Structural Adjustment Programs and Democratization in Africa



Abstract: The chapter presents the organic links between the wave of democratization in Africa and the structural adjustment programs (SAPs) that have been in progress across the continent since the early 1980s. It argues that the process of democratization in Africa represents the political face of SAPs and that the role of Western lenders/donors in pressuring African governments to move from one-party systems to multipartyism was the principal agent in the success of this process and was often more important than the role played by domestic popular protest and pro-democracy movements.