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Trade and Development Report 1998

Financial Instability - Growth in Africa

image of Trade and Development Report 1998

A valuable resource for those involved in international business and economic development, the Trade and Development Report 1998 (TDR), issued by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), examines current performance and prospects in the world economy. With the main theme of 'International Financial Instability and the World Economy', this illuminating publication offers a special focus on the East Asian crisis, addressing the global impact of the crisis, its causes and its consequences, especially on developing countries. It discusses how financial instability continues to prevail, underlining the 'systemic' nature of the repeated bouts of financial instability at roughly two-year intervals. The Report also focuses on African development. The analysis brings out the failures of the structural adjustment programs and advocates, among others drastic steps, lifting the external debt burden and giving African countries leeway in terms of the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules. TDR98 reveals that the prospects for the years ahead are extremely uncertain and puts forward recommendations on how future crises might be prevented.

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Agricultural policies, prices and production

Throughout the early post-colonial period in Africa there were two basic approaches to the development of agriculture. The first aimed at “modernizing” smallholder agriculture through the promotion of specialization, standardization and increased use of productivity-enhancing inputs and quality control, particularly by means of integrated rural development projects. The second aimed at channelling resources into highly capitalized indigenous private agribusinesses and state farms. Both these approaches sought to address undercapitalization and structural constraints in African agriculture, but had serious shortcomings in their design and implementation.

English

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