Economic Recovery in the Gambia: Insights for Adjustment in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Malcolm F. McPherson, Steven C. Radelet
Harvard Institute for International Development, 1995 - Gambia - 341 pages

In the 1980s, world recession, drought, civil conflict, and other forces brought major economic upheaval to the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the early efforts by governments to stabilize their economies met with little success, but The Gambia was an exception. In 1985 the government introduced the Economic Recovery Program, one of the most sweeping reform programs attempted on the continent. The economy quickly stabilized, with the rate of inflation falling to below ten percent and the overall balance of payments in surplus for the first time since the early 1970s.

Economic Recovery in The Gambia examines The Gambia's success in depth. It analyzes a wide range of policy reforms-exchange rates, taxation, foreign debt, agriculture, state-owned enterprises, customs inspection-and in each case, the authors review problems the government faced, steps that were taken to address them, and the success and failures of the reform initiatives. These economic and institutional analyses are complemented by an examination of the politics of reform and the role that donor agencies played. The final chapter summarizes important lessons from The Gambia's experience, and provides insights for other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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The Politics of Economic Reform
Donor Support for the Economic Recovery Program

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About the author (1995)

Steven C. Radelet is an Institute Associate at the Harvard Institute for International Development.

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