This chapter shows broad changes in the role of finance in development policies, practices, and processes in sub-Saharan Africa. The private turn in development policy has been operating in the context of the rise of international private finance on a global scale. Early approaches to late industrialization stressed both the imperative for the modernization of the economy, as well as the need for adequate financing for development. Since the 1980s, development policies have been underpinned by the logics of the Washington Consensus and by the neoclassical economics that informs the approach. The concrete forms taken by financial development and financializations are shaped by historical developments in capitalism from colonialism into independence. The chapter examines the historical trends in external debt and, particularly, the changing composition of financial flows and creditors, and highlights both broad trends as well as key differences between countries.