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Privatization in Africa: What has Happened? What is to be Done?

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  • John Nellis

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Abstract

Sub-Saharan African states urgently need expanded and more dynamic private sectors, more efficient and effective infrastructure/utility provision, and increased investment from both domestic and foreign sources. Privatization is one way to address these problems. But African states have generally been slow and reluctant privatizers; a good percentage of industrial/manufacturing and most infrastructure still remains in state hands. Given prevailing public hostility towards privatization, and widespread institutional weaknesses, such caution is defensible, but nonetheless very costly. The long-run and difficult solution is the creation and reinforcement of the institutions that underpin and guide proper market operations. In the interim, African governments and donors have little choice but to continue to experiment with the use of externally supplied substitutes for gaps in local regulatory and legal systems.

Suggested Citation

  • John Nellis, 2003. "Privatization in Africa: What has Happened? What is to be Done?," Working Papers 25, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:25
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    File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/2765
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Thierry Buchs, 2005. "Privatization in Sub-Saharan Africa: Some Lessons from Experiences to Date," Microeconomics 0502007, EconWPA.
    2. Patrick Honohan & Thorsten Beck, 2007. "Making Finance Work for Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6626.
    3. Boubakri, Narjess & Cosset, Jean-Claude & Guedhami, Omrane, 2005. "Liberalization, corporate governance and the performance of privatized firms in developing countries," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 767-790, October.
    4. Birdsall, Nancy & Nellis, John, 2003. "Winners and Losers: Assessing the Distributional Impact of Privatization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 1617-1633, October.
    5. J. Luis Guasch, 2004. "Granting and Renegotiating Infrastructure Concessions : Doing it Right," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15024.
    6. Perotti,Enrico C., 2004. "State ownership - a residual role?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3407, The World Bank.
    7. Fofack, Hippolyte, 2014. "The idea of economic development: Views from Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 093, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Sub-Saharan Africa; privatization; investment;

    JEL classification:

    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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