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AbstractDuring the last half of the century. Africa has experienced changing economic fortunes.
Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa was healthy, and dynamic during the postindependence
period. Starting fromthe early 1970s and extending to the first half of the 1990s, Africa entered a period of decline, which reached crisis proportions (Mkandawire and Soludo, 1999). Indeed, up to the early 70s, the African environment has been described as politically placid, economically vibrant and socially tranquil despite their geographic location and the multiethnic composition of the population. This period has been referred to as the "Golden Years" of African development. Economic performance started to deteriorate with the first oil price shock of the early 1970s, resulting in significant increase in import bills weakening African countries" balance of payment position and creating inflationary pressure. This was made worse by the secular decline in terms of trade for African products and the instabilities in global financial and commodity markets. However, a vast body of the literature that tries to explain Afnca"s economic crisis, emphasises the inappropriate distortionary policies pursued by African governments. Mkandawire and Soludo (1999:23) summarise the policy failures that are emphasised .