Institutional Monocropping and Monotasking in Africa

Thandika Mkandawire

in Good Growth and Governance in Africa

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199698561
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738142 | DOI:

Series: Initiative for Policy Dialogue

Institutional Monocropping and Monotasking in Africa

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The failure of structural adjustment and, more specifically, the poor response of private investors to programs of market liberalization have led to the identification of poor institutions as the culprit. Consequently much of the reform agenda has evolved around institutions which aimed at ensuring property rights and attaining a degree of credibility of policies by reducing space for policy discretion. This, in turn, has not only led to “institutional monocropping,” which involves transplanting one highly stylized “Anglo-Saxon” model to developing countries, but also to “monotasking” which limits the role of institutions to that of stimulating investment. Because it ignores the specificity of different contexts and because it is aimed at restraining governments rather than enabling them to take on the developmental and transformative role that had been central to the success of “late industrializers,” this reform agenda has produced inappropriate institutions.

Keywords: Africa; institutional reform; development

Chapter.  15400 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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