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Debt and Austerity in Africa

Fifty Years of Failure

The International Monetary Fund, Debt and Austerity in Africa


The IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings are taking place in Africa for the first time in 50 years. The last such meeting was held in Kenya in 1973, coincidentally the year of the military coup against the democratically elected government of Allende in Chile that ushered in the dictatorship of Pinochet, laying the foundations for the rise of neoliberalism. In the decades that followed, the IMF and the World Bank have championed that neoliberal model, rooted in colonial, patriarchal and extractive systems across Africa, enforcing variations of structural adjustment and fiscal consolidation programmes that have profoundly undermined development, having a significant impact on the capacity of African States to set their own independent course.