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date: 08 August 2020

Responses to Economic Crisis in Africa 

Source:
The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics
Author(s):
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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