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Responses to Economic Crisis in Africa 

The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics
Peter M. LewisPeter M. Lewis

The language of “crisis” is used frequently and carelessly with regard to Africa (Lewis & Harbeson, 2016). Negative economic shocks or recession may foster crisis, but these sources of economic downturn are quite different from a condition of intractable economic distress. For practical consideration, an economic crisis should be defined as a sustained decline in growth and stability, with limited internal resources for steadying the economy. It is essentially a growth collapse that is longer and steeper than the normal business cycle for a recession and sometimes lasts for multiple years. The decline of growth is usually accompanied by imbalances in external accounts, weakening currency values, and rising inflation. Governments in a crisis are usually insolvent, whether burdened with unmanageable external debt, a sharp drop in revenues, or depleted reserves. Further, they may be unable or unwilling to marshal a policy response to economic failure.... ...

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