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The areas of science and technologies most vigorously pursued are increasingly determined by foreigners
In countries as poor as those we studied, particularly at times when their economies are under such strain, it is not at all unexpected that their provision for the future is minimal; they are stretched to the limit providing for the present. Where the pursuit of science and technology, the epitome of investment for the future, is concerned, the resources must come mainly from abroad. Come they do, as we have observed.
Yet the foreign donations for advancing science and technology do not come without strings. This too is not at all unexpected. Foreign donors wish to be assured that the recipients are committed to the projects they, the foreign donors, support. As guarantee of local participation in the joint endeavour they usually require that the local government make a substantial contribution. Generally, this is interpreted by foreign donors as a contribution exceeding what the local government would have allocated to the project in the absence of the donation. So the favoured project receives both the foreigner's contribution and an augmented local contribution: it is doubly favoured.
One then asks what happens to the funding of projects that fail to secure foreign assistance; the answer is that they are likely to receive even fewer local funds. The reason that the unfavoured projects receive less funds from local government is that the local supplier of funds, be it a Ministry or a para-statal firm, has a fixed overall budget, authorized by the Finance Ministry. This budget is, itself, seldom augmented to allow for 'counterpart funds'; rather the 'counterpart funds' are offset by an equal reduction in the funds allocated to other activities within the same Ministry or firm. In this manner, projects designed locally but not preferred by the foreign donors receive relatively less than they otherwise would.
Illustrations of the way in which foreigners influence the direction of advances in science and technology are seen in the Masterplans that are being formulated in Sub-Saharan African countries. The objectives of these Masterplans are to make explicit those lines of endeavour on which the country should concentrate, and those from which it should back off. Tanzania's Agricultural Masterplan (Tanzania, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Cooperatives, 1991), for example, assigns first priority in R&D to coffee, cotton, tea, rice, animal health, soil and water management, and 'farm systems' research, in that order. Only these activities would command more resources. Items of second priority - the list comprises maize, roots and tubers, phaseolus beans, grain legumes, and vegetable and oil seeds - would be rationalized but would not command more resources; and activities of third and last priority would receive little support (ibid.: x), and that in diminishing amounts.
Setting priorities, planning and allocating resources to their attainments and adhering vigilantly and strictly to subsequent programmes, are highly desirable actions: the questions that arise in the case of the Masterplans are: on what bases are the priorities set? and who does the setting?
According to the Tanzanian Agricultural Masterplan the criterion for setting priorities is to promote the most economic use of resources within the context of the country's national R&D objectives. 'This implied a concentration on research projects which are likely to provide important socio-economic returns within the shortest time, i.e. programs with clear targets and identifiable concepts' (ibid.: xi). 'Due to the importance of agricultural export earnings for financing national development, research on export commodities was given special attention' (ibid.: xi, xii). In light of this criterion (increasing foreign earnings from agricultural exports) the ordering of the first three items of highest priority - coffee, then cotton, then tea- naturally followed.
The second question is who set those priorities? Who decided that export crops should receive the major share of scarce resources for R&D? Who determined the direction in which agricultural science and technology should advance? For the answer to these questions we must turn to the composition of the committees that formulated the Agricultural Masterplan, and infer from their composition who exerted influence.
The origins of the Tanzanian Agricultural Masterplan are laid out in the Masterplan itself (ibid.: ix-xi; 1-5; the full title is the National Agriculture and Livestock Research Masterplan, abbreviated NALRM). The stimulus and initial finance came from the World Bank: as part of Tanzania's Economic Recovery Programme (of 1986) the Bank and the Tanzanian government established the National Agriculture and Livestock Research Project, whose long-range objectives were to consolidate the organizational structure and management of the country's agricultural research programmes. From mid-1988 to December 1990 committees were formed, personnel from the Ministry of Agriculture, from the research institutes and from abroad appointed, and working papers produced. Commencing in December 1990 a 'Task Force' absorbed the previous material and formulated the Masterplan. The core group within the Task Force was comprised of two coordinators (one Tanzanian, the other foreign), seven staff from the Ministry of Agriculture, one from Sokoine Agricultural University, and four (additional) foreign consultants (recruited by the International Service for National Agricultural Research, ISNAR). The plan, when it emerged in March 1991, was published by ISNAR in the Hague. Simultaneously, the Tanzanian government freed agricultural producer prices and commanded the various crop marketing boards to act as commercial, profit-making entities, in competition with private operators.
Were Tanzania's the only Masterplan in existence, one could infer that the initiative lay partly with the local government, but the near ubiquity of Masterplans suggests that it is the ubiquitous agencies, i.e. the international organizations like the World Bank and ISNAR, that press for their promulgation. Moreover, the identity of the criterion governing the direction of R&D - so as to increase foreign exchange earnings from expanded exports of traditional commodities - suggests that there is a uniformity of belief in the efficiency of such a prescription, again an attribute of a single, or a group of cooperating, agencies.
The very similarity of the type of commodity filling the category given highest priority - coffee, tea, cocoa, cotton, sisal, i.e. relatively homogeneous tropical and sub-tropical crops traditionally imported by the developed countries - also points to a single sponsor, motivated by a pervading belief in the desirability of concentrating on the production of coffee, tea, etc. The general argument supporting concentration on traditional exports - an argument frequently cited but seldom backed with systematic comparisons - is that it is in these commodities that developing countries, like Tanzania, have a comparative advantage. (But Tanzania may also have a comparative advantage in the production of maize, roots and tubers, beans, grain legumes and vegetable and oil seeds, i.e. those crops of medium priority, into whose R&D considerably less attention is to be directed.)
It seems to be more than coincidental that the commodities granted highest priority should not be produced in the countries sponsoring Masterplans, and those granted lesser priority should be produced in competition with the countries whose agencies are sponsoring Masterplans. Moreover, it is these agencies, representing the developed counties, which provide most of the funds which are used to further R&D in the traditional export crops: in Tanzania R&D in coffee is financed by the European Union, while it is Germany and the Netherlands which financed the Masterplan; R&D in cotton and tea are also funded by the UK, which also contributed to the formulation of the Masterplan (ibid.: 13, 18-20). Not only do developed countries support R&D into those commodities which they import but also they tend to ensure that these are the very commodities towards which most R&D - that financed by themselves and that financed by others including the producing country - will be directed. 'To meet the funding requirements for NALRM implementation, Government will have to make all efforts to mobilize donor funding. In principle, such funding should be geared in the future exclusively to NALRM implementation' (ibid.: xii).
Do we have any additional support for the principle that which areas prosper, and which do not, are increasingly determined by foreigners? The answer is that support is found in the manner by which funds in R&D are generated. Consider the procedures by which foreign donations are decided upon. In some cases, the potential donor conceives of a worthy project, usually because some official or advisor within the foreign assistance agency recommends it; in other cases, the initiative comes from the local R&D organization, whose Director or, less frequently, Project Leader, establishes contact with a person of equivalent rank in the developed country, who in turn introduces him to the relevant official in the assistance agency. In a few instances other channels are followed: Ministers of one country or the other may take up the cause of a project and promote it; or outsiders (the media, domestic or foreign; advisors to governments, particularly those in the organizations intermediate between the operating ministries and the R&D institutes; and officials in the World Bank and in the regional development banks) may intervene on the project's behalf.
But there is a difference between who takes the initiative in promoting a project and who has the choice in providing the wherewithal. In our opinion the choice lies effectively with the foreign donor. The reason follows from the conditional logic of support. For countries as poor as those of Sub-Saharan Africa, R&D and scientific education are activities that cannot be afforded alone; they also require foreign support, in amounts sufficient to finance buildings, equipment, supplies, and all the 'back-up' of any sophisticated endeavour. Foreign support is not something that the poor countries can command; it is provided only if those who are in a position to provide the support are willing to do so. Since they have far more claims on their foreign assistance that they can provide, the foreign agencies and countries are forced to make choices: this project deserves support, that does not. Faced with competing claims for scarce donations, foreign assistance agencies decide upon the allocation, a decision which cannot be abdicated. This shift in the locus of decisions, decisions concerning the future direction of the economies, from the local authorities to foreign assistance bodies is likely to be of lasting duration, because of the scarcity of local resources which can be devoted to the pursuit of science and technology. It may well be years, or even decades, before the Sub-Saharan African countries have sufficient resources to be able to finance scientific education and R&D unaided. It may be years, or even decades, before the locus of decision-making returns to the countries in which the primary effects are felt.
The choice of the areas of science and technology to be pursued is based primarily upon the effects of such choice on the developed countries
We now move on to our fifth and final presumption, which is a consequence of the shift in the locus of decision-making. In one sense, the fifth principle- that decisions about the direction in which science and technology should progress are likely to be made on the basis of their potential effects on the developed countries - is unobjectionable. The argument is as follows: the countries in our sample, as representatives of Sub-Saharan Africa, are desperately short of foreign earnings, with which to finance their growth. The only sure way in which earnings of foreign exchange can increase is through an increase in the capability of these countries to provide goods and services desired abroad. The main foreign markets for these goods and services have always been, and almost certainly will remain, in the developed countries, primarily Western Europe, but also North American and North-east Asia.
Economies exist to satisfy needs: the relative importance of different needs are reflected in the prices that the goods satisfying those needs command in world markets. Guided by these prices, the efficient economy will direct its production of goods and services so as to maximize the value of its output. The smaller and the poorer the country, the more it must submit to the imperative imposed by world market prices. The Sub-Saharan African countries must therefore increase their provision of the goods and services demanded in the developed countries, at the prices these goods command. Since the current provision is inadequate, resources must be shifted into activities which will yield the necessary increases. If these new resources, as well as those currently allocated to providing the goods and services foreigners demand, are to be applied successfully, attention will have to be directed towards the efficiency with which they are applied: such attention will involve the entire economy, from producers to managers to civil servants to scientists and engineers. The last have the vital roles of better understanding the production of goods and services already provided to foreigners and of discovering new goods and services with which to tempt them. So, science and technology in Sub-Saharan Africa should be (re)directed towards helping to generate increased export earnings from the developed countries. Who better can judge what goods and services will appeal to the developed countries than intelligent people within their own assistance agencies?
Such is the sense in which R&D should be directed towards exports currently in demand in the developed countries. In another sense, however, such a thesis is objectionable, in that it presumes that the purpose of the Sub-Saharan economies is to serve people in the developed countries; or, to put it less provocatively, that the Sub-Saharan economies will best serve their own members by conforming to the existing pattern of world trade.
In the world of perfect competition, both at home and abroad, and of self-seeking individuals, such a presumption may be valid; but in an imperfect world, all that can be said for such a thesis is that it may be true, or it may not. In the imperfect and dynamic world, objectives are not necessarily compatible; to move toward one goal today may mean departing farther from another goal tomorrow. In this context, moving towards the goal of maximizing current export earnings may mean moving away from the competing goal of employment maximization, or the goal of self-sufficiency, or the goal of raising the growth rate, or the goal of raising the standard of living of the poorest in the community, or any of several other admirable objectives. Believing in national self-determination, we argue that the choice of objective, and of the means to be employed in attaining that objective, should reside in the country itself; it should not reside abroad. In the cases of the four countries in our sample, the decisions which shape the future structure and performance of the economy should be made in Ghana, in Kenya, in Tanzania and in Uganda, and not in Washington DC or one of the Western European capitals.
Changes in decision-making for science and technology
But all we do in this chapter is argue that such decisions are, increasingly, not being made in Ghana, in Kenya, in Tanzania, or in Uganda: how they might be, and what changes in policy would be required to effect the change will be the subject of our final chapter. What we wish to do in the remaining part of this chapter is determine the implications of the shift in decision-making from within the local countries to foreign bodies. To us, these implications seem to be four in number, and can be abbreviated as a change in the aim of development, an increase in vulnerability, a shift in the subject of attention, and an elevation in intent. We shall now address these four in turn.
Change in the aim of development
The first implication of the shift in decision-making on the future direction of science and technology is the change in the aim of economic development of the Sub-Saharan African countries. In brief, the shift is from domestic expansion to export promotion. Export promotion is clearly understood; it involves focusing on world markets, discovering those products most in demand, mobilizing domestic resources so as to concentrate on the production of products in which the country has a comparative advantage, and devoting scientific and technical resources to their improvement. Domestic expansion is less clearly understood, being a term not in common use, and yet expressing better the objective of the Sub-Saharan African countries themselves. The term can be taken to mean increasing the provision of employment and output in the monetized section of the economy, and increasing consumption overall.
Between export promotion and domestic expansion there is an obvious clash, in the short run at least. There is a cost, both in time and in lost output, in shifting resources from those activities involved in domestic expansion to those involved in export promotion, chiefly, from manufactures and government to traditional export crops. How long the 'short run' is and how great the loss in output will be no one knows; those favouring domestic expansion argue that it is very long and that the loss in output is very large; those favouring Structural Adjustment argue that the time is short and the lost output more than compensated for by the additional foreign goods purchased by the increased export earnings. Our belief, as has been obvious, is the former.
Regardless of the nature of the costs and benefits of shifting resources from domestic expansion to export promotion, and of their balance, the point that we wish to make is that there has been a change in the aim of development, from the former to the latter. This coincides with a change in the group of individuals who select the objective, namely from the leaders of the Sub-Saharan African countries to those foreigners who formulate and administer the programmes of foreign assistance. (Note: we deliberately use the word 'objective' to represent what others might call 'means', believing that an economy-wide process like export promotion, so all-embracing, affects the entire structure and behaviour of the society, and so is better encompassed in a transcendental term.) This change is not a sly and subtle shift in the locus of decision; it is open and articulated, in bold and assured language. Those who articulate it do so in the belief that export promotion is in the best interest of the developing countries; this is not denied. It may even be in the best interest of the developing countries; the point is that it is not their choice.
Looking into the future, we can conceive of a change in the perception of the development community, from a belief in the efficacy of export promotion to one in the efficacy of, say, 'going it alone': there have been, after all, several such changes in perception since the end of World War II. The developing countries, after having altered their economies from an expansion to an export mode, would then find under great pressure to change their aim yet again. Fashions in development do alter, and it is the developing countries who bear the costs of alteration.
Increase in vulnerability
The decisions that foreigners make regarding the direction to be taken by science and technology are based primarily upon the principle of comparative advantage. The principle states that a country should invest in those activities which can potentially be carried out at a cost relatively lower than those of other countries. Also in principle, but not in fact, all activities should be governed by comparative advantage; in practice certain activities - the production of temperate foodstuffs, of textiles, the processing of tropical foodstuffs, and some others - are excluded from the menu of activities appropriate for developing countries. They are reserved for producers in the European Union, the USA and Japan.
Therefore it is from a smaller menu of activities that individuals, deciding what activities in the developing countries to stimulate, choose. Essentially the choice descends on those commodities consumed but not produced in the developed countries, the rationale being that consumption creates the demand that makes profitable the production of these commodities, and that production is not attractive in the developed countries and so can be profitable in the developing countries.
What commodities fit into this reduced menu? They are chiefly 'primary commodities', meaning products extracted from, or beneath, the soil of the developing countries. In the case of the four countries in our sample, the meaning of 'primary commodities' is beverages - cocoa, coffee and tea and to a lesser extent fibres - sisal, cotton and wood. Focusing on these, the officials of the development agencies, acting with a proxy from the leaders of developed countries, direct resources towards primary commodity production. Scientific inquiries are undertaken to increase the production and lower the cost of producing cocoa, coffee, etc., and education is directed towards the training of people who will devote their careers accordingly.
The likely outcome, over the relatively long time it takes to shift resources further into the production of primary commodities, is that their output does rise, and that average costs of production do fall. From the point of view of the single developing country whose resources are channelled in this direction, the result is all to the good: more output is produced and conveyed to the markets of the world. But from the collective point of view of all developing countries producing this primary commodity, the result can be disastrous. First, the total volume of the primary commodity placed on world markets rises substantially, at a rate far faster than the rate at which consumption in the developed countries rises. Given that the nature of the demand for primary commodities is price inelastic, the fall in the world market price is greater, proportionately, than the increase in output; the total value of the commodity marketed falls.
Secondly, the developing country has reallocated some of its scarce resources into, rather than out of, an activity that is yielding fewer returns as time passes. The cost of reallocation may be high, and is 'sunk', i.e. unrecoverable. Moreover, any subsequent re-reallocation, back out of the production of the primary commodity, may again be high, and unrecoverable.
Finally, the developing country is left, after the initial reallocation, with a monoculture. It has a very large portion of its total scarce resources, of scientific and technological resources in our case, devoted to the production of one, or at best a few, commodities alone. It is vulnerable to events arising in the developed countries, events over which it has no control. Imagine what would be the effect upon the country producing, say, coffee, if tastes in the developed country shifted out of coffee into another beverage, say cola. Imagine what would happen if coffee were discovered, or even rumoured, to have deleterious effects on health!
How does it happen that it is the production of primary commodities that is so encouraged by foreign donors? Some of the answers have been given already - the restricted menu of possibilities, the need not to offend powerful groups of competing producers in the developed countries, the universal aim of export promotion, and the reliance upon the criterion of comparative advantage - but there is one remaining answer, involving the fallacy of composition. An aid official, assigned the duty of determining in what commodity his country (usually the developing country to whose aid programme he is assigned) should invest, looks solely at the possible effects on his country, under the presumption that it is his country only that increases its output. But he does not make allowance for the simultaneous concentration of another aid official in another developed country on what commodity his country should invest in, and another official, and another, and another. Assume they all settle on a single commodity, each on the presumption it is his country alone whose output should increase. The increase is therefore much greater, being a multiple of that of each single country.
This general problem of what is the correct decision for a single country, (in the absence of other countries also adopting the same decision), being the wrong decision, when many countries adopt the decision, is quite apparent in three countries in our sample. If, encouraged by one foreign donor, Kenya devotes more of its scientific and technological resources to raising the output of coffee, and no other country does so, that may be fine for Kenya, and not disadvantageous for Tanzania and Uganda. But if, independently, encouraged by two other foreign donors, Tanzania and Uganda also devote more of their scientific and technological resources to raising the output of coffee, the combined rise is much greater, and the fall in price swifter and further. Looked at from the point of view of each single country, its dependence upon a single commodity, coffee in this case, has grown, and its vulnerability increased.
Not only is the above argument, based upon the fallacy of composition, one that is relevant for the developing countries (although generally unappreciated), but it is an argument that is also relevant for the developed countries (and very much appreciated). The comparable commodity for the developed countries is not coffee, but, say, iron and steel. Iron and steel have much the same characteristics as coffee; they are demanded by non-producing countries - in the case of iron and steel, the developing countries - their demand is price-inelastic, resources committed to their production cannot be easily shifted to alternative commodities, and scientific and technological resources devoted to improving their production are effective in increasing output and lowering average costs. Yet the developed countries know better than to concentrate their scarce resources on iron and steel. They do just the opposite: they restrict output of iron and steel, and devote their scientific and technological resources to better uses (meaning chiefly a greater variety of commodities, each with a growing market characterized by elastic price and income demands). No monoculture for the developed countries! No risk of their being vulnerable to deteriorating export earnings! No obeisance to the doctrine of comparative advantage for them!
Shift in the subject of allocation
That foreign donors have directed their attention to export crops - forming what we might call a 'Kaffee Klatch' - is indicative of a general switch in focus from the particular to the general and from the private to the public domain. It is this second aspect of the switch - from focusing on the private sector to focusing on the public - that we now wish to address. Underlying this switch seem to be two quite different presumptions. Both have to do with adaptability, but one presumes that the private sector is very adaptable and can be left to itself to adapt to the structural changes imposed; whereas the other presumes that the public sector is rigid and needs considerable assistance and supervision. Let us take liberalization as our example of a structural change, and look specifically at the policy of reducing, or possibly even eliminating, controls on the import of manufactured goods. The presumptions are that local firms under private ownership will be perfectly capable of adapting to the new, liberal regime; and that the various government ministries and state firms that operated under the previous restricted regimes will not be. They, the public sector organizations, will therefore need considerable attention.
To us, this shift in attention was most vividly evident in the areas of production categorized as agriculture. The presumptions seem to be that private producers of agricultural and other products of the soil can adapt quickly and easily to a change in their external conditions, but that the parastatal agencies involved in collecting, transporting, marketing, and improving their activities cannot. So public agencies are urged to disband, and foreign assistance is given to the government to help secure compliance. In the course of the disbanding, the task of advancing science and technology may be forgotten.
Incidentally, we are not claiming that public bodies are adaptable, in the sense that they can and will adapt readily to the conditions of Structural Adjustment; our impressions are that they are not very adaptable. Rather we emphasize the difference in presumption, for it is also our impression that private bodies are not adaptable. Moreover, there seemed to us to be valid reasons why private firms should not adapt readily. Take, for example, the reducing of employment in a manufacturing firm facing foreign competition, as a result of the liberalization of imports. The local firm might decide not to reduce employment, even if it could produce at the lower direct cost as a consequence. First of all, those employees who lost their jobs with the firm would claim (a claim enforceable under legislation) substantial redundancy pay (in the case of Ghana, to a few years' salary or wages), amounting to a sum that the firm could not easily afford. To the firm, the alternative of continuing to produce for months, or even years, at higher direct costs, might be preferable. Even if the firm eventually went bankrupt (as many private firms in our four countries have) at least it would have avoided the redundancy payments, and the immediate offence it would have given to a government confronted with widespread unemployment. For the private firm, it may well be better to carry on, unadapted.
What we would urge is that the adaptability of private firms, particularly private manufacturing firms, be investigated too, for the presumption that the opening up of formerly protected markets to foreign competition will force local enterprises to lower their costs needs to be examined. Will on-the-job training, an important element of advance of science and technology, increase if private firms are subject to increased competition? Will private firms devote more resources to R&D, to product and process improvement, etc? More information is needed, and, in its train, more attention from abroad, to the private as to the public sector.
Elevation of intent: proper structure as a cure
The final implication of the shift in decision-making from local to foreign bodies attendant upon the adoption of Structural Adjustment Programmes is an elevation of intent. By elevation of intent we mean a shift from minutiae of development to the eternals. It also involves a shift of outlook, from process to structure, and from the dynamic to the static.
An illustration will make the distinction clearer. Let us seize again upon the thesis of comparative advantage, not as a principle derived from economic theory, but as a rule governing the allocation of foreign donations; and let us see the implication of following this general rule. We will take the case of bananas in Uganda, as illustrating what we called the 'Banana Syndrome' when we encountered it in Chapter 6. Bananas are not exported from Uganda, nor are they likely to be, given the country's distance from the sea coast. Yet bananas, along with their sister crop plantains, form probably the most important local food crop. The diseases afflicting bananas are many and presumably capable of eradication. The Ugandans would like to conduct more R&D into improving banana production, but have been unsuccessful in evoking foreign support, without which the intensity of R&D cannot be increased beyond a mere trifle. But the allocation of scarce scientific and technological resources to improving banana cultivation does not meet the criterion of increased export earnings. Coffee does, so it is coffee that receives support. As a consequence, the shift from a concern on minutiae - in this case the minutiae of food production by individual farmers, each operation being on a small scale for the local market - to the application of a general principle - in this, as in most other cases, that of comparative advantage - has the consequence that what in all probability has taken place is a misallocation of resources. As a result of the elevation of intent, accompanying an increasing dependence upon foreign contributions for advancing science and technology, Uganda's prospects for the future have been reduced.
One objective of the foreigners is to alter the structure of the Ugandan economy so that it better reflects the inducements and deterrents arising under a regime of world market prices. If world markets were open (rather than restricted), and if world market prices were perfect, we suspect that there would be an inducement in Uganda to produce more bananas and less coffee, for the reasons given in this and the previous sections. Yet science and technology, whose advances so influence the attractiveness of future production, are being directed in the opposite direction. There are, of course, other plausible explanations for foreign preferences, as far as the sponsoring of R&D is concerned, but we believe that the misallocation is best explained by the combination of change in the aim of development (from domestic expansion to export promotion) and elevation of intent (from pragmatic detail to guiding principle) that has occurred with the shift in the locus of decision-making.
Whether or not foreigners to Sub-Saharan Africa are capable of making decisions on anything other than guiding principles is a matter for the next chapter, on policy, so we shall not raise it here. Nor shall we expand here our temporal horizon to consider the long term, within which the fruits of scientific and technological advance mature. Nor shall we suggest remedies. These comprise our tasks for the final chapter.
11 Policy recommendations
The sub-Saharan economies in 2023
The aims of policy
The redirection of education and R&D
Devoting more resources to advancing science and technology
The direction in which R&D should move
Additional resources needed to increase the advance of science and technology
Policy implications of providing additional resources
Summary of policy recommendations
In this, our final chapter, we shall try to derive a set of micro-economic policies, as alternatives to these currently imposed on the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, in the hope that our set will yield a better future for their economies. We shall offer the alternative set after having projected into the future the likely structure and performance of the economies under the current set of policies strongly urged by foreign assistance bodies, particularly the IMF and the World Bank.
Our first task, therefore, is to imagine what the Sub-Saharan economies will look like, say, a generation from now, if present policies are fully implemented. We choose a generation as our time horizon, because it is only over this long an interval that the structures of the Sub-Saharan economies will have altered and that current advances in science and technology will have been exploited. In our projection, we shall focus on four items in sequence: first, the likely effects, over the relatively short term, of the adoption of Structural Adjustment programmes; secondly, the consequences of such adjustment on the Sub-Saharan economies; thirdly, the exogenous changes that will arise over the next generation, particularly the growth of the countries' populations; and fourthly, the likely changes in the outside world, in which Sub-Saharan Africa is increasingly embedded.
Subsequently, we will postulate a better picture of the Sub-Saharan economies a generation from now. We shall then ask what alternative set of policies, that is alternative to those imposed at present, might be more likely to create this better picture. We shall next guess at what changes in current policy would be required, to shift to the better alternative, on the parts of the Sub-Saharan countries themselves, the international financial agencies, and assistance groups in the developed countries. Finally, we shall ask if these changes are feasible in the present economic and political environment, and, if not, what actions are possible. But first to the picture of the Sub-Saharan economies a generation from now.
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