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Politics and the African Development Bank

Politics and the African Development Bank

Karen A. Mingst
Copyright Date: 1990
Pages: 216
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    Politics and the African Development Bank
    Book Description:

    The African continent has long been plagued by economic problems. During the 1970s, with famines and two oil crises, the attention of the international donor community was riveted on Africa. In the 1980s international organizations, both governmental and private, have responded to the African crises.

    One increasingly visible organization is the African Development Bank, recently heralded by theWall Street Journalas "the rarest of African species: a success." Founded in 1964 by African governments, its mandate was to solve African problems using African resources. But the devastation of the 1970s forced bank members to reexamine the implications of Africanicity, and in 1982 the bank courted nonregional members.

    In this first academic study of the ADB, Karen Mingst argues that the bank is a political institution, not the functional, economically neutral organization originally envisioned. Using bank archives and extensive interviews with ADB personnel, contractors, the economic development community, and national government officials, Mingst analyzes the changing political relationships in the ADB in three arenas: intraorganizational politics with effects on the secretariat and on policy issues, political relations with other development organizations, and hegemonic politics among politically and economically powerful state members.

    Particularly fascinating are her analyses of ADB techniques to influence borrowing states and her discussion of the cooperative and competitive relationship between the ADB and the World Bank. Mingst concludes by comparing the ADB with the other multilateral development banks: the Inter-American Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

    This book will interest all policymakers and scholars concerned with international organizations, economic development, and the entire future of Africa.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5681-1
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables and Figure
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Glossary
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. CHAPTER 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-17)

    The rejuvenation of international organizations (IGOs) as a field of study can be attributed to several trends in the international political system: the increasing proliferation of IGOs and the resulting complexity of national entanglements in these organizations (Jacobson, Reisinger and Mathers, 1986; Nierop, 1989); the interrelatedness of issues that the various organizations address; and the increasing fragmentation of institutional responses (Cox, 1980). The renewal of inquiry has led scholars to ask some critical questions: How have the patterns of influence between IGOs and state members changed over time (Karns and Mingst, 1990)? What is the impact of interorganizational relations in...

  7. CHAPTER 2 Decision Making within the African Development Bank
    (pp. 18-41)

    At the 1964 founding of the African Development Bank, the wounds of colonialism were too fresh and the desire to be independent too strong to consider Western country membership. ADB members deliberately chose to limit membership and participation to continental countries. Yet what exactly Africanicity meant was never clearly enunciated. At a minimum, members were African states, projects financed would be located in Africa, and African nationals would administer the affairs of the Bank. But as one official present during the early years volunteered, Africanicity did mean something more than “an ideology, born of the hatred of colonialism”; it had...

  8. CHAPTER 3 The Lending Process
    (pp. 42-50)

    The process employed by the institutional actors described in chapter 2 leads to a loan and concludes with a completed project. This process has undergone continual revision. In the Bank’s early years, because of the small number of technical staff and the staff’s conception of the appropriate procedures for a development bank, Bank officials waited until a member government approached the ADB with a project. Loan applications came slowly, but once received, they were quickly passed through the various procedures, and the loan was usually approved. Appraisal was prefunctory; presentation of the loan to the executive board resulted in virtually...

  9. CHAPTER 4 Policy Debates
    (pp. 51-67)

    African Development Bank members, like members in all economic organizations charged with operational tasks, must confront a number of procedural and substantive policy choices that are apt to divide the membership. In this chapter, I address three such issues, with special attention to the various positions held by different constituencies both within and outside of the organization. Even after the policy choices were made on the role of multinational projects, the membership of extraregional states, and changes in lending priorities, residual controversy remains.

    The establishment of the ADB was based on the notion that regional projects, those involving at least...

  10. CHAPTER 5 The ADB’s Influence on Borrowing States
    (pp. 68-81)

    International economic organizations whose tasks are limited to service activities such as providing information to states and performing studies commissioned by and acceptable to states are less likely to evoke political controversy than are organizations whose tasks are rule creating or operational. Multilateral development banks like the African Development Bank are charged with initiating and managing projects. For many projects to be successful, governmental policies must be changed. In other words, development finance institutions must be able to affect state policies if they are to be successful in achieving specific project goals and if they are to achieve more comprehensive...

  11. CHAPTER 6 The Constraints on ADB Influence
    (pp. 82-100)

    The African Development Bank is constrained in its actions. Three types of constraints—environmental, organizational, and political—are particularly salient. These constraints alter the patterns of decision making within the organization despite the promises of the founding agreement. They affect the ability of state participants to agree to and support coherent policies. They set the parameters for loan negotiations and project implementation. And these constraints may determine the choice of ADB techniques to influence borrowers’ policies and the effectiveness of the technique selected.

    All African international organizations including the African Development Bank are constrained by a suite of environmental problems....

  12. CHAPTER 7 The ADB and the World Bank
    (pp. 101-115)

    To promote economic development in member states, the African Development Bank has worked with numerous development organizations in Africa. These other organizations, both public intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental groups (including private voluntary organizations and the international banks) are part of the environmental setting within which the ADB must operate. These organizations not only add to ADB’s opportunities and ability to function by cofinancing projects and introducing new approaches to problems confronted, but they also pose constraints to the ADB. The Bank actively competes with these development agencies for the ear of borrowing governments, for funds furnished by the international financial...

  13. CHAPTER 8 The ADB and Other Development Institutions
    (pp. 116-140)

    African Development Bank’s interactions with the World Bank have been most frequent for the reasons elaborated in chapter 7. Table 12 reports ADB’s cofinancing activities for 1985 and 1986. ADB cofinancing with the World Bank comprised 25% and 29% of the total cofinanced projects in 1985 and 1986, respectively. More revealing of the magnitude of the WB and ADB relationship is the fact that these projects accounted for 60% and 57%, respectively, of the funds disbursed in cofinanced projects during the two years.

    Likewise, ADB’s relationships with other financiers are becoming more extensive. For example, during 1984 ADB officials had...

  14. CHAPTER 9 The ADB’s Evaluation Process
    (pp. 141-150)

    All of the multilateral development banks including the African Development Bank have instituted formal procedures of evaluation. These evaluations are designed to serve multiple purposes. At minimum, they assess the efficiency of internal decision-making procedures—whether the different units, including the president, secretariat personnel, and executive directors, performed according to the technical prerequisites of a functional organization. They ought to evaluate the performance of recipient governments in conducting the project, including both private contractors and state overseers. At maximum, such project evaluations ought to include an assessment of relative success: Did the project actually achieve economic expectations? Did economic benefits...

  15. CHAPTER 10 Politics in the Multilateral Development Banks
    (pp. 151-186)

    In the first nine chapters, the African Development Bank is viewed as a political institution in three arenas—relations within the ADB, interorganizational relations, and to a lesser extent relations of the ADB with the hegemons. A revealing finding is that even with the adhesion of the extraregionals, hegemonic influence has been relatively muted. In this chapter, using the same categories of analysis, the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the Asian Development Bank are compared in view of our assessment of the ADB. Table 15 presents basic data about these respective institutions. We begin by examining the arena that...

  16. Works Cited
    (pp. 187-198)
  17. Index
    (pp. 199-206)