Program Examines Economic Policy and Poverty in Africa

By Mackin, Jeanne | Human Ecology Forum, Spring 1998 | Go to article overview

Program Examines Economic Policy and Poverty in Africa


Mackin, Jeanne, Human Ecology Forum


Since the late 1970s, African economies have performed poorly. Growth has been slow or nonexistent, poverty remains widespread, and living standards have stagnated. This discouraging economic performance contributed to internal and external pressures to reform economic policy and institutions in Africa.

Such reform programs, sponsored in general by international financial institutions, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, focused on reducing state intervention in the economy and increasing the role of market forces. They have been criticized for two basic deficiencies.

First, some have argued that they have failed to contribute to accelerated and sustainable growth in African economies. Second, and more compelling, has been the criticism that these so-called structural adjustment programs are too oriented toward achieving short-term macroeconomic stability and have only worsened the plight of the poor.

Not necessarily so, says David E. Sahn, director of the Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program (CFNPP). In a recent book, Structural Adjustment Reconsidered: Economic Policy and Poverty in Africa (Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, 1997), Sahn and co-authors Paul Dorosh and Stephen Younger, also of the Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program, argue that most of the poor stand to benefit from reforms that encourage economic liberalization. In particular, the book focuses on the effect on income distribution and poverty of three broad areas of reform: trade and exchange rate, fiscal reform, and agricultural and food marketing policy.

"A widespread perception exists among nongovernmental organizations, individuals, and institutions whose major concern is with the well-being of the poor that adjustment policies in these areas have worsened income distribution and poverty," Sahn says.

The authors counter that reform does help the poor, and economic liberalization that increases reliance on markets and encourages economic openness and competitiveness should continue to be implemented.

While Sahn admits the book probably won't be the last word in this heated and on-going debate, he hopes policy makers will move rapidly to adopt the types of economic reforms discussed in the book. Such action should be complemented by further political liberalization, investment in physical infrastructure and human resources, and a focus on strengthening critical state and civil institutions.

Sahn came to Cornell in 1987, one year before the Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program (CFNPP) was created in the Division of Nutritional Sciences. The program is designed specifically to assist policy makers and researchers who hope to accelerate economic growth and alleviate poverty and malnutrition in developing countries as well as in the transition economies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. While CFNPP's activities are largely centered on research and advising policy makers, staff members of the program also regularly organize and participate in training seminars and workshops for African researchers and government officials.

CFNPP has actively collaborated with numerous governments, international organizations, and universities. Recent collaborating institutions have included the African Economic Research Consortium and University of Nairobi in Kenya, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection in Romania, the Kiev International Institute of Sociology in Ukraine, the Ministry of Plan in Mozambique, the University of Malawi, the Economic Research Bureau and University of Dar Es Salaan in Tanzania, the University of Legon in Ghana, and the Institut Malagasy des Techniques de Planification in Madagascar. Funded largely by external donors such as the Africa Bureau of the Agency for International Development, the World Bank, and foreign governments, the program also receives support from the College of Human Ecology and the Division of Nutritional Sciences. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Program Examines Economic Policy and Poverty in Africa
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.