Letter: Africa pays too high a price for following the advice of the World Bank and IMF

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The Independent Online
Sir: You say that most countries which have taken IMF/World Bank advice have reversed their decline. But, in at least one important respect, countries taking such advice are in a quite disastrous situation.

The IMF and the bank have encouraged African countries to pay more to farmers who grow export crops, such as coffee and cocoa. The result is a glut of such crops on world markets, with prices close to all-time lows. Many African countries are earning a pittance from the export crops that provide most of their foreign exchange - so it can hardly be said that taking IMF/

World Bank advice is helping them to reverse their economic decline.

The poor quality of the advice that the IMF and the World Bank have given to Africa over export crops is really quite startling. Oxfam is surely right to point out that the IMF should either reform itself, or leave Africa.

Yours sincerely,


Caversham, Berkshire

29 April

The writer is the editor of 'International Agricultural Development' magazine.

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