused in the discussion of Africa's economic crisis. The first is an explanation for the relatively poor performance of many countries during the 1970s, which surely lies in both internal and external variables. The second is whether the economic downturn in Africa since 1979 need have been so severe had adequate external financing accompanied appropriate policy reform. African economies were set on a steep downward spiral by sudden external shocks, import strangulation, and the inexperience of governments in dealing with a crisis.