TransAfrica Forum Issue Brief
(Voo. 3, No. 6)
by TransAfrica Forum
Washington, DC, United States
December 1984-January 1985
Contents: THE IMF AND DEVELOPING COUNTRIES • THE IMF'S "STABILIZATION PROGRAMMES": SIX CASE STUDIES • This ISSUE BRIEF begins with an interview with international economist Robert S. Browne, former Executive Director of the African Development Fund, the soft loan window of the African Development Bank. He examines the role of the IMF in undermining governments with whose domestic and foreign policies it disagrees and in imposing severe hardships on the masses of people in Africa and the Caribbean. The issue summarizes the history of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD - the World Bank) beginning in July 1944 at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. The IMF was designated as the gate-keeper of the rules and the prime instrument of international management. Under a system of weighted voting, the U.S. has exerted preponderant influence in this body. Even though Article One bars it from using political consideration in its decisions, there is ample evidence that the IMF has done precisely that. On one hand, IMF policies have been implicated in the destabilization of' leftist' governments such as Chile under Allende, Grenada under Bishop, Jamaica under Manley, and Nicaragua under the Sandinistas. On the other hand, it has offered assistance to Chile under Pinochet, to Jamaica under Seaga, and it has advanced a $1.1 billion loan package to apartheid South Africa. Six case studies focus on Zambia, Tanzania, Sudan, The Dominican Republic, Grenada, and Jamaica. The newsletter mentions member countries, temporary balance of payments support, external indebtedness, Third World countries, ECOWAS (Economic Community of West C (Southern African Development Coordination Conference, IMF conditionality measures, and TransAfrica Forum staff Niikwao Akuetteh, Ibrahim J. Gassama, Linus A. Hoskins, Maryse-Noelle Mills, Perrin B. Reid, and Randall Robinson. (Unforeseen developments, particularly demands of the Free South Africa Movement, have delayed this issue, so it may contain information from after the stated publication date.)
Used by permission of TransAfrica Forum.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers