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Global Development and Poverty Reduction

The Challenge for International Institutions

Edited by John-ren Chen and David Sapsford

At the beginning of the third millennium, underdevelopment and poverty continue to remain critical problems on a global scale. The purpose of this volume is to explore the various ways in which the institutions of the global economy might rise to the challenges posed by the twin goals of increasing the pace of global development and alleviating poverty.
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Chapter 13: Development Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa: Globalization, Adjustment and the Roles of International Institutions

Kwan S. Kim


Kwan S. Kim INTRODUCTION If there is any developing region whose living standards are as poor today as they were some 30 years ago, it is Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). In 2001, the SSA region was made up of 46 black republics with different historical heritage and economic characteristics and had a total population of some 630 million. Sub-Saharan Africa’s average per capita GDP measured in purchasing power parity US dollars, including South Africa, was $1831 as compared to per capita income of $7050 for Latin America and the Caribbean, $3850 for all developing nations that include SSA, and $26 989 for the industrialized world (UNDP, 2003). The grouping of countries for this region, as initially devised by the World Bank (1979), is based on geographical location and per capita GDP. Nonetheless the region must not be considered as a homogeneous and monolithic economic unit: the population size of these countries varies from that of Nigeria (80 million) to the Seychelles (100 000), while per capita GNP in 1997 ranged from Nigeria’s $440 to South Africa’s $3370. The region also includes three oil-exporting countries, Nigeria, Angola and Gabon, whose patterns of economic development can be distinguished from those of the rest of the continent. Despite some discernible variations exhibited by a small group of countries,1 the region as a whole has faced commonly similar development problems. The continent has the largest incidence of poverty on this planet. In 1990, the region’s share of the world’s poor was 30 per cent...

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