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Download African External Finance in the 1990s (World Bank Symposium) by Ishrat Husain, John Underwood PDF

By Ishrat Husain, John Underwood

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The region's macroeconomic policies, domestic savings, and efficiency of resource useall generally poorimpinge heavily on the size, growth, and timing of external finance. The papers in this symposium volume assume that structural adjustment efforts in most African countries will be intensified and strengthened. Macroeconomic imbalances and microeconomic distortions will be minimized if not eliminated. Trade, investment policies, and regulatory framework will be streamlined. Private savings and investment will be encouraged through financial liberalization.

These measures can take the form of further reductions in debt or debt-service payments or further increases in highly concessional ODA. Bur-den-sharing among creditors is likely to be simplified if the assistance comes as concessional debt relief tailored to the circumstances of individual debtor countries. Further debt relief tailored in this manner could increase external resources for Sub-Saharan Africa in the 1990s. But the terms of that relief are Page 9 important, because further cash-flow relief could fill financing needs but be detrimental to growth.

While bilateral ODA disbursements could reasonably meet the Bank study's target, overall ODA net disbursements are likely to fall short of that goal in absence of a compensatory offset in concessionary multilateral funds. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the major international financial institution that is not a development bank. 5 percent of the region's total external liabilities. As Acquah and Edo point out, the IMF has been flexible in adapting instruments and policies to changes in the international environment.

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