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Title: The World Bank's Poverty Reduction Strategies and Africa: Realistic Expectations and Civic Engagement
Contributor(s): Ware, H (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2004
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Abstract: Current World Bank policy emphasizes poverty reduction as the centralobjective of its development assistance and works through national PovertyReduction Strategy Programmes (PRSPs) to direct and coordinate nationaldevelopment plans and BankIIMF and donor inputs. Some thirty poor Africancountries have as a result now gone through the travail of producing fonnalPRSPs. For the most part these PRSPs have not had the time to have had asignificant impact on the poverty crisis. They have been strongly criticized,especially by radical critics of the Bank's dominant economic neo-liberalism andof the widespread assumption amongst donors that there is only one path toeconomic development since the demise of the USSR.1 This short article doesnot enter into that debate rather taking the vices and virtues of the Bank'seconomic policies as givens? The PRSP process is based inter alia on the Bank'spremise that previous structural adjustment programmes have failed due to thelack of a 'genuine' government commitment and the lack of focus on the impacton the poor. This paper adopts a different perspective. It questions and seeks togenerate debate on the reasonable expectations of what can be achieved byAfrican Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs), given the prevalence ofHIV/AIDS, and on the role of 'civil society' in defming those expectations andhow they should be attained. In this way it hopes also to introduce possiblyunfamiliar readers to the African PRSP experience and to the vast data basewhich is being built up in the process on the causes and cures of poverty inAfrica.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australasian Review of African Studies, 26(1), p. 43-51
Publisher: African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP)
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1447-8420
Field of Research (FOR): 160607 International Relations
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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