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The West and Politico-Economic Growth or Decline in Sub- Saharan African Countries: Focus on Policies on Structural Adjustment Programmes, Poverty and Corruption (1980-2018)

Peter Sakwe Masumbe*

University of Buea, Cameroon

*Corresponding Author:
Peter Sakwe Masumbe
University of Buea Cameroon
Tel:
+237 2 33 32 27 60
E-mail:
masumbep@yahoo.com

Received date: 20/12/2018; Accepted date: 24/01/2019; Published date: 31/01/2019

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Abstract

Trepidations of politico-economic decline rather than growth, arising from poverty, corruption and impervious governances’ policies, gravely threaten human and material livelihoods in sub- Saharan African countries. Through inappropriate policies, selfseeking- punchline political leaders, imbued with unconstitutional, illegitimate and dictatorial fantasies, nepotism and unbridled populations’ impoverishment egoistically drag their countries to the unsavoury West’s World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP). Allegedly, these Bretton’s Woods Institutions rapaciously sponsor SAP to curtail insalubrious politico-economic conditions, promote equity in distributional objectives of governmental intervention and social justice in subscribing countries. But debates on SAP and its political, economic and social implications in this region have been ideologically blatant and pernicious, yet unfinished. While some people signify SAP as an impeccable politico-economic mechanism for redressing countries’ economies, others view SAP as a malignant neo-colonial tool, which exacerbates countries’ politico-economic decline. Given these 1980-2018 unfinished debates, and this region’s prevailing politico-economic hardships; and using the political economy approach, this article seeks to divulge how, even with SAP as the mediator, there is irking political and economic debility than growth in sub-Saharan African countries.

Keywords

Poverty, Corruption, Structural, Adjustment, Programmes, Growth, Decline, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)

Introduction

Historically, for what are today called, ‘developed countries,’ [1,2], to produce their kind of prevailing delightful societies, their public and foreign policies decisions have been rational and science inclined [3,4]; hence, their huge wave of prosperous, progressive and happy populations [5,6]. However, in the so-called developing areas, especially those in sub- Saharan Africa, public and foreign policies have generally been irrational, particularistic and devoid of scientific reflexions [7,8]. Arguably, undesirable societies ridden with corruption, poverty and misery are amply illustrated by those where policy decisions emanate from political leaders, who govern with strings held by undue senses of irrationality arising from ideologically misleading models and dogmas imposed by external entities and incarnated by domestic protégés, such as in sub-Saharan Africa [9,10].

Generally, perspectives on policy-making and analysis stress the urge for developed societies, and this urge impels scientific inquiries to bear on societal problems. “Early enough, this urge obtained it deep roots in the writings of Plato, Bacon, Descartes, Bentham, and Marx, among others, whose advocacies for scientifically guided societies surged,” [11]. While not a natural scientist, but perhaps, living in the impulses of scientific urge, Paine (1737-1809) in his book,

Common Sense, with a vision for national greatness, told Americans, “We have it in all our power to begin the world all over again;” and definitely, Americans began the world all over by developing a USA society, driven by science mediated policies; where in the entire globe today every dick and harry wants to reside [12,13].

Thus, as a writer and like Paine, we emphatically and responsibly urge sub-Saharan African countries, with their vast natural resources, to, like the Americans of 1776, use their resources-population size, massive land and huge minerals deposits; in stanch rationality, own development model and nationalism to wade off neo-colonialism; and to build a bountiful region, where progress, prosperity and happiness will blossom. As Marx [14], states, “Men make their history, although they do not make it just as they please; and they do not make it in circumstances wholly chosen by them, but under situations directly encountered, given and diffused from the past, and mostly by others.” Thus, policies on SAP are derived, not intrinsic in sub-Saharan African countries’ history. So, in their false appeal, which cajoles to perpetually neocolonise sub-Saharan African countries, the West, via the WB has enshrined the following on its headquarters’ lobby in Washington, DC:

“Towards fulfilling the “Dream of a World Free of Poverty” strikingly enshrined in the lobby of the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington DC, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) initiative was expected to go a long way. From its launch by the Bretton Woods Institutions in 1999, many countries in the developing world began to put an unprecedented focus on corruption and poverty reduction that was further reinforced by the establishment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) during the following year. In sub-Saharan African countries, where the incidence of poverty remains high by world standards, the PRSP approach created high expectations among policymakers and citizens alike, fueled by the promise of providing concessional financing and debt relief under the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative. Thus, most governments in this region enthusiastically prefaced their country’s PRSP, persuaded by its highly publicized zeal likely to make significant inroads into poverty” [15].

But this cajoling WB’s talk remains relevant insofar as it legimitises it’s ideologically designs for the region [16,17]. The West cajoles because, from 1980 to 2018, via the WB and IMF, it has been active propagating their SAP herein, yet, “the poverty line and poverty indices for citizens in these countries have not past the threshold of 15.000 fcfa, or UD$30 per household monthly,” [16,18]. As Hougthon and Khandker [19] states in the facts below, the WB and IMF’s SAP is more malignant than impeccable.

“Any study of monetary poverty necessitates the definition of a poverty threshold for classifying individuals as poor or non-poor. Thus, from studies conducted in sub-Saharan African countries to authenticate the WB and IMF’s claims of reducing poverty through SAP in this region, it has been discovered that, monetary earning indicators are divided between the choice of an absolute poverty line and a relative poverty line. So, the threshold of USD 1 per consumption unit per day was adopted, giving some 15.000 cfaf per month. Consequently, a household is classified as poor if its income level per adult equivalent is below the poverty line and a person is said to be poor if he lives in a poor household. And majority of sub-Saharan Africans live under the poverty line, with their earnings unable to afford them life’s basic necessities such as decent food, shelter, education, healthcare, drinking water, electricity, access to good roads, leisure facilities, and so on,”

Thus, to trust that, the WB is devoted to eradicating poverty in sub-Saharan African countries via SAP is a misjudgment. As Nyerere [20] spoke on self-reliant policies in sub-Saharan Africa countries, “We have to build our houses, even if with our traditional technology of sticks, mud, ropes and thatches; in order to secure human dignity; a dignity we lose if others build houses for us; even with marbles.” Clearly, “debates seeking to account for sub-Saharan African countries’ poverty and corruption morass have been nagging for several decades, yet unfinished, [hence this study]” [21]. Perhaps, this call is old, yet has always fallen into deaf ears. Nonetheless, to write a scientific piece of research that objectively reveals and enlightens societies on issues, their corollaries and achievable solutions, is the hallmark of vigorous and praiseworthy duty for scholars. In contrast, the making and taking decisions in order to apply the scientifically researched issues and their proffered solutions are the trademarks of political parties, political leaders and wielders of state power and their administrations. Invariably, if one group performs these two tasks, the tasks might become calmer and arduous, although in most cases conflicting, depending on the democratic and non-self-seeking characteristics of such a group. But where the tasks are held by different people at separate societal echelons in the governing process, the compelling requisites are: unalloyed service to the state, harmonious teamwork and convergences to meet state objectives, all of which become sine qua non tools for politico-economic and human growth. But if absolutism reigns, especially from the latter group, the trend just designs weak, failing or chaotic states’ systems [22-25].

Cueing from the foregoing, this article seeks to divulge how the unsavoury and deceptive West’s Bretton Woods Institutions’ politico-economic and socio-cultural policies and prescriptions have been the source of widespread trepidation amongst citizens in sub-Saharan African countries. It argues that, though with the supposed aim to redress ailing political, economic and social malaise in sub-Saharan African countries, these medicines have hardly worked; given their ideological character and impositions upon these countries, in the form of Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP). Irked and sickened by the constant, awful venality, poverty and conflicts conditions in sub-Saharan African countries [26,27], this study plans showing that, with SAP as mediator over several decades, these Institutions and the political leaders in sub-Saharan African countries have lengthily impoverished and regressed, human livelihoods in this region.

But, away from these Institutions’ medications, this article advocates the imbuement of strong self-disciplined political, economic and social characters via self-reliant policies by political leaders of sub-Saharan African countries for redressing their various political and economic situations, than turning to the repressive WB and IMF’s SAP, in the bid to bring prosperity, progress and happiness in this region’s teaming populations. Consequently, this article will discuss the WB and IMF together, excepting where explicit distinctions are needed. The grounds for this approach are that: (i) they are both located in the West’s Washington DC, (ii) they both have systematic consultations about each other’s activities, (iii) they have regular cooperation; and very often complimentary policy initiatives, (iv) they have identical ideological perspectives and inclinations, (v) they have, and seek to achieve similar neo-colonial political and economic aims and policies for sub-Saharan African countries, under structural adjustment programmes. Given these, it is feasible to identify four main WB-IMF programmes in this region. (a) The anti-poverty programmes, (b) The growth-oriented programmes, including infrastructural development, not industrialisation (c) They are interested in streamlining balance of payments stabilisation programmes, (d) They propel the structural adjustment programmes (SAP) or economic recovery programmes (ERP). Consequently, the first two are the main concern of the WB; while the third is that of the IMF, as the fourth is a joint concern of these institutions.

Just too often, those who study historical and contemporary issues in public and foreign policy-making about Africa’s political and economic development, become saturated and overly infatuated by the gamut of misleading literature churned out about the continent from most scholarships, especially Western scholarships [2,28]. To this end, some scholars vigorously and relentlessly argue on issues such as SAP that, it is the ultimate, strong and dependable politicoeconomic growth progenitor, which sub-Saharan African countries must cuddle unquestionably [29-31]. Counter-intuitively, other view SAP as guised neo-colonial mechanisms ingeniously crafted to perpetuate subjugation; and that with the array of imposed absolute prescriptions and their religious-type embrace by political leaders in sub-Saharan African countries over several decades, SAP has rather prodded poverty, corruption and conflicts than peace amongst its subscribers, especially in sub-Saharan African countries [2,32]. Certainly, these appear old and recurrent accusations and contentions, which obviously remain relevantly pertinent today, as they call for further objective studies; given the prevailing soaking and callous livings of majority of sub-Saharan Africans, revealed by seasoned but inadequate studies [33-35].

Thus, as an entry point, this article is about advocacy in public and foreign policy-making upon sub-Saharan African political leaders; the lopsided relationship between the West and sub-Saharan African countries; via the Bretton Woods Institutions’ political, economic and social supposedly remedial programmes. It focuses specifically on revealing how and why the dominant public and foreign policy-making arising from sub-Saharan African political leaders relating to SAP as prescribed by the Bretton Woods Institutions have failed to achieve any positive turn around in the livelihoods of sub- Saharan Africans in several decades. It asserts that, for any policies’ thrusts fashioned to meet people’s friendly results such as their emancipation from servitude, such policies must be backed by rationality and nationalism; arising from unwavering disciplined political and economic character. Thus far, it is the lack of this rationality and nationalism; arising from undisciplined political and economic characters, which are the pitfalls of public and foreign policies churned out by sub-Saharan African political leaders with the deceptive SAP as mediator. Consequently, prosperity, progress and happiness would continue being elusive in this region and its citizens.

With this sordid trend of events, citizens from this region would daily throng into developed areas as illegal or legal immigrants in search for greener pastures [36-38]. Talking about rationality in public and foreign policy-making, Hill [3] opines that, “Rationality is one of the most crucial, central and difficult problem in all social sciences, particularly in decision-making, and it figured prominently in the study of politics during the twentieth century, yet, it has remained the bedrock of action for decision-makers.” Thus, any attempt to understand or prescribe actions cannot but make some reckoning with the concept, since it has come to represent an ideal-type for both the individual and collective decisionmaking. As Hill [3] emphasis, “the very idea of making decisions and policies may appear modern, and indelibly associated with the attempt for man to exert rational control over issues and events, as opposed to allowing destiny, God’s will, chance, arbitrary or mere brute of political power to determine one’s or collective lot.” Thus, it is the responsibility of policy maker to identify policy constituencies and to act accordingly. Consequently, in terms of policymaking, democratic policymakers should constantly be at alert of being responsible to the society which lies behind the political processes.

It is important to objectively acknowledge that, there is, of course, no one-size-fits-all solution that might completely end poverty and corruption, all of which remain seriously undesirable signposts in this region. But it is also persuasive to assert that articulating appropriately forward-looking and selfless public and foreign policies, while receiving foreign or domestic prescriptions of any kind; be it in form of projects, programmes, donated money or materials, from one institution or another; a reasoned political, economic, empirical, and ethical imbued procedural rationality must be the frontrunner [3]. For instance, the authoritarian use and circulation today in sub-Saharan African of the franc cfa, is not the currency for advancing the well-being of sub-Saharan Africans, in terms of sustainability and society cohesion, because the money is held by the French Central Bank [2,39]. Thus, as Mentan [39] opines, “the floating of own currency by political leaders of sub-Saharan African states will be the beginning of wading of neo-colonial aprons of the IMF and WB from this region.” More often, it is a tool for subjugation, influence and power dynamics that favour the creditors and most importantly, the holder of the source of the said money-the European central banks. Invariably, this explains why collaborative partnerships that rely on different types of ploughing and diversifying resources and bringing people and their entrepreneurship together to design and act on context-relevant solutions are more powerful drivers of social, political and economic change; as opposed to master-servant relations, which the WB and IMF have usually imposed on sub-Saharan African countries [40-42].

Theoretical Perspective and Methodology: thePolitical Economy Approach and Content Analysis

Usually, scientific research requires specific methods and techniques for collecting and analyzing data on the subject under investigation. Author define method and perspective “as all the intellectual operations by which a discipline seeks to achieve the truth it pursues”. Hereafter, our theoretical perspective is the political economy approach; and the content analysis research technique-that is the use of secondary data. Ake [2] offers us three main advantages of this approach that suit this study.

First, the method places primacy on material conditions of life, that is, it explains how the character of material conditions of life fashions livelihoods into either exhilaration or humdrum in every society, which is what represents the truth pursued in this study. This perspective assumes that without these material conditions of life, man cannot exist. It believes that, man’s existence is solely dependent on how good or bad his material conditions of life appear. Secondly, the method and perspective place emphasis on the dynamic character of reality, because it refuses to look at aspects of the world as simple identities, discrete elements or as static objects without life. It encourages man to think deeply of the world in terms of causes, effects, consequences, continuity and relatedness and with a keen awareness that, this continuity is essentially very critical, complex and also problematic. Thus, it treats the world as something which is full of movement and dynamism, such movement and dynamism being provided by the contradictions, which pervade human existence. In fact, the method and perspective assumes that the world cannot be understood by thinking in terms of simple harmonies and irreconcilable contrasts, but the recognition that, the seemingly, united and harmonious is prone to contradictions, and that there is a striving for unity or at least synthesis among the diverse; and thus the method and perspective looks at the society dialectically.

Thirdly, this method and perspective encourages researchers and readers to take deep consideration of the systematic interactions of the different elements of social life, especially economic structure and its relations to politics, the social structure, the political structure and the belief system in society. It assumes that the relationship between all these social structures must run primordial in man’s thinking; hence, it concludes that it is the economic factor which is the most decisive of these elements of society and which generally determines the character of others [2,43,44]. Thus, it is the linking of politics and economy-the state and market, to provide the lucid discussions on the primacy of material conditions of life, the dynamic character of reality and relatedness of different elements of society that provides the strength and uniqueness of this method and perspective for this study. On the other hand, content analysis is a research technique used to make replicable and valid inferences by interpreting and coding textual material in the form of secondary data. By systematically evaluating texts (e.g., documents, oral communication, and graphics), qualitative data can be converted into quantitative data, which is what is applicable in this study as its empiricisms.

Thus, one of the main weaknesses of mainstream Western social science is its ideological commitment and discouragement of dialectical thinking; and this weakness appears to have spilled over into most studies in sub-Saharan Africa [2]. This undue commitment is anchored on the fist-tight belief that, the upkeep of the status quo of the social world order is justified by might [45]; and thus it must be preserved. It is not surprising therefore that, after the end of World War II, the United States, by far the dominant economic and military power at that time, joined with the surviving capitalist democracies to create an unprecedented institutional framework. By the 1980s many contended that these institutions the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now the World Trade Organization), the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, were threatened by growing economic nationalism in the United States, as demonstrated by increased trade protection and growing budget deficits [44]. As Adage [46] argues, “the West, particularly American power had been essential and instrumental for establishing these institutions, thus any waning of American support would appear to threaten the basis of their postwar ideological stand-view, especially that of subjugating sub-Saharan African countries, through the WB and IMF’s institutional political and economic mechanisms.” Similarly, as Ake [2] asserts:

With this kind of ideological inclination, some mainstream Western social sciences have an inbuilt bias in favour of categories such as mechanical and organic solidarity (Emile Durkheim), traditional and bureaucratic authority (Max Weber), universalism and particularism (Tallcot Parsons), Gemeinschaft and Geselilschaft (Toennies), democratic and totalitarian political systems, which are discrete and in sharp contrast and suggestive of good and bad. The categories connoting good are associated with the prevailing Western society being justified; the need to justify by designing as good traps social sciences into drawing a very sharp distinction between the preferred category and other.

For Gilpin, a great power such as the United States is essential to fostering international cooperation and/or hegemony. Thus, exploring the relationship between politics and economics, as it was first highlighted by Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and other thinkers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the subject-matter of political economy became the ultimate analytical tool for understanding the basic relationship between the West and sub-Saharan Africa, their states and markets. Undeniably, Gilpin demonstrate the close ties between politics and economics not only in international relations but in domestic relations as well, as he outlines the key role played by the creative use of political power in the support of an institutional framework that creates the economy. His exposition of the impudence of politics on the national and international economy was a model of clarity, making his analysis the centerpiece of many courses in international political economy, especially, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, when the US’s support for international cooperation/hegemony was once again in question [44].

Consequently, the justification of this analytical perspective and method for this study is that, by giving economic factors high premium, deeper and clearer explanations are arrived at as to why man cannot live over an empty stomachsuch as living in poverty-material and financial. To begin with, economic needs are man’s most fundamental needs [2,47]. Thus, unless man is able to satisfy these needs, he cannot stay alive. Most importantly, the satisfaction of these needs is basically a function and propulsion of sound politics. But, in order to engage into sound politics, man eat even before he can worship, pursue culture, economics, do politics, administration, engineering, medicine, sports and so on. Consequently, it is when man achieves a degree of economic well-being, to the extent that he can take the basic economic necessities for granted, that the urgency of economic needs loses their fame. But the nonetheless, the primacy remains imbued into politics. For instance, in sub-Saharan African countries, the permeating indicators of politicoeconomic decline are the absence of making progressive politics via sound public and foreign policies.

This absence generates: (i) the acute and permeating lack of access to portable drinking water; energy (electricity); good road networks; good education system; good healthcare system; sound agricultural system, very poorly paid wage labour; acute unemployment; and acute lack of shelter for millions of people in the region. In addition, the rate of corruption is insurmountably colossal, high degree of dictatorial governance, arising from surging dominant political party system [48,49]. Yet, the maintenance of fake electoral processes and the of conduct irresponsibly unfair, unfree and callous rigging of national polls; which prod the keeping of illegitimate rulers in state power, the promotion of ethnic politics, and above all the arrogance of political leaders, all which produce poorly articulated public and foreign policies, with the resulting weak or failing state systems [18,50,51]. Nowadays, expecting Ghana, South Africa and Botswana few other sub-Saharan African countries can boost of constitutional democracies, anchored on rational statesmanship.

Public and Foreign Policy-Making, Rationality and Political Leaders In Sub-Aaharan African Countries: of Procedure Versus Substance

Usually, scientific research requires specific methods and techniques for collecting and analyzing data on the subject under investigation. Author define method and perspective “as all the intellectual operations by which a discipline seeks to achieve the truth it pursues”. Hereafter, our theoretical perspective is the political economy approach; and the content analysis research technique-that is the use of secondary data. Ake [2] offers us three main advantages of this approach that suit this study.

First, the method places primacy on material conditions of life, that is, it explains how the character of material conditions of life fashions livelihoods into either exhilaration or humdrum in every society, which is what represents the truth pursued in this study. This perspective assumes that without these material conditions of life, man cannot exist. It believes that, man’s existence is solely dependent on how good or bad his material conditions of life appear. Secondly, the method and perspective place emphasis on the dynamic character of reality, because it refuses to look at aspects of the world as simple identities, discrete elements or as static objects without life. It encourages man to think deeply of the world in terms of causes, effects, consequences, continuity and relatedness and with a keen awareness that, this continuity is essentially very critical, complex and also problematic. Thus, it treats the world as something which is full of movement and dynamism, such movement and dynamism being provided by the contradictions, which pervade human existence. In fact, the method and perspective assumes that the world cannot be understood by thinking in terms of simple harmonies and irreconcilable contrasts, but the recognition that, the seemingly, united and harmonious is prone to contradictions, and that there is a striving for unity or at least synthesis among the diverse; and thus the method and perspective looks at the society dialectically.

Thirdly, this method and perspective encourages researchers and readers to take deep consideration of the systematic interactions of the different elements of social life, especially economic structure and its relations to politics, the social structure, the political structure and the belief system in society. It assumes that the relationship between all these social structures must run primordial in man’s thinking; hence, it concludes that it is the economic factor which is the most decisive of these elements of society and which generally determines the character of others [2,43,44]. Thus, it is the linking of politics and economy-the state and market, to provide the lucid discussions on the primacy of material conditions of life, the dynamic character of reality and relatedness of different elements of society that provides the strength and uniqueness of this method and perspective for this study. On the other hand, content analysis is a research technique used to make replicable and valid inferences by interpreting and coding textual material in the form of secondary data. By systematically evaluating texts (e.g., documents, oral communication, and graphics), qualitative data can be converted into quantitative data, which is what is applicable in this study as its empiricisms.

Thus, one of the main weaknesses of mainstream Western social science is its ideological commitment and discouragement of dialectical thinking; and this weakness appears to have spilled over into most studies in sub-Saharan Africa [2]. This undue commitment is anchored on the fist-tight belief that, the upkeep of the status quo of the social world order is justified by might [45]; and thus it must be preserved. It is not surprising therefore that, after the end of World War II, the United States, by far the dominant economic and military power at that time, joined with the surviving capitalist democracies to create an unprecedented institutional framework. By the 1980s many contended that these institutions the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now the World Trade Organization), the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, were threatened by growing economic nationalism in the United States, as demonstrated by increased trade protection and growing budget deficits [44]. As Adage [46] argues, “the West, particularly American power had been essential and instrumental for establishing these institutions, thus any waning of American support would appear to threaten the basis of their postwar ideological stand-view, especially that of subjugating sub-Saharan African countries, through the WB and IMF’s institutional political and economic mechanisms.” Similarly, as Ake [2] asserts:

With this kind of ideological inclination, some mainstream Western social sciences have an inbuilt bias in favour of categories such as mechanical and organic solidarity (Emile Durkheim), traditional and bureaucratic authority (Max Weber), universalism and particularism (Tallcot Parsons), Gemeinschaft and Geselilschaft (Toennies), democratic and totalitarian political systems, which are discrete and in sharp contrast and suggestive of good and bad. The categories connoting good are associated with the prevailing Western society being justified; the need to justify by designing as good traps social sciences into drawing a very sharp distinction between the preferred category and other.

For Gilpin, a great power such as the United States is essential to fostering international cooperation and/or hegemony. Thus, exploring the relationship between politics and economics, as it was first highlighted by Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and other thinkers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the subject-matter of political economy became the ultimate analytical tool for understanding the basic relationship between the West and sub-Saharan Africa, their states and markets. Undeniably, Gilpin demonstrate the close ties between politics and economics not only in international relations but in domestic relations as well, as he outlines the key role played by the creative use of political power in the support of an institutional framework that creates the economy. His exposition of the impudence of politics on the national and international economy was a model of clarity, making his analysis the centerpiece of many courses in international political economy, especially, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, when the US’s support for international cooperation/hegemony was once again in question [44].

Consequently, the justification of this analytical perspective and method for this study is that, by giving economic factors high premium, deeper and clearer explanations are arrived at as to why man cannot live over an empty stomachsuch as living in poverty-material and financial. To begin with, economic needs are man’s most fundamental needs [2,47]. Thus, unless man is able to satisfy these needs, he cannot stay alive. Most importantly, the satisfaction of these needs is basically a function and propulsion of sound politics. But, in order to engage into sound politics, man eat even before he can worship, pursue culture, economics, do politics, administration, engineering, medicine, sports and so on. Consequently, it is when man achieves a degree of economic well-being, to the extent that he can take the basic economic necessities for granted, that the urgency of economic needs loses their fame. But the nonetheless, the primacy remains imbued into politics. For instance, in sub-Saharan African countries, the permeating indicators of politicoeconomic decline are the absence of making progressive politics via sound public and foreign policies.

This absence generates: (i) the acute and permeating lack of access to portable drinking water; energy (electricity); good road networks; good education system; good healthcare system; sound agricultural system, very poorly paid wage labour; acute unemployment; and acute lack of shelter for millions of people in the region. In addition, the rate of corruption is insurmountably colossal, high degree of dictatorial governance, arising from surging dominant political party system [48,49]. Yet, the maintenance of fake electoral processes and the of conduct irresponsibly unfair, unfree and callous rigging of national polls; which prod the keeping of illegitimate rulers in state power, the promotion of ethnic politics, and above all the arrogance of political leaders, all which produce poorly articulated public and foreign policies, with the resulting weak or failing state systems [18,50,51]. Nowadays, expecting Ghana, South Africa and Botswana few other sub-Saharan African countries can boost of constitutional democracies, anchored on rational statesmanship.

Public and Foreign Policy-making, Rationality and Political Leaders In Sub-Saharan African Countries: of Procedure Versus Substance

Statesmen who work as unitary actors with leaders who see the environment free of ideological bias will behave in a more instrumental rational manner to achieve national political, economic and social goals. For this, they will be rewarded by the state system itself as soundly dependable statesmen. On the other hand, states in which domestic politics allows rent-seeking groups to intrude into the policy-making process and “hijack” the state or in which leaders are biased against an accurate assessment of their environment and interests by ideological blinders usually atone their citizens with weak or failed state system [52]. In most, if not all the cases, sub-Saharan African political leaders have consistently evaded very important historically proven substantial and substantive advantages for addressing issues in public and foreign policy-making at the detriment of their countries’ political, economic, social and even cultural development. And this has accounted for the weak or failing states character of countries in this region, occasioning as it is, the most debilitating forms of human habitations and livelihoods for their citizens, who are forced by doldrums to seek greener pastures in other parts of the world in the names of legal and illegal immigration [53,54].

Irrefutably, social and behaviourial sciences, more so, even the natural science place unflinching premium on the subject-matter of rationality in the conduct of every expedient scientific endeavour, be it for individual or collective purposes; and this placement has been historical in nature and character. Apparently, the consciousness and conscientiousness, in borrowing and imbuing this scientific character, which positively overwhelms and fashions human livelihoods, and which prods the very survival of mankind in other parts of the globe, has not been the stock-in-trade for sub-Saharan African political leaders. As Hill [3] alludes, “several years ago, Herbert Simon, first made the formal distinction between procedural and substantive rationality, although it had been present in the writings of Max Weber and implicit in those of Adam Smith and J. S. Mill.” In this direction, studies proved that, procedural rationality occurs when an actor engages in a systematic process, including reasoning, to enable him or her to achieve the objective goals which are already in his or her mind and which are not self-seeking but which serves the common good – the general interest of society. The focus here is the application of humanly possible dexterity to obtain comprehensive data with which to identify the best means by which any given value may be optimized, or more realistically, on avoiding those ways of behaving which seem likely to be counterproductive. On the other hand, substantive rationality, tells us, what is the ‘correct’ outcome, given specified goals, in fact, such as they may be achieved or not. Herein, it is not sufficient to have a goal, but to determine its achievability, composed of the substratum for the overall cost of achieving such a goal.

Thus, sub-Saharan African political leaders might argue and would want their citizens to believe that, in escaping failures and possible declines in their public and foreign policy; and to achieve their political, economic, social and cultural growth, the ‘only’ rational path for them is to desperately lean unto the deceptive mercy and benevolence of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s prodded political, economic and social pills, otherwise called SAP. In other words, leaders of countries in this region do not find alternative avenues of redressing their political, economic and social plights, except by wittingly accepting and turning towards the application of SAP. What if these, leaders could individually or collectively, impose unto themselves and backing on their own internal resources, (even with their perked currencies and raw materials export oriented economies) those very pills offered by Bretton Woods Institutions? Would such policy axle not lead to freeing them from indebtedness in case of failures, rather than embracing known and painful failures and at the same time suffer excruciating debt burden crisis?

The answer to this question rests on the backdrop of being imbued with corrupt practices; which by being quickly corrupted with fast money obtained from outside – the WB and IMF, than being slowly corrupted with the sluggish money obtained from own scarce resources. But as Nyerere [20] opines, “It is better for the purposes of one’s dignity; to build a house for oneself with one’s own technology – thatches, ropes, sticks and mud; than for someone to build a house for another person with imported technology – cement, iron, marbles and so on”. Thus, sub-Saharan African political leaders wantonly disregard instrumentalising any stint of rationality in their nascent political, economic and social thinking towards any positive future for their countries, hence their quick attraction of the current spate of weak or failed states in this region. Consequently, as Author observes, “…instrumental rationality is characterized by the capacity for someone to relate to the future, and it requires epistemic motivation, a commitment to procedural rationality, which requires evaluating the situation coolly and dispassionately, seeing it as it truly is, thereafter one can make the choice that is best for oneself in the long term.”

Thus, the very term “consequentialism” implies that we think forward to the consequences of our actions, rather than acting impulsively and automatically, envisioning the likely results of alternative paths of behaviours.

Hence, long-term thinking is a consistent theme in realist scholarship, which boosts another variant of realism-the Human Faced Strand of Reality in international relations [55], and which finely shapes the conduct of public and foreign policy-making. In realism, write Bachrach and Baratz [56], “What distinguishes the responsible from the merely wellintentioned statesman is the former’s ability to foresee as far as possible the consequences of his actions.” Certainly, rationality in decision-making presents itself as the core in public action, and thus, though pertinent, we shall not delve far into how rationality should be achieved in public actions, as that is reserved for another study, but suffice it to mention that, rationality of action rescinds putting lives into jeopardy. Thus, offloading the individual or collective countries’ debt burden crisis in sub-Saharan African must be treated with rationality if the livelihoods of citizens in this region must be equated with those in the Western and Eastern Europe, the USA, Japan and several other parts of prosperous Asia. As Simon puts it, “the difference in direction of individual’s aims from those of the collective is just one of those elements on non-rationality with which [the] theory must deal.”

Certainly, in various academic and non-academic circles in and outside Sub-Saharan Africa, the debt burden and crisis ensuing consequences upon the citizens, emanating from the unflinching attachment to SAP, has been subjects of great bickering, recurring acrimonious and controversial debates, with appalling ideological inclinations. Contentions have revolved either around the debt burden crisis being a source for human political and economic growth in the region [57,58], or as the precursor of the region’s human debilitating declining livelihoods [59,60]. Contingent upon which side of the aisle one is; the debate has been cantankerous. But no matter why and how the arguments persist, as Ndemezo and Menjo-Baye [35], posit, “the prevailing empirical evidence in sub-Saharan African countries in 2017, heavily leans towards the growth of poverty rather than prosperity, which has led to the untimely demise of several lives in the region.”

For instance, in September 1987 the BBC quoted the UNICEF to the effect that, “…some 1000 children in sub-Saharan Africa died daily as a result of the debt burden crisis induced by inappropriate public and foreign policies, and that more than one million children continue to die with no end in sight [60]. As Geducks [59], posits, “in some quarters, the debt burden crisis has been regarded as a consistently calculated and silent economic and political warfare for the recolonisation and subjugation of Africans, while in other quarters; the debt burden crisis is a normal path to political and economic growth.” Nevertheless, be it as it may, the fact remains that, “sub-Saharan African’s debt burden crisis situation was relatively healthy but it began to deteriorate rapidly so that, the external debt which was only USD6.921 billion in 1970 tripled to USD60.898 billion in 1980 and to USD176.883 billion in 1990,” [27]. Consequently, the sub- Saharan debt burden crisis could be traced to defective public and foreign policies related to internal and external borrowing for import substitution industrialisation of the 1960s and 1970s, which were made more problematic by the global economic and financial shocks of the early 1980s. Again this is coupled with grave flaws in domestic public policymaking mechanisms in sub-Saharan African countries [2,27,61,62].

But to be credible anywhere, (even if what was borrowed served national or personal interests) the debt obligations entered into must be met; and in the attempt to respect this compelling axiom, the debt service payments made by sub- Saharan African countries have unendingly deprived sub-Saharan Africans of the pertinently needed resources for their social, economic and political growth. Given this, poverty reduction and the attainment of the West’s propelled United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, (UNMDGs) which were purportedly aimed at curtailing poverty by 2015 woefully failed to do so [61,62]. In any case, this failure must not be a surprise to any enlightened person, because, “the strategies packaged by creditors in the Bretton Woods Institutions to provide debt relief for sub-Saharan Africa’s subscribing countries deceptively geared to reduce poverty are ab initio bound to fail, thus they cannot make any significant headway,”. One very important yardstick usually ignored by sub-Saharan African policy maker is the place of the indigenous environments in policy-making. As Author notes,

The major policy challenges facing most Africa (especially sub-Saharan African political leaders) are how to sustain a high rate of economic growth that reduces multidimensional poverty; that articulate policies which are both socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable at the same time. Imperatively, decision-makers must generally be aware of their environmental complexities, which greatly play on policy-making. Populations’ ageing and growth, rapid urbanization, increasing need for provision of essential services, the need to reverse economic growth, which declined after the 2008 global financial crisis, corruption and governance inefficiency and inadequate responses to climate change are amongst the pressing challenges facing sub-Saharan African political leaders, who tenaciously hold brief for the neo-colonisation mechanisms of Bretton Woods Institutions in the name of SAP.”

Certainly, it is against this backdrop, that the Jonkoping International Business School, (JIBS) and the University of Rwanda jointly organised a conference on economic development in the region every year, such as that organized in 2016 under the theme, “Recent Trends in Economic Development, Finance and Management Research in Eastern Africa,” in Kigali between 20 and 22 June. So what actually should every sub-Saharan African know about the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) as propelled by these Bretton Woods Institutions in terms of human growth or decline; in the manner the current World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and International Monetary Fund Director General Christine Lagarde would want us to know and believe if not deceptiveness and subjugation of the people of this region? For instance, according to Nilsen [52], “the World Bank’s latest annual report on poverty and shared prosperity has an unsurprisingly positive message that only 10% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty in 2015, which in the most recent year that available data allows for global poverty estimates to be made.

As Nilsen [52] notes, the World Bank President points out in the foreword to the report that, “this is the lowest poverty rate in recorded history”. In fact, several people, especially those who are conversant and have sympathy in the sordid living conditions of sub-Saharan Africans hold that, this is a very old story that we have become familiar to haven head it constantly from the Bank, and other momentous participants in the debate about poverty and growth in the global South- Asia, Africa, and Latin America [35,63,64]. But to what extent should the impoverished victims of this story and its ensuing poverty and corruption in sub-Saharan Africa hold this narrative to be true? For example, the World Bank measures extreme poverty in terms of the number of people who live on less than USD$1.90 per day. But is this in fact a meaningful measurement instrument for determining the extent of poverty amongst people? Are the World Bank poverty estimates not purely provocative and merely attracting due criticisms and irk from victims of deception world over?

The Wb, Imf and Sub-Saharan African Countries: Growth or Decline? A Critical Survey

These West’s IMF and WB institutions, founded at the end of World War II, have led the way in imposing destructive policies resulting in widespread plutocracies, along with rising global financial instability, which has reduced sub-Saharan African countries into beggars in the midst of abundance resources. Consequently, general populations are reduced to mere observers, only called upon to vote in illegitimate elections, just to rescue the illegal wealth and positions of those responsible for their woes. As Temey [65] posits, “Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in Sub-Saharan African countries have never shown strong signs of growth resilience in the aftermath of the recent global crisis. Yet, this paper finds evidence that growth has more than proportionately benefited the top quintile during PRSP implementation. It finds that PRSP implementation has neither reduced poverty headcount nor raised the income share of the poorest quintile in Sub-Saharan African countries. While the IMF, the WB and political leaders in sub-Saharan African countries are primarily impose neoliberal assaults on ordinary citizens, who as the years advance are left feeling irrelevant and despondent; a tiny percentage – the top bracket in society – have become wealthier and more powerful than they ever imagined possible. While countries in other regions have been more successful in reducing poverty and increasing the income share of the poor, there is no conclusive evidence that PRSP implementation has played a role in shaping these outcomes in sub-Saharan African countries.” This account represents a candid evidence for this study from an IMF official. Truly, an appreciation of the negative impact of the WB and IMF’s sponsored SAP in sub-Saharan African countries requires the identification of these Institutions’ character of policies and their ensuing activities.

While agreeing with some of the analysis of Western scholarships concerning the false-start of the economies of sub- Saharan African countries, one must reject the political and ideological premises that underlie these analyses. Irrefutably, the WB and IMF have in their intellectual literature on these countries, concealed their political motives behind unverifiable technocratic solutions to political issues. Although the theoretical foundations of the Bank and Fund policies have been emphatically oriented towards the free market, these institutions accepted ‘socialist’ experiments and mixed economies in sub-Saharan African countries. But as Otis and Ganya [66] state, “however, when this favourable economic constellation entered into crisis situations as it is now; these institutions activated their ideological arsenals against the very sub-Saharan African countries, and the social and political framework of these countries has been their target as the major reasons for the decline of these countries. These countries include: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Swaziland, Ethiopia ,Gabon ,The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea- Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Poverty and Corruption as Bedfellows in Sub-Saharan African Countries: an Empirical Analysis in Seve$n Selected Countries

As Author observes, South Sudan is one of the poorest and corrupt countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and its economy is weak and underdeveloped. With a population of 12.9 million, and only 24% being literate, the country’s GDP stands at $3.61 billion and GDP per capita is $275. Conditions there are known to be most problematic, as in most of the villages and populated areas there is no electricity and access to water suitable for drinking, good education, healthcare and good roads network.

Cameroon, though indexed by Transparency International for corruption, but with a per-capita GDP of $1,443, is one of the ten highest in sub-Saharan Africa by that metric. Its total GDP of $34.79 billion set the country rolling, with agricultural structures and a population of 23.44 million people, the county still accounts for a lot of people involved in the agricultural sector. However the economy has increased in over the year, as timber reserve adds value to the economy of the country as it accounts for about 37% of the total land mass.

Niger is among the poorest countries in Africa with corruption at its peak, reeling under a population of 22.3 million. It has a GDP of $7.89 billion and a per capita GDP of $444, which is actually one of the lowest in the world. Niger’s economy is based on agriculture (mainly subsistence agriculture), which provides jobs for most of its citizens, and its large uranium deposits controlled by the West, is one of the largest uranium deposits in the world. Despite the efforts, Niger economy struggles to be maintained, as it is negatively affected by inappropriate public and foreign policies, incarnated by drought cycles, rapid population growth, and the decline in uranium prices over the years.

Ivory Coast enjoys a relatively stable economy, with a population of 24.9 million, a GDP of $53 billion and a considerable GDP growth of 8.5% per year, which is currently the 4th highest GDP growth in the world. The vast majority of Ivory Coast residents (about 70%) are engaged in agriculture. The leading crops in Ivory Coast’s agriculture are coffee and cocoa beans, which accounts for about 40% of the world’s production. As a result, the economy of the Ivory Coast is heavily influenced by fluctuations in the prices of cocoa and coffee. This led the Ivorian government to push for greater diversification of the country’s economy. Those attempts resulted in failure, and most of the industry is still agriculturebased.

Uganda is of the poorest nations in the world. The country’s total GDP accounting to $25.53 Billion and a $615.31 GDP per capita with a population of 44.27 million. Uganda is one of the largest countries in Africa, but also one of the poorest. However, the country has witnessed a recent change in the economy, to the measures taken by the government to protect its natural resources. In 1992, 56% of the country’s population was under the poverty line of $1.25 a day. In recent years that number has been reduced to around 25%. Government officials are still hopeful that in the coming years they will reach their goal of reducing the number of poor in its population to 10%.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has mixt economic sectors such as mining, fishing, forestry, agriculture, and copper and cobalt. While The country’s total GDP of $41.44 billion may seem high in comparison to other African countries. But its extremely large population of 84 million people; bring its GDP per capita figure to the astounding low $478.23. This places the country in the top ten poorest countries in Africa, with political and economic corruption all times high. Nonetheless, this country is a perfect example of a mixed economy.

Tanzania is one of the most beautiful places in Africa, though immersed in corruption after their iconic ruler Nyerere, with a relatively high GDP of $51.72 billion. It is the 10th largest economically rich country in Africa, by that metric. Tanzania has a population of 59 million people, 4th highest in Africa. That brings its GDP per capita figure to $1,033. Tanzanians largely rely on agricultural for a source of their income. The country has increased in terms of GDP but there are people who still are below the poverty line.

According to CNN’s Veselinovic [67], report, “besides articulating and churning out inappropriate public and foreign policies, which represent the invisible hands of poverty and corruption sub-Saharan African countries’, political leaders and the Bretton Woods Institution boost damaging mechanisms that prod poverty and corruption in the region.” Thus, the data below represent the result of a survey conducted in 2016, to determine the extent and character of corrupt practices in selected sub-Saharan African countries. The list is not exhaustive, but it shows how corruption is perpetuated in the region (Figure 1). As Chuta [68], Masumbe [55], observe, the institutionalisation of these practices is the product of inappropriate public policies, arising from dishonest, illegal and immoral behaviours, especially from people with high and powerful political offices. Corruption presupposes that a given system has a standard or blueprint of behaviours expected of persons who operate within that system.”

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Figure 1: Corruption in Africa nay Nigeria – passing on money to divert resources to boost poverty and perversion in high or low public and private places in rife in Nigeria – the most populated country in sub-Saharan Africa (Source: The 2018 Report of Transparency International, a global corruption watchdog, in collaboration with Afro-barometer, an organisation which conducts surveys on governance in Africa).

Thus, corruption that leads to impoverishment of citizens is not merely the abandonment, but perversion of these standards; and certainly, the mere abandonment of standards seriously impedes politico-economic growth in societies. Consequently, an act of perversion consists of the alternation in an established normative standard in an unnatural and often harmful way. Thus, any act of perversion in public or private life is not only abnormal and aberrant behavior but also injurious to the social system. As Transparency International Report states, in Liberia, 69 per cent of people reported that they had paid a bribe in the past one year. Perhaps, Cameroon did better, with 48 per cent of its citizens reporting that they paid a bribe in the past 12 months. In Nigeria the figure was slightly lower at 43 per cent, while in Sierra Leone- Transparency International found that 41 per cent of public service users in Sierra Leone had to pay someone off in the last year. In Uganda 38 per cent reported to have offered bribe for the obtention of a public service delivery. A new report has found that over half of sub-Saharan Africans think corruption is increasing. Transparency International says 75 million people in sub-Saharan African countries paid a bribe in 2014.

If one lives in Liberia, arranging to see a doctor might unfortunately not be as simple as booking an appointment. Seven out of 10 people in the country say they have had to pay bribes to access basic services like healthcare and schooling, according to Transparency International, a global watchdog. This number is the highest in sub-Saharan African countries, but in the latest poll which the NGO conducted with Afro-barometer, an organization which publishes surveys on governance in sub-Saharan African countries, 58 per cent of people said they thought bribery was increasing rather than reducing, hence the increase of poverty and the failing state syndrome. Similarly, in Kenya the rate was only slightly below, with 37 per cent of people reporting to have paid a bribe in the last 12 months. In Benin just over a quarter of public service users, 26 per cent paid a bribe in the past year, while in Ivory Coast, 34 per cent bribed to obtain service from the public sector, and the West African nation of Guinea 35 per cent of public users say they had paid a bribe, 36 per cent doing the same economic sabotage in Ghana. In Sudan, 58 per cent people attest that, corruption in their country was getting worse.

The Poverty, Corruption and Exclusion Cultures in Sub-Saharan African Countries

In June 2016, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHDI) published the report entitled ‘Multidimensional Poverty Assessment in IDB Sub-Saharan African Member Countries’. Given this report we tend to ask: What is the state of poverty in this region? Where are the people with largest deprivations located? The answers to these questions are crucial to formulating adequate public and foreign policy responses for this region. The global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), launched in 2010 and published by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), assesses people’s deprivations in ten indicators, which are organised into three dimensions: (i) education, (ii) health, and (iii) living standards. In 2015, of the 101 countries analysed, 43 are members of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) (from a total of 57 of IDB members). Among the IDB member countries analysed, 22 are located in sub- Saharan Africa. The analysis below in Figure 2, establishes that 264.3 million people (61.9% of the population) in these sub-Saharan countries are multidimensionally poor. Of these, 65.3% live in West Africa, 17.4% in East Africa, 10.8% in Central Africa, and 6.5% in Southern Africa.

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Figure 2: Multidimensional Poor People in sub-Saharan African Countries (Source: Adopted from Magazine on Multidimensional Poverty, November 2018).

Given its large population, Nigeria, situated in West Africa, accounted for a third of all multidimensionally poor people in sub-Saharan African member countries of the IDB (87.4 million people). The country with the highest incidence of multidimensionally poor people is Niger (89.3% in 2012), followed by Chad (87.2% in 2010). As Bradlow [69], observes, “President Ramaphosa has been working hard to improve South Africa’s economic situation. In October 2018, he hosted a jobs summit that’s expected to produce 275 000 new jobs a year. More recently he organised an investment summit at which participants announced commitments worth R290 billion. He also announced initiatives to promote the construction of infrastructure and reform the tax regime.” All this sounds very impressive, unfortunately, it is possible that, without strong political will backed by concerted disciplined character to stop corruption, all these initiatives could simply result in growth that reinforces the structural weaknesses in South Africa’s economy. Consequently, they will not significantly address the South Africa’s prevailing high levels of inequality and poverty (Figure 3).

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Figure 3: Photo: EPA/Nic Bothma: A large number of poor South Africans live in informal settlements. South Africa is set on fixing its economy. But will poor people benefit? Source: Adopted from Danny Bradlaw, (2018), “South Africa is set on fixing its economy. But will poor people benefit”? Pretoria: The Conversation, October.

As indicated below in Figure 4, national compositions of poverty can be disaggregated by subnational regions to provide rich information on the regional variations of poverty. This information can be used in the formulation of appropriate public and foreign policies. For instance, the analysis of the composition of poverty in Salamat and Moyen Chari, two regions in Chad, shows that the overall contribution of deprivation in education is larger in Salamat than in Moyen Chari. Therefore, Salamat requires higher investment in education than Moyen Chari. These important differences remain hidden when only national averages are considered. This type of analysis could be used by each country in sub- Saharan Africa to understand the particularities of the challenges exposed by multidimensional poverty at a national level when complemented with subnational data showing the composition of the multidimensional poverty index.

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Figure 4: Percentage Contribution of Each Indicator to Overall MPI for 22 IDB Member Countries in sub-Saharan African Region (Source: Adopted from Magazine on Multidimensional Poverty, November 2018).

Thus, talking about enigma of corruption, “Corruption creates and increases poverty and exclusion of citizens’ from the mainstream politics, economics and social well-being. While corrupt individuals with political power enjoy lavish life styles, millions of other individuals in the same society are deprived of their basic needs like food, health, education, housing, electricity, and access to clean water and sanitation, as it is prevailing scenarios in sub-Saharan African countries," [70]. The Non-Governmental Organisation, Transparency International (TI) estimates that around 75 million people in sub-Saharan African countries have paid a bribe in the past year. The poorest among this number fare the worst, as they are twice as likely as the richest in the region to have had to make payoffs. According to Pring [71], corruption surveys research coordinator at Transparency International, "…poor people feel powerless to stand up against a corrupt official, or because rich people use their connections to avoid paying such bribes," Ironically, the police and courts - institutions which exist to safeguard citizen's rights are seen as even the most corrupt, with over a quarter of those who had dealings with them saying that they had paid a bribe. "When coming into contact with the police, more than a quarter of people opine that they needed to bribe either to get assistance from the officer, or to avoid a problem like passing a checkpoint or avoid a fine or arrest, which is further evidence that graft is undermining the rule of law and allows people to get away unpunished for their crimes," [71].

Nearly one in five sub-Saharan African pay bribes to obtain official documents, and access to medical care is sometimes negotiated through an unofficial fee, gift or favor. From data which polled over 43,000 people in 28 sub- Saharan countries, also divulges that half or more of those who paid bribes did so multiple times a year. Thus, corruption and poverty are the biggest threat to Africa's growth [71]. As Mufuruki, Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania's Infotech Investment Group and member of the International Monetary Fund's Group on sub-Saharan Africa posits,

"Corruption is the single biggest threat to Africa's growth and the solution lies in good, ethical leadership, strong and enforceable laws against corruption, severe sanctions for corruption crimes underpinned by a national culture of promoting ethics from family to national level. Worst stills, most governments in sub-Saharan countries are seen as not doing enough to combat the problem, as citizens of the continent's biggest economies express the most pessimistic outlook of livelihoods in the region. For instance, in South Africa more than four-in-five people said they have seen corruption rise recently and in Nigeria the figure stands at 75 per cent.”

According to Transparency International, “South Africa and Nigeria have diverse bribery levels, with South Africa standing at just 7 per cent; while Nigeria is at 43 per cent. Nevertheless, it is not all doom and gloom. In Mauritius and Botswana only 1 per cent of public service users say that have paid an official off, which is on a par with low bribery rate countries in Europe and North America (Figure 5).

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Figure 5: With a population of over 25 million people, this is just one area in the city of Lagos, Nigeria, expressing the breadth of poverty conditions for millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. A different measure of poverty showing how 70% of the world’s poor, live in what the World Bank considers middle-income countries. (Source: Nilsen [52], “Why The World Bank’s Optimism about Global Poverty Misses the Point”, The Conversation /EFE-EPA/Onome Oghene, The Universities of the Witwatersrand and Western Cape, October 2018).

As Nilsen [52] posits, Jason Hickel, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics, points out that there is often a large gap between national poverty lines and the international poverty line stipulated by the bank. For example, more than 55% of South Africa’s population lives below the country’s upper poverty line, of R1,138 (USD$80) a month. But, according to the World Bank, only 18.85% of the South African population lives in poverty. This suggests that the international poverty line touted by the World Bank systematically underestimates the extent of global poverty in sub- Saharan Africa. This point is partially acknowledged in this year’s report. Accordingly, the World Bank proposes new and higher poverty lines - USD$3.20 and USD$5.50 a day, respectively. Going by this report, almost half the world’s population lives below the USD $5.50 a day poverty line. However, we need to go further than this-indeed; the World Bank’s widely touted story of historically low poverty levels must be rejected.

Consequently, if there should a concerted and conscientious discussion about world poverty on End Poverty Day, then we have to start by acknowledging that the global problem of poverty is far more extensive than the World Bank rhetoric would have us believe. Accordingly, two big factors need to be confronted. Firstly, it is that the majority of the world’s poor live in countries that have experienced strong economic growth. Secondly, it is that the growth strategies these countries have practised create and reproduce poverty [52,72,73]. Thus, as Nilsen [52] opines, “…for the World Bank to attribute the supposed historical decline in poverty in large parts to the rising wealth of several Asian countries is sheer imperialism and thus misleading, because, hereinafter, such an argument present serious problems.” As author demonstrates, a new geography of poverty has emerged in the global South, where whether monetary estimates are used or not, Symons uses a poverty line of $2.50 a day-or estimates of multidimensional poverty; that is, poverty measured according to health indicators, education levels, and economic standards of living-as many as 70 per cent of the world’s poor currently live in what the World Bank refers to as middle-income countries. As he and others point out, poverty in middle-income countries cannot be attributed to an absolute lack of resources but to the absolute lack of sound public and foreign policies which are backed by strong nationalistic feelings and disciplined character in political leaders in sub-Saharan African countries, even if these are countries that have experienced strong economic growth since the 1990s [74,75]. Definitely, as Nilsen [52] states: “what it boils down to in middle-income countries like India, Nigeria, and Brazil is the issue of equitable distribution of wealth, which again boils to poor public policies based on an acceptable culture of democratic orientation. The economic growth that has lifted countries from low-income status to middle-income status is profoundly unequally distributed. As a result, large parts of the populations in these countries are excluded from the benefits that accrue from this growth. This in turn has implications for how we think about growth strategies and poverty reduction in the global South, especially in sub-Saharan African region.”

Thus, while agreeing with Mjimba [76], we assert that, a critical hurdle to sub-Saharan Africans developing strong industrial bases, in fact, strong prerequisite for any beneficiation; is not only the dominance of China and other Asian countries in the labour intensive manufacturing sector in sub-Saharan Africa, but most importantly, the weak and irresponsible undisciplined political, economic and social characters, which are completely devoid of any nationalistic tendencies capable of imbuing rational choices in governance, and which can prod the articulation of seasoned public and foreign policy thrusts by sub-Saharan African political leaders. So rather emulate China which several decades ago, was in the same underdevelopment situation like sub-Saharan African region, sub-Saharan African political leaders are simply ambushing their long term thinking with corruption and impoverishment of their citizens. Certainly, sub-Saharan African region is not as homogenous in the manner China is, but given concerted nationalism, countries in this region would have metamorphosed into a single political unit and obliterate the 1884 Berlin imposed boundaries [40,77]. Thus, it is the absence of this policy commitments that render sub-Saharan African political leaders light weighted political actors at the global stage [27].

In terms of policy shift towards making rational copy-cat attitudes, sub-Saharan African countries can overcome their political, economic and social limitations, by imitating China via a number of factors, which aided China even the United States of America in their industrialisation drives. Firstly, China and the USA are countries with huge unified markets that can produce and consume their own manufacturing outputs in addition to exporting the same goods [76]. Thus, although sub-Saharan African countries on their part, are made up of many countries and nationalities, with several imposed foreign languages, French, English, Spanish, and so on, but which if nationalistically combined to form the United States of Africa, their market which is now sadly fragmented, and which backwardly limits inter and intra country production and trade, can become a unified market which would beat or at least gainfully compare to China or the United States of America. Secondly, China and the USA have heavily invested in human capital and well as hard infrastructure such as bridges, roads, hospitals, good schools, airports, supermarkets, and so on; and above all cultures of commensurate consumption and production. All these factors are critical for any major industrialisation drive-and beneficiation-but are all lacking in sub-Saharan African region.

Sub-Saharan African Countries, WB and IMF, Public and Foreign Policy-Making: A Repressive Union?

A participant at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 20, 2017 has this to say, “In this Swiss Alps town where the global elite have gathered to debate the world's problems, there seems to be little or no room on the agenda for Africa’s economic development, a continent of over a billion people where a commodity-fuelled growth boom has soured with a vengeance; and in particular, sub-Saharan African countries' economies, described a few years ago by a Consultant McKinsey as “lions on the move” likely expanded just 1.6 percent last year according to the World Bank - the slowest rate in two decades and one that insulates the continent's galloping population growth.” Certainly, being late is better than never. But, before affording alternative policy shifts for sub-Saharan African political leaders hereinafter, it is necessary to systematically theoreticalise and empiricalise succinct analysis of the historical negative role played by the Bretton Woods Institution in sub-Saharan Africans’ livelihoods. This expatiation will enable readers to understand the poor impact of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s policies and programmes in the region.

Historically, the WB mission arrived Nigeria in 1953, at the invitation of the colonial government to advise on various development prgorammes in different sectors of the Nigerian economy. The mission’s report formed some of the technical basis for Nigeria’s first post-colonial development plan-1962-68; which was actually drafted by two Americans [40]. Therefore, the WB did not only enshrine most of the post-colonial political and economic policies of underdevelopment in Nigeria but also much of neo-colonial capitalism. Since 1960, when Nigeria joined the World Bank Group, comprising other institutions such as, the International Development Association, (IDA), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Nigeria had since been interacting with the International Monetary Fund, (IMF). Definitely, this fairly long contact with these institutions applies also to other sub-Saharan African countries, and as author adds, “the sub- Saharan African debt burden crisis worsened in 1970s, the rest of the continent became colossally indebted, thereby attracting a deepened-for-the-worst relationship between countries in this region and these institutions from 1979 onwards, as the continent hosted as much as 30 per cent of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for desperate countries.”

Now, the stated objectives of the WB-IMF policies in sub-Saharan Africa have been: (i) To offer neutral technical advice, economic diagnosis, strategies and models for developing countries in solving their political and economic take-offs; (ii) To fight poverty as exemplified by the anti-poverty rhetoric of the World Bank; (iii) To adjust disequilibria in the balance of payments in the interest of the growth of free international trade and payments; and (iv) To assist with economic recovery from depression and external debt. As political and economic pundits, historians, and the prevailing political and economic livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa attest, since these objectives were initiated several decades ago, they have not been achieved [2]. Yet these Bretton Woods Institutions continue to sing songs of political and economic recoveries in sub-Saharan African countries, without a blink of an eye, as the political leaders in these countries steadfastly provide the refrains for these neo-colonialist songs.

(a) Anti-Poverty and Growth Programmes of the WB and IMF in sub-Saharan African Countries

The anti-poverty and growth programmes of these Bretton Woods Institutions are closely related as both share the objectives of alleviating mass poverty and increasing economic growth. The main difference between them is that the anti-poverty programme has a rural and agrarian spotlight. Both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund implicitly or explicitly endorse the colonially imposed; and the David Ricardo’s political and economic deceptive Comparative Advantage Thesis of production. Since production is located in the rural economy of poor countries, the Bank and IMF sustains a large and growing rural programme in sub-Saharan African countries. And in their imperialistic political and economic thought, these Bretton Woods Institutions conceived that, if agricultural production, which enhanced the political, economic and industrial growth of the US and Europe could be derailed and curtailed in sub- Saharan African countries, the region’s political and economic growth would certainly be thwarted.

Regrettably for countries in this region, and auspiciously for the Bretton Woods Institutions, sub-Saharan African countries did not smartly overthrow the mercantilist view that, former colonies should be satisfied with remaining at the dormant servitude position to supply raw materials to the metropolitans; and never to compete in industrial development through manufacturing. Thus, these institutions enforced this policy and sub-Saharan

African countries thought only in terms of producing and supplying raw materials into the global economy. Unlike the colonies which became the US after emigrating from Britain with the declaration of independence in 1776, the colonies never thought of themselves as subservient. Rather they considered themselves chiefly as commonwealths or states, much like England herself, having only a loose association with the United Kingdom. In fact, unlike their erstwhile colonialists in Europe, with limited space and dotted with populous town, sub-Saharan African countries occupy and enjoy land mass of seemingly unending reach, which on such a continent, natural endowed with natural resources permit vast economic and political growth with vivid promises of the individual progress, prosperity and happiness in a global humanity.

b) Balance of Payments Stabilisation Programme of the WB and IMF in sub-Saharan African Countries

Thus, in their diabolical division of labour tactics, the stabilisation of balance of payments is the primary function of the IMF. The purpose according to this institution is to assist with the elimination of disequilibria in the balance of payments of member countries through either drawing from their contribution to the Fund (this is the First Tranche), or their request for Extended Fund Facility (the Second Tranche) which attracts tough preconditions. The Fund’s commitment to payments adjustment is to ensure the free flow of international trade and its growth without exchange restrictions. In its true political and economic senses, this objective and its policy thrust serves as a key pillar in protecting the economies of developed countries, since sub-Saharan African countries must never default is ensuring the supply of raw materials for the smooth functioning industries in mother countries under the protection of the IMF [78,79]. Since sub-Saharan African countries primary exports of agricultural and mineral raw materials have always faced dwindling demand due to the use of synthetic substitutes and the imposition of low prices and restrictive trade practices by their partners with advanced economies, their external trade problems have always become cumulative. Thus, the combination of poor terms of trade, unstable and declining export earnings and a chronically unfavourable balance of trade situation has always led to the persistent and deteriorating balance of payments deficits and crises in sub-Saharan African countries [78]. For example, as Onimode [40] states, “between 1985 and 1986 alone, sub-Saharan African countries lost a staggering $19 billion in export earnings and these adverse situation have constantly led an extension of the IMF’s balance of payments stabilisation programme in sub-Saharan African countries.” Consequently, whereas up till 1977/78 and till date 2018, most of the Fund’s facilities have always been taken by the advance capitalist countries, sub-Saharan African countries continue taking increasing share of these loans. Thus, since the 1980s, as the sub-Saharan African countries’ debt burden crisis becomes deepened, their borrowing from the IMF has also become so alarming, thereby constituting a critical component of the entire continent’s debt burden crisis [80,81].

As Jega [80], opines, “in the circumstances, the IMF has been imposing tougher and harsher preconditions, or conditionality on its extended loans for balance of payments’ stabilization. Yet, before 1978, when the advanced capitalist countries, who are the major sponsors of the IMF, were its key borrowers, these harsh preconditions were nonexistent. They had either not yet been formulated or were not enforced. For example, a typical conditionality wrap-up of the IMF include (i) massive retrenchment of workers in both the public and private sectors of the subscribing country, (ii) trade liberalization, (iii) cumulative devaluation, (iv) privatisation of public enterprises, (v) free entry for multinational corporations into subscribing countries, (vi) abolition of exchange rates, (vii) price and wage controls or freeze, (viii) withdrawal of subsidies across the board, (ix) a credit squeeze, (x) budget cuts, and (xi) general deflation of the economy. Ironically, the following preconditions or conditionality apply to every subscribing sub-Saharan African country, hence the IMF has become a generalist doctor who prescribes the same medication to every patient irrespective of his or her peculiar circumstances and illness. So, in order to redress an ailing economy, a subscribing country, usually developing countries in Africa and Latin America, must accept the strict application of these preconditions before either official or private foreign creditors agree to offer any form of financial relief [82,83].

c) The IMF – WB Structural Adjustment Programmes in sub-Saharan African Countries

The Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP), or economic recovery programme, is one the numerous policy responses to the political and economic crisis that rocked sub-Saharan African countries in 1980s and beyond.

Structural adjustment loans seem to have been originated in the 1980s with a WB loan of $200 million each to certain South Asian countries, including the Philippines [84]. In fact, SAP represents a neo-colonial malignant tool which deals with in a coordinated manner that involves overseeing an entire economy and its political propelling system, not just its agricultural or external sectors. In the process, as the WB retains its alleged anti-poverty programme, it integrates this as a component of overall structural adjustment, which also embraces the IMF’s balance of payments adjustment. As Riteni [84] observes:

“in this IMF and WB hybrid programme, the dominant preoccupations are with the external sector of subscribing countries’ economies and its foreign exchange shortages, as well as the industrial policies. For instance, while an IMF team looks into the balance of payments and exchange problems of a debtor country, a WB team discusses export promotion, industrial policies and appropriate tariff structure. Either institution may then pronounce on the national budget, credit limits of commercial banks, structure of interest rates, wage policy, the desirability of specific industrial projects and so on.”

Thus, in this way cross-conditionality is imposed by the Fund and the Bank on the same country, with the declining rather than growing effects of the debtors’ economic and political conditions which necessitated the embracing of these institutions’ policies of SAP.

The Basic Roles of Imf and Wb in Sub-Saharan African Countries

The nature and implications of the IMF and WB’s programme, lead directly to discuss their basic roles in sub-Saharan African countries. These roles involve two basic perspectives. (a) that of the Fund and Bank on one, and (b) the sub- Saharan African countries on the other hand. Both will be outlined before suggesting alternative roles, policies and programmes politico-economic growth in this region.

IMF and WB Perception of Their Roles in Sub-Saharan African Countries

From their annual reports, regional programme summaries and other publications in relation to their Articles of Association, the perceptions held by the Fund and Bank of their roles in sub-Saharan African countries can be discerned. It is important to state that, there are serious internal divisions with both multilateral institutions about some aspects of these roles. As Kukah [85] posits,

“Before the 1980s, the basic roles of the IMF were identified with balance of payment stabilization, while those of the WB Group were the eradication of poverty and the acceleration of economic growth. Within its central balance of payments role, Article 8 of the IMF’s statue enjoins it to promote trade and free international payment that would eliminate exchange restrictions. ”

Usually, the so-called Fund’s stabilization programme involves missions, report and recommendations for the control of inflation, devaluation, liberalization, export promotion and general demand restraint [27,85]. Consequently, over the years, the Fund had always argued that these roles imply that it has a role in economic growth of debtor countries. But at best, this growth function is subsidiary to its external sector roles. Similarly, the Bank has also been focusing on agricultural promotion, emphasizing agrarian reforms, pushing more resources into the rural economy and promoting population control policies, it has thus generally concerned itself with accelerated growth, the subject of the 1981 Berg Report entitled Towards Accelerated Development in Sub-Sahara Africa [86,87]. Thus, while the Fund focuses on the external sector, the Bank has been preoccupied with the internal caprices through the agricultural sector or rural economy, supposedly in the overall interest of advancing the economic growth of sub-Saharan African countries.

But come to think of it: for several decades of the WB’s activities in promoting economic growth through agriculture in sub-Saharan African countries, economic stagnation continues to prevail in this region. Is the Bank concerned about this stagnation, having put in so much resource into this sector? The answer is obviously no, because, the major ideological incentive of the Bank is to asphyxiate, than to facilitate economic growth in these countries [2].

In these, and as a cover-up, the WB and IMF see themselves as acting at the behest of sub-Saharan African countries and in supportive assistance to them, rather than on their own (WB and IMF) accord. So, their policies and programmes are supposed to be those of the respective sub-Saharan African countries, once they have been adopted, even if such policies were conceived, formulated and passed on to these countries for mere implementation. Notwithstanding that, the loans’ prescriptions are supposed to be negotiated and accepted by the debtor countries and converted into integral components of their national economic policies; such negotiation would appear to water-down the ideological push of the Bank and Fund.

Indeed, in this sense, even the tough prescription packages usually dished unto the debtor countries are merely an objective, self-evident, neutral and technical set of economic solutions to the problems of sub-Saharan African countries. Thus, as Waukesha, [87] and Badita [86], state, the WB and IMF claim that they do not impose anything; and that debtor countries run to the WB and IMF; invite them to become involved in their political and economic tragedies. By implication, the WB and IMF give this cheap and deceptive impression that, sub-Saharan African countries are solely responsible for their politico-economic quagmires and should be grateful for the generous assistance offered them by the WB and IMF, through SAP. Certainly, only protégés of the West and their institutions would agree with the notion that, the Bretton Woods Institutions impose nothing unto sub-Saharan African countries, even if these countries run to them.

The sub-Saharan African Countries Perception of IMF and WB Roles in the Region

With the role of the WB and IMF in sub-Saharan African countries falling into two broad periods, which are pre- and post 1980), the sub-Saharan African countries’ perception of the roles of the Bretton Woods Institutions has varied in approximate correspondence to those periods [87,88]. Thus, prior to 1979, when sub-Saharan African countries started seeking for Extended Fund Facility of the IMF and were confronted increasingly with tough preconditions, the roles of the institutions did not attract popular attention and the sub-Saharan African perception of the roles of these agencies was largely that held and promoted by the multilateral institutions themselves, a clear indication of imposed policies (Figure 6) [89].

social-sciences-shocking-indices

Figure 6: Nearly half the population in Sub-Saharan Africa lives below the international poverty line indices of USD 1 per consumption unit per day. Discussed below are five shocking statistics regarding poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Given this imposed perceptions, as Forget [90], states, the average life expectancy at birth for someone born in sub- Saharan Africa is 46 years. This sobering number is due to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the region. According to UNDP, “a person can hope to live on average only 46 years, or 32 years less than the average life expectancy in countries of advanced human development, with 20 years slashed off of life expectancy due to HIV/AIDS.” Thankfully, HIV death rates are decreasing across sub-Saharan Africa. In Rwanda, AIDS-related mortality rates dropped from 7% to 5% from 2011-2012. Similarly, in Uganda the life expectancy was raised by ten years between 2000 and 2013 from age 46 to 55. Foreign aid and the distribution of HIV/AIDS medication have played a large role in this reversal. Some 48.5% of the population lives on less than $1.25 per day, and 69.9% on less than $2.00 per day. With a little over 910 million people living in the region, this places around 637 million Africans below the poverty line. HIV/AIDS and malaria are primary killers in sub-Saharan African countries. The UNAIDS estimates that, some 2 million sub-Saharan Africans perish each year from the disease. And 70% of the HIV/AIDS deaths were in sub-Saharan Africa. The region also lays claim to 90% of new HIV infections in children. In Namibia alone, 15,000 people die every year from the disease. For instance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo appears to be the poorest country in Africa and the second poorest country in the world, with almost 88% of the population living on less than $1.25 a day. Forget [90] states, “with a population of 65.7 million people, 88% is an unnerving statistics.”

Children are severely malnourished (rates have reached 30% in certain areas) and many die due to these adverse conditions. In fact, children account for almost 50% of deaths in the country. If any country in sub-Saharan Africa deserves fast-tracking appropriate poverty and corruption reduction public and foreign policies, it is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In this region, the majority of poor people live in rural areas and due to the decline of improved agricultural activities, the rural sectors of sub-Saharan African nations are hotbeds of extreme poverty. Much of the land is very dry, making it difficult for farmers to grow food for sustenance. But in the usual West’s ideological perspectives, “timid efforts are being made by the UNDP to foster the development of sustainable agriculture in these areas. In Lesotho, reform actually came from the government when King Letsie III introduced sustainable farming to his people” [90].

Ironically, a 1995, WB report compares poverty levels and trends in sub -Saharan African countries with the rest of the world. It then uses national aggregate indicators to look at poverty trends and levels across African countries. This section makes use of demographic, economic and social indicators from the Bank's socioeconomic database and other international sources. The report then highlights the many faces of poverty in Africa by drawing from household survey data to look at the diversity of poverty at the sub-national level-specifically, how poverty is distributed within countries, and what are the common socioeconomic characteristics of the poor, including where they live, the composition of households, access to social services and employment opportunities, and consumption habits. Gender is a fundamental feature of any discussion on poverty and welfare and is therefore interwoven throughout the report. Yet in 2018 the Bank in its usual ideological negative contributions to the growth of poverty and corruption quagmires in the region fails to positively alter the situation, except by producing only annual reports which are even paid from resources from the region [91,92].

Conclusions and Policy Recommendations

Given the pernicious 1980-2018 unfinished debates over SAP, and this region’s prevailing politico-economic hardships; and using the political economy approach, this article sought to divulge how, with SAP as mediator in several decades, there is great irking political and economic debility than growth in sub-Saharan African countries. Certainly, the trepidations of politico-economic decline rather than growth, arising from poverty, corruption and impervious governances’ policies, gravely threaten human and material livelihoods in sub-Saharan African countries. Via these policies, these self-seeking-punchline political leaders, imbued with extensive unconstitutionalities, illegitimacies and dictatorial fantasies, nepotism and unbridled populations’ impoverishment egoistically drag their countries into the unsavoury West’s World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP) [9,93,94]. With the current despicable human conditions, there is now or never, the absolute need for sub-Saharan African countries to redefine, reaffirm and bring about what are globally considered as prosperous, progressive and happiness prone desirable societies, through desirable and realistic public and foreign policies. By now, it should be sensible for political leaders of sub-Saharan African countries, that, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s sponsored SAP has over several decades conducted unignorably disastrous politico-economic decline that growth in this region. For instance as the WB ideologically and falsely claims:

“The world has made tremendous progress in reducing extreme poverty. The percentage of people living in extreme poverty globally fell to a new low of 10 percent in 2015-the latest number available-down from 11 percent in 2013, reflecting continued but slowing progress. The number of people living on less than $1.90 a day fell during this period by 68 million from 736 million. Despite this tremendous progress in reducing extreme poverty, rates remain stubbornly high in low-income countries and those affected by conflict and political upheaval. In the 25 years from 1990 to 2015, the extreme poverty rate dropped an average of a percentage point per year – from nearly 36% to 10%. But the rate dropped only one percentage point in the two years from 2013 to 2015” [15].

Hereinafter, this Bretton Woods Institution wretchedly acknowledges:

“In fact, the total number of poor in Sub-Saharan Africa has been increasing. In 2015, more extreme poor lived in that region than in the rest of the world combined. By 2030, under all but the most optimistic scenarios, poverty will remain in twin digits in Sub-Saharan Africa” [15].

This wretched picture, projected by the WB for sub-Saharan African countries, in spite of the lengthy years of operating SAP in this region is to speak the least imperialistic to the people of sub-Saharan African countries. This article surveyed the theoretical and empirical dimensions of public and foreign policies churned out by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and sub-Saharan African countries’ political leaders, and discovered that, these policies have fashioned the politico-economic decline because they are grossly irrational in nature

and character, since such policies are purely ideological instruments for subjugating, rather than enhancing citizens’ emancipation in the region [27,52,95]. Thus, it is these inordinate egoistic policies, which prod the dragging of sub-Saharan African countries into the unsavoury West’s World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s Structural Adjustment Programmes, (SAP). So, rather than SAP to represent an impeccable politico-economic instrument for growth, it is actually a malignant neo-colonial political and economic mechanism with which to alienate subscribing countries. Evidence is that, in this region, the long-time application of SAP and its negative political, economic and social implications for livelihoods notwithstanding, SAP has not achieve the positive turn-around the politico-economic conditions it was intended to redress in this region.. Thus, to the Bretton Woods Institutions remains strong ideologically blatant and pernicious tool of the West against sub-Saharan African countries.

Alternative Public and Foreign Policies For Politico-Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan African Countries: The Binding Role of Political Leaders

The first strong task for changing the tide against politico-economic decline in sub-Saharan African countries is for political leaders to imbibe what Lasswell [96] and Chandler [5] call, “policy re-orientations” and “Strategy-Structure Alignment”. These imply imbibing strong self-disciplined efforts to promote critically indigenously informed public and foreign policymaking responses to the political, economic, social and cultural problems that tend to degrade human progress, prosperity and happiness in this region. Secondly, to tie strategies (policies) and structures (institutions) to match with society’s politico-economic growth objectives. Political leaders in sub-Saharan African countries should as a matter of urgent policy re-definition refrain from buying policy responses from outsiders [45,97,98], which increase the deceptive significance of Western professional propagandists, who though depend upon the rationality of the modern world to address their own societies, yet undermine this very policy rationalities by systematically mobilizing the irrationalities of psychopathology and ideology in sub-Saharan African countries. Thirdly, through concerted self-critique in ruler-ship via policy re-orientations and contextual re-definitions, there are promises offered by intelligent capabilities of leading modern civilization away from an irrational path in sub-Saharan African countries-a task requiring not merely routine thinking, but high reflexivity and creativity. A key “feature of the policy re-orientation,” according to Lasswell, is the significance it attaches to an “act of creative imagination,” that is ability to introduce innovative policies “into the historic process of society” [99,100].

Finally, in adjudicating between the concepts of policy re-orientation and the maintenance of the status quo, which policymakers in the West overcome centuries back to bring progress, prosperity and happiness in their societiessocieties today envied by surging immigrants from sub-Saharan African countries; Lasswell developed a conceptual framework designed for “mapping” the policy processes in relation to the larger social processes [101]. This mapping is what we recommend for political leaders in this region to stringently borrow and implement with assistance from seasoned policy scholars in this region independent from the West’s ideological intrigues. With this mapping’s often tersely specified elements, such as the constant enumeration of professional tasks and resources; value judgments and contextual applications, and sequential phases of decision-making, policy re-orientation will realise its positive intended objectives in this region. By the substance of this recommendation and its most distinguishing features, the context principle must be the central cornerstone for policy re-orientation, specifically by each country in this region [102,103].

Franklin D. Roosevelt-“Equality is the Soul of Liberty, There is, in fact, no liberty without it; and we cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future” [104].

References