Author(s): Ekouevi K, Adepoju A
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Abstract PIP: This discussion concludes that the economic crises of the 1980s resulted in a halt to the social and economic development of sub-Saharan Africa. Employment, health, and education sectors all deteriorated under structural adjustment programs (SAPs) and poor economic performance. SAPs are considered inadequate solutions to long-term problems. Economic crises were found to affect countries differently in their demographic impact. Delayed demographic transition occurred both through economic development as a prerequisite and as a result of poor economic development. Case studies of each country are considered the appropriate geographic unit of analysis of demographic change rather than regional or comparative studies. The economic crises in sub-Saharan Africa occurred due to both external (commodity prices, high real interest rates, and decreasing net capital flows) and internal distortions (strategies of development such as import substitution, neglect of the agricultural sector, and government control of prices and trade). The unfavorable external context reduced export prices and earnings while increasing the costs of imports. Internal controls were detrimental to farmers. During the 1970s and 1980s African countries experienced declines in both the volume and value of exports, increases in import volume, and imbalances in the balance of payments. Large domestic borrowing and foreign borrowing was done by governments, which was at the expense of the private sector. Economic management and corruption were rampant. SAPs restrained demand, reduced public expenditures, adjusted exchange rates, contracted the size of the public sector, liberalized trade, deregulated the interest rate, stimulated domestic production, and used market forces for balancing optimum allocation of resources. SAPs were the fix for trade imbalances and government debt. Development was slowed or stopped. During 1980-87 spending on health care, education, and infrastructure was drastically reduced. These already weak sectors were further weakened. Inflation rose. Public sector employment was reduced. Wages declined, which resulted in a massive demoralization, unemployment, and poverty. Manpower development was threatened by declines in education.
This article was published in J Int Dev
and referenced in Business and Economics Journal