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The Author’s Thesis In “Race Against Time” By Stephen Lewis

795 words - 3 pages

The eight Millennium Development Goals proposed by the UN during the Millennium General Assembly of 2000 will not be reached in Africa by 2015 if international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund continue to impose unethical and punishing economic policies through the Structural Adjustment Program (SAPs) on the poor and undeveloped countries of Africa and if the wealthy old core countries continue to break promises and hesitate to donate enough financial aid to Africa to help it recover from the destructive effects of the SAPs and the AIDS pandemic, and to also ensure gender equality and rights of women in Africa.

The Structural Adjustment Programs

The impact of the Structural Adjustment Programs imposed by International Financial Intuitions (IFIs) such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the developing countries of Africa has led to the destruction of Africa’s social sectors and has handicapped Africa in its fight with poverty, the AIDS pandemic, and keeping children in school.

The Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) are economic policies imposed on countries that borrow loans from the World Bank (referred to as “the Bank”) and the International Monetary Fund (referred to as “the Fund” or IMF). Originating from the right-wing neo-liberalism ideology of the Bank and the Fund (which are the International Financial Institutions or “IFIs”), the SAPs were created to establish a free market economic system in the borrowing (developing) countries, which lead to privatization within those countries. The Bank and the Fund tell the critics that the SAPs help ensure that the money lent will be spent in accordance with the overall goals of the loan and help in reducing the borrowing country's fiscal imbalances.

However, history has proved time and time again that the SAPs do more damage to a country’s economy and its people than they benefit. The destructive impact of privatization as a result of the SAPs has left Africa and its people in a state of dreadful oppression. Privatization refers to the take over of public sector establishments such as healthcare and education by private organizations from outside the country. The privatization of healthcare and education is Africa leads to the imposition of “cost-sharing” or user fees which makes it very difficult for the public to have access to these utilities, considering that the majority of...

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